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Phillip Bekker is a commercial photographer whose photography offers a distinctive color-saturated, graphic and often abstract style. Perhaps his most widely recognized for his Polaroid work, some of which is in The Polaroid Collection and included in the global exhibition ‘Polaroid 50; Art and Technology’ which premiered at Photokina in Germany. To see more of Philip’s work, visit his liveBooks8 website: www.bekker.com.
I studied commercial photography at a four-year program in South Africa and studied in London in between this time period. Once I moved to the United States, I completed an MFA program in Visual Arts.
Our class is South Africa was the first group of commercial photo students to graduate in South Africa and probably in the whole of Africa. We were the threat to established photographers and you could not get assisting jobs once you graduated. There were no equipment rental houses at all, anywhere. You literally has to invest in a 4×5 Sinar (no other large format brand available – thankfully) and a Rollei or a Hasselblad (Mimaya’s came later) and some basic lighting. I started off with Bowens monolights and quickly progressed to Broncolor. I has assisted in Longo, which made a huge difference. With luck, someone from college you knew had become and art director and then it became word of mouth to build up clients.
I’ve always been involved in commercial photography, commercial photography education and fine art through gallery representation. One feeds off the other – a fine art exhibition led to a commission by Pierre Cardin after he visited my exhibition and other fine art has led to further commercial assignments since then.
Q: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?
PB: Simplicity, design, color (with B&W providing some relief here and there)
Q: How often do you typically update your website?
PB: I’ll replace individual images as needed. I’ll rearrange for flow, interest, and impact on a regular basis. I think its important to keep current and preferably ahead of current, if possible. Keep an eye on Europe.
Q: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?
PB: I wanted to use something that has the simplicity, design and color that is evident in a lot of my work and would work well as a lead and introduction into the first and subsequent portfolios.
Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?
PB: The size choice for the images.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?
PB: Plan the flow carefully, don’t be tempted to show too much and let it show your personal signature. Stand out. Get other opinions.
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