Local Photography: Bkkr

WORDS Amelia Brown

It is difficult to use words to talk about images, says photographer Bkkr about his intimate portraits.

Photographer Bkkr – or Niel Bekker – credits his mother’s vast collection of fashion magazines for exposing him to photographers like Helmut Newton and Ellen von Unwerth, which lay the foundation for his subject matter and aesthetic: candid female nudes, all shot on film.

After the success of his first exhibition, Four Years Nude, he shares what motivates his art.

In an age of filtered Instagram cameraphone celebrity, you have chosen film…

It’s such an effort to get film loaded, wound up, processed and scanned, you really have to want to take a picture. I think that deliberate quality helps to produce images that have more lasting value. It also makes editing easier: Instead of editing 1 000+ images from one shoot, I only have to look through 60 or so.

How did you come to your subject matter?

The imagery from my mother’s fashion magazines kind of stuck in my head throughout my adolescence, and much later in life I kept up with nude art on photographers’ blogs on Tumblr. When I realised that many of them had day jobs and were shooting as a side project, that gave me the courage to go find a model and try it myself.

How do you find your muses?

I prefer not to be the guy who convinces someone to shoot nude for the first time! Thankfully, there are agencies and websites that specialise in matching photographers with professional models.

Anything exciting on the horizon?

The response to my first exhibition was better than I could have hoped for. I can’t wait to shoot and share new work.

To buy prints or view more of Bkkr’s work, visit itsbkkr.com.