By Andile Bhala

Photography has been a beacon in my life. The streets of Soweto with their bustling noise, smiles and legends in the making compel me to travel its vast space in search of stories. My bicycle and my red backpack are my companions as I seek to see beyond the obvious.

I begin each day with a cup of coffee. It helps me maintain my workflow and inspires me to create more. With a cup of coffee in hand, I always seem to have good ideas and it hugs me when I’m down. I want someone who looks at my work the same way they look at coffee.

A simple cup of coffee has connected me to a community of coffee lovers. I use coffee as a tool to create conversation with others. We all like it different –  some prefer it as an instant and others brewed – yet it always seems to bring us together.

This photo series is an ongoing body of work that explores the South African coffee culture and fashion – people meet in coffee shops and social markets to enjoy its delicacies, at home and the office. It also explores what happens in-between as life happens. In Soweto, particularly, the project explores the social space as the distinct beauty of old coffee traditions meets modern coffee trends.

Coffee photography by Andile Bhala

Home of the Bean is a coffee shop at a cosmopolitan build in Johannesburg. They owner wanted to create a space that is intimate yet big enough to accommodate everyone who want to be part of it. Image shot on a Fujifilm X-H1 and a 16-55mm lens.

Coffee photography by Andile Bhala

After work conceptualises a young couple enjoying coffee after work. Taken in Soweto.

Coffee photography by Andile Bhala

Morning Cup is a portrait of a Boitumelo kickstarting his day at the Bank City coffee shop in Johannesburg. Image shot on a Fujifilm X-H1 and a 56mm lens.

Coffee photography by Andile Bhala

For You us about coffee that connects us.

Coffee photography by Andile Bhala

Double shot is about the intimacy of making a cup of coffee.

Coffee photography by Andile Bhala

Studio Cup is a portrait of an artist looking outside the window for inspiration with a cup of coffee in hand. Shot at the August House art studio in Johannesburg. Image shot on a Fujifilm X-H1 and a 56mm lens.

Coffee photography by Andile Bhala

Friends is a portrait of two friends sharing ideas around a cup of coffee at Orlando West, Soweto. Image shot on a Fujifilm X-T2 and a 35mm lens.

For more photos, follow Andile Bhala at:

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