Monthly Archives: February 2011

This Charming Man

I just found this interview with Flemish photographer Stephan Vanfleteren on youtube. He is one of my favorite contemporary portrait photographers and thought I’d share. It’s very interesting to hear him talk about how he likes to take his time to do a portrait and that he kind of prefers shooting strangers. I also really like how he according to him, he finds Dutch photographers very direct. They know exactly what they want and go for it while he prefers taking his time and letting things “grow”. What he says makes perfect sense to me…

I suppose it’s a pity the interview is all in Flemish but for those of you who understand it, I’d say it’s a good thing. The accent, the choice of words… I’m telling you, Lieve Vanleeuw, those men from Flanders… ai:)

Oh and isn’t it a gorgeous exhibition space?

Check out some of the Flemish bands as well: The Sore Losers, dEUS, Triggerfinger, Daan, Millionaire and anything with Mauro Pawlowski… like I said, men from Flanders:)

And this is why…

bicycles aren’t enough and I need to go back

The Fire That Never Happened

The last week of February is turning out to be a week of photography, uhm, decisions.  Artists Wanted announced the winners of their Year in Review competition this week. The big prize goes to artist duo Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw. Congratulations to them! They will be announcing about another dozen prizes later this week but I’m not holding my breath. If I remember correctly, Foto Festival Naarden will also be announcing the nominees. I am so keen to learn if I’ve been nominated… Fingers crossed y’all:)

The big thing for me though this week, was being able to show my portfolio to the picture editor of ELLE Magazine. I was very excited about it and quite nervous as well. The fact that the trains weren’t running on time at all didn’t help matters much. There had been a fire alarm earlier that morning for a fire that never happened. It sounds almost romantic, “the fire that never happened”.

Somehow, I managed to make it to Amsterdam 45 minutes early but that was cool. That way I could just walk through the city, get to where I had to be, get a coffee and relax in the winter sun.  After having been seriously and embarrassingly late for my first Swimming Upstream interview with photographer  Neil John Smith last year, I am determined to arrive to the scene early so I can wait for a bit and pitch up on time. And yes, I reported to the reception desk perfectly on time:) I was met by the editor in the hall way and we made our way, coffee in hand, to a little room just next to the staff room where we just chatted about the magazine and my photography. She asked me a bunch of questions, like what do I like to photograph etc.

And naturally, we went through my portfolio. I always feel a little awkward doing that, and probably either talk too much or too little. There was positive and negative criticism but it was always constructive and interesting. The photos of Strato and Hendrik Vermeulen that were taken for Swimming Upstream were clear favorites, together with a portrait of SA writer Catriona Ross and the father/daughter duo on the couch that I took in Muizies two years ago.

Another thing that was very interesting  was going through the new issue while looking at the photography specifically. There is a whole item about Dutch fashion photographers and ai, I need to brush up on my knowledge that’s for sure!

I can easily tell you all about Robert Capa and Robert Frank or about Stieglitz, Steichen, Avedon and Weston. Or about Anton Corbijn, Niels van Iperen, Stephan van Fleteren, Charles Peterson, Roger Ballen or Liam Lynch and Deborah Rossouw for that matter.  I can go on and on about what it is that  those photographers do that I admire and how they inspire me. Yet, I can hardly tell you anything about Dutch fashion photography. Sure, we’re good with light. And yes, naturally, there’s world-renowned and iconic photographer’s duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin… I know about  Wendelien Daan, Viviane Sassen and Paul Bellaart but that’s about it. I’m sure I can come up with some more if I think about it, but ja,  I sure need to catch up on my knowledge of Dutch fashion photography. Fast.

The meeting ended after about 40 minutes or so and will be continued, I’ve been told:)

Oh and I like the video for new Dutch band Happy Camper. Happy Camper is more of a project than a band, I think. Musician Job Roggeveen asked 11 Dutch singers to come into the studio and sing his songs. The video they made for Born With A Bothered Mind is quite cute I thought.

it’s my birthday, I get to play whatever I want:)

Awesome song to wake up to, especially on your B-day! woop:)

A different time in space

A different time in space
 
If I was the melancholic type, I’d wish it was still that time in space but that’s a different story..
 
Yesterday. Kind of an odd day. I woke up to a very grey and wet Utrecht. Waking up in a new place is always a bit odd to begin with. You see, I am staying at friend’s place who’s on holiday in Jordan right now. I used to live next door to him (at this place: hello operator ) so everything is very familiar but not the same. And not mine. Anyway, it was the day of my first photo shoot and first job interview since getting back to the NL. I was hired by a copy writing agency to do a corporate shoot for an in-house magazine. The shoot was originally planned at a building site but seeing how the weather was utterly crap I decided to change locations. I felt a little out-of-place doing so as I’m not really in charge and the outside location had been approved by the 3 parties involved but hey, feeling a little odd is better than coming across as incapable ’cause everyone would have drowned during the shoot and the photos could quite possibly have turned out crap. So I changed locations and I am glad I did. The shoot went by quite fast and I had fun doing it. People were friendly and cooperative and it was nice telling people what to do again:)
 
