Alumni 2019

James Puttick


James Puttick is a photojournalist and documentary photographer currently based in Johannesburg. Having worked as a freelance photographer and videographer since 2011, his work was initially primarily focused within the commercial sphere photographing architecture, interiors, portraits and events. His photographic interests have continued to evolve, and in 2019 he completed the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Programme at The Market Photo Workshop. He has a strong interest in social and environmental issues, having worked in the field of nature conservation and obtaining a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology before venturing into photography.

James on his work:
I see my work as straddling both photojournalism and contemporary art photography. For me, photography is a meeting place of my conscious and subconscious minds. A place where the mechanics of my body and the camera meet with my individual experience and history to determine where the camera points and when the shutter is released. It is an expression of who I am, and offers me an opportunity to better understand myself and the world around me. In many respects it is a selfish pursuit. But it is in telling the stories of others where I find the greatest meaning and fulfilment. Perhaps this is because others help me to place myself within society, or maybe it’s the inspiration that everyday people’s stories provide. Telling a story faithfully forces me to think critically about myself, so that I know I’m being completely honest with my subject. My work is mainly concerned with how our histories and politics influence society and the world we live in, particularly at the social and environmental level. Having grown up as a white youth during apartheid in South Africa and entering adulthood at the dawn of the country’s democracy, I am particularly interested in examining how we as a nation are attempting to transcend our past. In part because I’m trying to document and understand the country in which I live, but also because I’m trying to understand myself and how I fit in.
January 2020