The centre of Jozi is changing exceptionally quickly. I’ve been doing photo shoots in the CBD and Newtown and Braamfontein for about 4 or 5 years, and over the last 6 months I’ve really noticed a huge difference in the number of people around when I do the shoot.
I used to be able to easily do my photoshoots at 9am or 3pm on weekends because the streets would be dead. There’d be no parked cars… and almost certainly no pedestrians apart from the odd person walking around. Granted I do try and do photoshoots on quieter streets that are not main thoroughfares, but OMW the last few shoots I’ve done in the city have been challenging.
Now I love that people are loving the CBD again. I love that the buildings are getting looked after again. I love the regeneration and the markets and the awesome vibe.
But a part of me is stressing about losing my favourite photo shoot locations! LOL!
Newtown’s graffiti is still looking amazing and if you time it right, the streets around there are quiet… but you need to know when to get there. However, once that enormous shopping centre they’re building has been completed, I’m not sure whether it’d be feasible to shoot there. There’d be far too many cars and people around. I’m going to have to start hunting for new graffiti spots.
As for the old banking district, I used to be able to get there any time on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday afternoon and it would be dead. There’d be no cars parked, and apart from a few taxi’s at the rank close by, it would be pretty empty. The last 2 shoots have been another story entirely! This photo was taken on a Saturday afternoon… check all the cars! I couldn’t use half the spaces I wanted to use. And this weekend I went on a Sunday, and not only was there a function close by, but there was road works and all sorts of taxis just parked in front of “my” buildings!
I must say it did end up working perfectly, because I used new spaces that I’d never considered before, and I love what I shot.
As for Braamfontein and the bridge… well, at least I know that Sundays will still work there, because Braamies shuts down completely and none of the vibey coffee shops or eateries are open. So I have full use of the gorgeous streets and newly painted and renovated spaces there.
I tried to get to the bridge on a Saturday a while ago, thinking that because the market closed at 3pm, that it would be emptying out… well… that didn’t pan out… there are so many rooftop bars and coffee shops and restaurants around that it was buzzing all afternoon!
As for Arts on Main… well, same thing… Saturdays is even buzzing there now even though the market is only open on a Sunday!
The city is changing… for the better… but not for my photo shoots!