Antoinette is an internationally renowned photographer and published author.
Born in South Africa to German parents, Antoinette personally witnessed the injustices of apartheid. She went on to live and work in three continents before her 22nd birthday.
Her first experience within the media industry was at Germany’s foremost newspaper, Die Welt am Sontag, where Antoinette’s passion for photography was recognised and nurtured. From here, Antoinette studied design and art direction at Hamburg’s renowned Fachoberschule.
In New York, Antoinette was an intern at SSC&B Lintas advertising agency, and at Time and Life magazines. Meantime, she pursued her studies and training at the New York School of Visual Arts.
In 1984, Antoinette arrived in London – then a magnet for ambitious photographers and other practitioners in the visual arts. Here she worked as an art director and creative director at advertising agencies for six years. Along the way, Antoinette learned technique from the photographers she worked with.
So much so that when an actor friend and model took some of Antoinette’s shots to a photography agency, they recommended she exploit her natural talent through a career in photography. This led to work shooting models from international agencies including Premier and Storm.
In 1990, following Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, Antoinette returned to South Africa intending to live there. She worked regularly for model agencies, fashion magazines and advertising. Shocked by the still prevalent racism, and disillusioned by her home country’s conservative approach to the photographic arts, she returned to London a year later.
When her son Nikolas was born, Antoinette continued to pursue her career as a fashion photographer, even taking the infant to castings. Shoots at The Face, Time Out and Dazed and Confused led to premier European magazines including Attitude, Irish Tatler and Just 17 featuring her pictures.
Parenthood, and the emotional journey of overwhelming love and a dependant infant, inspired Antoinette’s first book “Motherhood”, published in 2000. This was an emotive series of portraits of women and their children from around the world, combined with each subject’s own moving account of being a mother. It entails contributions from, and photos of, celebrities including Nigella Lawson, Greta Scaachi, Solange Azagury Partridge, Jane Goldman, Lucy Ferry, Anastasia Cook and Lisa Butcher.
“Motherhood”, and an accompanying exhibition at London’s Proud galleries, were sponsored by De Beers and Mappin & Webb to much critical acclaim. Titles to feature the book included The Observer’s Life magazine (which ran a seven-page story including cover shot), Metro, Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph, Junior magazine, The Guardian guide, Amateur Photographer, Sunday Express, The Independent and The Scotsman.
Antoinette next embarked on her project Reflections on Nelson Mandela: Icon of Peace. Between 1998 and 2002, Antoinette had unique access to Mandela and this resulted in a series of insightful and emotive portraits of the South African president. Antoinette’s long-standing association with The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund UK led to the book’s first edition, published in May 2010. Featured in print and online titles including Readers Digest, Pride magazine and L.A Flavorpill, the publication of “Reflections” was accompanied by an exhibition at London’s Proud Central gallery.
The second edition, published by Titan Books was launched in the USA and worldwide 17 January 2012.
Reflections on Nelson Mandela: Icon of Peace combines Antoinette’s portraits of Mandela with this book also explores the impact that his philosophy made on western attitudes by recording the responses in words and images of ordinary and extraordinary people. All give their responses to the question “What do you think society, mankind and humanity can learn from Nelson Mandela’s values and virtues?”
Among the contributors – many of whom have their own portraits included – are Kevin Spacey, Barbra Streisand, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Diana Ross, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Richard Branson, Celine Dion, Whoopi Goldberg, Steven Fry, Dennis Haysbert, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and professors Padraig O’ Malley, Cornel West and AC Grayling. The resulting text and images create a moving and revealing portrait of how Nelson Mandela has shaped attitudes and expanded hearts and minds throughout the world.
Antoinette currently specialises in photo-portraiture and works regularly with musicians, artists and actors worldwide.