By Leila Stein
Chad Nathan, better known as Gingerwithagopro, rose to Instagram and national acclaim through his breathtaking photography and videos.
With a truly 21st century career as a content creator able to travel the world, Nathan takes us through his journey to Instagram fame and what it feels like to do something you love, every day.
Childhood games to
Twenty-nine-year-old Nathan grew up in Johannesburg, making his way to the Cape after completing his schooling. As a kid, he picked up his dad’s camera one day and has not looked back since.
“We didn’t have smart phones growing up, we used to just play in the garden. I would jump over to my neighbours and play soccer and mess around. One day I picked up my dad’s Sony camcorder with these little cassette tapes. I was so curious, and thought I could make movies too,” he says.
“I used to make my friends act and we would do these crazy stunts. We would make ramps and do things like jumping off the roof with our umbrellas. I would just capture it all on camera, in my head imagining that I was directing a movie or creating content. Not that anyone knew what creating content was 20 years ago. It’s crazy to think that 20 years down the line, that’s what I actually do for a living, but on a much bigger and cooler scale.”
Being inspired by your experiences
For Nathan, the prospect of combining his interest in travelling the world and capturing it all was the main driver, after he matriculated from King David Victory Park.
“I was so passionate about seeing and exploring the world, going on adventures and experiencing life and different things. I knew it’s what I wanted to do, and I was going to do anything that I could to make it happen,” he says.
While still building his portfolio, he got his first big paid break with a Jewish gap year programme.
“I was in Israel at the time, and they invited me to film their tour for two weeks with a bunch of 20-something-year-olds. I thought, ‘well, this is epic, this is my chance to prove myself’. It was after I made that video which everyone really loved that I started going on even more tours.”
From there, Nathan made his way across Europe and parts of Central and South America with his follower count ticking up and travel brands recognising the benefits of having him showcase them on his platforms.
“I was having so much fun, it didn’t really even feel like work,” he says.
It’s about building yourself up
Nathan, however, is also realistic about the amount of time and effort he has put into making his dream a success. Building on insight and expertise from others, he doesn’t shy away from how much work goes into becoming known and appreciated in this field.
“My advice to someone starting out is that it’s all about growing your audience. Being really authentic, being real and learning to put yourself in front of the camera. It’s also just going out and filming and shooting every day. It’s about starting a portfolio so you can actually show brands and people what you do and why you do it. So hopefully one day you’ll be booked on those jobs around the world,” he says.
You can find Chad Nathan’s work on almost all social media, specifically Instagram, Facebook and TikTok at Gingerwithagopro.
In June 2019, an up-and-coming Nathan captured an eerily empty Cape Town in the early days of hard lockdown for the CJC.
• Published in the October 2022 Digital Edition – Click here to read it.
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