After leaving school, JJ became a combat officer in the Navy. After leaving the Navy in 1988, he dabbled a little in photography as a hobby until a friend convinced him to accompany her to a Freeman Patterson workshop in Kamieskroon in 1991. He discovered a passion for photography and the rest is history.
A year later he joined the Kamieskroon team, at first doing the film processing and then joining Colla Swart and Freeman Patterson as lecturer in 1993.
In 1995 he presented a series of audio-visual shows for the
South African Consulate at the UN in New York to celebrate World
Environment day. This was combined with photographic workshops
presented in Long Island, New York.
He has been presenting the Overberg Photographic Workshops with Wicus Leeuwner since 1998.
An extended period as Photography Lecturer at the Foundation School of Art in Cape Town allowed him to merge his interest in design with his passion for photography. He photographs with the philosophy that images are not taken, but created using principles of design and an understanding of human psychology and visual perception.
Besides the presentation of more than 60 workshops and seminars, JJ has held 9 photographic exhibitions and regularly presents audio-visual shows. His work has been widely published.
His other hobbies includes writing a book on photographic design and expression which never gets any closer to completion.
He stays on a farm near Stellenbosch, but lives in the desert. Any desert.