“A Photographer with a ‘Zing’ for Life”
When you ask Internationally & locally Accredited South African Photographer Nico Coetzee what makes him stand out from all the other photographers, his response is simple “My heart” It’s the person first then the business “Once I’m hired the client has trusted me enough to grant me access into their personal space, where they have made themselves vulnerable enough to allow me to define how they look.” This is where Nico Coetzee lives in the moment “The moment where you can interact and remove the mask to see who you are.” And this is what makes him passionate about Portrait Photography. “I try to see who is behind the mask and the only way I do it is on a spiritual level, listening, hearing – putting the person first not the job”.
His photography is simply stunning, evoking the viewer’s emotion even if you’re unacquainted with his subjects who exude tranquility, peace, joy and exhilaration which is produced by capturing the warmth and love of families interacting at their favourite holiday destination – where the rugged wilderness of Mossel Bay’s azure ocean clash with the hues of the mighty crags at The Point on a sunny day.
For the past three years he has operated from his family run Studio & Printing Business at the well-known Goods Shed in Bland Street in Mossel Bay and he is loving it “I love the people, like the life here, it is easy to live, when clients come in they’re already in a relaxed mood and the ‘Oomies’ just come in and say ‘Hi…’ and I love the relationships”.
This well-spoken intelligent man is relaxed in his intensity for Life and has managed to maintain his passion and freedom whilst living in a country that has sadly become contentious. Nico grew up as a farm boy in Fochville, a predominately Afrikaans town in the Free State, he met the love of his life, Ronel whilst studying IT in Vanderbijlpark and they’ve been married for 21 years and have three children, all living the Mossel Bay dream.
Nico mentions two photographers that have intrigued and inspired him, one being Joe McNally an American photographer who shoots for National Geographic and is well known for his series “Faces of Ground Zero – Portraits of the Heroes of September 11th” and interestingly Joe Buissink a psychologist who became a famous shooter that focuses on capturing people’s emotions “Buissink hires the principal shooter at a Wedding so he can pursue capturing the emotions like someone crying – and five years down the line the customer looks at the photo and will cry and relive the same emotion”.
Although fully equipped with all kudos of studying the latest design packages, like Photoshop and Lightroom, Nico still prefers to keep his artwork natural. Pursuing the emotion is what comes first with Nico Coetzee in his genre of photography and offers his clients the option of a studio shoot or a lifestyle shoot on location at Mossel Bay’s Blue Status beaches. Nico’s business “Photo Create” keeps him busy with Commercial commissions, Events and Weddings “We get to know the client and what kind of photo’s they like and then we get together two weeks prior to the wedding so the Bride and Bridegroom can feel relaxed on their big day”.
It’s been 8 years operating as a Professional Photographer but Nico will still wake up in the early hours of the morning to capture a drop of water dripping from a tap or film their sleepy pets just to keep his passion for photography alive. He also has a sense of fun and a strong identity of being simply South African which is clear with his “Vintage Photography” where he has designed his own camera pre-settings to capture families having fun dressing up in Voortrekker outfits.
Even though Nico Coetzee has a wonderful gift at a photographer he says that his first gift is the love for the Lord Jesus and this is clearly evident in his love for people and capturing them at their best – where their hearts shine brighter than their surrounds.