Infront of the Lens: Maajiedah Satardien

I first came across the work of this young artist towards the end of 2014 when she was exhibiting her work along with a few other photographers at the Bello Studio in Woodstock.

Immediately enchanted by images, I couldn’t resist and purchased one of her amazing prints.

Myself (left) and Maajiedah (right) at her exhibition in 2014, with her amazing image print.

Myself (left) and Maajiedah (right) at her exhibition in 2014, with her amazing image print titled “To sprout from within”. Image by Claire Gunn.

The rawness and vulnerability of the figure along with the vibrant colour scheme and natural influences of the flowers had me inspired. Furthermore, after chatting to Maaj, I discovered that the entire series explores and speaks to the concept of women being able to overcome hardships or trauma that they have experienced and to show how the beauty that lies in the strength of facing the challenges one is confronted with in life.

Imagine my surprise then, when approached by Maajiedah herself in early May, asking me if I would like to be the model for the final image of her series! A little apprehensive at first, I was hesitant, always having preferred being behind the lens rather than in-front of it. But after a little bit of thought I knew that the honour was great and that I didn’t want to give up the opportunity to both discover new personal limits and co-create with a wonderful fellow female in Cape Town.

The day began by playing with light set-ups in studio, and was followed by having myself draped in gorgeous curtains and flowers by Maaj. It took a bit of time to relax in-front of the camera but the encouraging and patient demeanor of the photographer assisted more than I could explain and I soon started having quite a bit of fun during the shoot.

My younger sister, Maxine, was around to help and was of giant assistance and was there throwing my hair and dress around throughout the day. After we’d wrapped the shoot, as girls we couldn’t resist a bit of a walk outside around campus in the dress to take some images in-front of the beautiful doors at the University of Cape Town.

The story from this point onward, the edit and the final image, is for the astoundingly talented Maajiedah to tell. I can only share my experience of the shooting day with her, and these few behind the scenes images below!

To see more work by Maajiedah Satardien, please view her Facebook page by clicking here.

All images taken by Maajiedah Satardien, May 2015.

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