Gary Van Wyk is a South African photographer whose passion for exploration and ability to connect with people have seen him document some of the most notable individuals and moments of his country’s young democracy.
Van Wyk’s journey as a photographer began during an internship at Independent Newspapers in 2003. Still a student at the time, he was quickly hired and started to work as a full-time photographer for the news group. Since then, working both for various media houses and in his own capacity, Van Wyk’s images have gone on to appear in numerous local and international publications. He has gained access to some of the 21st century’s most significant people, travelling across the globe while on assignment. Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey and Desmond Tutu are among Van Wyk’s most notable subjects, and he has worked in locations as remote and diverse as Nepal, New York, the Amazon rainforest and the mountains of the Caucasus.
In recent years Van Wyk has been a crucial part of 21 Icons Seasons I and II, capturing the nuances and intimate moments of each shoot for in his distinctive reportage style. In Season III, Van Wyk takes over from Adrian Steirn as the principal portrait photographer for the season, making a departure from the black-and-white photographs that defined past seasons by choosing to shoot each portrait in colour. The move is a photographic tribute to the energy and vision that drives the icons of Season III, South Africa’s next generation of leaders and influencers.
Van Wyk is based in Cape Town, where he works at Ginkgo Agency.