Get to know me a bit better, some questions I get asked often.
MY WORK IN TRAVEL JOURNALISM AND TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB AS A JOURNALIST?
I entered the world of journalism as a photojournalist at Media 24, Die Burger in Cape Town, South Africa in 2007.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO TRAVEL WRITING?
I have always kept journals and wrote about my travel adventures and experiences on social media. It was a natural progression from being a hard news photojournalist into the world of multimedia journalism. I did a masters degree in journalism and got into feature writing when I wrote a series "The Tea Diaries" in Taiwan in 2018. I worked with some great travel writers and editors at Beau Monde Media in 2020 and 2021 and got to work on a series of multimedia stories "Travel Icons". These are profiles on industry icons that I am in the process of writing and editing. This career fits me, I have been a nomad for over 24 years, living and working internationally. To date I visited over 60 countries.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DESTINATION?
That is always a tough question to answer. This is normally a question that pops up when people ask me about my adventurous spirit. My heart will always be drawn to Asia, since I lived between the countries in South East Asia, the Far East and Central Asia for a decade. I love train journeys in India, tea adventures in Taiwan, motorbike and surf adventures in Bali, Safaris in Africa. I just love traveling.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE TRAVEL EXPERIENCES THAT YOU LIKE TO WRITE ABOUT?
At the moment my focus is on experiences and destinations that are unique and off the regular tourist cycle. I am working on tea and textiles stories from India, Sri Lanka and Taiwan. I am also busy writing stories on culinary experiences in Iceland, Peru, France and Portugal.
DO YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR SUBJECT YOU LIKE TO PHOTOGRAPH?
My background in news photography and photojournalism gave me exposure to such a wide variety of subjects. I can document anything I want really, I think I am lucky that I have over 14 years of visual journalism experience.
My heart is in portraiture though. I think as my career progress and I get older, I might focus on portraiture more.
EXPLAIN THE TIME LINE OF YOUR CAREER.
I am a trained and experienced hard news and investigative journalist. I followed this career path until I finished a masters degree in Journalism at Ateneo de Manila University in Manila, Philippines. My written work in news and investigative journalism shifted after researching and writing about marine debris and pollution in Taiwan. Once I landed in Europe in 2020, I started focusing more on travel journalism, living in Germany has opened many doors. Currently, my focus is on stories that educate and inspire. I hope my work can cultivate a better understanding of people and cultures, sustainability, and our relationship with the natural world and the environment. I now work as a travel journalist and photographer in Europe and Africa.
MORE ABOUT THE WORLD OF JOURNALISM AND MY THOUGHTS
HOW IS SOCIAL MEDIA CHANGING NEWS?
Now more than ever it is important to educate yourself so that you can have informed opinions. News is available with the press of a button. Be an informed citizen of the world. Don't believe everything you read.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A JOURNALIST?
Journalism, especially photojournalism has taught me to look, and then see. As journalists, we are storytellers on the front-line of history. That comes with a huge responsibility. I am a journalist, first and foremost, to help people make sense of the world we live in.
WHY DID YOU BECOME A JOURNALIST?
I am a storyteller and an artist, mostly in visual mediums. I like to communicate messages and stories. I have never wanted to be anything else.
WHAT STORY ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF WORKING ON?
"Dust of the Streets. Nobody's baby, somebody's child." A story on adoption and abandonment in South Korea.
DID YOU WORK FOR YOUR HIGH SCHOOL NEWSPAPER?
I wrote for "Die Sollie" our school newspaper in high school. I wrote gossip news articles.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE FICTIONAL JOURNALIST?
TOOLS I USE IN MY JOB
WHAT TOOLS/ PROGRAMS DO YOU USE IN YOUR JOB?
I use the Adobe Creative Suite daily and Microsoft Office. I experiment a lot with programs and apps.
WHAT GEAR DO YOU USE?
My interest is remote and unusual destinations. I keep my camera bag light. I have used Nikon gear my whole life and own several cameras. I have a collection of Nikon film cameras and my pro gear. What is important for me is not to have the latest and best gear and biggest and fastest lenses. It important for me to know my gear well and to be able to move and move fast, I guess that comes from my mindset and training as a photojournalist. You check out what gear I use here.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL NETWORK?
Instagram, I have recently also re-discovered twitter.
WHO DO YOU WISH FOLLOWED YOU?
Photographer, Annie Leibovitz and Journalist, Christiane Amanpour.
SOME THINGS ONLY MY CLOSE FRIENDS KNOW
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE DRINKS?
Gin & Tonic, Green Tea Mojito and Wine.
WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT YOUR COMPUTER OR WORKING ON STORIES, WHERE ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO BE?
Apart from photography, I have many hobbies. You can find me in my studio painting or find me working in my urban herb and tea garden. I also like experimenting with Asian tea rituals at my tea table. You might also find me somewhere close to water camping and on my SUP.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PUBLICATIONS TO READ?
ADVICE FOR ASPIRING TRAVEL JOURNALISTS
WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU OFFER ASPIRING TRAVEL JOURNALISTS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS?
I guess the most important piece of advice I would give is to be to be true to yourself, don't copy others.
Find inspiration in the work of other photographers and writers, but work on your own voice, your own creative identity. Forget what other creatives are doing and do you. You are your only competition, don't compete with others.
It is important to get out there, experience life and shoot as much as you can. Read as much as you can. Write as much as you can. Travel. Explore. Do things that surprise and shock you, as often as possible.