Africa Centre Architectural Shoot with East Coast Architects and Raw Studios
When Bartjan Hooft from East Coast Architects contacted me to ask if I would be interested in photographing The Africa Centre in Mtubatuba I initially thought to turn down the job. I mean what on earth do I know about photographing buildings? After meeting with him and hearing that they didn’t want to hire an architectural photographer because they wanted to use someone with an artistic eye and a fresh approach my mind was slightly put at ease. It was however only when I read that they practice social and green architecture and had a good look through their site that I was moved to rise to the challenge. It must be mentioned that my boyfriend Riaan Van Jaarsveldt also had a lot to do with the shift, as he works in architecture and has a keen interest in the architectural photography, so we decided to do the job together.
I was nervous as all hell about it all, but once we got to the space I realised that a good architectural shot isn’t too different from a good wedding photo as both require good light and composition. The Africa Centre is a health and population research centre and is a really interesting space to photograph. This award winning building has recently undergone a huge refurb and all the wooden office furniture was especially designed by the acclaimed Raw Studios. I loved all the interesting angles, the incredible gardens, the birds flying around and the bright colours, but most of all I loved the fact that the people who work in the building seemed so proud of the space and their work.
All in all it was an interesting experience as it really forced me to slow down and spend a lot more time crafting my images, looking at lines, light, shape, texture and composition. I don’t have a tilt shift lens so we spent a lot of time up ladders, on roofs and on a tripod to get the lines straight. I must mention that I also loved working in a team and having someone to bounce ideas with was very different from shooting a wedding! In the end I was really glad that I took on the challenge as it’s only when we step out of our comfort zone that we grow.
Thanks to East Coast Architects for giving me the opportunity to push my creative boundaries and thanks to Riaan for everything.