I discovered SOAFRICANE last year, and I was all over that site because my obsessions are borderline creepy. When I discover something exciting, I want to share it with you guys because I do feel like we are somewhat alike to a certain extent. Marie’s site is exactly like us, she finds things that are beautiful, delicious, colorful and like your good friend, she shares it. I think it’s an admirable trait when one shares the good things that inspire them, the things that make them feel good because most times their hearts are in a good place because they want someone out there to find it too and hopefully share the same feelings. Let’s share more good things, yeah? The world can do with more sparkle.
I finally stalked down Marie, a self taught photographer, her site has gorgeous pictures and she is all things gracious. I do warn you that you too will be obsessed with her mid interview.
- Marie, tell us about yourself and the inspiration behind SOAFRICANE?
I’m a content creator and over the past two years I’ve expressed that through blogging and photography. I look at something interesting online and go like “Wow! This is so resourceful, I want to hug all of your ancestors for sharing this wonderful life-hack!” or “This is all kinds of mighty. I don’t understand how you haven’t blown up already!!!” I basically like sharing good content; from delicious recipes you should try at home, to great natural hair friendly salons, to refreshing podcasts you should be listening to on your way to work instead of your worn out playlist etc. And that’s what my brand soafricane is all about.
- Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I was looking for a release channel. I knew I wanted to share my stories on travel and lifestyle but I didn’t know how to or where to start. My very dear friend Jacqueline of lehautestyle.com sorted me out since she had been in the game and convinced me to start as well. She’s a graphic designer too so she did my website lots of justice. I could not not start blogging!
- Let’s talk about your photography. How did you develop an interest in photography? Was it self-taught or did you take photography classes?
I wish I had the luxury of going to study photography and motion picture but I have quintessential African parents and that was not about to happen. The most they did was buy me the camera which I use now. So yes, I’m very much so self-taught through lots of practice and drawing inspiration from other phenomenal artists in the field.
- How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?
To be fair I just go into the arena, soak in all the energy and get to capturing the frames. I edit on my phone using Vsco or on my laptop using Lightroom. To me what’s most important is that I’ve expressed myself and that my expression is seen.
- What equipment do you prefer to use?
I’m not your typical technical photographer that has an arsenal of gear and shutter speed mastered on their fingertips.
I use my simple Sony A6000 to document. I have a few prime lenses and I prefer investing in those. I do desire to hold a full frame camera at some point though.
- Whose work has influenced you most?
That would fill up a whole thesis. The pool of inspiration is too diverse today to narrow it down to one object or person.
I get awesome ideas from my Pinterest and look up to legends like Vivian Maier and Annie Leibovitz. I also love local talents like Barbara Minishi and instagrammers changing the game like Yagazie Emezi, Khadijah M Farah, Neema Ngelime, Sarah Waiswa, to mention but a few.
- What impact would you like your photographs to leave on people?
An artist can never be in control of the audience’s reaction to their art. The fact that it has any significant impact at all, in and of itself, is more than rewarding.
- What advice do you have for people who want to become full time photographers and are afraid of to take the leap?
The world is has two kinds of people. Those that will tell you to just start and those that will be skeptical and discourage you. You lie in either of those categories. So I say, listen to yourself and do what you think will bring you happiness on most days because being a creative isn’t a walk in the park, but it is also a very self-fulfilling journey.
- What’s your mantra?
I have so many that resonate with me in different moments but I recently caught onto this one: “Submit to Life”.
- 3 life lessons you want to leave us with.
- If it doesn’t bring you peace, it’s not worth having or pursuing.
- Never a failure, always a lesson.
- Prioritize yourself, your health and your wellness.