#RAPSHOOTR | SNAPPING FROM TAIWAN TO SA WITH DANIEL TORO
An interview about Daniel Toro Photography by The African Hip Hop Blog
Here we go!!!!!
#Rapshootr’s a series of interviews with photographers who engage different elements of hip hop culture throughout the African continent with their practice. Some already have their own platforms while others are igniting their own fire beneath the radar of an international gaze.
In this edition of #RapShootr we speak to the Taiwanese photographer Daniel Toro who has been collecting some pretty incredible shots of the South African music scene since relocating from the East Asian nation. All image captions by Daniel Toro.
Kwesta was jumping while his performance. I just love it, the lighting was making the dust shining in the air, I always like this kind of angel and lighting to capture “jumping movement”
HOW DID YOU START IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
I love music so much! About 7 years ago I went to a music festival in Taiwan and I fell in love with a British rock & roll band that was touring around Taiwan and attended many of their performances in the clubs. It was at one of those clubs that I had searched for their photos and came across Danny Chu the resident photographer for that club. I eventually met him and he taught me my initial photographic skills, at present I still always learning via her photographic artwork. The rest is practice and learning all the time
Bang!Gae at Hyptonik
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I get inspired by people. I get inspired by the ‘moments’ of people. For me it is to capture a specific moment or an emotion of a person/performer or a feeling that the person may be processing. Once people see the moments of them that are captured in the photograph it fuels my inspiration more to record more of these moments. That moment captured can be carried through with them their whole life. I remember I walked into a salon of someone I didn’t know but I saw she had a developed a photos she found on a website of her and her fiance. I took that photograph. The fact that her fiance doesn’t like taking photos yet they both love that photo and that was the photo she decided to put on her business wall inspires me to do more.
Milkee & Oriigenelle were performing at Hipnotik 2016. Milkee was posing a sexy dance and Oriigenelle was acting like “No No”, seems like matching to the song and especially the light on Oriigenelle face, and made this photo completed.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE?
Nikon D800 [with these lenses]
- 24-70 f2.8
- 70-200 f2.8
- 14-24 f2.8
MOST OF YOUR SHOTS ARE VERY VIBRANT WITH LOTS OF COLOUR AND SATURATION.. WHAT DREW YOU TO THAT STYLE?
My photography is my artwork. Photography is just like a painting. For me, I like colourful stuff. So my artwork will be full of colour and will be deep with emotion. Mind you that I do take some black and white photos which will still be full of depth. Whilst I am photographing I take particular notice to atmospheric lighting, or my synthetic lighting. This lighting influences my work a lot. The job of a photographer is not just to press a button. A photographer has to immerse oneself into the environment, feel the frequency in order to channel the emotions into the photo.
Blitz The Ambassador performing at Bushfire 2016.
HAS SOCIAL MEDIA HELPED YOU SPREAD YOUR WORK?
Social media definitely has helped my work locally even world widely. As I do like to work with people and those emotions, the people viewing my artwork will be the ones giving meaning to the photograph through my lens. But that means people do need to view those photos. But it is a lot of fun for the people to see their faces on my photos.
Riky Rick Makhado was performing at Waves JHB Edition, it’s not always happen in an event, especially in a music concert, when a artist jump into the crowd and sing and dance with them. Not easy to capture the moment due to too many people surrounding you even push you, but the result is amazing. It’s always worthy to try to capture from different angle, then you will know what you love and develop your own style.
WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE (TECHNICAL OR PHILOSOPHICAL) WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH FELLOW PHOTOGRAPHERS?
There is no shortcut. You have to practice all the time, it’s a culmination of many experiences whether photographing or training your eye. Then practice your skill to emote that into a visual piece of artwork. Its not as easy as people think it is. Develop your style to be true to what your inner soul sees. Everyone has their own style and don’t let what others say influence or deter you. So that finding your own style is very important as a photographer and this is also my mentor Danny Chu Photography taught me.
K.O. performing at Hipnotik 2016 in Swaziland.