Recently Deleted

Creative people are intimately familiar with self-criticism; that double-edged sword, the ultimate frenemy, never far from a new idea or a project realised, lurking in your head and in your bed.

We self-mutilate by scrolling through social media, gorging on what everyone else has been working on. In the time it takes to glance over a rapid succession of images, each never more than 500 pixels squared, we’ve decided whether we’re excited about something we’ve made or utterly worthless. After what feels like hours of deliberation we’ll deduce that a shot is not quite good enough for Instagram after all. Maybe you’ve already posted the image but are deliberating deleting it after a more intense visit from SC.

On the other hand, the ability to be self-critical is a secret weapon. To judge yourself, realistically and fairly, against the industry standard – and industry bests – is crucial to improvement and strategy. And sometimes, confusingly, Self-Criticism even shows up on your doorstep with a beautiful bouquet of pride and self-congratulation, sorry for earlier’s bad vibes.

Either way, it takes courage to put work out there. But it’s good to remember that the most scrutiny may just be coming from yourself.

INDIE asked South African photographers to take things one step further: to go through their recently deleted folders on their phones and Trash on their computers to send us their self-proclaimed flops, mis-timed photos or mistakes. Anything that didn’t make their cut (for whatever reason), made ours. The Seppis sent through the photographs they take of each other when they’re testing the light before a shoot begins. Rudi Geyser sent through a project he scrapped in its entirety. Predominantly a fashion photographer, Tarryn Hatchett sent through fine art photography shots that, in her opinion, have gone awry.

Their show of guts has resulted in a beautiful collection of work that can hopefully make you a little braver to show your stuff.

Aart Verrips

Aart Verrips

Anthony Bila

Gabriella Achadinha

Aart Verrips

Rudi Geyser

Anke Loots | Heliotropism

Nikki Zakkas

Anke Loots | Self-portrait

Tarryn Hatchett

The Seppis

Nikki Zakkas

Rudi Geyser

Gabriella Achadinha

The Seppis

Rudi Geyser

Size Mbiza

Tarryn Hatchett

Anthony Bila

Aart Verrips

The Seppis

Anthony Bila

Size Mbiza

Tarryn Hatchett

The Seppis

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