The Scoop - Retang Sebeka

Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication

What did you major in when you studied at OW?
Communication Design and Photography

Do you work for an Agency or are you a Freelancer?
Freelance & Agency

Have you worked for any big brands that we know of?
I have worked with  Adidas, Flying Fish and Metropolitan.

What inspired you to pursue photography as a career, and how did you get started?
It’s a bit nerdy but I have always been fascinated by the scientific properties of light and wanted to express my own stories using those properties.

How has your style of photography evolved over time, and what factors have influenced this evolution?
I used to be very fascinated with shooting for the sake of shooting. But then I started focusing on light and how lighting can help build a narrative in an image and now I am more focused on finding out how to tackle ideas and concepts through my work.

How do you stay inspired and continue to grow creatively as a photographer?
I keep stretching the limits of my work by looking at different inspirations as I grow. I also have a strict rule about my next work is better in all ways than my previous work.

How do you approach the business side of photography, such as marketing and networking?
That’s a weird part of my work as I don’t really market my work or network. I let my work speak for itself but I do need to stop being antisocial and start doing some kind of marketing for sure. lol.

Can you share a behind-the-scenes story from a shoot that people might find surprising or interesting?
I think the strangest story I can come up with was when we did an entire shoot for a client using an iPhone. Interesting times we live in.

In your opinion, what is the role of photography in today’s society, and how do you see it evolving in the future?
We are living in a renaissance of storytelling and I believe that if your work isn’t saying something, you won’t have a place in this world. You must balance technical prowess with some kind of meaning to your work. Especially in a world where content generation is easier than ever, what makes your work stand out? How do you carve your own path in the world?

Can you recommend a few books or resources that have been particularly influential or helpful in your career as a photographer?
I think this would be very particular to my style of work but I have a few photo books by Gregory Crewdson, Wolfgang Tillmans and more artists but I usually look at a lot of Romance to Neoclassical artworks to try to bring images to those heights again.

Favourite free online resource?
Youtube is elite.

What are your favourite songs at the moment?
I recently rediscovered my love for MGMT so I’ve been jamming them and some adjacent artists.

Any favourite Podcasts?
Not a big fan of podcasts

What’s your go-to creative snack?
Don’t usually snack when I work.

What are some of the most common mistakes you see amateur photographers making, and how can they avoid them?
I think one huge issue is that we always think we’re done learning when we leave varsity. That is so far from the truth.

What do you think sets your photography apart from others in your field?
My keen focus is on technical skills and storytelling.

What is your process for selecting and editing your best photographs?
I go with feel a lot so whatever feels like the right one, for example, with my “Many Faces” project the one edit that feels the most uncomfortable is usually the one that makes it.

How do you approach photographing people, and what techniques do you use to capture authentic moments?
I engross myself in their world as much as I can, get to know them and their passions and likes because that will usually get you the most authentic reactions and such.

Any advice for young creatives?
Don’t take feedback too seriously, simply keep creating and you will soon develop your own sense of style that you can be proud of.