Who is Deen Schroeder?
I was born and raised on Cape Town and have been living in Johannesburg for the past 10 years. I dabbled in aeronautical engineering for a few years before switching over to a brand communication degree at Vega. Whilst I was a student I was highly involved in Parkour and we formed one of the very first professional Parkour teams in the country. After completing my degree at Vega, I spent a few months working as a stunt performer on various commercials, series and movies. It was a lot of fun. At some point my love for branding did take the reins and I decided to join the world of advertising. I spent 3 years at Native VML and now I work as a Convergence Specialist at Primedia Broadcasting. I think I have always been a creative person and photography has been a part of my daily routine for the past year #ThanksInstagram.
What’s your best childhood memory?
That’s a tough one. I think it would have to have been my 10th birthday when I went to Sun City with some friends. I was living in Joburg with my mom at the time and somehow the parentals organized this day trip. There were 5 ten year old kids in the back of an old VW Combi and we hit the road to Sun City. I can’t really remember the details of that day trip in terms of what we did, but I vague remember the slides, the waves, and the arcade. It was a day that I just remember as a really fun day.
If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?
I don’t believe in regrets and do-overs because I am at a point in my life that is a product of every single good decision and bad decision that I have made. However I do think that there are things I would have done more of. During High School I should have done more Art. I should have spent more time in university focusing on the work and not the good life things. There are countless things that I wish I did more of, but I wouldn’t ask for a do-over.
What do you feel most proud of?
Interesting question… I have received various awards over the years, primarily for my academic performance and I have worked on incredible campaigns that really do fill me with pride. I think what I am most proud of at the moment is my process. The photography that I am doing is not to land the next gig but more about and exploration through photography with the hopes that I can create something of meaning. I hope that in 50 years’ time I can look back at my work and be proud.
If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?
A film camera (with a few rolls of film). The book, Shantaram by Gregory Roberts. And a photo of my mom and I – she has always been my greatest inspiration.
What would you want your tombstone to say?
Semper Fidelis. I studied Latin and Semper Fidelis was of my favourite old world phrases. It means “Always Faithful” but not in the contexts of relationships but more than that. Always faithful to the cause, the ideal, the dream, the pursuit of perfection, knowledge. All of those wonderful things.
What is deenschroeder.com?
I have been quite active on Instagram over the past year and a bit but at the beginning of this year I thought it might be nice to start my own website. I don’t really know how to go about it, but soon learned how to get something basic up online and then began the arduous process of building something meaningful. My site is not an online store but more of a curated place to showcase my work. The site also housed my blog, which is not the most active, but occasionally I will ramble on about something that is loosely related to photography.
What’s your favorite kind of coffee?
I really love Kenyan Coffee and a simple French Press will do. I used to work at a coffee shop when I was in high school and loved everything about coffee. Taught myself how to do latte art before the days of YouTube tutorials and spent hours trying to refine my techniques behind the bar. Whilst working at the store I tried everything, and every possible variation but I ended up falling in love with an Americano. The simplicity of the drink is what makes it so difficult to master and every single cup tastes different. I still order an Americano whenever I am out for coffee.
In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?
I am by no means a coffee snob and you could bump into me at a Vida. I really do enjoy spending time at Wolves in Illovo because they make good coffee, great food and the best people.
What does a perfect day look like?
Travelling. There is nothing that I love more than getting lost in a new place. A few months ago I visited Madrid and on my first day there I spent the entire day wandering from street to street, taking photos, eating delicious things and experiencing the city. I think I spent about 12 hours walking aimlessly around the city and covered almost 25km on foot. I think a day spent travelling through new places would be a perfect every day!