"Always have a camera with you, even if it's a cheap point and shoot. Study and theory is useful but you learn most by doing. Take photographs, lots of them, be depressed by them, take more, work on your craft and go out in the world and interact."
It's an incredible feeling when we come across a really talented aspiring photographer who would like to be interviewed for our website. Often they are shy, and prefer to hide behind the camera, but not Mokie Matli. Mokie is an upcoming photographer, with an already impressive gallery. One look at her Instagram account reveals her passion and creativity, and the lessons that she takes from one photo to the next. She is a self-confessed experimenter, delving into different types of photography in order to eventually find her niche.
We think you will love Mokie's interview, especially if you are still finding your way in photography and would like to hear from someone who has already been down that path.
How did you get to where you are now in your career?
Through consistent action, dedication and making connections with people. I am a 22 year old female homosexual photographer doing my final year in a diploma in photography (this was after dropping out of law school in my first year). I am passionate about a lot of things and photography is one of them. I enjoy inspiring people by doing things they think are impossible to achieve at an early age. I am a very modest person and enjoy letting my work speak for me.
How did your education prepare you for the future?
A certificate or degree from an accredited institution says that you've successfully completed an academic program. It shows that you have formal training, practical experience and critical assessments. This can open doors to a broader range of job opportunities where a qualification is a minimum requirement.
What person has been your inspiration in life? Who is your hero?
My mom, her strength and humanity have been my biggest inspiration in life.
Do you feel like you’ve met your goals and are successful?
I have met some of my goals but the hunger to grow and learn more as a photographer in me has not subsided. As much progress as I have made in my journey as a photographer, I look ahead and know that I have way more to go.
If you had to do it over again, what would you change?
I would change not saving money to buy more equipment from when I started with photography.
What advice would you give someone who is young and wants to have a position such as yours one day?
Try everything. Photojournalism, fashion, portraiture, nudes, whatever. You won't know what kind of photographer you are until you try it. Be open to critics, it can really be helpful but stick to your core values. Step out of your comfort zones, everyone has one of those.
How do you stay inspired?
Great natural light that I see everyday, beautiful people or beautiful locations, also great photography by others keeps me inspired. Even looking back at my own work and previous accomplishments.
What photography related tips would you give our readers?
Always have a camera with you, even if it's a cheap point and shoot. Study and theory is useful but you learn most by doing. Take photographs, lots of them, be depressed by them, take more, work on your craft and go out in the world and interact. Attending photography school will give you the opportunity to learn a wide range of skills in an organized step-by-step approach. You'll also be expected to produce work that fits the various assignments which can be great practice for working clients who will have specific needs or goals.
How can people reach you for a job? And how would they know your rate?
I can be reached on my email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's your favourite camera?
Nikon D7000 which I still don't own.
Facebook: Mo Matli