Something about me

I have discovered the magic power of a camera about a decade ago, whilst cruising with a backpack through Namibia and sleeping under the stars. Gazing through some professional photographers long lens planted a seed. Next I bought a very old Canon, not thinking the new hobby would last too long. I was wrong. Luckily so, because when I decided to go  completely freelance, camera skills proved quite an advantage in obtaining commissions and being paid a dollop more for an ‘illustrated article’.

Three years ago a series of events, regarding photography, steered me into yet a new direction. I was invited by a new-to-be-art gallery owner from London to have a solo show of some of my desert photos. So as from 2010 I started thinking differently about how and what I shoot.

This brought about new excitement. Its so different to see the photos you’re use to look at only on the computer screen or on magazine- or newspaper paper. Printed by really good master printers on archival paper that holds the colour and brings out new textures my photo’s said something different to me. It was also no small surprise when people actually bought them at exhibitions. Really proof that when they say they like them they mean what they say!

Recently I started working on a specific theme exploring the interaction between photographer and model in collaborative projects. I hope to continue this.

In my previous life I’ve been a university lecturer in art history, after acquiring an honours and masters degree in art history. During that time I started working as freelance arts and culture writer for local news papers. A stint in teaching languages followed, then motherhood directed the writing to educational articles for women’s magazines. Some years as full time magazine journalist followed. Wonderful years providing a life-time of memories. Such as interviewing Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon; interviewing influential people asking them whether they believe in shaving armpits and legs or not.  And doing research articles on drugs and other medical issues. Great variety.

Since my knowledge of photography was limited to the occasional holiday workshop – first in Namaqualand and then in Namibia’s Sossusvlei and Dead Pan – I tried to fill the huge holes in my knowlegde of technique by enrolling as a part time long distance student at the New York Institute of Photography three years ago. My American friends on the Travel Photographers Network (TPN) became wonderful tutors with their on-line photo critiques online. Not to mention the personal contact and exchange during two journeys with them through their unparalleled Big Five deserts in the American Southwest.

Another website where interactive photo-critiques and viewing some stunning work has helped me shape my vision, is Photo.net.

Joining websites that serve as cyber-galleries added yet more sense of adventure to the wonderful world of photography.

My stuff can be seen online at:

http://www.photo.net/photos/bettieCL

http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/200073-bettie-coetzee-lambrecht

http://www.stateoftheart-gallery.com/Art-by-Bettie-Coetzee-Lambrecht/60

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