Gareth Pon – the man behind the magic

If the name “Gareth Pon” rings a bell, it’s could be because you heard that name in many a conversation about Instagram in SA (he’s been named Africa’s Top Instagrammer for two years in a row.) Maybe you saw the insert CNN did with him a few months back or the latest interview with GQ?

Gareth Pon. Image by Lauren Randolph

Gareth Pon. Image by Lauren Randolph.

I first met Gareth about a year and a half ago. Since then, we’ve done some fun work together, been snowboarding together, done laundry together in the Alps amidst a blizzard, eaten our bodyweight in Nutella-covered flapjacks during a breakfast brainstorm, among other interesting things in between. The kind of things a cool friendship is built upon, you know?

In the time that I’ve known Gareth, he has quickly become one of my favourite people. Not only is he a genuinely nice guy with an incredible eye for creating majestic visual imagery and magic, but he’s fascinating to speak to about all things creativity, curiosity, space, rockets, branding and Instagram. He also has a collection of crazy cool tattoos on his right arm, each one with its own unique meaning in true Gareth style. I always learn something new about him each time I see him. Gareth Pon 3

I recently read through Gareth’s bio, and what struck me was the opening paragraph:

Gareth Pon believes that everyone should have at least one ridiculous dream they believe can come true and since he can remember, his has been to go to space. Growing up, he maintained his dream of space travel and avoided it becoming a career, he opted out of becoming an astronaut and chose to be a film maker and photographer instead.”

Dreaming big is something he advocates – big time. I love that.

It goes on to read:

“Apart from his passion for filmmaking and photography, Gareth has spent the last few years pursuing the potential of Mobile Photography and developing a network of friends and creatives all over the world. As a result of his activity and unique approach to creativity, he has been featured by various platforms including CNNMTVHuffington PostDailyTekk Art.MicMail & GuardianResource Magazine and Instagram’s official blog, as well as partnering with tech giant Samsung South Africa in becoming their Official Digital Imaging Ambassador in 2015.

Gareth was named Africa’s top Instagrammer of 2014 & 2015 by the African Blogger Awards and is the founder of the South African Instagramers Community, a South African Instagram community with international relationship and recognition. In combination with his knowledge of film, photography, community and brief dabbling in fashion and architecture, his experience serves to give a unique approach to creative innovative ideas. With a Bachelors of Arts in Visual Communication, Gareth offers creative consultation on maximising the use of Instagram, building communities, and expanding awareness of product and brand across digital platforms in a creative way, by using the mediums of film & photography.

 Until Gareth can one day fulfil his dream of space travel, he will continue making pixels, appreciating the simple things in life, inspiring others, loving the colour yellow, enjoying delicious food and refusing to live a mediocre life, while keeping up the hope of one day meeting a girl whose dreams are as ridiculous as his.”

One of the best profiles I have ever come across that genuinely and perfectly depicts Gareth – the man behind the magic.

Gareth Pon. Image by Roy Potterill.

Gareth Pon. Image by Roy Potterill.

Gareth and I at 5FM.

Gareth and I at 5FM.