jacques bernard

jacques bernard fine art photography

Jacques Bernard, a Cape Town photographer involved in fine art and commercial photography


It was early 70’s that I started taking my first photographs on a forgotten Baby Brownie camera using 127 black and white roll film. Many hours were spent processing and printing black and white images in a darkroom I had acces to at my father’s work. It was around the same time that my interest in electronics also developed, those days we used to build crystal sets to listen to AM radio.

After matriculating at Pretoria Boys High I eventually decided to study light current engineering as photography was not concidered a ‘real’ career by two very academic parents.

I developed a keen interest in both sailing and scuba diving during my time in the computer industry and on a particular day decided to start a diving and sailing operation in the Bazaruto Archipelago. This together with meeting my second wife (also an artist) rekindled my love for photography and I subsequently decided to study photography full time.

The next 15 years were spent furthering a career in commercial photography where I gained exposure in a variety of disciplines such as architecture, food, industrial, travel and corporate photography.  My wife and I decided to move to the Cape in 2011 and this created an opportunity to  further my passion in fine art photography.

The following quotations summarise my view and goals as a fine art photographer:

* ‘I don’t photograph the world as it is. I photograph the world as I would like it to be…’


* ‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.’

* ‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’


* A fine art photograph, created by an artist with the goal of expressing himself or herself, is a representation of this artist’s view of reality, a representation of this artist’s vision, and not a representation of the world as others may see it.

* With vision your photographs go beyond being just commonplace images. They become the conveyors of ideas.

* ‘A photographer’s work is given shape and style by his personal vision. It is not simply technique, but the way he looks at life and the world around him.’


* Developing a vision for your work is showing to others, through your photographs, what you see in your mind’s eye. It is therefore about you. It is about how you see the world, about what you see that others do not see, and about your emotional response to the scenes that you photograph. In many ways it is about your personality.

* Think of art as being the one place where anything goes, where you can be yourself and do what you want, whatever that may be. Think of personal style as being able to create something unique and extraordinary; something that does not exist in any way, shape, or form; and something that others will want to own and admire.

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