Ginger Odes was as famous for the myriad of creative careers he helped foster as he was for being one of the finest photographers this country has ever produced.
Born in Cape Town in 1924, Ginger’s career was rooted in the air force as a reconnaissance and aerial photographer during World War II. After the war, he returned home to set up a photographic studio in Parliament Street in partnership with John Parminter. He soon made a name for himself for his work in fashion for clients including Harper and Vogue, who published a South African edition at the time.
Ginger went on to produce a fine collection of portraits of Cape Town’s leading personalities, but his true passion was for recording exquisite imagery of the local ballet scene. This “work of heart” was the inspiration for Ginger’s most beautiful work.
Ginger founded the ad agency Kluth and Odes, with a client base that included Shell and Rembrandt. In later assignments, he spent much time photographing the Cape’s iconic winelands, and local wine and brandy producer KWV sent him across the globe to produce a series of international calendars, his inspiration for mounting an exhibition titled “Odes to Wine”.
Ginger passed away in 2003, leaving a legacy of internationally-renowned visual professionals including his close friend Barry Lategan, colleague Leslie Dektor, Gavin Furlonger, John Parminter and Reinhardt Wolf.