They use the word “make” intentionally, as they seek to create a portrait of an individual, rather than just an image for use on social media.
One of Fotobooth’s founders said their work was influenced by the late photographer Peter McKenzie, who urged them to decolonise images and be aware of the violent connotations of words such as “capture”, “shoot” and “take” in photography.
“For us, the work is not about events photography, we’re passionate about what social value photos can bring. When we set up a photobooth at an event, and put up our backdrop, we like to make a photograph of the person in their unguarded moment, when they are at ease, or when they are deep in thought. We bring out the beauty in a person. We also see how people look and feel so empowered when they are in front of a camera,” said Osmosisliza.
The team, made up of Osmosisliza, together with Llewellyn Makhanya, Njabulo Magubane, Simanga Zondo and Busani Gcabashe, and other freelancers, started creating an archive of images taken at events around Durban, since late last year.
“In the long run, we aim to have an archive of faces and we want to take the images and put them in public places,” said Osmosisliza.
Their work, she said, reflected the multiculturalism of Durban, and they set up their photobooth mostly at arts events.