“I grew up with hippy parents and music around me all the time so I guess I was always going to find a way to combine my love for music and art.”
Music. Art. Photography. Film. Writing.
These are intrinsically intertwined creative outlets for the human soul. To be explored, experienced, applied and appreciated. Whether you’ve done it for 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days or for what seems like a lifetime, we’ve all dabbled in one of the aforementioned at some point in our lives. Picked up a guitar and learnt to strum Smoke on the Water or kept a diary for a while. Bought a half decent camera and took snapshots at parties or at the beach. Maybe you’ve tried ceramics, pottery… or maybe not.
Deep down though we’ve all harboured a small desire to work creatively and be recognised for it. Most of us, sadly, end up suppressing those desires as we chase down the corporate dollar entrenched in a societal system that sucks a little bit of your soul each year. Then there are the ‘lucky ones.’ Lucky because they have the desire, drive and courage to stick it to the man and follow their dreams.
Deborah Rossouw is one such individual. After six successful years as an Art Director at Ogilvy, Rossouw decided to pack it in and follow her dreams to become a professional photographer. The fact that she’d only bought her first camera a year previously on a whim to try something different did not faze her. “How’d you know once you started taking photos that this was for you?” I ask. “You just know. It’s a feeling inside. It just felt right. You can’t explain it but you know.”
When I met Deborah some 3 odd years ago at an intimate Valentines dress up party her camera was literally affixed to her face throughout. She was also still working at Ogilvy and the camera in her hand was brand new. I would never have guessed. The photos from that little gathering and the others that would ensue were eye-catching and had their own unique signature.
“How long after you’d started taking photos did we first publish your stuff in our magazine?” I enquire. “A couple of months I think. I was still at Ogilvy although I think I left 6 months later.” So how does one go from buying a camera on a whim to suddenly becoming a professional full-time photographer? I can answer that question without even asking her; desire, commitment, dedication and being savvy when it comes to social networking and media exposure. “Being an insomniac helps too,” she laughs. Deborah has excelled at all of these, carving out a niche for herself firstly by photographing outdoor parties and live band gigs and then by diversifying. Of course none of this would have mattered if her photos were shite, which they are not. In fact Rossouw first impressed us with her ability to deliver action shots. There is nothing worse than inanimate music photos of an event. Somehow she always seems to bring the best out of the occasion capturing the vibe and the action. She’s been commissioned to take the official photographs at several leading music festivals and has done work for Prime Circle, Just Jinjer and Taxi Violence to name a few. Heck she even accompanied the Springbok Nude Girls to their show at the U2 concert.
Seemingly, she hasn’t looked back since her days as Art Director and clearly her skills in this have stood her in good stead for post production. “I grew up with hippy parents and music around me all the time so I guess I was always going to find a way to combine my love for music and art. Photography allows me to do this.”
Indeed… chatting to her it seems clear, she’s probably been preparing for this all her life. As a knowledgeable protagonist of art in music, Rossouw has this uncanny knack of making anybody she shoots look rock ‘n roll. Whether it’s an actual gig, a wedding, portraits [check out her rad Mweb – Be Bold photo shoot] , album covers or fashion, one thing you can be sure of… you’ll always look good in a Deborah Rossouw photo.
Check out her online gallery @http://picasaweb.google.com/onesmallchange.sa
Find her on Facebook:www.facebook.com/onesmallchange
Written By : Dave Mac