Anita de Villiers


Anita de Villiers lives in Mtunzini, a village on South Africa’s Zululand coast. It is an area known for its natural beauty, wildlife and indigenous cultures. She grew up in the Limpopo Province and studied at the University of Pretoria for a Masters degree in Linguistics and a received a Teaching Diploma from UNISA. After completing a Diploma in Photography at the National College of Photography in 2001, she started out on a new career as photographer and photojournalist. In recognition for her work in travel photojournalism, Caxton Publishing has rewarded her several Excellence Awards. She manages and leads photography workshops and courses.




As a photographer, I wish to communicate through my work. To do that, you have to trust your own vision, approach your subject with respect and bring all your knowledge, skills and intuition into that fleeting moment of creating the image.
Photography was a hobby that eventually became a profession. A mid-career jump after more than twenty five years as an academic and linguist meant getting the rusty right brain into gear and discovering my own creativity and visual style. My passion for language, teaching and photography has become integrated into my work as a photographer, writer and teacher.
As a freelance photojournalist, I am in the fortunate position that my terrain of reportage ties in with my interests in travel, lifestyle, nature and culture. Marrying images to words is demanding but satisfactory work. It took time in this game to grow my own voice, to hopefully write “only those words that outperform silence”, if I may quote N. N. Taleb.
Teaching photography gives me joy. Whether it is a wildlife workshop or a fine art course, the aim is to set each photographer on his or her personal path of discovery. As a mentor I aim to open up avenues from which students can select in accordance with their own fields of interest and passion. My own photography is inspired by nature, the visual arts, music, literature, different cultures and architecture. Although much of my work does not sit comfortably within one genre, my fields of specialization include nature and wildlife, landscape, fine art, travel, flâneur or street photography, culture and people. As expressive medium, I love black and white.
My approach to photography is fuelled by the spiritual, inquisitive, analytical, introspective nature of an outsider that lives by her senses, all of them, especially the sixth one. With camera in hand, I tend to wander through life’s landscapes, sensing and seeing, sometimes capturing slices of life as they happen and translating them into an image. As Cartier-Bresson said: “Everything has a decisive moment”, and I might just be there to capture it.


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