Beautiful wedding photography for Lovers

Are you ready for Friday Night?

Category: Personal

Once in a while you encounter something that really touches you hearts, makes you feel good, smile. It can be a book, a song on the radio, an article in a magazine or something you see on television. About a year ago I saw the first episode of Friday Night Lights on television and I was hooked. I watched it every week like a religion. I am a sportfan, which helps. However I can't explain but there was something about the way they showed the lives of a communicity in a place called Dillion that kept me watching. The glue in this community is Football that holds it all together. A strong community on the outside but real fragile if you look more closely. They do not shy away from topics that are very controversial and real, not only in the United States but everywhere.

Watching it from the other side of the world I am amazed that this series has not won any major prize because the cast, the script and acting are and is phenominal. The show did not get picked up here (due to the air times change all the time and the network station) and so we never got the show for a second, third let alone a fourth season but I have taped all the episodes that were aired. Every rerun they aired last year I saw because I can not get enough of it no matter how many times I see it. It is that good! I have the book this series was adapted from, I saw the original movie, hope they release the other seasons for my region on DVD and I even have the opening credits as my ring tone (I kid you not).

So if you have the chance watch it from beginning to the end and then? Watch it again and again (like I did today). Take it all in because this is one series that actually is teaching us something. The uniting power of sports.


Category: Photographers

There are times when I do not think about it but every now and again I dawns on me. How did we every live without the Internet, mobile phones, Ipod or a laptops way back when? Can you remember those first years of the Internet when you had to dial in via a modem? Or the first mobile phone the size of a refrigerator, the walkman or a Commador 64? Ah life was good!

But of all these things I am so glad that there is the Internet. Glad for all the things I can share, buy, give or find. The Internet is a great place for photographers to find inspiration to see what other photographer have created and to learn from them. That is why I am going to show you on a regular basis who inspires me and why.

I would like to start with one of my favorite photographers Bruce Weber. He was born in 1946 in Greensburg Pennsylvania and is one of the great fashion photographers but also videographer, director, fashion design, author. In short a multi talent. A photographer with a passion for black and white. A photographer that shows the human autonomy like no other. He was one of the first photographers to introduce barely dressed men and women in commercials for Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Versace. He featured in Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Elle, Rolling Stone and many other magazines. He shot a lot of celebrities, fashion models, musicians and sport athletes. And his work was a major inspiration to the director of Top Gun, Tony Scott. I never knew until  I bought the special edition a couple of years ago and watched the interview with Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. They shared that a photobook of Bruce Weber was the inspiration for director Tony Scott to incorporate the same sexy look in his film. They showed a photograph as an example and imagine my surprise when I discovered that I had that particular photograph somewhere in my house! That picture I bought when I was about 17 years old, in the Expo store in Amsterdam. I put it in frame because in some way it reminded me of  the Top Gun movie that was still my favorite movie at the time (I still love to watch after 20 years I must admit), never knowing it was actually a source of inspiration for the movie.

I ran through my house because I had to find this picture. I searched and found my highschool agenda with all the black and white postcards I collected at the time. But this picture was nowhere to be found. Where was it? I could not be gone. I sat down at my desk dissapointed, no idea where it could be. Was there a spot that I missed? Anywhere I forgot to look? I stared blankly at my computer screen, my eyes slowly staring into nothing and than it happened. I swear, there it was, next to my computer screen, still in the glas picture frame. That photograph of the Butterfly Beach Parking Lot. Why hadn't I seen it before? A sigh of relieve escaped my lips and my heart skipped a beat as I picked it up and stared at it. I said something out loud. That beautiful photograph of three young well trained men, in a 60's car. Hanging out, lazy in the late hot afternoon summer sunshine.

I immediately checked the Internet for more Bruce Weber photography. He has made so much. Not only black and white, not only well trained men and woman, fashion models or celebrities but also his dogs, street life of detroit and Liberty City. I love his black and white photography and admire the way he uses color, which seems a little faded giving it a old look and feel.

To show you what I mean I will leave you with photographs of Bruce Weber copyright by Bruce Weber

Travel Photography

Category: Personal

This weekend I went to Brussels with the Thalys. What a nice way to travel! Within 1,5 hours I was at my destination while enjoying two drinks, a snack, comfortable chair and free Internet! And all for a very affordable 39 euro. My husband was already in Brussels so I only had to book one way. The amazing thing was no check in, no waiting lines or anything. I was on the platform 5 minutes before departure and that was it on my way!

