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Self-taught photographer, 19-Year-old Kamohelo Mahlatsi, all the way from Katlehong in Gauteng , South Africa, leaves no lens unturned on his mission to visually narrate stories through the intriguing captured imagery. His work focuses on infusing a revival of black pride with powerful imagery
His passion and love for photography come from being fascinated to freeze moments in time that last for eternity. In October 2019 Kamohelo won first place at the Excellence In Education awards by ThinkAhead for the #mySA Photography category
Images arouse memories of emotions sound, sight and smell of the moment it was captured”
“The Envisioned Self.” photo series was inspired by the writing of Steve Biko.
“The series features solely black subjects with the intention to infuse black pride back into the community through powerful imagery.”
Inspired by the writings of Steve Biko, Kamohelo felt a need to do the series after personal experiences within his own community.
Meet South Africa’s Groovy Kamo, leading pathways of awakening visual narratives
Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?
Photography is my true passion.
How did you find your passion and how old were you?
When I was 16 I had a group of friends in high school who started a creative collective and I wanted to be a part of it but the only way they would let me join was if I could bring a skill to the collective, so I told them I could be their videographer because I used to edit and shoot YouTube videos when I was younger. One of the guys in the group had a camera and he would let me use it from time to time and through that, I was able to experiment with what is now my passion, photography.
What about your passion appeals to you the most?
That probably has to be the nostalgia that is native to photography. the ability to be able to freeze a moment in time and being able to look at a photograph that allows you to ‘’relive’’ certain moments in life is what makes me enjoy it so much!
What drove you to make money from your passions?
When I realised that I am able to monetise my passion, I started doing research on how to monetise my photography just so I could reinvest the money into equipment and personal projects.
When was the first time you were paid for your passion?
In 2017 when a friend from high school asked me to shoot a couple of photos of her for her modelling portfolio.
What kept you going when you thought about giving up?
Keeping the right people around me and reading self-help books on a daily helps me persevere through the difficult times.
What motivates you every day to be even more successful?
The fact that I am aware of my potential and also knowing that the only limitations I have are the ones that I set upon myself.
What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?
Keep doubting and I’ll let the work speak for itself.
What advice do you give to aspiring creatives who look up to you?
Embrace who you are. When starting out as a photographer, you would think you probably need to find professional models and book expensive studios just to do a shoot but not only is that costly, it is also not your reality so start off by documenting your reality. Shoot friends, family and neighbours and grow from there.
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