 After the shoot I had to rush across town (on my bicycle, in the rain) to a school for a job interview. The interview went well but I am kind of hoping I don’t get the job as I am looking for something with a bit more weight to it. I have gotten another photo job for at the end of this month and that’s quite cool too. Am a little worried about not having received an invoice yet for FotoFestivalNaarden (the invoice comes *after* you’ve paid and entered the competition and basically serves as a confirmation notice). I hope they received everything in good order. If I don’t get in because they find my work not suitable that’s one thing but to not get in on administrative errors is uhm, *another*.  I also have to keep my eye on the S.I.P. deadline and start working on my proposal. I really do think I could do a good job on writing a reasearch paper on photography. Plus, apply for jobs on this side obviously. And there’s still the Itch submissions, and Mahala… and Hollands Diep.. And… 🙂
 
And I have a meeting with a fashion magazine next week and am quite excited by the idea. I don’t want to say too much as I am afraid to jinx it. Spurred on by the meeting though, I decided to take all the Swimming Upstream interviews, re-read, re-edit them and write one more general article on the Cape Town creative scene. I approached some young corporates in the creative scene to counter balance the interviews with the artists. I wonder what magazine editors, gallery owners or journalists have to say. So far I approached 4 people but only heard back from one so far, thanks Shani/The Imaginarium. Then again, I only asked people last night:)
 
So my question to you is, when you think about the Cape Town creative scene what springs to mind? Is there anything remarkable, odd or lacking? There is so much creativity in CT but what do you think of the quality of work that is produced? Should the local government provide for.. for what? Is there anything that Cape Town really needs?
 
 
A different time in space… I don’t know why that random remark gets to me so. Being back in Utrecht is a step back in time. Trying to get work here with work I did there so I can go elsewhere. I have one foot here, another there. Trying to connect the dots. I already know here my heart is as I know exactly where my mind wanders. Time. Space. I need both. Whatever. I’m here. My heart not. It’s probably a decision you make. But I did that in June ’09 already when I quit my job.
 
Like I said, time for more coffee.
 
 
 
 

Stylish Blog Thing

Woop:-) I have been tagged by the lovely Miss Mermaid and been awarded my first ever blog award. Very cool and thank you:-)
According to her ‘Swimming Upstream’ is an “arty blog by an awesome Dutch photographer – read it for learning about music you’ve never heard of before.”
That’s quite cool eh!

The deal is that:
a) you have to link back to the person who awarded you the award
b) share 7 things about yourself and
c) Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
d)  Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

Ahhh 7 things about myself? OK. Here we go
1. Coffee. I love it. The taste. The smell. The idea of having coffee with someone, spending time with friends, catching up. More coffee should be had.
2. I love Robert Capa. Handsome. Dangerous. Adventurer. Photographer extraordinaire.
3. Magazines. Started buying them when I was 10 years old and have never stopped. Music, art or fashion magazines… From Oor (their Anton Corbijn pages in the 90’s made me want to be a photographer) to Vogue to ID or Dazed and Confused. I’ll read them all.
4. I am claustrophobic.
5. Like most girls, I have a thing for shoes… sneakers, stilettos, wedges, green, black, blue, red, all of them but they have to be pretty. As we say in Holland: shoes maketh the man.. well, they maketh the woman too:-)* I like make up and bags too. Yup, I’m a girl:)
6. I make road movies in my head.
7. I would like to publish a book one day full of travel stories, portraits and great graphic design.

I’m not sure I can make to it 15 but here are some of my favorite bloggers. I’ll come back later and add some more.
The Green Hair Mermaid Blogs – A personal and often moving blog in which the wonderful mermaid tries to find her way through life with musings about family, love, religion, art and anything that is on her mind.
 Groupiemom – Cool and fun, wannabe assassin and groupie.
My life: FTW! – I don’t know anyone who matches her gusto for life. She is for the win!
Agony Bette – Seriously, someone needs to pay that chick a fortune, the absolute best for bad advice. She’ll have you in stitches in no time. And did I tell you she is an awesome person as well? Well, she is.
Lost Is A Place Too – Lauren Fowler’s blog, all round awesome and very talented illustrator, cool person and hot chick.
One Small Change –  Blog by the super talented photographer Deborah Rossouw.
Beatnik Bazaar –  Pretty things, pretty photos, über stylish. ‘nuff said:)
Lena_ski – The personal side of the Overtone blog. She loves, no *lives* music.
Being Brazen – She has bucket lists by guest bloggers! And fashion. And 10 things I learned this weekend.
Miss Moss – Endless gorgeous images to browse through. Fashion, design, photography, art. Beautiful.
 The Pessimiss – This is what happens when you love fashion:) Inspiring and funny.  And she ran an amazing Valentine competitions for all you Capetonians out there.
 Symphony of Whales –  Music blog by Cape Town musician Nathan Maingard. He likes Sharon van Etten, we share the same birthday, he has all sorts of cool music suggestions, he likes to travel. In short, a cool blog.

*we don’t but it sounds good:)