Biography Jake Brink.



Jake brink


Remember... Life's about journeys


Born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1954.

When I was young, I wanted to be an artist, but in our high school art as a subject was not considered feasible. I duly completed high school in 1971, achieving fair results, but not knowing what to do regarding my future. I grew up in a big family with lots of love going around, but no money, so a tertiary education was out of the question. Besides, I had no direction.

In those years, conscription was still in place in our country and I completed a compulsory one year army stint. The one good thing that came out of that was that it gave me the time to weigh up my options without the pressure of making a decision straight away. I did possess a basic artistic talent, so by the time I went back into civilian life, I had decided to pursue a career in commercial art.

I had no experience or education, so it took a while to eventually find a job as a junior in an advertising agency. Coming from a conservative Afrikaans (a language derived from Dutch) background, I was now exposed to a liberal, modern environment. I was eager to soak up as much job experience and culture as possible. In addition to all the menial jobs I had to do as a junior, I also volunteered to be trained to do darkroom work for the in-house photographer. This was the beginning of my love affair with photography. Apart from my initial basic darkroom training, I am self-taught, which can be a good or a bad thing.

Except for a brief spell in textile printing, I’ve remained in advertising all my life. For the past 18 years, I’ve been a partner in a medium-sized agency. Working in the advertising industry of course exposed me to the digital “revolution” from the beginning. Although my job includes a certain amount of commercial photography and video work, it is my private photography that matters to me most. Depending on the type of work I’m doing at the time, I choose between a Canon 1D Mk IV, a Canon 1Ds Mk III, or a Leaf Aptus 75 digital body mounted on a Mamiya 645 body.

Apart from a commissioned hand-printed, leather-bound book of Cambodian temple photographs, I have not published or exhibited my work. I own some large format printers and do sell a limited number of one-off prints if and when the opportunity presents itself, but I have not actively marketed myself.