Gabriella Abdolaziz

All Portfolios

Gabriella Abdolaziz, a photographer from South Africa, born in Cape Town in 1997.

“I grew a love for film photography ever since I got my first film camera. When I started the year at Orms Cape Town School of Photography I was a beginner with digital photography and had basic analogue skills. Studying photography I learned how to process film and learned a lot about studio and lighting. I have always been drawn to capturing raw moments and the true essence of people through identity in portraiture. As a graduate at Orms Cape Town School of Photography, I hope to use my skills and knowledge to travel the world as a photographer.”

View her photographs produced during this year, along with her year-end interview below:


When you started the programme what genre of photography were you interested in and has this shifted over the course of the year?

I have always been interested in fashion and portraiture photography, as well as documentary and street photography which I ended up choosing all these genres for my portfolio.

Analogue (film) or Digital photography and why?

I definitely prefer analogue over digital. I feel as film captures moments in its true essence, whereas digital is more complicated and always needing touching up.

What subject matter do you find yourself drawn to?

I find myself drawn to photographing intimate moments as well as identity in portraiture and fashion.

Pick three words/phrases that describe your approach to the medium?

In the moment, discrete, black and white.

Why did you choose to study photography?

Ever since I was in Grade 10 I had a photography teacher at Cedar House School who taught us photography and ever since then I have always been curious about film. When I got my first film camera I was hooked.

What has been the most noteworthy shoot/project you have done this year?

My favourite project was my documentary project as I made a road trip out of it and found some people that live in a cave and documented them.

Who is your biggest photographic influence at the moment and how/why?

I would say Nan Goldin and Sally Man influenced my creative portfolio as they captured intimate moments with their friends and family which is what inspired my creative portfolio.

What has been your biggest misconception about photography as a practice?

I thought photography was less complex before the year at Orms Cape Town school of photography. I didn’t realise fashion would be so tricky trying to find a wardrobe, makeup artist and to conceptualise all the shoots.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned on the course?

 I think the most valuable part of studying photography was being in the darkroom, this was my most enjoyable experience at CTSP.

What advice would you give to anyone seriously considering applying for the course?

If I gave advice to someone applying at Orms CTSP I would say to have your camera on you at all times, and always check if you forget gear by checking a shot list. There hasn’t been one time that I haven’t forgotten something.