Above: image depicted from the project 'Rural life in the City Age'. A young Herero boy walks inside his old home that burned down recently.

Besides film work, I also work as a photographer. Despite the more commercial oriented film projects I have done so far, my work as a photographer is more documentary/journalistic oriented. This is a short post about how I became interested in this field. 

I started with photography when I was about eight years old and moved on to video and film work in my late teens. A few years later, I was filming and directing tv commercials, music videos and a few years after that, interactive projects such as Virtual Reality films as well. For these projects, I have been fortunate enough to travel around the world to over forty-five countries. This gave me, besides my formal education, a real view and sense of the world. I got to meet people and other cultures that I would have otherwise never met. I got to visit and live in places that I would have never even been to otherwise. I got an insight into what goes on in the world we live in. 

At a certain point in my career, I realised that I started to take home different stories besides the ones that I had originally set out to tell with a specific project that we were filming. Stories that really caught my attention, because they felt important. Stories that deserved to be told, but often went unnoticed. Stories that mattered. Because I felt passionate and inspired to start telling those stories as well, I decided to pick up my still camera again as well, which felt like the perfect medium to tell those stories. On my work page of this website, you can see some examples of assignment documentary photography that I have done in Africa and the Middle East. 

I now have two documentary photography projects coming up (next to a big personal film project that was just green lit today, but more about that later). Needles to say, it is always a long road from getting a single idea for a photography project out there into the right place, to get to know the right people to help you with it and to get the project actually in production. And because these types of projects are so time consuming, I will be diving into some of my old photography projects in some of the upcoming articles here on this website, where I will explain how I got those assignments, what my methodology was and what I feel like makes a good single image and a good series of images. I hope that this may prove useful for some of you (aspiring) photographers out there. 

Last but not least —slightly off topic perhaps— I would like to mention that, even though in the past it was nearly frowned upon to have more than one profession, those times have changed and this is no longer really the case. Photographers have become writers and videographers next to their work as photographers, and many cinematographers and directors have become coaches, for instance, next to their work as filmmakers, to help new generations of media- and filmmakers. For me, these are very interesting times where I am exploring more ways than one of telling stories (visually). More about that in upcoming articles as well. 

For now, as always: happy shooting! 🙂 

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Above: image depicted from the project 'Roaming East'. Young Kurdish boys playing and washing the day away on the Tigris riverbanks in Hasankeyf, Turkey

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