With a love for the ocean and a passion for Durban, we met up with the team that makes up Durban based Photography agency, Ocean Driven Media.
“anything to do with the ocean replenishes my soul.”
We had the chance to chat to them each individually and this is what Mike van Heerden, Wade Howard and Teagan Cunniffe had to say.
MMS: Firstly, let’s hear a bit of background into who you are and the styles of photography that you most enjoy?
W: I started photography over 13 years ago and find renewed interest and passion each year. I thrive on capturing people and their emotions. I am closely tied to the sea, and anything to do with the ocean replenishes my soul.
M: I enjoy event and sport photography, and I enjoy photographing people.
T: I’m still relatively new to the photographic world, which has given me quite a lot of freedom to explore and find out what genres I enjoy, as well as be a little bit more experimental with my style. So far I’ve honed in on model work, as you can be very creative with lighting, composition and concept. Travel photography will always remain the area I most enjoy in photography; nothing beats seeing new landscapes and cultures for me.
MMS: We were inspired to do this interview because we both share a common interest, what is it about Durban that inspires you?
T: Having grown up in Durban, I feel like I know our city extensively. I always feel like I know where I am, even in the strangest of places. What I like most about Durban are the hidden corners that get overlooked. You can find so many interesting places and things when you look for them.
M: I think Durban’s slogan ‘It’s the warmest place to be’ says it all. From the climate to the city- it’s an amazing place to be.
W: There is such a variety of people, places, sport and culutre. The weather is fantastic as well.
“Having grown up in Durban, I feel like I know our city extensively.”
MMS: Is there any other subject / genre that you feel shows Durban at its best or tells it’s story?
M: The diversity of the markets is something that is underrated. As a sports / adventure destination, it takes a lot to beat Durban.
W: Street photography; seeing the everyday lives of people and the amazing things that they do. Sometimes we never see these things or understand them. I find telling the stories behind these people to be what inspires me most about Durban.
T: I feel that photography based on the people and places of Durban showcases our character best. Often these images end up on online blogs or social media, and give a strong insight into the lives and happenings of our city.
MMS: We see you catch some really exciting moments, would you like to share any of these that really made you go WOW?
M: The 2010 World Cup together with Top Gear have to be at the top of my list as the most exciting shoots I’ve done.
“what happened next blew everyone in the audience away”
W: I once did an article on Umthombo, an institue that uses surfing to try rehabilitate the street children of Durban. I photographed the children over a few days and really got a look into their lives and stories… it was an experience that will never leave me.
T: A few months ago I photographed a charity visit made by members of The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra –widely regarded as leading in the world- to a school in Umlazi. The visit was going well; they had set up in a large classroom and were showing the children what their individual instruments could do. The children were loving it. Just before we were to leave, the principal stood up and said that the choir had a piece of music to give back to the orchestra members, in thanks for their time. The choir members came forward and what happened next blew everyone in the audience away. The children had the most incredible voices, in the middle of Umlazi in an relatively unknown school. The orchestra members were spell-bound and completely shocked. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of pride for our nation and the raw talent we have all around us.
MMS: You get out a lot, we always see you guys at events – what would you like to see more of in Durban?
M: Top Music performers. High profile surf contests – our promenade and beach front just begs for a massive beach event
T: I’d like to see more Arts-orientated events happenings, high-quality events out in the street that get everyone involved.
Get in touch
Website: Ocean Driven Media
24 April 2013 | My Durban