Sara Ariel Hassall


Sara Ariel Hassall, Cape Town-born and raised, discovered her passion for photography through her father, who was a photographer. She inherited his camera and hasn’t put it down since.

Hassall enjoys cosplay and cosplay photography, along with macro photography. She’s worked with film and digital in the latter genre.

“I love to take colourful and magical images for myself and others to enjoy.”

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



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

I started the year with no specifics in mind and very excited to learn all the types of photography being taught. I always had an interest in cosplay photography but was too anxious to work with people. This year I pushed myself and found that working with people wasn’t as bad as I thought and I love working with people with something they are passionate about.

Analogue (film) or Digital photography and why?

I love both! This year I learnt to work with film and fell in love with it immediately. My entire personal project is shot on expired film which I enjoyed immensely.

What subject matter do you find yourself drawn to?

I find myself drawn to plant matter and themes of nostalgia and magic.

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

Colourful, fantastical, nostalgic.

Why did you choose to study photography?

I’ve always had an interest in photography as my father was a photographer and he inspired me to explore photography.

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

I would say my personal project and my cosplay photoshoots are the most noteworthy for me.

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

One of my biggest creative influences is my classmates as they are all so creative and inspiring with their unique approaches to photography. My father inspired me with his nature photography. AURORA inspires me with her beautiful music.

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

My biggest misconception was that you need the newest tech to take beautiful photos. Fancy tech is fun but as long as you have a camera and practice your skills you can take amazing photos.

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

How to use my camera to its full potential and how to properly plan out shoots which is essential!

How has photography shifted the way that you navigate the world?

My fascination with macro photography makes me stop and look at scenes closer and notice the small things that make our world beautiful.