http://wwww.aboutafricanart.com/matt-slater



towela's diary



9-Filter Critics



A few months ago, I sat along Company Gardens in Cape Town with coffee in hand, listening to my fabulous photography lecturer talk about the importance of filtering the kind of people who get to have a say over your work. As creatives, I think we’re all familiar with the desire to be understood. We want people to look at our creative pieces and think, “That was a fantastic poem” “What a phenomenal photographic concept” and/or “Who would have thought of such remarkable lyrics to a song?” The idea of hearing people’s opinions of your work is something that can help you improve or completely derail your ascent on the ladder. So we’re faced with the dilemma: To move forward, you need people’s two cents on where your work currently is and yet, simultaneously, people’s views can be stemmed from jealousy, hatred or plain ignorance. Who do you listen to?





In simple words, my lecturer says, “Whether its family, friends, and partner, twin – if they aren’t creatives/artists themselves, they’re opinion should be regarded only to a certain extent.” I think this is a step in the right direction over who can say what over your work and what kind of weight their opinions should carry. If people don’t understand what you’re trying to achieve, pursue the people that do. There is no use trying to explain rap music to someone who is clearly all about soulful music. We live in a world where we try to pursue people that aren’t even our target market because we’ve defined success as wide acceptance of our crafts. Your work is not for everyone, and that’s okay because you weren’t created to be common nor was your creative energy designed to communicate with every single Jack and Jill. This is important because you avoid hearing too many voices pulling you in multiple directions of where they think you are likely to flourish. When it comes to your creative energy, nobody knows better than you do on how your work should transition and what it should look like in the long-term. This vision you’ve been given by God is sacred and not many people will understand it. Regardless, you should protect it and not allow anyone – near or far – convince you that they know best if they aren’t tapping into your creative level. Do not stoop low no matter what.

Unfortunately – this is absolutely sad to say – people within your industry/creative level could still hinder your progress. For example, if you’re a photographer, there may be people who’ve been in the industry longer than you have and believe that your unconventional path to creating is rather different from the route most are likely to take and will therefore, try to sabotage you by telling you that it is wrong or if you’re a singer, artists might try to influence you with trendy genres that could pull crowds and denying you the right to embrace your unique sound and style. Whatever the case maybe, you’re constantly surrounded by Know-It-Alls that try to compare their journey with yours – never acknowledging that all journeys are different. This terrible assumption that because someone is within the industry as you, they can dictate your direction is something I’ve taken a while to break away from but the result have been rewarding as my creative process is no longer defined by walking in the footsteps of “my photography ancestors”. I don’t know what influences their work nor do I understand their motives and workflow techniques. All I can do – and you should, too – is examine criticism with an honest view without mindlessly accepting what is being said because you believe you’re an amateur. I’ve seen this stuff before – People being bullied for their efforts at their start of their careers as creatives and expected to be perfect overnight. We see it in “Support” Photography pages where people bash each other for camera or editing mistakes that could have been communicated in a much more calm and rational manner. Sure, everyone is not always going to be nice during crit sessions but don’t be naïve to the possibility that they could be trying to sabotage your best intentions. Keep creating, you’ll get better as time goes on. Be selective over voices and watch your work reach the sky!

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towela's diary



8-Keeping it Original



When my 2nd social documentary (#ManUp) got copied before I could even release it, I remember calling my cinematographer and good friend Ron, freaking out because someone had practically reduced 3 months of hard work from the team and I. Fine, male sensitivity and hypermasculinity are common topics and it's natural for anyone to address these issues (I'm not the only photographer in the world, duh) but to release everything under the same name AND the same storyline? Hm. Great minds think alike I guess.





I reported it to Facebook and it wasn't long before the Facebook page was taken down. I had a moment of realisation though. I started to really probe the state of mind someone could be in when they choose to copy concepts. I created my own little theories about how to change this. As a creative, who also goes through what I'm talking about, you're welcome to disagree based on your experiences. Here they are in brief:

1. Unfollow Trends: From depression to say, nude art, you need to make sure whatever you're addressing as a Creative is not stemmed from what's currently in and what'll get you the most likes on Facebook. Don't pursue or follow trends. Sometimes it just so happens that your project is trendy, though, but that shouldn't be the reason WHY you are doing it. Gosh, I'm familiar with how tempting it is to do what everyone is doing because that's what's selling but people tend to respect you for going your own route and changing the narrative. There is nothing better than thriving on something only you can do! I hate trends with my entire soul, because that means as a creative you depend on something so volatile to dictate your direction - imagine keeping up, it is INSANE!

