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My life as a photographer

I started taking photographs in 1982, my first camera was a little Bell and Howell half frame. It was my first love.

I love cameras. Not only do I feel comfortable behind the lens but I feel safe too. I suppose I have become a bit of a camera snob…a bit like one of those oh-so-irritating wine snobs. For some reason I often shoot myself in my photographs, and during my time as a model in Paris and New York, I often turned the lens on the people I worked with and the times that we shared. I published quite a few of them in my book – ‘Josie you & Me‘.

Linda Evangelista and Josie BorainMe, photographing Linda Evangelista. Photo © Josie Borain

It took me a long time to move into the digital stage, I loved film, contact sheets and negatives, and to tell you the truth I still believe I take a better photo with a film camera than I do on a digital camera. I suppose it’s because with film you have to think that bit more, to carefully construct each shot, and wait many hours before you see the final result. Unfortunately film and processing are so expensive now I rarely use it.

After I published this book people started hiring me as a photographer. I have never really consider myself one as I am self taught, and to be perfectly honest I don’t really have a clue about what I am doing. What I do know is that I will shoot anything, nothing scares me and nothing fazes me. I love reportage photography – real people and real situations.

[quote]The images in this book are unprecedented, not least because she often includes herself, almost as a prop, in the picture of the person she has in her sights – excerpt from ‘Josie You & Me’ Introduction by Jane Raphaely.[/quote]

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I think that real people in real situations is one of the things I am looking forward to documenting while on my trip across southern Africa. But I will be careful not to be invasive – a camera can be like a weapon, it’s ironic that we say we “shoot” people. The American Indians believe you take part of their soul when you take a photograph of them…I always ask people if I may take their photo

Since I will be alone for much of this road trip, at certain times there won’t be anyone to capture me in my photographs. My solution is to take my mirror with me. I love reflection photography and I like the idea of just me, my mirror, my camera and the wide road ahead.

My travel itinerary is beginning to shape up and next week I’ll be telling you a bit more about my preparations. I still don’t have a clue what to pack but fortunately Africa Geographic are sending me off on an intensive 4X4 training programme – I’ll let you know how that goes!

Read my first draft, southern Africa travel itinerary here

Find out about my life leading up to this trip here

For updates like/follow:

Facebook: agsafari

Twitter: @ag_safari @JosieBorain #JBinAfrica

Josie Borain

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Josie Borain was officially recognised as the first South African Supermodel. She was the Fashion Editor for Fair Lady Magazine and further success came by establishing her name as a leading photographer with over twenty years experience doing portraits, self-portraits and reportage. In 2003 she published her own life story in a book, ‘Josie, You and Me’ by Bell-Roberts. Follow the Josie Borain in Africa blog series.

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