Tatenda Chidora (b. 1988, Gweru)
What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?
I enjoy photographing people, architecture, landscapes — and documenting everyday stories.
Describe your photographic style.
I really love black and white photography. I try keeping my images simple and less complex. I would confidently refer my work to be mostly approached from a documentary point of view. Embracing the beauty around me through everyday stories is what inspires me.
Photography is a lot about the journey. How has it influenced your personal life
and the way in which you view the world (around you)?
That’s absolutely right, it is a journey and photography has influenced my life rapidly because photography is everywhere. Beauty surrounds us everyday and there is a frame somewhere — you might not see it but there is something that you can capture. Photography has engraved my mind to be able to look at light, see textures, see shadows and create from the surrounding subjects everyday.
Photography is also about capturing a moment in time. What is your approach to a
shot, and your approach to a new body of work?
I look for a subject and have an idea in mind. At times (when shooting on film) you have to think a lot because you don’t have many frames to shoot and can’t just ‘select the best one’ like with digital. There is always a need to think about the frame and conceptualise.
When I approach a new body of work, I think of what I would want to photograph and how. If its portraiture, I think light, background and my subject. From there I create a line that will bring a story out.
Is photography your professional career? Or do you work in another field?
It is my professional career.
What gear do you shoot with? Specifically camera arsenal and film stock.
I shoot with a Minolta X300 and a 45mm lens. Ilford HP5, and I have also been using expired Kodak Film and Ilford Delta 100. When I am treating myself, I shoot on a Hasselblad 500C.
Growth is important for any artistic craft. How do you stay motivated and
Enthusiastic about your work?
One thing that keeps me going in my personal life is the realisation that I have the ability to create. Every time I lift up my camera, I have the ability to create something different. It’s not easy to keep going, but if you have a love for something (even when you hit the ceiling) you keep pursuing the heartbeat. I am constantly working with people that are really creative. I am always rubbing off people that are always working. This drive inspires me to keep going.
What are your influences? Please list other photographers you look up to or
things that generally inspire your image-making process.
Everyday portraits drive the general inspiration for my image making process. By “Everyday Portraits”, I refer to the things that surround us everyday and how light just falls on different subjects. The juxtaposing of the world we live in is my daily heartbeat of inspiration. I adore work by photographers such as Sebastio Selgado, Kristen-Lee Moolman, Trayvs Owen, Ross Garrett and Andile Buka (just to mention a few).
What else do you enjoy? (Hobbies, etc – Any other creative exploits or interests?)
What else do I enjoy? I love coffee. I still believe that one day I will own a coffee plantation. I am a roadrunner, I enjoy running — that’s my zone out district; I push myself to ultra marathon. So if I’m not behind a camera, I’m on my feet on some road, somewhere.
Any tips for aspiring film photographers?
Film is beautiful. It will teach you patience and a critical way of thinking. Embrace it because you only see the image in the viewfinder and there is no playback until the film is developed.
What lies on the horizon (any plans for series, exhibitions, travels etc)? And what do you hope to achieve in the future?
I was thinking the other day that I have slowly forgotten what was my first love. I have decided to go back to the drawing board and maybe do a series of subjects I love. I have a few group exhibitions coming up and have recently been challenged to do a few collaborations with some artists.
All photos by Tatenda Chidora
DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017.