In Conversation with: Tirivashe Marandure
Meet talented photographer and Doctor, Tirivashe Marandure.
Where did your passion for photography come from?
It was always there really, but I only started consciously building on this natural desire to capture moments in 2016 when I got a Nikon DSLR and started taking photos of the world around me. So, I started with street photography and then my then classmate accepted my invitation to be my model for a studio shoot and then there I got hooked on portrait photography and I've just been shooting since.
What would you say sets you apart from other photographers out there?
I’ve been told I have an eye for detail. The small things matter to me and I feel like I spend a lot of time on a set of photos to make sure they appear as I envisioned them when I clicked the shutter button. This is a passion for me, so I’m meticulous.
How do you balance being a Dr and being a photographer?
It is extremely difficult to balance the two, especially since I made the push to be recognised as an individual creative in a place like Harare where others had long since gained their popularity and recognition. I had stopped practicing medicine for a while to devote all my energy to this.
If you were to choose between the two which one would you go for?
That’s a tough question. I’m a doctor first and foremost, but, I’ve realised I’m a pretty good photographer. I really have no answer here. I’d always be torn between the two.
What have been the highs and lows of your career so far and how did you deal with them?
As a photographer? The highs and lows centre around the same thing: Validation. It’s hard when you want more people to acknowledge your talent and your effort and you don’t get that. Ultimately it is so fulfilling when you can walk into an exhibition space or open a magazine on a shelf at the supermarket and say hey, I took these photos.
What/who inspires your work?
Stories. The stories behind things and people. There’s always a version of events I’m trying to tell with the visual cues of photography. And people’s faces! I want people to see themselves at their best and a good portrait can do that!
Where is your favourite place to take photos from?
I eventually get bored with a location once I’ve shot at it three or four times. My favourite places are the new places I discover!
Of all the photographs, you have ever taken which one is your favourite?
January last year, this portrait of Gilmore Tee. See what I mean about stories? We were at the end of a studio shoot and he had on this blue blazer and I asked him to step over to a backdrop of the same colour and told him to be himself. He instinctively got into this pose and that’s the only photo of that moment.
What is the most important thing you consider when taking a photograph?
Mood. If both the model and I are not in the right space the image comes out flat and lifeless. So, for creative work I’m always saying random stuff, joking about, getting people comfortable.
Who are your favourite photographers and why them?
There are a lot of them! Locally it’s Tino Nyandoro, and Tinashe Charleson. Tinashe’s series so often capture people at their most confident most self-loving best selves. Tino has a great eye and his origin story with photography is up there with my favourite people’s stories of how they got into the things they enjoy now.
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Given the chance who in the world would you want to photograph?
Where in the world would be your dream destination?
The top songs in your playlist right now…
I have a weird taste in music lol.
The Road by Young & Sick, Once an addict by J Cole, Movie by Tom Misch, Banana Clip by Miguel and Mai Mwana by Takura.
If you could give something up for a year what would it be and why?
My phone. I feel like 95% of my life stress is because I have a smart phone and access to social media and instant messaging. I’m overdue for a reboot.
What are you most fond of about being Zimbabwean?
We’re becoming a strange people us Zimbabweans but that’s the best part of it-us. We’re good people when we want to be. Having spent 6 years in another country and being exposed to so many nationalities of people from all over Africa, Europe, Asia and South America I’ve learnt there’s nothing like being with your people.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
It’s in the form of my favourite quote, “You may face defeat, but you must never be defeated.” That’s Maya Angelou.
How would you like to be remembered?
I know how I don’t want to be remembered, as the guy who had “potential”. I’d like to convert all of that into something everyone can see. I want to be remembered as the guy who did all he wanted to, and he did it well.
How can people get in touch with you or access your work?
My portfolio is online at onyxbytirivashe.pixieset.com and on Instagram and Facebook @onyxbytirivashe