Private Project

"Every Face Tells A Story"

As a photographer, I have had the rare opportunity to move through landscapes, cultures and people's lives freezing moments in time.

A great photograph needs no explanation. The intent of this documentary is to explore the lives behind and around my photographs. Through my lens, I tell the story of how I went about capturing these incredible images and portraits photographed in Johannesburg (South Africa) - my city, my home. I use my camera as a means of connecting with people, creating a space where we can find common ground and open up a visual dialogue when language is a barrier. I want to create something meaningful with my work and passion.

When looking at a portrait, I always ask myself 2 questions:

1) What does this picture say about the subject? What is the story?
2) What does this picture say about me, the photographer?

My camera has taken me into worlds I would never have discovered. And when I say "worlds", I don't just mean countries or tangible places. I mean emotional, cultural, emotive worlds: worlds of movement and purpose. A great photograph can make you feel what the subject is feeling at that moment without translating it into words. I can show you that picture, and ask you: what does this picture make you feel?

That is the art of great photography. I am always inspired by how these images transform people and how we understand the world through them.

I am curious by nature, a daredevil. I am an adventurer at heart and I love to explore my city and the people that live in it. I have this drive in me, the urgency to keep on moving – This restless feeling to get know more through my process: photography. I learn more about myself and the world & people around me.

In this documentary, you follow me while travelling through Johannesburg, capturing beautiful and striking portraits of our everyday people. My goal is to tell the story behind these striking images, a story that unfolds organically as I travel across the beautifully diverse South African landscapes, from the ZCC church members in Diepsluit to young soccer players in Soweto; a tough female boxer in Hillbrow; my hometown: Johannesburg.

What I love about my journeys is that there are no rules, no brief, no client or predetermined destination. I just pick a direction and I drive until something or someone catches my curious eye. This is what I treasure about my photographic travel: they are true adventures. I never know where how exactly it is going to work out. I literally pack my car with my photographic gear, and then pick a destination and drive. I love that sense of daring, of the unknown. I don’t know who I am going to meet and I never know who I am going to photograph until I see that person, landscape or object and I feel something that drives me to “yes! I want to know you and want now more about who you are. I want to engage!”.

However, not everyone I approach feels the same way. But isn’t this what is great about this kind of photography? It is just the road and me. I have no deadlines, no client pressures, no clearly defined goals or preconceived ideas of the type of image I am looking for. It is pure delight - dare I say joy of photographing people, discovering a person I never knew existed through an image… and then together we have captured a moment, we have stopped time and got to live in the present for an instant. I get a glimpse into their world and get to know who they are. That is what I love about great portrait photography.

The best gift I could have ever received is that my camera gives me access to a person’s world I would have never known before. I see you and I get to tell a story through my images. I get to move people and that is the best part about being a photographer: sharing your images with others. For me, the process is not complete until I have shared those photographs with the people that have shared those moments with me.

They say "a picture is worth a thousand words". Well... I just gave a thousand reasons why you should watch my documentary. A great portrait does not lie; it just bends the light and your perception :)

  • Brandon Barnard
  • Brandon Barnard
  • Brandon Barnard
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Brandon Barnard

Brandon Barnard, born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, has been a Professional Photographer for more than 20 years, in his home country and around the world. Photography is Brandon's passion, his working week and end.

His obsessive nature to capture that magic moment and a "just one more shot" attitude gives him the competitive edge. Brandon is always trying to reinvent himself through photography. He likes to capture exceptional images of anything and everything. Brandon continuously demonstrates that it’s not always the technique that makes a good photograph, but one’s personal connection to the subjects what truly makes an image memorable.

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