But Brussels has not been the only place we visited the last half year either for business or pleasure or both. We went to Benelup in Spain, Berlin Germany, Las Vegas United States, Lissabon Portugal, Funchal Madeira and now Brussels Belgium. I realised I am a very blessed person to be able to see all to different sights.

I like to visit all sort of different places, to see the variety in the way people live, the climat, the surroundings. I always take a camera with me and try to capture the sites but while I travel I am most of all the tourist. So eventhough I vow myself to look beyond the touristy things I end up with, yes you guessed it right the touristy thing.

Ok I give it another shot on our next trip when we go to Lissabon again or to Hong Kong.

Leaving you with some of my travel shots.

Portrait mode

Category: Personal

When I started as a photographer my main subjects were landscapes, still life, interieurs. Things that didn't move. The reason why? I could not fail or so I thought. Landscape just is, just like still life. The only thing I had to deal with were the circumstances (light or darkness, sun or cloud, etc), but with people that is a whole different story or so I thought.

And it surely was in the beginning. Because people are unpredictable and I was scared to pieces to give them direction, tell them what to do, how to look, where to stand. I had no idea what to say. But the beauty with people is that we interact, that we respond to one another. And so together we can create chemistry, magic and that is what we together capture in a photograph. 

Since then I am in portrait mode. Not only the orientation of my camera but I am literally in portrait mode. Looking for that expression, that look, that smile in their eyes. And that is what I want to convey.

But just let me show you what I mean with these smiling eyes.

Have a nice day all.

To capture or create the magic

Category: Tools

I went to a seminar this weekend on Photoshop and Lightroom. I love the Adobe tools because the possibilities are literally endless. Lightroom is a great tool and far easier to use for photographers to help with your workflow. It helps me organise and structure when in Library mode, while in Development mode I can really develop my pictures on so many levels. The best part of it is it will never destroy you original photograph so you can always go back. Something that can easily go wrong when you do it all in Photoshop. So a very comforting though. But then again Photoshop that is a whole world on its one but an overwhelming one as well. Fabulous integration across the various applications. This tool can help me get the most out of every picture. Can turn a mediocre into an amazing picture.

Going to this seminar I thought I could hold my own with these tools but I was wrong, wrong. If I know 1% of all the possibilities that might be stressing it. Boy how impressed I was when I saw how black and white photographs can be transformed into realistic color photographs. Just seeing a fraction of what these tools hold made me want to jump right in. Try to soak in everything there is to know about it. Impossible I know but that is how I am build. If I want to take it all in, I want to take it all in now. I can't wait. And indeed by the end of the night I was on my laptop trying all sort of tips I received in the seminar.

And then I realised that there is no better way to ignite creativity, inspiration, learning, giving and receiving by opening up to new things. To see what can be learned. Invest in myself, read books, attend seminars, workshops. To make me look for that one picture that is in need of rescue. There are times I just want to capture the magic but I really can get a sense of achievement if I manage to create the magic. That is what these tools provide, the option, the choices. Because nothing can give me a better feeling, a kick, umpf when I have saved a photograph.

But it all starts with inspiration so look here the basis of my workflow.

Hot hot hot

Category: Personal

I am a summer girl born in Spring. Give me sun, give me a beach and I am content. I can forever stare at the ocean and warm myself with the rays of the sun. The power of the sun makes me feel alive makes me feel every fibre in my soul. It's my roots I can't help it. Having ancestors that came from warmer places. Maybe that is why I don't understand why we have winter. Why there are so many places that have summer all year round but we don't. And eventhough I have been born here and have lived here all my life I do not adapt to the cold. If I could I would move to warmer places but then I would probably miss this crazy little country to much. Because in the end this is home. And even if I could find a million reasons to escape the cold there is just one reason why I embrass it and that is my fireplace. I love sitting by my fireplace. So as soon as the temperatures drop I drag the logs inside to make a fire. To feel how the warmth of it envelops me, draws me in. With every log I put on the fire I sight a sight of contentment until the room feels like an oven and my husband looks at me with that you did it again look. Meaning it is so hot in the room that when I close my eyes fall asleep on the couch.

So tell me, can you feel the heat?

True sense of Self

Category: Personal

Everyone has a role in life and the role of a photographer is usually behind the camera to capture others. It is a nice place to be behind that camera. No worries about a bad hair day, what to wear (this is off course not true) or how to look into that camera. But i find that being behind the camera can be as intimidating a in front of it. To meet the expectations of the client can cause a lot of stress honestly. Because whatever happens failure is not an option. 

