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Portraiture and landscape photographer Deborah da Silva, loves both surprise and ritual in equal measure. After seeing Deborah in a film about her daily routine – which includes a ‘wake-up’ swim in the tidal pool below her home in St James, Cape Town – we asked her to tell us more about herself.

We discovered she’d taken this collection of photographs on assignment in Lesotho, the same region where the raw material for Skoon. Rosehip C+ is grown. 

“Being a portrait photographer, most of my working hours get swallowed up by an assortment of faces staring back at me through the lens, so I relish those times when I can soak up the world around me. Every morning I take time out to splash or hobble about in big spaces, inhabited by few people,” says Deborah. 

“The sea and mountain are on my doorstep which makes it possible to make an outing of both swimming and running. But that’s not always the case when I am on assignment.  I love it when a work assignment allows that indulgence and my trip to Lesotho was one that provided complete landscape bliss while making it possible to deliver to a tight photographic brief.”

“When shooting big landscapes I try to capture the feeling that I got when standing in that space for the first time. The elements of the space inform that feeling and provide the impulse to press the shutter.  Colour, texture, pattern and the people who move through the space are all part of the visual story. The picture needs to echo the true “gees” of the land. Sometimes it’s a simple feeling of joy – a result of being absorbed in something beautiful -and sometimes it’s more complex and challenging. The Lesotho images portray the colourful, rich diversity of the land and extraordinary rural people who blanket themselves in both the traditions of their cultural heritage and contemporary elements. Although, beneath the surface of this visual tapestry, HIV and soil erosion are two of many social challenges that plague the people and landscape of Lesotho.”

“My intention with this series was to communicate that sense of people and place, and celebrate Lesotho’s enigmatic beauty. It was a bonus to be able to mingle so freely with people, go riding on horseback, and have such rich material to shoot, wherever I pointed my lens. All in a day’s work!”

Deborah is currently studying for her degree in Visual Arts. She has exhibited her work at several galleries, including Everard Read in Cape Town. 

Deborah uses Skoon. The One Super MoisturiserNkuto Butter Hot Cloth CleanserBeautifuel Double Thick and Rosehip C+ concentrate.

Visit Deborah's Site here and Facebook here



2015 Blog