Subject matter takes centre stage. Naturalistic portrayals. A diverse range of objects and subjects are lensed. Flower, plant, hauntingly sharp portrait depictions. A photographic world focusing on the beauty of life. Romanticism takes on a new meaning. Precision is key.
With an origin story that began in a home environment characterized by a family unit of creativity and creatively inclined individuals, photographer Anke Loots received familial encouragement to follow her innate passion for the art of the still image from a young age. 2009 led Anke to pursue her natural inclinations further when she left Gauteng to embark on her studies at the Red and Yellow Creative School of Business in Cape Town, where she studied Art Direction. She shares that her studies at the school over a span of 3 years, have largely contributed to the construction of her foundation as a photographer.
Viewing digital image creation as a mode that has jump started her learning of the intricacies of photography, Anke turns to her iPhone habitually for referencing and keeps a polaroid camera on standby for moments in which inspiration does not readily reveal itself to her. Her approach to photographic projects takes on a multifaceted tone as she approaches each type in a way that is best suited to the work at hand. Work for clients is approached with comprehensive pre-production; with her personal projects location and lighting is planned; often however, she gives preference to capturing an image in the moment when opportunity presents itself.
For Anke, her most striking portrait portrayals are of people that she feels a connection with. Her lensed sitters carry an eccentricity that pulls her in. She speaks of this as a subconscious exchange actioned within a candid moment. The emotive power of lighting is of much prevalence and Anke shares an affinity with available light. When external lighting sources are brought into her practice, she gives preference to the use of continuous lighting in order to sculpt her models with ease.
On her practice Anke states, “The work I make has a strong feminine undercurrent to it. Which is strange to me because feminine energy has always been something I struggle to connect with. My work is a self-exploration of this notion. Projecting it into the world and viewing it from a vantage point – to really accept my softness and fragility.”
Her process of work is heavily imbedded in referencing. From her reference points, she is able to connect aspects which she wishes to explore into more refined concepts for the creation of her imaged portrayals. For her, capturing these personalized depictions is the most effortless part of her photographic process. With a workflow that is slow and methodical, in the same manner her work on set is uncluttered as she chooses to only have her model and assistant on hand during the production stages of a project.
“I’m not very good at showing my completed work to the world, but I feel like the time hasn’t ripened yet so I have this romantic idea that they’re being saved for something bigger and more concrete than instant internet gratification.”
On her most cherished image to date Anke states, “My favourite image is currently being used for a little book project I’m working on so I can’t show it to you just yet. But this photo keeps replaying itself in my head and it’s a close competitor.” (see image below).
To keep up with Anke and the release of her book project follow her on Instagram.