Kay Almitra at Casa Labia

Last Thursday I did a photo shoot of ceramicist Kay Almitra who is exhibiting her work for the first time as part of the Africa Nova exhibition at Casa Labia.

Kay and her work are equally beautiful and shooting them was such a pleasure. It was also a fascinating process – the first time I’ve done a “portrait of an artist” and hopefully not the last!

We shot the studio and exhibition portraits on the same day, thankfully with a break in between as it’s surprisingly tiring work. Part of my job is to connect with the subject and the environment in as open and natural a way as possible (obviously not all photographers work this way). I like to allow the process to flow and let the images emerge, which they always do. I’m continuously surprised by how I can work with a subject and keep clicking the shutter sometimes conscious of the great shots happening (they have a slightly radiant quality, like the lights were turned up brighter, and a palpable stillness as though everything has slowed down) and not always as I’m often delighted to discover hidden gems when I work through the images afterwards.

Another aspect of the job is to “get the shot list”, which I find more challenging as it’s tricky to balance my style of working with checking off a “to do” list, but fortunately it can be done!

While I was at Casa Labia I had a chance to look around, both at the exhibition pieces and the Africa Nova shop, and I was delighted to see some of Ronel Jordaan’s exquisitely beautiful and highly creative felt pieces for sale.