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“Nude is Art” – Matiyela

Considering that the exhibition and publication of Nude Photography may be controversial, because many perceive it as Pornography,  for 22-year-old nude photographer, it is all about Fine Art and expressing himself.

Durban University of Technology’s very own third year Photography student, Lucky Matiyela is the owner and founder of BLKFRRST Images. He started his photography company in 2016, when all he  wanted was to make extra cash but now,  it has grown into a passion.

Matiyela specializes in contemporary nude photography, where he depicts the nude human body without any sexual motivation, but with an emphasis on form, composition, emotional content and other aesthetic qualities.  Albeit he also does other kinds of photography – including birthday parties, street fashion and family shoots – he says that he prefers nude photography over any other type.

This creative, who describes himself as adventurous, was born and bred in KwaDabeka, Clermont, West of Durban. Even though he loved Accounting, it was also at his school, Bhuhlebendalo High, where he developed his love for photography.

“I saw guys that would come to school now and then to take pictures and they would let us touch the cameras and tell us how to use them. That’s when I fell in love with a camera but wasn’t that keen to learn until I attended church and saw beautiful portraits taken by Casey using D32 camera. I knew that moment that I wanted to be a Photographer”, he says.

During those years, Matiyela tells us that it was difficult to break the news of his career pursuit to his parents. This was due to the fact that he comes from an economically disadvantaged background and with photography he would not get the desired income. So, prior to telling his parents, he spent 2 years researching and asking pertinent questions about the field, in order to gain more knowledge about it.

This is how he met Bongani Zondi, who is a videographer and worship photographer based in Durban. Zondi taught him more about photography from a theoretical perspective,  i.e exposure settings, aperture, shutter speed and composition.

“Bongani is the person who gave me my first camera, it was a challenge learning how to shoot for the first time but I was so excited.” 

These teachings, as well as those from the lecture room, have aided in the growth of Matiyela’s photography business, BLKFRRST Images. He further stated that the knowledge he gained, has helped him boost his confidence and artistry, thus helping him grow professionally. And as is the case with any other business, there are setbacks. Matiyela cited finding female models as one of his biggest setbacks to date.

“People find Nude Photography bizarre, because they think it’s another platform for Pornography; which is not true. Even models feel uncertain when they are asked to take nude pictures, sometimes they would agree to shoot but not pitch on the day of photo shoots or cancel on last minute while I’ve already booked the studio and equipment” said Matiyela.

The focused photographer wants people to explore and understand nude photography and is readily availing himself to answer any questions that anyone might have.

You may contact Lucky on +27 78 087 2664 or email: luckymatiyela@gmail.com

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