The calm air that surrounds photographer, Lindsay Petersen, is almost tangible. One gets the distinct impression that here is someone who takes the time to connect deeply with others. Someone who pays attention – whether it be to the positioning of a painting on a wall, the framing of a photograph or the forging of a new friendship.

Born and bred in the Cape Winelands, Lindsay calls Pniel home. “I was born there, and I’ll probably still be there when I lay my head to rest one day,” she jokes.

“I was always the one with the camera at school,” she responds when asked about how and why she got into photography. However, studying photography wasn’t always on the cards for Lindsay’s future. This talented entrepreneur was accepted for three tertiary study directions social work, psychology and photography. “One must always follow your passion and your heart,” says Lindsay. Her passion led her to complete her diploma in photography at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

Lindsay still has a keen interest in both social work and psychology, and believes in combining them with photography and art. “I’m very passionate about my community and I really want to help people,” she says, “Sometimes I get so involved in fundraising projects that I forget I have a business to run.” She is the co-founder of a volunteer association called DALA (Dwarsrivier Association for Live Arts). Their mission is to provide a platform for small-town artists to showcase their talent. They also aim to expose people living in remote communities and children to art. The association believes that art and the arts, including sculpting, music and poetry, should be accessible to everyone through education and upliftment projects.

Whilst firmly rooted in the Western Cape, Lindsay is also a keen traveler. Her first trip overseas was as an exchange student to Germany – a trip that sparked her desire to see the world.

As for how she earns her bread and butter, it has not always been smooth sailing. After years in the industry and making a name for herself in wedding photography, a sudden and unexpected health problem forced her to hang up her camera. She could no longer work the long and physically demanding hours of events photography and opted for working for galleries.

“I think this is where my love for art and artists was nurtured and cultivated.” Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic hit the arts industry hard and as a result, Lindsay was retrenched. “I had time to get my head around things and order my thoughts – and it dawned on me that I have all the skills, the equipment and the passion. So, I thought – let’s start a project!” She did some rebranding and changed the name of her photography business from Palm Photography to Kikis by Lin. She is planning on taking it slowly initially – taking the time to find her feet and her niche.

Lindsay’s attention is currently directed at business and personal branding photography – portraits, products and any other photography needs a business may have. What started as a lockdown project called “Ek krap my eie potjie,” (roughly translated as ‘I make my own plan’) sparked the new direction. (Watch this space, there’s going to be an exhibition!) Lindsay has been capturing images of women running small businesses – celebrating what they are doing, and providing them with images for social media and marketing purposes.

From long hours and fast-paced work, she now enjoys taking her time and spending one-on-one time with her clients. She loves the personal nature of taking photographs for small businesses. “I have had the immense pleasure and privilege to witness some of the most beautiful and honest moments that life has to offer. I love nothing more than finding connection through this with the people involved and capturing it.”

When the Stellenbosch Co-Create Hub made the decision to showcase the work of local artists, Lindsay with her gallery experience, creative eye, love of art, and desire to raise visibility of up-and-coming local artists made her the perfect candidate to curate the exhibition space. The curation aspect of her business, aptly called Ikhethiwe Curated (‘Ikhethiwe’ means ‘carefully chosen’), ensures that a thoughtfully selected and curated collection in various mediums is displayed in the heart of the Hub.

She would like to be an example for her children and teach them that hard work pays off. With Ranyaka’s help, Lindsay is crafting the future she’s always dreamt of. “The end goal would be a service centre – like a one-stop photography shop, and of course uplifting the community through education while at it.”

Facebook: @PalmPhotography
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