I could look at great photographs all day if time allowed so it’s not unusual to find me browsing through Facebook, stalking all the photographer groups. It was through fabulous photographer Gale McCall that I was introduced to  Brian van Hansen’s awesome photography group. What a treat this group has turned out to be-dazzling, daily pure art posted by hundreds of talented photographers. The founder of the group, Brian, recently won a competition with Canon and his photograph of the Nelson Mandela  statue was selected out of thousands to be featured on Billboards all over Johannesburg. I had to find out more about this Western Cape photographer……and he agreed to 10 questions.

1.       When did you start photography and why?

I have always loved photography and my first project was taking my mom’s
second wedding photos when I was 17.
2.       Are you professionally trained?

I’m not trained at all.


3.       What made you enter the competition?

I entered the competition because  I was motivated by Facebook friends urging me to take my images somewhere other than Facebook.
4.       What’s so great about a Canon Camera?

I loved taking pics with the Canon as it was the first time I used a proper camera. I only use my cellphone to take pictures.


5.       Why did you choose the Nelson Mandela Statue?

I didn’t choose  the Nelson Mandela statue.  It was an afterthought. I was the only Capetonian in the competition and an American blogger Heather Mason wanted to show me the statue on our way back to the meeting spot for the photographers at the end of the photo shoot. It wasn’t on the photo walk list of landmarks ironically.  I just submitted  that image as part of my five entries.

Photo Competition

Statue-Nelson Mandela taken by Brian Van Hansen

6.       What is your profession?

I’m a professional pianist in a Hotel.


7.       When did you start your FB Group and what do you hope to achieve with it?

I started FB 5 years ago and only wanted to post pics, which I still do. I wanted to create a Group which I now have and I’m all about sharing  my images.  I do get offers but my goal is to be just known as BeachBatsBrian,  the guy who takes pics with his cell phone.
8.       What are your plans for the future?

I want to remain a musician who share my photographs with the World.


9.       Any advice for aspiring photographers?

Always have your camera (cellphone ) with you. You never know what unexpected moment and possibly momentus opportunity you might capture. Keep on clicking.
10.   What’s your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge is to try alternating between cell phone and proper camera (for the appropriate events)at some stage and to master that within a short period  as I’m very in the now. It has to happen yesterday for me.


Brian’s photos can be seen here https://www.facebook.com/groups/129238447408530/?fref=ts