Donna Collins When you come across an incredibly creative photographer, who generates artistic life through the lens of her camera, whilst producing a picture perfect masterpiece around every turn, then it’s time to sit up and take note. The name Xenia Ivanoff-Erb (pronounced Zenia) is not unknown to the coastal community after she burst onto the scene five years ago, and she describes herself as a, “Namibian inspired destination photographer” motivated by the natural beauty of the country she explores. Xenia’s photographic eye is spot on, and her photos live and breathe. So much so that when she captures a shot of the ocean, you can almost hear the waves breaking and feel a gentle sea spray against your cheek. Her desert and landscape shots depict the vastness and dune contours of the immense Namib that bring to life the textures of a billion grains of sand and contrasting shadows. Xenia’s connection with Namibia was a romantic one, after she fell in love with her tour guide husband, Georg, whilst visiting this beautiful and dramatic country on a photographic safari eight years ago. One magic sunset and a marriage proposal on the dunes later she was hooked, and today still enjoys a honeymoon with a country that has captured her heart and captivated her. Her real connection to Namibian photography was also inspired, when she crossed paths with the late, celebrated photographer Tony Figuera – whom she bonded with during her first Swakopmund exhibition at the Dome in 2015. Today she still proudly displays some of her prized pieces that Tony printed on canvass for her exhibition, resembling massive oil paintings rather than photographs. Tony printed 40 of her works – of which she only has three left. They now stand in her new Ivanoff-Erb Photographic Gallery, at the Bonus MarktPlatz Boutique in the shopping centre in Swakopmund. She is also buying this same printing machine that Tony used for her photographic exhibition, and other work of hers, making it the only large format true fine art photo canvass printer at the coast. Her new gallery is the only one of its kind at the coast, displaying a selection of her high quality prints for largely the tourist market, but it also serves to inspire and share unique images of Namibia. Joined by Georg, who is also a keen photographer, she often heads off on photo shoots and magical trips to capture new breathtaking images of this country. Using advanced software and Canon photographic equipment, her work ranges from an assorted montage of corporate photography, to images for the tourist industry, with her “I love Swakopmund” Facebook page packed with stunning travel photos of Namibia’s diverse beauty spots. Xenia is a whizz in professional business branding, logo design and development photography, having worked alongside some of the biggest names in the industry in South Africa. In addition, she has worked on the FIFA 2010 World Cup branding project and redeveloped the Kaiser Chiefs logo in her time. With this background, she is building a solid reputation as a corporate photographer at the coast, and companies such as Erongo Red, Tunacor, Strand Hotel, Hangana Seafood and Taleni Africa, to mention some, have already commissioned her. Furthermore, Xenia also held four different photographic exhibitions in Germany during 2016. The Kuiseb, Namibia Exhibition, depicting the Topnaar people of the Kuiseb, displayed 20 images, which she held in partnership with the German Namibian Gesellschaft. “I love the freedom to be able to express myself through images and design, and my work is rather a creative statement of my lifestyle,” Xenia concluded.
2017-09-29 14:55:34 11 months ago