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HL Next Level 2018: Photographer Zander Opperman

Having got his start at 17 on Myspace, photographer Zander Opperman is now causing a stir on the South African creative scene.

Zander Opperman | House and Leisure

Zander Opperman  got his start on Myspace, and the spirit of that age of digital rock’n’roll continues in the work of this new photographer and, sometimes, model.

With his blend of punk and softness, he is fast becoming one of the local fashion scene’s freshest voices. Opperman's Concrete Flower campaign for Marianne Fassler is one of our very favourites shoots at present, he shoots for all the big magazines and he has a very loyal Instagram following too.

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5 Minutes With Zander Opperman

How did you get started as a photographer?

When I was 17, I got bored being alone at home one day, took photos of myself in weird setups, uploaded them to Myspace and got a massive response, I started dreaming up ideas and getting my friends to model for me. Realised it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life, asked my parents to trust me with this venture, and started assisting photographers soon after.

Did you always want to be doing what you’re doing now?

In primary school I was obsessed with Jurassic Park, so I was dead set on being an archaeologist. But I soon realized you can’t really make dinosaurs by discovering their remains, so in high school I focused more on art and graphic design, and then moved into photography with our shitty Samsung family camera at 17.

Do you have a particular favourite among the works you’ve created?

The Marianne Fassler Concrete Flower campaign has one image where [model] Anyon Asola has her arms stretched to the sides, and has the biggest smile on her face. To me, it’s been my ultimate photo; she looks like an animated person, almost not real, and the day we selected that image I couldn’t shut up about how much I loved it.

What has been your defining career moment to date?

Shooting Marianne Fassler’s AW17 campaign.

Any creatives on your radar at the moment?

I’ve been following Marc Goehring for a few years now, from when he had just started out at 032c – he’s currently the fashion director at 032c.

And artists you look up to?

Photographer Nicholas Alan Cope.

Where do you find your inspiration?

As depressing as it sounds, I love browsing the Internet, I read up on a lot of different things – art history, fashion, the future of subcultures around the world. I think I get my inspiration from the World Wide Web.

Learn all about the game changers who are taking things to the Next Level in our #HLNEXTLEVEL2018  issue.

ALSO READ: See The Photos That Won A Major International Prize For South African Photographer Alice Mann