2. High-level Inspiration: Personally, I have 3 photographers that inspire how I go about addressing pain in photographs and I use their work as guidelines while creating my own personal visual language. You'll see this consistently with the work I am yet to release. In their absence, my work wouldn't reach it's full capacity because it would lack depth/angles. I would say, "Hey, I want to do a photo project on pain" and produce shallow work, even though it has deep meaning. Having international influence takes things up a notch. It's very easy as a Creative to think we've made it in life because we're "better" than one person that we forget ten other people are better (I say that as healthy competition). Be inspired by incredible, out of this world work and give time for your initial idea to transition. Pause during your coffee stains and give them time to evolve.

For example, I did a documentary on Colourism. Initially it started out in favour of dark-skinned girls but how many photographers have already highlighted dark-skin beauty? I decided to explore both sides of the coins, and discovered that light-skinned girls get criticized for being nothing more than pretty faces. This literally changed my shooting approach and made the project something everyone of every skintone can relate to. The angle changed EVERYTHING for me, too, I learnt a lot - learning is a fundamental for my documentaries, it's my overall outcome and I managed achieve that.

- Artist (Creative) Statements: I never knew the importance of this until I did documentaries but I think it can apply to anything across the creative industry. The golden opportunity to explain your thought processes behind a creation is your ticket - this is what distinguishes us all. We can have 3 photographers shooting the same model under the same conditions but how they explain their thoughts and translate that through their workflow changes everything - yes, even if they were given the same concept to maneuver around! Tell us why you chose to use that colour instead of the other when painting, why you edited that photograph differently from most conventional photographs, why you chose that beat with that rhythm in your latest mixtape. See how challenging that is? It's difficult to produce mediocre work if you go this route. If you can make us understand, NO ONE can take that away from you. You won't even be offended if they tried because you know your motives and theirs are not the same and so, well, the results will speak for themselves.




TOWELA'S DIARY






7-After the Butterflies



When I was younger I was obsessed with poetry. My bestfriend and I would sit by the school library after school and YouTube videos of viral poets with over one million views. We would try to copy their rhyming techniques to emulate their success. I told myself that if I could sound like them, I would be like them. My growing passion for poetry was just as much as my passion for photography - they both started out the same way. There are days I ask myself, "What happens when I wake up and feel I cannot photograph like the photographers I study and seek to become?"





We are all familiar with fear of failure - that's why we study courses we don't want to do for job security and an assured monthly income through a salary. However, gradual growth in the field that you've convinced everyone around you that you're good at and passionate about is a stigma associated with being overzealous - an assumption people make that you are being too excited about chasing your dreams and it's not long before you meet disappointment. The ones who told you to be "realistic" are standing and waiting on your downfall while the ones that "almost" believe in you are standing at a distance, watching you climb that ladder and wondering just maybe if they could do the same. The reality is that people always have their eyes on the Creative. They are eager to know how far you go. The pressure, at first, is a little flattering - you like that some people doubt you because you know you're working on something that'll blow their mind away - and you will, because you're damn good at what you do. What happens next, after the butterflies, is the scary phase. The inner struggle to top what you just released; to pour more into the world even though your cup is empty from the last time. What distinguishes my passion for photography over my passion for poetry is not that I liked one more than I did the other. It's not that I somehow had a way with pixels more than I did with syllables. The big difference, though, is when poetry made me feel like my poems were a one-hit wonder and the days piled up when I felt that my writing was not as good as the Greats - I ran the opposite direction. I convinced myself that poetry was an illusion I had in my mind. I had it in me though, look I was onto something. Looking back, I analyse photographs because I have a background in analysing poems. I'm able to have a clear cut vision of how my docu-photographs should impact the world because I look at how artists - poets and photographer alike - have had similar impacts on both me and my photography. Establish the idea that your creative juice is like your partner. You are in a relationship with ambition. Everyone doesn't want to succeed because you're happy with chasing your dream. Look at it as though what you give in is what you get. Taking your creative juice for granted and expecting it to always hold you down even when you're not protecting it's high ranking in your heart is asking for too much. I'll not always wake-up up loving photographs. There are days I literally get annoyed at how concentrated photography has becoming in my life that I feel I need a break from it altogether. The simple fact is never take things for granted. Just because you woke up excited about creating today doesn't guarantee that you will be just as excited tomorrow. Don't follow your feelings, follow your commitment. Don't listen to your adrenaline rush, listen to your decision to push through your feelings and create - because listen, you were meant to do this.



