10 Questions For: Yann Macherez

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10 Questions For: Yann Macherez

This talented photographer and journalist has worked for a range of prominent publications also has an incredible passion for people and places

1. How would you describe what you do for a living?

I’m a French freelance photographer based in Cape Town for a year now. I do many different types of assignments, which is really exciting and is a perfect fit for my personality. I work for a few big companies like Expedia, South African Tourism, Pixopolitan, magazines like National Geographic, L’express, We Demain and have several personal projects coming soon (one is actually about Cape Town!). The one common factor to all of those assignments is the travel: travelling, meeting people, discovering places, and experiencing it all is essential to my personal equilibrium. It makes me feel truly alive and puts me in my element.

yann macherez photographer in cape town

2.  What is your most vivid childhood memory?

I grew up on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean called the Reunion Island. I’ve got so many amazing memories from there. I deeply enjoyed all the outside activities: hiking, surfing, biking… I remember one particular hike that I did with my father when I was 6 years old. It was a really long one on the edge of huge mountains. I was really scared and, at the same time, totally amazed by the path. I remember being really proud when I reached the end. I basically slept for two days right after it. It was the biggest adventure of my 6- year-old life!

reunion islands yann macherez photographer in cape town

3.  If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, for dinner, who would they be and why?

My choice is easy, each of these people have had a huge impact on my life: Madiba, Sebastiao Salgado (Brazilian social documentary photographer) and Claude (my grandfather).

Each of them inspires me on different level: Madiba taught me how to deal with life, Sebastiao Salgado’s work ( mentor) makes me question my own photographic approach and my grandfather’s choices impacted who am I and where I live now, even though I didn’t have the chance to get to know him well.

4. If you ever found yourself auditioning for a music reality TV show, what song would you sing and why?

I’m not going to be really original, but I would enjoy singing a Bob Marley’s song, “Three Little birds”. When I’m listening to it, I can’t help but sing out loud:  “Don’t worry, about a thing, everything is gonna be alright!”  All I need is a mic in my hand and nobody can stop me.

5.  How would you complete this sentence?  South Africa needs a Minister of ___________.

South Africa needs a minister of “Ubuntu” to keep that amazing philosophy alive and spread good vibes all around. Or maybe a minister of “Imported Baguettes”! That one would be SO rad.

6.  What would you say is the biggest misconception about you?

That I could not lose my temper! Actually, when I do, you’d better be far away! As we say in France, I’m a “false calm”, which means that I look chilled, but sometimes it’s the fire inside! And sometimes that fire boils over.

7.  What is your (honest) opinion of Cape Town?

I’m in love with Cape Town. It reminds me of my island! There is so much to do and experience. It’s been one year since I’ve been here and it still feels like I have a whole world to discover. Few months ago, during a photographic shoot in one of Cape Town’s streets, I just came across a sign that says: “Slow down, it’s Cape Town!”… Everything has been said!


8.  What's the greatest fear you've had to overcome to get where you are today?

Getting out of my comfort zone! I could have stayed in my full-time job in Paris for years and years. Sometimes the routine just catches you…it feels so easy! And along the way you forget about your dreams. It took me a lot of energy, bravery and letting go to wake up and to get where I am today. Get out people, magic happens out there!

9.  What's the one thing you'd like to achieve before you die?

I want to go to space! I’m not even joking. I recently saw a video speaking about the “overview effect”. This is exactly what I want to experience. To change my perspective by looking down to our planet, suspended in the middle of the universe. For now, I have no clue about how I’m going to do that, but I’ll try my best!

10.  Which well-known South African personality would you, without a doubt, be able to beat in a street fight and why?  

I’m pretty bad at fighting, I have two sisters!!! Whoever would be the person, he will beat my ass anyway!


ABOUT #CapeTownMag10Q:’s 10 Questions project gets to know some of the Mother City’s most creative and inspiring people. From television personalities and musicians to politicians and entrepreneurs, we find out more about well-known and up-and-coming Capetonians. You can follow #CapeTownMag10Q on Twitter and Facebook to track recent interviews or read more here about our other awesome 10 Questions candidates


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