In an ideal world, South African-born Marianne would be living in a château in the south of France, making her own wine, and taking photos. For now, she lives in London, drinks loads of good wine, and – when she isn’t wearing the mantle of corporate drone – she’s out and about taking photos.

Those who have been following this enigmatic artist’s creative journey these past several years will have witnessed her metamorphosis from painting with brushes to painting with light. Although the medium may have changed, the subject matter has not. The bulk of Marianne’s most popular work is still synonymous with bands and artists, showcasing everyone from little-known indie outfits to world-famous rock acts.

Her meteoric rise from amateur shutterbug to pro rock photographer came about quite by chance. Being married to a musician and regularly attending gigs, Marianne started snapping pics to pass the time. But being inextricably linked with, and having a genuine passion for the live music scene, it was just a matter of time before word got out and her work was noticed.

The key to Marianne’s success in the arena of rock photography is the originality of her work. Not necessarily the subject matter, but in the execution thereof. In terms of style, her work possesses all the instinctive immediacy of photojournalism and its frontline documentary approach, yet she somehow always manages to marry this with the considered curation of a high fashion editorial spread. Sophisticated, yet edgy. Much like the artist herself.

Hers are powerful images – unstaged, unrehearsed, and strikingly candid – capturing the unbridled energy and charisma of the rock ‘n roll scene, with glimpses into the quieter, more reflective moments of its artists in between. Marianne also has a particular knack for harnessing the dramatic play of shadow and light, lending her subjects’ a luminous quality, as though lit from within.

These days, the ubiquitous, yet unassuming Marianne is one of the better-known photographers in the music scene. Hers is a familiar face at gigs and concerts and festivals around the country, and her reputation continues to grow, both nationally and abroad. Her main focus is live performance photography, although she also has fun dabbling in lifestyle, event, and fashion photography.

So what does the future for this multi-faceted artist hold? Who knows. But one thing is for sure, if her photographic career continues on this impressive trajectory, that château in the south of France, with an exhibition in Paris a few times a year, may not be such a far-off dream..

By Paula Gruben

All Images ©Marianne Brits-Strodl
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