TOWELA'S DIARY



6-Being a Full-Time Creative



Discovery of purpose is one of those things I heard people hint about growing up that I thought I would never get to experience. All my life I've had friends who excelled in sports at school, know how to dance in ways most wouldn't even attempt or can sing beautifully and I always felt so proud of their all-rounded success. I am not one to get jealous but with the environment I was in, I'd be desperate to figure out my place in the world because after a while, being "talentless" was not something I particularly enjoyed. Teachers usually imposed the idea of the perfect student as one who balances sports and school at the same time and if you aren't lucky in either of these, there is a strong sense of failure. For this reason, it took me years to finally find out what I was born for and it was hidden in my passion for photography, although I never really did photography with any long-term intentions. In high school, people would ask me if I would pursue photography full-time and I would laugh at their insane suggestion to do so and respond, "Why would I ever do that?" But really, why wouldn't I consider the one thing I'm passionate about to be even as little as a career option? It didn't make sense.

.








Thankfully, my portraits have exposed me to different kinds of people that I get to observe and learn from. Studying social attitudes towards certain things sparks my documentary hunch - whether it's a Mom insecure about her post-baby belly or a 16 year old boy concerned about looking too skinny in photos. I have the advantage of feeding my interest in documentary photography because I'm surrounded by inspiration as I work on my commercial portraits for clients. I am lucky, too, to be photography editor for a website whose vision is directly aligned with mine. Moving forward on my platform on aboutafricanart.com, I'll be releasing interviews with other photographers from across the world, articles that talk about different kinds if photography for a non-photographer to easily understand and analysis of bodies of work and photographic artists from decades ago, whose photograph techniques and creative spirits we can all learn from - your valued opinion and understanding of what I type will help me grow as a documentary photographer. All of these roles are intertwined and work cohesively to keep me motivated towards my purpose, lest I get caught up doing commercial portraits and lose my direction on the compass to my purpose. Keeping in touch with my Spirit being is important for my growth as a Creative. Maybe you're reading this and your purpose hasn't been clearly outlined to you in the sky, but believe me when I say having a still assurance that the work you're doing is not in vain and is for a Higher Purpose will not only keep you grounded but literally keep you sane on days you want to give up. Some of the articles I've put on the AboutAfricanArt website are articles I wrote last year - not knowing caring whether people would see them or they would die in my diary without being released. God doesn't owe you answers to why He does things so the misconception that I need to "know" what happens next in my life is like saying, "God, I'm only going to wake up and edit this photos if you show me that in the next 5 years, I'll be the best photographs in the world." Is it just me or does that sound like conditional obedience? Being a creative means I won't be able to gauge your growth. This is because I'll never know whether my next project will be the peak of my career (and maybe the others will maintain that peak and eventually form a plateau). It's not certain how much potential I have and how far I can go with it. Having spiritual direction - whether that's observing trees everyday for an hour, putting on some jazz music or meditating on God's word - can allow anyone the ability to detach from the world and it's influence (which is most significant for figuring out your purpose). If I've made any mistakes that's deferred you to another path that's not fulfilling my purpose to become a powerful vessel in social influence and change, in God's arms I am redirected towards the purpose I Wa born to do - the purpose that no one else has been comissioned to do but me.



TOWELA'S DIARY



5-Purpose from Passion



When I first started out, I specialised in portraits under my photography business PBTK. My main source of income were portraits. When I identified documentary photography as the source of my purpose, I had several questions about what next to do. Docu-photos don't make money , especially in Botswana. That wasn't the only thing stopping me, even if my documentary photos would sell, how would I be able to consistently produce great conceptual documentaries? Where would the ideas come from? Creativity doesn't heed to direction/control very well. So I had the additional probing question: What happens during the waiting phase when I'm not creating?





When I was 14, I developed a ten year plan for my life. Before 24, I would have completed several steps towards becoming a London School of Economics graduate with a Master's Degree in Economics. I never 'saw' it in my head, though. When telling everyone this, it really sounded right. I was good in Economics and I enjoyed it. When I got my first B in my favourite subject, it was as though I had reached a dead end with a gruesome red flashing light indicating that Economics wasn't for me. I can't admit at being the perfect academic student and I've always encountered difficulty with balance all subjects. Maybe I would get an A* in a Mathematics test, and being a mathematician would begin to make sense or I would jump from a B to an A in Literature, and convince myself that having books of mine in stores worldwide is not so far of reach. Whenever I found that my grades had dropped just a bit in a subject I was naturally good at, I would lose interest in trying to improve marks for that subject and focus on trying to excel in others.

