Having worked in the marketing and advertising arena for close to 30 years, South African born Gerda Genis, carved a niche for herself as an tough, dedicated and results driven photographer. Initially specialized to working in fashion and beauty exclusively, she skillfully reinvented herself to shooting anything from food, to advertising to lifestyle and nature. Her studies in graphic art and years as art director gave her an deeper understanding of marketing and her client's objectives - something she is highly valued for. 

Known for having an astute eye for design and detail, she understands the complexities of human nature to the degree where she can to seamlessly switch from simply observing to moving into leading the set as director. This, together with her Lighting Design skills has led to her wearing both caps of Director Of Photography in shooting TV Commercials and Stills Photographer with ease.

She discovered her passion for photography as a young solo-traveller and 'the pursuit of truth and character' became the driving force behind her photographs. Her ability to bring out these qualities in her subjects as a fashion and beauty photographer, has led to her shooting with many personalities and celebrities, locally in South Africa and internationally. Hollywood star Charlize Theron, international models Claudia Schiffer and Linda Evangelista, golf star Sally Little, endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh, USA actress Alfrie Woodard, are amongst the known names to have been in front of her lens.

 "People feel instantly vulnerable when they sit for a portrait, unless they believe that they have managed to compose the face they'd like you and the world to see.  The challenge lies in capturing what I observe beyond this composed face. That fleeting moment of personal intimacy, which tells the viewer  more than just what the outer façade shows, will always fascinate me. Feminine sensuality has captivated the world for ages and became the driving force behind many an ideology – it remains my most precious, most difficult, most elusive, most fascinating subject."

Gerda works from her studio in Cape Town and travels frequently with her husband, photographer Robbert Koene. She has pursued the practice of Iyengar yoga for the past 15 years of her life and makes time in her schedule to teach privately. This allows her to hone her directing skills, in this case, giving personal guidance to her sadakas to finding their own truth and realising their own success through gaining confidence of both body and mind.

Contact Gerda on ggenis@global.co.za


Advertising Agencies: BerryBush, BBDO, Jupiter Drawing Room CT & Jhb, M&A Design Studio, Strapp Murray Design, White House SA, MCSaatchiAbel, Lowe Bull Advertising, King JamesAdvertising, GPL Group, Herdbuoys e Kapa, Mohair SA, Y+R Brand Activation.

Retail: Sirdar UK, Woolworths, Edgars, Foschini Group, Ackermans, Truworths, Donna Claire, Queenspark, WW TASTE magazine, Edgars Club magazine.

Magazines: Marie Claire(SA), Elle(SA&Germany), GQ (SA), Hello Magazine (UK), FHM (SA), Visi.

Fashion designers: Errol Arendz, Gert vd Merwe, Karolina Olowsdotter.

Books: Glossy SA cookbook, Sumptuous by Marlene v d Westhuizen, Untamed Force by Dylan Lewis.

Direct Sales: Honey Jewellery Catalogues, Josephsons (Sweden), Astrazenecka – Cancer Calendar

Luxury hotels: Cape Grace - CT, Cape Royale - CT, Sun International SA, Hotel Chateu Sallandruce - France, VillaKalos – Greece.

Local and international celebrities including Charlize Theron, Sally Little, Janie du Plessis, Marianne Fassler, Jeremy Crutchley, Sandra Prinsloo, to name a few..

 Luxury hotels: Cape Grace - CT,Cape Royale - CT, SunInternational SA, Hotel Chateu Sallandruce - France, Villa Kalos – Greece.


2001 Winner: Appletude Competition for Portraiture.

2004 L’Oreal Best Photographer Award for Technical Excellence

2005 Shooting and Judging for America's Next Top Model, a Reality TV show hosted by Tyra Banks

2006 Media 24 Photographer of the Year Award

2007 Shooting and judging for Revlon Supermodel 2007, reality TV Show

2007-  Invited to exhibit at Cultivaria FNB Private Clients Art& Wine Route. First solo exhibition as artist

2008 Group exhibition entitled ‘Space Fusion’ at Artspace, Johannesburg.

2008 Solo exhibition ‘Fragments’ at Wembley Square, Cape Town.

2008 Group exhibition at Kievietskroon, Mpumalanga – Fragments series

2008 Donated work to S.A. Centre for Photography Auction, Cape Town to raise funds for 4thMonth of Photography (MOP)

2008 photographed and designed cookbook ‘Sumptuous’, for Marlene v d Merwe, published in Sept 09

2010 Judge for the Elle New Talent in Photography Competition

2011 Exhibition/ Design for Food art collaboration with Maranda Engelbrecht

2014 Photographed and co-designed a biographical publication: Dylan Lewis – Untamed Force

2015 Group exhibition: Portretteer curated by Louis Jansen van Vuuren

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