Anthea Adams

By: Creative Indaba


1. Introduce yourself. Who are you, and what do yo do?


For the sake of titles, I am a writer and photographer based in Cape Town. You could say I’m part of the Generation Slashie as I’ve started to play around with videography and directing. With that said, it’s safe to say that I’m simply a creative. The work that I produce showcases my passion for fashion (cliche’ I know), and my interest in using the body to exude a mood, create a character, and at best tell a story.


2. How would you describe yourself, and your style, or style of work?


Moody. I would say that my photography style always has a moody feel to it, a ‘moment of silence’ kind of feel.

I love using every part of the body in an almost effortless way to add character to the clothes and mood of the photo. Sometimes this trait can be problematic as it’s not easy to get every part of the body to be positioned both in sync and yet unique. Not sure if I’m making much sense here.

Another aspect of my photography is that I prefer my subjects to be looking away from the camera. While some say that the eyes are the gateway to the soul, I believe that you can’t get a true sense of the subject’s soul if they’re looking directly into the camera. I feel like you get to see more of the true self when one is unaware of the camera. It just feels more honest to me, and so I try to incorporate more of these types of photos in my shoots.



3. What drives you?


As you may know, there are certain styles of photography that do well on social media because it’s the in thing. I’m working towards creating a hype around my style of photography as I don’t see it much in South Africa.

Another drive is to open up the industry for people of colour. I’ve been doing wedding photography for the past six years and unfortunately, I’ve had bad experiences, bad experiences that would not have been mine were I a white photographer. I want to make it a norm that coloured women can be photographers too and we rock at it.

I’m from the Southern suburbs, Steenberg, which is home to many people facing societal economic issues such as poverty, drugs and crime. Not many people I know from the area that hasn’t realised that there are opportunities around them, that they can succeed in creative fields.



4. What where your challenges in life growing up and in what you do?


Every person is different and unique. The main challenge for me growing up had been accepting what makes me stand out, particularly when a lot of the other kids were conforming to what’s popular. At that time, I didn’t want to stand out, I wanted to fit in so bad. So, for a long time, leading up to my late teens I rejected who I am, and added the layers societal standards on top to try and fit in. Even then, it was not enough to feel like I belong. That’s an element that most coloured people lack, that support structure at home. I think that a lack of support and healthy relationships at home can push a kid to look for that sense of belonging somewhere else.

Thinking back now, I realise that individuality is freedom. If I’m not allowing myself to be me in the truest form then I’m not being honest and I’m not free. Even now as a photographer in South Africa I get a similar feeling when showcasing my style, it doesn’t fit in with what is popular, and that’s okay. I feel liberated creating the work that I do, and if that means fewer people get me that’s okay too. I do art for me.


5. What’s you definition of success?


Procrastination is the bane of my existence right now, so for me, success would be to act out my ideas and to have the confidence to see it through. A lot of the times I find my procrastination the result of me not believing that I can do what I have in mind. It’s small steps for me right now.

In terms of goals career wise, success would be travelling the world booking shoots with fashion publications I idolized as a kid. Most of all success is me having the lifestyle and means to create and work on projects my heart desires.



6. What are your future plans?


Work with dope brands and create content that matters.


7. Who do you look up to? Your inspirations:


Eckhart Tolle (life), Youngstercpt (representing Cape coloureds), Margaret Zhang (fashion industry).


8. What would you like to leave behind, or how would you like to be remembered?:


I don’t think it’s important to leave anything behind, people must go on with their lives. Giving everything I’ve got to share while I’m alive is all that matters to me. When it comes to being remembered a certain way I think that it’s out of my control. People see what they want to see anyway. For me, it’s not so much about being remembered publicly, but if I am remembered I hope that it’s fond memories. Hopefully, those memories evolve into energy that can be gifted to someone and from that person to the next – no one needs to know the source.


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