When I found myself being more forgiving for mistakes I would make in photography, I began to ask myself questions like "Why does this matter to me? Why am I so concerned with getting better? Why do I feel like the decisions I make in favour of photography have long-term success effects?" Whether that's amateur PR moves that cost me clients or forgetting to enable a particular camera setting that could've helped me get better shots, I would say, "Okay, Towela. We're going to try this again and we might not get it the second time around but eventually, you'll get it right." I slowly gathered a spirit to stick with things and persevere through challenges. I would fall - and I still do, (many, many, many times) - but I manage to get back up and fight because I have an understanding that it’s not just about me. Sometimes, I think that if I followed through with Economics, I would have managed to score a few good grades but the minute I'd get my first F, I would not be able to cope. What you're good at is not always connected to your purpose in life. What you are consistent wAnchorith will always attribute to your purpose.

Truthfully speaking, a purpose-filled life is not one where you have the perfect plan, everything goes right and it's easy to achieve greatness. Whatever it is, even talent can be worked into purpose if you find out how your talent can fit into the world. I say Photography is my tool to living my destiny - it is the ideal way to becoming the person I always dreamed of becoming (a woman of social influence, who helps people to see beauty in the world as well as help people to feel more empathetic for traumatic, vulnerable groups). Photography is one way I've found myself able to bring together this desire plus my skill of having a good eye to produce something meaningful not just for me but others as well. I could wake up tomorrow and figure out that I can achieve the same through painting or by hanging around with a group of intellectuals who are passionate about how the world works in the social context. Whatever part of the world you throw me in, my purpose will still exude because it is from within and I'll always be able to candidly live it out, whether I have my camera with me or not.



TOWELA'S DIARY



4-Create and Rest



Speaking of my photography-pause, I couldn't be more excited to explain what that time of reflection did for me. As a student in my mother's house, I may have had several instances where I couldn't bear the pressures of school. Whether there was an exam the following morning or short test I knew I needed to stay up for, my mother always advised to me to rest. I would give her many reasons why my life was on the line if I choose to relax, but she always emphasised on mental health being a superior priority - one that shouldn't be compromised, not even for an exam. Ever since, I've always believed in the tremendous power of knowing when the right time to take a break is. Knowing when to stop yourself from going any further in order to clear your mind and refresh your headspace is a skill that should be most essential to every human being, especially creatives and innovators.







Because I'm Christian, I'll take this from a Biblical perspective and recall how the very planet we live in was brought into existence. God, over a period of 6 days, created everything we see around us. On the first day, He created light and darkness and it was so. The second day he created water and on the third, he separated it. This means two things for creatives: As much as we walk in abundance of creative energy, having the ability to speak pixels, paint or ink into existence, each moment presents an opportunity to improve what we did before. I personally suffered the ill-perception that creating is very linear process - you create and create and create and masterpiece complete but this is far from the truth. The fresh understanding that creativity cannot be forced or structured, neither controlled or rushed means that we can only allow ourselves to go so far and try again the next day. The Bible continues to explain how day after day, for six days, God allowed His creation to evolve overtime and "God saw all He had made, and it was very good" - which means, He took the time to reflect on what He had done. Six days ago, He could not talk about Morning and Evening because He had not made light and darkness to begin with, nor could He mention Mankind because He had not created the land and the waters at the soles of their feet. The process of creating is governed by the principle of evolving and most importantly, improving what you did before all the while, having the pleasure of relaxing and looking upon a job well-done as you marvel at how your initial idea only got better and better. Creating only becomes exciting when we look at where we're coming from, this failure to look back and acknowledge the work of our hands only finds us dealing with a vicious habit to hurt ourselves by thinking we aren't achieving anything at all.

