This story was a love letter to my van. She was alternately called “Madame” or “The Beast”, and she housed a photographer in Cape Town.
When I decided to work my first photography season as an assistant in Cape Town, I bought a van and lived in it. This was in 2013, before Vanlife was a thing. I kept coming back, season for season, always moving back into my van. When I was off, I would adventure outside the city, take it on kitesurfing expeditions, or just camp in a friend’s back yard. The most adventurous public place I ever slept in, was Kalk Bay harbour. I gave the carguard a good tip and some strong coffee, and all went well. Don’t try this at home.
While on a job, I would camp in my aunt’s or uncle’s back yard closer in the city. Sometimes, if turnaround time was too short, I wouldn’t even bother driving anywhere. I would park Madame in the service entrance of the client’s hotel, shower in the collection room, and get a few more minutes of sleep. I could even monitor the process of my uploads through the hotel’s WIFI from the comfort of my own bed (don’t tell any of the production companies).