WOR{KING} | An Ongoing Photo Series Celebrating A Serious Love for Cars



Desmond Louw and Antonia Heil (dna photographers) are a husband and wife photography team who spend half of the year in South Africa (where Desmond is from) and the other half of the year in Germany (where Antonia is from). That is, when they aren’t travelling the world shooting on assignment or for personal projects. One such project is WOR{KING}; an ongoing photo series that they add to on every trip.


This series is a collection of portraits of people and their beloved ‘wheels’ whether these are attached to a beautiful vintage black cab, a shiny sports car, or a humble bicycle. There is no criteria for the people featured in the series except that they are passionate about their mode of transport and have interesting stories to tell about them. As to how they find their subjects, Antonia says, “We just talk to people we see with cool cars/bikes in the streets. They then usually tell us about others that are mad about their cars…it’s like a snowball effect.” So far, they’ve shot and interviewed around 30 people since February 2014 across South Africa, Germany, Portugal and soon the USA. They can’t stop.


What they’ve found is that most people who are passionate about their vehicles are entrepreneurs and creatives who love their jobs and are altogether pretty happy people.


By the end of 2015 they’ll know what the project will become – whether a book or an exhibition or something else entirely. Stay updated at dnaphotographers.com/working.


In the meantime, Antonia and Desmond have let us release a selection of images in a photo essay for our current Photography Month. Meet some of the gang:


Christoph, owner of Kauf dich Glücklich, Berlin, Germany


“I bought the NSU RO80 with my business partner to visit our stores. It’s a car for long drives. It’s from 1976 – it was way ahead of its time. It’s atlantic blue. We love driving it. It uses a lot of fuel, it has a Wankel engine. Older men know this car, others wonder what the heck is this.”




Katherine, producer at Markenfilm, Hamburg, Germany


“In 2007 my Belgian grandmother died and I inherited 10000 Euro. She was a diva. At my wedding she had three different outfits: one for the ceremony, one for the champagne reception and one for the party. She dominated the bathroom. I decided, what I’m going to do with the 10000 Euro doesn’t have to make financial sense – I thought just like my grandmother. I always wanted a London taxi as I’m English. It took three months until I found one in England. I flew over to test-drive it. Look, that’s her, Estelle.”




Florian, filmmaker at Schramm Film Koerner & Weber, Berlin, Germany


“I love my wife but I take good care of this car. People wave at me and laugh, the Subaru Libero makes people happy – and now this car is starting to get cool. I’ve had it for five years. It’s the combination of all things I need. It can tow a caravan, it’s easy to park in the city, the fuel consumption is moderate, I sit a little higher and it’s nice and narrow. If you pretend it’s cool, it will be cool. Lately this car broke down three times a month, I’m a good ADAC member.”




Ali, architect, Cape Town, South Africa


Talking about his family… “There were always dozens of people around the dinner table and there was nothing but laughter. I was very spoiled, I was the first grandchild and the first son to the family. My dad spoiled me to death. All the kids would go to bed, I’d be hiding under the table, my dad would give me food and I was listening to all these people around the table, imagining who is saying what… I used to love it. And that’s why I bought him this car. This was his poster girl, this is the car he always wanted.” Ali is now driving the car he once gave to his dad.




Willy, cook, Cape Town, South Africa


We call him ‘Willyballs’. It’s his Instagram name. Willy drives his mint coloured Ford Escort around Cape Town, putting smiles on people’s faces he is passing. He used to drive a E class Mercedes- Benz and after getting a quote for a service, he spent some time online and found the car he is driving now. “I went to George on the Garden Route and traded my E class with a mechanic. The Ford was in a mint condition.” The 1980 Ford Escort is Willy’s commuter car. “I always loved classic cars. What I love about it, it slows you down a bit. I love that kind of stuff, to fill up water… I taught myself how to fix little things myself.”




Jörg, creative director at Schindler & Parent, Meersburg, Germany


“When I was in my twenties, everyone wanted a Strich-Acht just like a Levis 501. We were eleven guys that had one – today it’s only me that still has one. I bought it in 1988 for 3000 DM. It has so much detail: the steering wheel, the windows, the sliding roof… I remember in 1990 for the world cup final we drove to Berlin; the girls were sitting on the roof with their legs hanging through the sun roof…Today I only use my Strich-Acht when the sun is out.”


Wor{king} Wor{king}Wor{king}


More Photography Month!


Between 10 and 5