Photographers and talented siblings Tash and Shakeel Toefy, who make up Half & Halve, are fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in the local fashion photography scene. The duo impress with their raw, unique street photography and fashion stills of their subjects, themselves - an important element in today’s world where images are often overly photoshopped or staged.
You will find the stylish Toefy brothers at all the must-attend fashion events and fashion weeks in Cape Town and Joburg, snapping the most fashionable attendees.
Here we interview the sensational pair about the beginning of their career and inspiration.
Tell us a little about how Half and Halve came about? This is always a tough question because creativity and fashion have always been present in our family. Our mother, Shafiqa Toefy, has always been fascinated by fashion and textiles and our father, Salie Toefy, has always been crazy about cameras.
While our dad’s love for cameras may have been a contributing factor to our career choice as fashion photographers, we think it happened very organically as we were both equally passionate about fashion and the digital world. The turning point for us was just more than two years ago when we attended our very first fashion show which drove us to pursue something in the fashion industry.
How do you describe your photographic style? Our style is extremely refined and polished, yet varies with every body of our work. We try and create a story with every photograph by creating a specific mood with every shot. The best way to describe our work is powerful and polished.
When photographing, do you shoot with a theme in mind? What we love the most about photography is the fact that every shoot is different and a lot is left to our interpretation on set. Usually we plan according to the brief of each shoot; this includes references, direction, composition and mood. When we shoot we try and tell a story instead of replicating previous work. Each shoot has a specific idea and will be shot and graded to match the idea.
Who are some of your influences? Denny Balmeceda, who is a international menswear blogger and photographer, for his colour grading, composition and art direction. Our local talents: photographer Trevor Stuurman for his storytelling through imagery and concept creation. And fashion and digital content creator Aisha Baker, who is an amazing digital entrepreneur, blogger and businesswoman.
We have learnt a lot from her about the business aspect of the digital industry and how to monetise a creative career. Lastly, our parents for their constant motivation and perseverance.
What kind of impression do you hope to make for those who see your photographs? Our goal is to help inspire fellow creatives to pay attention to every detail and allow our audience to interpret our images in their own way. We’d like our love and passion for the art of photography to show through our meticulous work. We hope to create imagery that goes beyond photos and rather tells our fashion story through an African narrative.
Finally, what are your goals for the future of Half & Halve? One of our short-term goals is to be named as one of South Africa’s top young fashion photographers. We also want to build a platform for young creatives to further their creative ability. A long-term goal is to shoot internationally, with the New York and Tokyo Fashion Week being the dream.
* Connect with Half & Halve on Instagram @halfandhalve