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Young Professionals to Watch: Gavin Collins, Photographer

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my privellage to present another talented photographer from the streets of the cultural capital city that is Cape Town! May I introduce Mr Gavin Collins: 

The extraordinarily gifted creator of his Pretty Trendy blog, Gavin Collins, began his photographic and creative journey as a simple means of self expression. However, his natural talent and eye for style have captured the interest of many of Cape Town’s creatives. He is a remarkably dynamic individual and definitely one to look out for in the future.  

Dani: In a few words, sum up the essence of you:

Gavin: I’m a funny-looking, care-free kid with big dreams and creative thoughts.

Dani: Where are you from and how did you become involved in photography?

Gavin: I’ve lived in Cape Town my whole life and for as long as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures. I was into creative things like drawing and painting at school, and photography was just the next step for me. My friends and I used to spontaneously get dressed up (okay we still do) and mission around town to try get cool shots. I guess it’s just progressed from there.

Dani: If you had to classify your work in one or two sentences it would be…?

Gavin: I am fascinated by contemporary South African pop culture. I photograph things that appeal to me, exploring the aesthetic of simple, everyday things; finding beauty that others may overlook.

I am also interested in fashion and aspire to one day shoot for international fashion magazines.

Dani: Which have been your favourite shoots and why?  

Gavin: My favourite shoot would have to be one of my very first ones. It was a very informal shoot with my friend Daisy on Longbeach in Noordhoek. She had this really cool, old red umbrella and together with stormy clouds and perfect light I really loved the photographs that I was able to make.

Oh and I also had a really fun day shooting some spoof shots of See You Next Wednesday with my friends for the Crazy White Bitches summer sale. It was hilarious because we were trying to be as outrageous as possible, and I think the end product was pretty successful.

Dani: What or whom would you love to photograph if you could choose anything or anyone in the world? Why?

Gavin: I would love to shoot someone like Charlotte Free for a magazine like Dazed & Confused or Wonderland. She is a total bad ass and has such an amazing sense of style (and she’s like stunningly beautiful) and Dazed is such an iconic magazine.

Dani: Where can one find your work?

Gavin: On my blog www.prettytrendy.tumblr.com

Dani: What he failed to mention is that his work has been regularly featured in popular arts magazine One Small Seed (an online and print magazine reknowned for recognising and promoting the work of notable creatives), exhibitions such as the Bodyblocks  exhibition (a playful collection of body photography by upcoming and established photographers hosted by Exposure Gallery at The Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock in 2011) and he has a consistantly strong online following.    


Dani: What is the greatest lesson life has taught you thus far?

Gavin: I’ve learnt that if you want to be happy in life you need to embrace the challenges you experience with a positive attitude. A positive mentality is one of the greatest tools you can use when trying to achieve your goals. You should never underestimate the power of your mind.

Dani: If you could work with or for any photographer who would it be? And why?

 Gavin: I’d have to say Rankin. He is really just a phenomenal photographer. He co-founded one of my favourite magazines, Dazed and he has recently launched a new magazine, called The Hunger, that consists of entirely his photographs (well, minus one or two). It’s incredible, I can’t think of any other photographer in the world attempting (or even thinking) of doing the same thing.

Gavin has this untamed honesty to his art. He has this gift and curse that he can’t hold anything back. That’s real art. In his pictures, in his write-ups; its all him. It comes across in the emotion of his photographs. He is telling stories with his camera. 

Dani: If someone made a movie of your life, who would play the lead? 

Gavin: Sheesh I have no idea. Well it would have to be a skinny white boy with a bad haircut playing me and it would definitely be a comedy.

Dani: Would you watch it?

Gavin: No. There’s no chance I would watch it because my life is awkward enough already, I don’t need to watch it being screened to an audience.

Dani: When you die you want the world to remember this:

Live hard, have fun and always make sure you wear clean underwear.

Find out more about Gavin Collins by checking out his blog www.prettytrendy.tumblr.com or stalk him on facebook.

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