Images perceive distinct perspectives, such as moods, thoughts and feelings but it depends on how you view it and what it means to you. Andile “Ace” Ngcobo is a law student who found amusement in photography and now pursues a career in it. Since he could not study for it, he sharpened his skills by working with people that already had photography skills.
He discovered his affection for the camera in his hometown in KwaNyuswa, a community located West of Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal. During that time of discovery, him and a group of his friends started working together to train themselves on how to become profound photographers. As time passed, the number of their members decreased, leaving him and his two mates Justine Jali and Sipho Mohlauli. The trio now runs a business that trades in TV production and photography called Darklight DBN.
“My friends and I initially began with taking pictures at events we were attending and by taking shots of flowers in the CBD area as volunteers. We also did small gigs that paid us up until people would recruit us for our services, all that hard work is the main cause of why my team and I have grown as a brand,” he elaborates.
The Darklight movement does all sorts of shoots and have been hired by Spar supermarket, Moet, Veuve Clicquot Rich and Belverdere to do product shoots. They also offer portraits for individuals, corporate companies, the sports and entertainment spectrum. The three photographers have made it a priority not to stay in one lane but to be broad with their images, allowing everyone that loves their work to employ them. They have been able to land deals with the International Hotel School, BMW, Hillcrest Caltex garage, The Durban July and Platinum Avenue.
Ngcobo states that ther is indeed a long way to go. “There is no limit and whatever we are doing now is not enough. However, there has been massive progress for us from where we started. I have enjoyed all the experience I have gained over the years, mostly because I get to travel with interesting people that could teach me a lot about the industry.”
The lensman has been part of the camera crew for Live Amp which he admits was a tremendous step for him. He mentions that Durban Picnic Day has been his biggest success because he was still inexperienced at the time and had limited equipment; that to him was a breakthrough. During this year’s festive season he is shadowing the “Naba Laba” hitmaker Thukzin by doing all the camera work for him.
Working in the media is exciting for the cameraman as he’s been acknowledged by household names that have seen his work – this includes Thukzin and Black Coffee. Now that he knows how much he is appreciated, he hopes more South Africans see what he has achieved and for them to believe in it as much as he does.
The group have a page on Instagram that has become their portfolio for people to witness their expertise @Darklight_DBN and you can also follow @therealace. In case you would like to use their services, eMail firstname.lastname@example.org or call the number +27 81 526 0034.