Lebogang Tlhako is a photography graduate from Katlehong, east of Johannesburg. In both 2012 and 2013 she was selected as a finalist in the ELLE Magazine Style Reporter competition.
Lebogang is fascinated by South African street style and the different cultures and social landscapes she discovers every day embodied by the subjects in her photos.
As a competitor in the ELLE Magazine Style Reporter contest, she says she learnt to always keep herself in the loop with what’s happening in fashion and current trends and to be original. Lebogang tends to shoot people who she calls ‘Smadzadza’ which means ‘Dressed to kill’ or anyone with an element of spontaneity. Smadzadza is also the name of her tumblr blog where she shares her photographs.
Inspired by local street style which she describes as ‘electric, authentic and rich’, her photography initially focused and gravitated towards fashion reportage. However, her photography has recently broadened as she has started to shoot everything from landscapes to everyday portraits.
Lebogang’s advice on street photography is to always be vigilant and open minded. She believes that a photo is influenced by the right moment, texture, light and people. However, an element of personality within an image will always be priceless. As an analogue enthusiast, she enjoys the constant thrill and anticipation she experiences when developing photos and having never owned a digital camera, her Canon A1 is her constant companion.
Lebogang is currently working on and doing research for a new series of photographs using self-made filters.