Tuesday, April 14, 2015

30 Days of Inspiration! Day 14: Natascha van Niekerk

I'd like for you all to meet Natascha van Niekerk!

1. Introduce yourself and the style of photography you think best represents your work (fashion, conceptual, fine art, dark art, new born, etc.)

I am a Fine Art Photographer that produces landscapes, stills and conceptual portraits.

2. How did you get into photography?

I did my degree in photography at a tertiary institution in South Africa. What attracted me to photography initially was my desire to travel, but I must be honest, it has since then developed into something else entirely!

3. What inspires you as a photographer?

My greatest inspiration is the natural landscape, the stories that it tells and all its wondrous organic shapes, patterns and colors.

4. What is your favorite photo you've taken and why?

My favorite photo often ends up being the last conceptual piece I've done, as it really evolves with my personal growth as an artist. My conceptual pieces are often closely linked to my current emotional state and therefore serves as an outlet for me, a way for me to express myself in tangible form. So at this stage that would be "Sagely Safe"

"Sagely Safe"
This image was firstly inspired by the thick, soft, silvery Wild Sage bushes growing next to the road to Nature's Valley. It was only a few weeks later on an educational drive into the forest that the guide spoke about how some people would use these bushes to make beds and the traditional uses for Sage… and the story was born! In many ancient cultures, Sage is used to cleanse, and to bring protection. It can also bring wisdom and a heightened sense of spirituality. This character has done exactly that. She is immersed in safety, security and sanctification, and is completely at peace and in a place of absolute rest. On a personal level, this is a declaration for me for this year… she is where I am heading wink emoticon Thanx friends for sharing in my journey (and thank you to my brave model smile emoticon )

"Selfless Acts"

5. What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

Mostly, I really enjoy it if my work can make people think... or feel something when they look at it. Everyone interprets visual images in a unique way, closely linked to their life experiences and their way of reading visual symbols. I find this extremely interesting and often engage with viewers as to what their stories/interpretations are of my conceptual pieces. We are indeed intricate and wonderful beings!

6. What gear do you use? What's your most used lens and why?

I use a Canon 5Dmarkii, and mostly use a 50mm, 1.4 lens (but must say, I'm not a huge 'gear' junkie and generally just feel that the best equipment is what you have to use)

7. Who would you say is your favorite photographer? Why?

oh my... I can honestly say that I do not have one favorite photographer as there are so many absolutely inspirational artists that I follow! Names that come to mind immediately are Brooke Shaden, Josephine Cardin, Oleg Oprisco, Katarina Plotnikova, Gregory Colbert and then of course my 'soul sisters' here in South Africa, Claire Gunn, Margherita Introna and Maajiedah Satardien. These artists all consistently produce amazing work!

"Song of the Land: Wake"
8. Have you dealt with any negativity as a photographer, if so, how did you overcome it?

I think the photographic industry has changed so much over the years that it is definitely one of the hardest genres to pursue and make a living in. Additionally to that, it is not always easy to earn an income while doing what you love and society often imposes limiting frames into which not all can fit. Pursuing my passion and the dreams in my heart, regardless of the anxiety and fear of failure that comes with that has been my greatest tool to combat these difficulties.


9. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?

"Do not despise the day of small beginnings" - You will never know where your wildest dreams will take you if you are persistent and give it enough time to grow.

10. What would be the best advise you could give to someone reading this interview?

Never be afraid to dream and have sufficient courage to follow that dream.

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