I've talked about my evolving photographic style with other photographers before, and I've explained that while understand how important consistency, it's obvious that being unpredictable with my work is key - especially with my documentaries. Tackling issues that we are common to almost everyone means I have to bring something to the creative table to get attention towards the issues that are close to my heart. Visually-speaking, I have to constantly change my approach to make the nature of my job appeal to people who are not as passionate about social problems as I am. My photography-pause may have taken a lot longer than I initially expected and it probably became harder and harder to photograph when I started to understand how influential the delicate medium of photography can be. You observe the problems photography has cause in the past, the careers people have made off pictures and the way it can be used to project something in a bad or good light. Being aware of this, I can’t help but think of what impact my work makes whether presently or in the future and I try everything in my power to control that. I am not capable of shooting spontaneously anymore. At the moment, shooting with no pin-pointed intent is something I no longer practice and I have severely shifted from shooting to get Facebook likes or applause from people to shooting with intentions that fall along the lines of my destiny. The truth is, it is not hard to become a photographer – learning how to take photos and edit is not rocket science and anyone can master it in a few months so there’s nothing special about knowing how to work a camera. In taking time out to from creating to reflect, I have found my purpose in life is stemmed from my passion for photographing everyday people and their stories, and I intend on living out that purpose as a legacy through my photos when I'm gone.



TOWELA'S DIARY



3-Redefining Photography for Myself



One of my first assignments in Photography School was to do a project with the theme of Self-Project. In simpler terms, this was the opportunity for photography students to focus on being in front of the lens while illustrating a concept they had that would show voyeurs a more intimate part of themselves. This was not the easiest thing to accomplish on my end because I sulked at being in front of the lens but nevertheless, I did the project and handed it in. A few days later, I received my project results.

You get marked for two things; Project work and Process work.






I got an A for Process work because I was able to articulate my vision in my visual journal in a way that my lecturer could understand what I was going for. I detailed my idea in several pages and had corresponding visual references (photographers who have done similar concepts before) as well as in-depth research filling the pages of my journal in a way that was easy for anyone to know what I was going for.

I got a C for Project work because I did not quite succeed in capturing my vision behind the lens the way I had explained it in my journal. My photographs were not so coherent with my conceptualisation. There was a form of disconnect between what happened in my head and what happened in front of the lens, I couldn't quite put my finger on it until I pondered and found the answer.

One of the first things Botswana photographers advise you when you start is to know your camera and lighting and all the technical aspect of photography - this may be important, but it's not the only important thing. While valuable advice I got from photographer friends in Botswana cannot be held responsible for my C in Project work, it helped me think twice about what photography meant to me as an individual, as opposed to frequently altering my photographic style according to the demographic I'm placed in.

I redefined photography for myself to be a medium that channels ideas/concepts into life. Nothing more, nothing less.

For such a long time, I looked at myself as Towela The Photographer as opposed to being Towela The Human first. What this means is that all that mattered to me was perfect lighting, beautiful models, excelled post-production skills and VOILA! - That's your instant photographer starter kit. A curator I met in Cape Town with over 20 years in the business who became a good friend of mine often said to me: "This industry has millions of photographers who are genuinely good at what they do, what are you bringing to the table?" Indeed, there's plenty talented photographers and being equally as talented only makes you blend into the crowd, so what else is there to offer? My lecturer said once, "All concepts have, in a way, already been done." So I'm a good photographer.. Okay, what's new?

Channelling all of my personal interests through the lens and creating a legacy through my photographs in such a way that you can see me come alive in every photograph I take - this is my purpose for shooting. There is so much more to me than being great behind the lens but for you to believe that, I had to show you.

Some photographers have said that I think this way because I'm a documentary photographer but the truth is, I've seen it to apply to other genres of photography. For example, iconic fashion photographers shot with intent to not only make viewers love fashion but to see translate their unique fashion sense as a pointer to who they were behind the lens.

That was my first transformation - redefining photography.
That was why I periodically stopped shooting anything other than school assignments.



TOWELA'S DIARY



2-Dealing with Being Overwhelmed



I walked home in a rush that Saturday in effort to tell my mom the good news but before I did, I opened my WhatsApp to find my mother's message that read: "I know your job interview was successful! Proud of you and happy almost birthday to PBTK!" My first day at work was on the same date I started my photography business two years ago, so there was a lot of reflection that night. Questions about how I got through my first week alive and prayers to God for preparation on would come next from any direction - I'm glad I did this as early as possible.





Studying photography means understanding everything attached to the meaning of visual representation - the history of image-making, the analysis of writings on photography, the motives for shooting, the discourse of photography, the creative process in-depth for each project and working in studio to shoot different types of photography, develop photographs in the darkroom AND MORE. It's intense when you start out and I reached a point after a few weeks where I would just sit down in my room and weep because I felt like I was absolutely stupid for thinking God wanted me to take pictures for a living. Between you and me, I wanted to give up so badly and come back to Botswana. I missed friends and family, I missed having everything being so easy.

