The first time I stumbled across Anthony Bila was at Street Cred a year ago, he stopped to take a few pictures of me and I stood around feeling super awkward while he snapped away. The next day I found his blog and was completely blown away by his photography and his depiction of South African street style.
I emailed him and said I simply had to have some of his pictures in my house and so our friendship started!
Anthony is the sweetest guy around and is really going places I cant wait to see where he ends up. You view more of his work here.
The Nicest thing about Joburg is….
The city is changing, growing and there are a lot of people doing a lot of exciting things. Especially for the arts and media related. This is the city to be, the city to watch.
1. Where are you from? What was it like growing up where you did?
I was born and raised in a township called Tembisa on the East Rand of Johannesburg, when it became ‘legal’, we moved to a suburb so I’d like to think I got the best (and sometimes worst) of both worlds.
I appreciated growing up in the township I did because it taught me about community, struggle and a lot about myself. Growing up where I did also contributed immensely to my creativity, there wasn’t much to do, so I made up my own activities, from drawing, reading, painting and anything else to keep my mind occupied.
2.What do you do now and how did you end up doing it?
I work as a copywriter and a photographer.
I actually studied Radio and advertising, when I graduated I took the first job I could get to pay off student loans and what-not, so I worked as an Account Executive, which really sapped my creativity because it was a very formalised, straighforward, planning orientated job.
I did that for three years, quit, took a risk and started working in radio and social media for two years and when a new opportunity presented itself, I moved to an agency as a copywriter. Intermittently between all of that I picked up photography about a year and a half ago, that was just a hobby that quickly turned into a career path I’d like to keep pursuing.
3.Do you have any hobbies/side projects outside of photography?
I do indeed, I moonlight as a professional Internet Surfer. No. I actually paint and draw quite extensively, some of my earlier work is actually on my website www.anthonybila.com and my blog www.anthonybila.tumblr.com outside of that I enjoy a bit of guitar (even though I’m lame) and singing.
I’m also an avid reader and movie buff. Barry Ronge watch your back son. I didn’t mean for that to come out like that, because, you know… Nevermind.
4.One thing all aspiring photographers should know is…
Learn the rules, break the rules. Be true to what you are and what you’re passionate about capturing. Use the negatives to develop (see what I did there?).
5.Can you talk about any projects you are working on at the moment?
I’ve just finished a project with Woolworths and Re: Jeans. I was commissioned to capture denim centered street style around Johannesburg for the brand while Paul Ward, a Cape Town based photographer did the same in the Mother City.
Depending on whose images the Woolworths judges preferred, the ‘winning’ photographer then won a trip with the UK Music festival. Suffice it to say, I’ll be heading over to London in August to shoot at the music festival which should be fun.
There’s also another personal project I’m working on called “BLK.SRS” or Black Series which I’ll be releasing at the end of August that I’m really excited about. I’m also collaborating with Sunglass Hut International on a campaign called “Frames of the World” with three other photographers from New York, London and Sydney.
6.What’s one thing you really want to do but haven’t got around to it just yet?
I want to write, score, shoot, direct and edit a short film with accompanying photography.
7.What are three of your favourite things to do/ eat/ attend/ visit in Joburg?
I’m quite the recluse and boring guy to be honest. But my favourite things to do/eat/attend in Johannesburg would be:
– Photographing anything and everything around the city, especially shooting really unique and interesting people.
– I enjoy a good burger, so any establishment with that food item, I’m willing to try.
– Attending any art galleries and exhibitions when I can.
8.What’s your favourite local/undiscovered spot in Joburg?
Well if I told you, I’d have to kill you and all of your readers. ALL. OF. THEM.