Q & A with photographer and filmmaker Ndivhu Mushanganyisi

Ndivhu Mushanganyisi is a filmmaker and photographer based in Johannesburg. The subject matter of her stills images is diverse and ranges from clean, minimalist portraits to smoky and evocative scenes captured at live performances. Glimpses into the city by night and grainy street views are other elements found in her work. She has a particular fondness for black and white format and has an ongoing series of people and places that catch her eye. Ndivhu cites her current focus as being aimed at cinematography, videography, editing & digital photography. She is deeply committed to her medium and this is evident in her prolific output.

In a recent interview she shared a little on her work and creative process.

Where did your passion for photography start?

I had to remind myself to drop the “aspiring” before filmmaker because I am constantly reminding myself that I am all these things; right now, even during the practice of bettering my craft. I plan to become a DOP, director and editor by profession. My passion for photography morphed out of my love for moving images.

What are you drawn to document in your images?

For as long as I can remember I have always been a visual person. I am more likely to remember someone’s facial features rather than their name or buildings I’ve passed to get to a certain place rather than remembering the actual directions. I am in a trial-and-error stage of my life right now so I move from portraits to landscape to live performances. I am in no rush to figure out what I enjoy the most; I am exploring my interests and my technique.

Where and how did you learn your craft?

I studied Film at Wits University (well, I still am – I’m completing my honours degree this year) and that is where I learnt the art of documenting where we focused more on the theoretical. This is why I wasn’t always too focused on how good my images looked but more on what was in the actual image. I focus more on the composition of the shot itself, the lighting and, most importantly, the feel of the image. I love capturing the essence of a moment. Whether it’s a loud and exciting one or a simple and quiet one, that’s what I look for and hope to bring across. And, like any artist, I treat every frame like a painting and therefore the possibilities of what an image can be, are endless. That’s what I enjoy most about photography and most importantly my work.

What do you aim to achieve through your work?

We truly are living in a wreckage of images and there’s this pressure to produce a specific kind of image or to be a distinct kind of different. I am always reminding myself that I don’t have to worry about that too much. All I know is that I enjoy seeing the world through a lens and the true journey is producing work that I like and that I can see growth in; and hopefully someone else enjoying it too.

Between 10 and 5