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Behind the Lens—Tyler Walker

In life, you tend to come across those people that seem to ooze creative talent. One of those people I believe is 22-year-old South African Tyler Walker. With interests spread from music to surfing and a photographic portfolio that would impress even the most veteran of professional photographers; it’s safe to say that Tyler is paving his own way as a photographer and having the best time possible.  

First of all, tell me a bit about yourself? (e.g. where you’re from, kind of person)

My name is Tyler Walker. I am 22 years old from Durban, South Africa, currently residing in Cape Town. I lived and was schooled in Durban then moved to Cape Town close to 4 years ago. It’s been a beautiful move—it had really challenged and pushed my creativity and me. Being exposed to so much creativity and beauty here really makes my job super fun. I find myself shooting mostly surf and music; working closely with a couple brands within both industries. I live in the city within Cape Town and travel a fair bit in and around South Africa and globally. I absolutely love music; writing it, playing it and singing it—shower singing, in-the-car singing or the occasional stage performance. 

I guess I’d say I am a pretty chilled and laid back (crazy) person, but also pushing myself and striving for the highest standards possible in every facet of my life. Playing guitar, surfing my mini-mal, watching sport with my boys, cooking a good chow (food), road tripping and going to the local animal shelter with my lady, and serving in communities are a few of my favourite things. 

Why/When did you get into photography?

I was incredibly fortunate to go to a high school that offered some of the finest camera and computer equipment available to us (and it wasn’t even private schooling).

I swam, played water polo and competed in lifesaving both nationally and provincially in South Africa for roughly 10 years growing up. I’d say it was my life at the time (haha). When I got to the 9th grade my art teacher lent me some gear to take to a local swimming gala and looking at the images we both realized that I had an eye for the camera. I enjoyed being able to capture moments for the sports that I loved being a part of then showing friends and seeing their reactions. Eventually, my art teacher was able to lend me some gear for the weekends to shoot what I wanted, which further fired up my passion for the lens. Weirdly enough one of the accounting teachers at our school had a water housing for his camera and he lent it to me for a weekend. I got in the water with that thing, shot my father getting shacked at our local break and was hooked! Amazingly one of my family members blessed me with an amazing amount of photographic equipment to kick-start my career about 6 years ago and I’ve been grinding, swimming, hustling and smashing the button ever since then. 

Why I do it? Flip, it’s addictive man! Being able to orchestrate images in studios and capture the endless untamed beauty of nature is simply mind-blowing. Especially nowadays with social media; there are constant inspiration and challenges at our finger tips daily. 

Is there anyone or anything that inspires you in your work?

People such as Corey Wilson, John Hook, Chris Burkard, Kenny Hurtado, Sacha Specker and good friend Alan van Gysen have all influenced my work a lot in one way or another. These people all have such amazing specific qualities in their work which inspires me to find and create images in my own unique ways. Nature and people inspire me a lot; the peacefulness and the unrelenting rawness of nature mixed with how weird, wonderful, insane and beautiful we humans are is nothing but phenomenal. 

Why did you want to get involved with NV?

The aesthetic and vibe NV is going for is super cool, attractive really. I enjoy good quality content that’s presented beautifully and I feel that’s what NV is about. They are working with and showcasing some brilliant photographers who are also on board and it’s not a bad thing being associated with some of the world’s best. I was just super stoked to work with a magazine who shares common values and aesthetics in imagery and creativity as I do. Things are looking super sweet for the future of NV from what I can see! 

Website / Instagram

This interview is part of our series “The Digital Return” – a series of articles that present each contributor of our soon to be released digital magazine. 

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