Based in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa, Kosie Jansen van Rensburg is an actuarial scientist by day, and an image maker and Culture Tripper by night. A self-confessed Instagram junkie, we talk to Kosie about the first time she picked up a camera, who and what inspires her, and how creating her sublime images is just like meditation.
CT: Could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
KJR: I’m born and bred South African living in the most beautiful city in the world, Cape Town. I’m working in the actuarial science field and although not a professional photographer, I do a little of freelance work for a local magazine. I’m also a self-confessed Instagram junkie. Other hobbies include travelling, music and I’m a bit of a foodie and wine appreciator. My motto in life is: “do not live a life that is too small for your soul.”
CT: How did you get into photography?
KJR: My father was a bank manager but since I can remember, was interested in photography. It was before the days of digital and I can remember him disappearing into his darkroom to print out his black and white pictures. I loved the idea of capturing moments and this became my creative outlet.
CT: What inspires you?
KJR: Mother nature and the wonderful moments she presents us – we must just be able to ‘see’ and appreciate.
CT: Do you remember the first time you picked up a camera? Did it give you a certain feeling of affinity?
KJR: I think it was a small box film point-and-shoot. I immediately fell in love with the sound the shutter made when you took a pic and the winding of the film, afterwards.
CT: Has Instagram changed the way you photograph?
KJR: Totally! I think it challenges you on a different level. I stay true to my original profile in that I only post pictures taken with my iPhone. As I do not have all the nice equipment like olloclips and gorillapods, it forces me to shoot ‘out of hand’ and really think of the image. Many a time, however, I find that the real image only appears after the necessary cropping. I do all of the editing on my phone as well, using Snapseed.
CT: Whose work influences you?
CT: What do you want to say with your photographs? What message do you want to convey?
KJR: The taking and editing of iPhone pictures is quite meditating to me and I’m hoping that viewers experience it as such as I want to portray calmness and emotion.
CT: How was your style and aesthetic developed over time?
KJR: Learning and being inspired by fellow Instagrammers in the amazing Instagram community has played a huge role in how I develop and challenge myself.
CT: What motivates you to continue taking photographs?
KJR: The pure joy it gives me to share my passion with a community who appreciates and understands.
CT: How do you find subjects that you want to take photos of? For example, do you travel to locations you know you’ll find appealing, or take pictures as you experience life?
KJR: As we live in the big city, we like short getaways to surrounding areas. We have such a diverse country and so many places that inspire. In between the weekend trips, I try to find inspiration in my daily commute to work and challenge myself to try and see the same things differently when I pass them.
CT: Among your photos, which are your favorite(s) and why?
KJR: My favorites are usually the ones that get the least amount of likes or comments on Instagram, showing just how personal some of my pictures are. One of my favorites is a storm captured from the middle of a road in the province of the Free State, where I was born.
CT: What can we expect from you in the future?
KJR: More Instagrams but definitely something different in my aesthetic. I’ve recently exhibited as part of a group exhibition and this experience opened up some amazing ideas as I realized that I have to grow in my art and be more adventurous in how and what I do.
Catch Kosie on her Instagram here.