So how to prevent failure from happening? For starters work with proper gear. That resolves about half of all problems. Then come prepared. So have a back up camera, format all the memory disks in the camera, have your battery fully charged and back ups available. It sounds very straight forward and to be honest it is.

But where was I? Ah yes I remember. As a photographer you are never in sight of a camera lens. So you can image that being in front of the camera myself this one time I felt a little uneasy. With the self timer I wanted to capture with this picture who I really am. A woman obviously, a wive (if you look closely you will see a ring), a sister, a friend, a project manager, a photographer, a writer. But off course these are all labels that I can tag on myself.

That is not who I really am. No my true sense of self is simple. I am a soul, a source of light.

Well hope you can see it.

Grand master


Photography is magical, I tell nothing new. I have known this since I bought my first camera somewhere in the 80's. It was a Practica camera and everything about it was manual. If I wanted to have a proper expose shot it took me about a week to get set up properly. Just so you have an idea of how easy the digital era has become for photographers. Taking a picture used to be hard work and really that pictures ended up being great was all magical in itself. After the Practica my dad gave me a Canon EOS650. A really great camera that I still have after 20 years. If I put in a new battery it is still good to go. The pictures got better no doubt with this camera but still I had not idea what I was doing. The down side of it was I had to wait sometimes  to see the result. So in my mind I thought I had shot amazing pictures that in reality did not resemble any of what I saw printed. With the digital camera I thought all of that would be behind me. Now I was going to take great pictures. It wasn't that easy though. No, it took me a couple of years to get the pictures I desire. I have read enless number of books and magazines on the topic. I have and still read a lot of Blog's of photographers to disect how they take their pictures.

So how did I learn? First I went to school, the Foto Academie. I did the basic training year and that really worked for me. I decided I was only going to buy new gear when I could control my existing camera and finally I did. During basic training we could only present our pictures in black and white. When I heard I was dissapointed. Why black and white? Off course it all had to do with mastering the basics and after this training I must confess I love black and white.

Secondly, I have learned that photography can only be mastered one way and that is practice, practice, practice. To get the results you are looking for, you have to take that camera out of the bag and take a picture. Freeze that 1/400 of a second and capture the magic. No matter what it is. Things, landscape, people, it doesn't matter. Have you children, husband or wife model for you to get it. In in digital you can always throw everything in the pin and start all over. 

A group of my class at the Foto Academy still get's together to pratice, learn and off course have some fun. We have assignments to get us out of our comfort zone which is something you can try. What does not feel comfortable to you but is something you really want to shoot. Take your camera and go for it. Go on give yourself an assignment.

The assignment we have in our club is create a still life in black and white in the style of the old grand masters painter.

Off course I will not leave you without a sample of my still life

Sidney, Karin & Bobbie

I know my friend Karin for more than 8 years. Being pregnant of her second child and with her daughter growing like crazy, I thought it a good idea to have a family session. With all of the snow falling this was a great oppertunity to go outside and take some great pictures of this family in the snow.

Little Bobbie was amazing, a real topmodel in the making. She is only a year and a half but she needed no instruction what so ever. So aware of the camera. She even came to me to look at herself on the camera, to look at Bobbetje! No crying all morning. You got to love this little girl. With Sidney also present I had the chance to take quite a number of great shots of this really great family.

Well I have selected a number of my favorites. Enjoy.

Crazy traphic

Category: Personal

What happens in a country that is not used to snow? Chaos. We are in our third week of snow and still not used to it. While everybody was dreaming of a white x-mas we are now all officially done with it. The snow that is because the country is taken with the ice skating fever and not willing to let go. But back to the snow. I am so glad I took winter tyers a couple of years ago because I really disliked driving in the snow. Well I still is not my favorite hobby but way better then sliding across the road on my summer tyers. I would say it is worth every penny of the investment knowing that they can save your live.

But then yesterday when out of nowhere an unexpected amount of snow fell from the sky we had the worst traphic ever in history. In 10 minutes 10 centimetres of snow fell. Traphic came to a complete hold. They had to get in the snow plowers to clear the road. It only took them five hours to figure this out.

Near the city the traphic dissolved at about 02:00 in the morning. I repeat 02:00 in the morning. Can you imagine being in a car driving home from work at about 5:00 pm and not get home until 2 in the morning? Nowhere to go but behind the car in front of you. No food or drink or a place to pee. Well you can image what the weather stations had to endure not calling for a weather alarm. Hopefully they have learned from this because as I was home in a very reasonable amount of time I had to do with all those people stuc in traphic and public transport.