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I spotted Hannah Minkley’s work at the Design Indaba – a key platform for industry insiders to find the next creative class – and I was completely blown away. Hannah's work has a lingering sensitivity; it is stripped down to expose her subject, and she captures natural light in a way that transfers emotion. Her portrayal of young women in particular moved me.

We asked Hannah:

Describe yourself.

I am a happy person, quite reserved, a bit of a perfectionist, and interested in gaining knowledge. I enjoy engaging with others, am easy-going and always enjoy having fun! My passion for photography continually grows as I learn more about the technical aspects of it, and the potential future that this medium holds for me.

Could you draw us a doodle that represents you?


Choose from your images those that best describe:


‘East of the Storm’

I chose this particular image because I feel it best conveys my personal approach to fashion photography. I aim to emphasise the use of natural sunlight as well as taking a gentle, sensitive and caring approach in how I convey women in photographs. I hope to show women as personalities and people, as opposed to objects lost underneath clothing.



‘East of the Storm’

This image for me conveys a really honest and open idea of what I feel natural beauty is. I often choose to focus more on beauty in the natural sense, as opposed to a typical standard commercial ‘beauty’ image.



‘Collecting Lives – Aileen Berrington’

This image was chosen for two reasons: The subject is a great aunt, one of the most interesting people I know. She is both fascinating and motivating, and someone who can keep us all captivated for hours with her stories. I would like to take into the future an essence of this positive person and what she brings to the family.

The image also signifies the continuation of my fourth-year academic project (based around people’s personal collections, and the question of why people collect) into the future as a Masters degree.


South Africa

‘Collecting Lives – The guard dog’

While it does not intend to represent South Africa as a country, I think this image embodies an aspect of some small towns in South Africa and the interior décor often used within homes. This image in a sense represents the way in which white middle class South Africans have retreated into guarding and protecting personal space. There’s a reliance on old stereotypes and ways of living – this illustrates what still needs to change.



‘In the Mangroves’

I felt that this image of Carmen in her teenage years best conveyed youth, as it tries to emphasise the innocence that one tends to hold onto in one or another way during the process of becoming an adult.


What are you currently working on? Anything we should know of?

I am starting my Masters at NMMU in Port Elizabeth and working on, building up, and continuing a project that I began in my fourth year on people and their personal collections. I will also be working on more emotive fashion projects in the Eastern Cape within the next couple of months. I am feeling pretty excited about the year, especially after my stint as an Emerging Creative at the Design Indaba, the contacts made there and the incredibly positive response I had to my work. I would be really happy to hear from readers which collections they would like to be photographed with – contact me via my Facebook page.

View Hannah Minkley’s work here or like Hannah Minkley Photography on Facebook.

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