Today it’s time to add someone to the Interesting Tweople list on Running Wolf’s Rant. @StellaTeleur (Christelle Duvenage) is one of the best photographers that I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and shooting with. I’ve always referred to her as “the girl with the blue hair”, but there seems to be a lot more to her than just her hair.
She received her National Diploma in commercial photography a while ago. She was particularly focused on personal work during her B.Tech year and she is currently trying to finish her M.Tech in Photography (which is concerned with the social landscape through a photographic exploration of the Eastern Coast of South Africa).
Christelle has a personal love for the alternative music scene and the appreciation of the wonderful South African talent there within and it has lead her to capture moments on stage, to appropriate subtle expressions of musical passion that allows the show in its entirety to grow and evolve into something communal but distinctive, individually specific but universally comprehensible, familiar but brand new.
Christelle makes these moments perceptible and concrete, to be called upon at selected moments in time as witnesses of vividness and eminence, since digital music eases the hunger pains in between shows but can never substitute the sustenance received from the intensity of the live performance. The photos keep that life-long musical festival that is constantly playing in the back of her mind, forever playing. It turns into the cord that allows her to lean over, but not fall over the edge of lucidity. Just take a look at the photo that she took below, and you’ll see what I mean.
I recently had the opportunity to interview @StellaTeleur (Christelle Duvenage) this is what she had to say:
You have stunning blue hair and I know it’s your favourite hair colour. What other colours have you died your hair and what colours haven’t you died your hair?
Thank you kindly mister! My hair has been pretty much every colour! Most of the time, if it’s not blue, it is green, but it has been different shades of pink (my least favourite colour), purple, fire engine red and black. Now that I think about it, my hair has never really been yellow or orange.
What is the funniest comment anyone has ever made about your hair colour?
I’ve been dying my hair bright colours for more or 8 years, so I’ve heard every possible comment in the book (in my opinion), but the one comment I think I will always remember was while I was out with a friend one afternoon, at a place notoriously filled with rugby supporters, this oomie asked me (like I’ve been asked a million times) whether I was a Blue Bulls supporter. I replied that I wasn’t, and that in actual fact, I didn’t support rugby in its entirety. He looked at me, nodded and said: “I see, so you are a Lions supporter.” In the context it was given, I thought it was brilliant.
I also have had a really funny moment with a response one of my friends had given to a comment. We were walking out of a party very early in the morning, when someone walking past us decided to state the obvious by saying, “hey, your hair is blue!” I was still considering my response when my friend yelled out “Yeah! En jou pielhare krul!” There was a moment of complete silence before we all busted out in laughter.
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you during a shoot?
I am probably one of the best people to tell your secrets to, because I have the worst memory ever. I don’t recall anything specific (I’m sure after you post this I’ll have a bunch of friends replying with “don’t you remember this or that” stories). I do recall something funny from after shooting… it was last year at Oppikoppi when I bumped into a friend of mine and her husband. We were standing on the edge of the pit during Sum 41 when the band started playing one of her husband’s favourite songs (he may or may not have been a little more than tipsy at this point) and without her seeing it, he pulled down his pants and started screaming along to the lyrics. It was about half way into the song, when she wanted to put her hand in his pants’ back pocket when she realized what he had done and in one swift movement, while blushing profusely, pulled up his pants and started apologizing to me. Her face was priceless. I found the whole situation hilarious to say the least.
Would you say that Social Media has changed your life and how?
Oh without a doubt! Through Social Media I have had the chance to share and communicate my photography in a way that would not have been possible for me (with a non-existing budget) if I had to, let’s say, print out, frame, and travel my photos around in hopes of people seeing and associate with them. I have also been able to find all kinds of inspiration through Social Media by being able to connect with like-minded (and sometimes not) creatives and supporters of the creative, and even critiques, and I may not have been on the path I am traveling on now if it wasn’t for that. It’s been an essential tool in allowing me to live out my passion, but not only that, to also learn more, expand my knowledge about and grow into my passion.
If you could give any aspiring photographers out there some tips, what would it be?
I didn’t pick up a camera and instantaneously took photos people liked, so don’t let a couple of bad photos get you down. Learn from them, and keep on shooting. Shoot every chance you get. And don’t think that you need a fancy camera to be a good photographer. It’s nice to have the best equipment, but it is not about what equipment you have or do not have, it is what you do with what equipment you do have that counts. It is also fine to learn through imitation but try to find a way to be original about it. Photography is a form of self-expression, and therefore (should) reflects part of who you are to the outside world, be proud of that representation by lending ingenuity to it, and don’t be fake about it. People sense falseness. Be sincere in your expression. And as with life, you never stop learning, so, keep hope. Keep heart.
I’d like to thanks @StellaTeleur for taking her time to answer these questions. I wish her all the best with her future endeavours. If you want to check out some of her photos, check out her Facebook page or the Christelle Duvenhage Photography website. And of course you can also follow her on Twitter via @StellaTeleur.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Photography and Technology categories on Running Wolf’s Rant.