The youth of tomorrow captured by one of SA’s photography greats

Marguerite Oelofse shares her insights on representing the spirit of the next generation through her mesmerising images.

16 June 2024 - 08:18 By Sharon Armstrong
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Marguerite Oelofse's photographs of children have a rich, painterly style.
Marguerite Oelofse's photographs of children have a rich, painterly style.
Image: Marguerite Oelofse

Photographer Marguerite Oelofse’s lifelong fascination with beautiful images led her to Joburg’s National School of the Arts, where she learnt to master the form. After completing a BA in visual communication, she spent three years working between Cape Town and Berlin, where her images started to develop their signature “painterly” style. Her love for art and storytelling allows her to express her artistic vision. Her painting-like, yet dramatically photographic, aesthetic represents a rich, iconoclastic take on traditional photography that celebrates images for their sheer beauty and drama.

Oelofse recently completed a postgraduate diploma in brand-building, where she invested time and effort in developing skills to help her strategise about how to use visual trends in photography to support the branding of various products, services and businesses.

Marguerite Oelofse's photographs are both intense and dramatic.
Marguerite Oelofse's photographs are both intense and dramatic.
Image: Marguerite Oelofse
Marguerite Oelofse's photographs of children have been honoured with prestigious accolades.
Marguerite Oelofse's photographs of children have been honoured with prestigious accolades.
Image: Marguerite Oelofse

In 2022, she was honoured with two prestigious accolades: the Pink Lady Food Photography Award for Food Photographer of the Year (African Territory) and the Claire Aho Award for Women Photographers. Thousands of entries from more than 60 countries were submitted for this competition. Her winning works were exhibited at the Royal Photographic Society in Bristol, in the UK.

Marguerite Oelofse photographs children to capture their innocence, sincerity and wonder at the world.
Marguerite Oelofse photographs children to capture their innocence, sincerity and wonder at the world.
Image: Marguerite Oelofse

One of her passions is taking unusual, striking pictures of children.

“I love photographing children because it teaches me to be present in the moment and have patience,” she says.

“Capturing their raw emotions and authentic expressions enables me to create meaningful, compelling stories through my lens.

Children’s emotions shine through in every shot, reminding me of the beauty of sincerity and the importance of embracing genuine feelings.

Each photograph becomes a narrative, reflecting their unfiltered joy, curiosity and wonder. I’m deeply passionate about my work and honoured to be among the storytellers of my generation of South Africans.” Nelson Mandela’s wise words resonate with this talented photographer as she captures the next generation’s youthful go-getters, creatives, world-changers and dream-makers: “Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

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