One of the biggest thingsAnchor I considered myself to be at the time was inefficient. I told my best friend once: "There's nothing more overwhelming than looking outside my window and spotting all the life-changing opportunities before my very eyes." I meant every word. My journey to Cape Town - how I got there and the great difficulties in the months before I did - was truly humbling, I was bent and nearly broken to be able to breathe the air of the city of my dreams. Cape Town is my New York, it is the place where everything I want to do can be done. It was like begging for a chance to speak with investors and being rejected each time and when you finally get the opportunity to speak with them, you freeze. That's how I. felt - like everything I ever wanted was within arm's reach but somehow, because of the things I had to go through to get there, I felt like I didn't deserve to go after them anymore because I would fail miserably and I wasn't ready to deal with failure.

What I didn't know was starting to chase my dream at a young age would put me in a position to learn lessons earlier and faster so that I avoid making the same mistakes (even more costly) when my business advances at a later stage. However, this wouldn't avoid challenges from coming my way as they do to mature entrepreneurs. The pain would be exhilarating but what I would become in the process would make it worthwhile.


My first lesson? Accountability.

During my depression phase, I would bunk school, hand in assignments late or not at all and skip meals every other day. There was never a point before then (nor will there be in the future) that I was ever so unproductive. I've always identified as a perfectionist and I never thought there'd be any harm in that but this was the one time in my life where wanting to do things so perfectly - things I had never done before - consumed me whole. There's no feeling quite like it, and each day got worse than the previous one: A repetitive, demeaning voice in my head would scream the minute I would attempt to try something new, reminding me that I would not do it perfectly the first time, as are the nature of all first trials, and thus, should not try at all. This deceptive lie gradually becoming a thorn to my flesh.

I woke up one morning, completed my assignments, formally expressed my regret for my incompetence to my lecturers and threw myself more and more into the deep end. Acknowledging when you're wrong is 10x braver then coming up with convincing excuses, accountability does not cater for being unproductive. You admit, you apologise and you deliver - it is that simple.





Towela's diary



1-Welcome to Cape Town



When I first started photographing in 2015, I was focused on getting my portrait photography to look as professional as possible with a creative twist. I desired to have my work affiliated with the names of other talented photographers in Botswana. With the support of family, friends and Facebook followers, I was able to achieve this under my Facebook business page - PBTK - where I share(d) my favourite photographs. I was and still am both humbled to have my hard work acknowledged, but I wanted more. I knew if I scratched beyond the surface, I would discover my purpose in my ever-growing passion for photography.






In January 2016, I ventured into Documentary Photography because I was looking to expand on my personal interests, with social activism at the forefront. I produced my 1st social documentary photo series on Colourism (interracism discrimination within the Black race due to the degree of melanin and multiple shades of black) around June 2016 and it featured on AFROPUNK and the WeekendPost Newspaper in Botswana. In addition, I was honoured with an interview on the Debbie Grace Show. Months later, I proceeded to release my 2nd social documentary photo series in February 2017 which carefully addressed the battle for male sensitivity in a world where letting your guard down as a male figure is not socially-acceptable which, again, featured on AFROPUNK.

In October 2016, while walking to an exam room to write my first IGCSE Final Exam, I received an e-mail informing me of my acceptance to Photography School in Cape Town, commencing the following year. I remember being overwhelmed with excitement. I couldn't stop thinking about studying photography while I sat in that exam room. I completed my high school education in 2016 and when the results arrived on the 17th of January 2017, I discovered I got 46 Points, with my lowest mark obtained being a B.

My mother got what she desperately wanted, teachers got what they worked tirelessly for and it was now time for me to get what I wanted, relentlessly.

Regarding Photography School, I could never be more unprepared for the journey that lay ahead. My philosophy was that learning photography wouldn't be so hard, considering that I had been doing photography for about a year and a half at the time. If anything, I assumed I had gotten some form of a head start. It wasn't long before I was yet to discover how much I didn't know about photography. They say the minute you think you know everything is the same minute you learn that you know nothing - that statement couldn't be more accurate.

My first week in Cape Town contained a vigorous transformation in life after high school in merely 7 days - I went from being a high school graduate in Botswana to preparing for a job interview with an award-winning photographer that I was to have that weekend in Cape Town. I had just a few hours to adjust to a new city (and country) before starting college life the following morning where I would be the youngest of several students, all of which had Cape Town photography experience - some who had even studied photography before. This, I would learn, would became incompatible with my years of shooting in the photography industry in Botswana.