In this digest I’ll show you some of the shoots I’ve been working on. These past few weeks I’ve shot quite a few personal projects to further develop as a photographer and add to my portfolio. My goal here is to be able to show potential clients what I’m best at shooting, and most passionate about.
Olympic archer Sjef van den Berg
Location: Sjef’s training location in Limburg
Sjef van den Berg is Holland’s finest archer, representing my home country during the 2016 Rio Olympics. For this project, I approached Sjef to see if he was interested in shooting some stylised photos that would do justice to the intensity of this special sport.
My goal was to shoot a series of images that show various aspects and typical moments of training for archery. It’s very important for me to stay true to the nature of a sport and not force my own preconceptions onto the athlete and the final images. To make sure I shoot some truthful images I make it a habit to really be genuinely interested in the sport and the athlete and ask them an enormous amount of questions. Athletes always seem to appreciate this.
Hanging out with Sjef for an afternoon was a great experience and I feel that in the end I walked away with a series of images that accurately portray this athlete and do justice to his hard work and dedication to his sport.
PSV Eindhoven U13 youth squad
Client: PSV Eindhoven
Location: The Herdgang training academy, Eindhoven
For this assignment, I was asked to follow one of PSV Eindhoven’s youth squads during a typical training day. The photos were to be used for a feature in the club’s magazine that aims to give readers a view behind the scenes at PSV’s youth academy. I’ll probably dedicate a separate post to this series at some point, stay tuned for that. This was actually a great opportunity to show the kind of images I want to shoot and how I love to capture the lifestyles of athletes. For me, sports is more than just the peak moments of action. It’s the small and oftentimes very recognisable moments that resonate with viewers and get a true feeling for how hard these little athlets work, but how at the same time they’re still trying to have fun and be a child.
What was even more special about this series is that after training I got the opportunity to tag along with these youngsters as they walked to a special class room not far from the youth academy. In this class room, they attended a video lecture of a teacher in a school somewhere else in Eindhoven. This way, these future superstars saved an enormous amount of time traveling back and forth to their school each week and could focus on training, while their school wouldn’t suffer.
Weight lifting with Jelmer
University of Eindhoven sports center
This was a shoot some time in the making: I’d wanted to try my hand at shooting raw power for some time. I figured this would be a great chance to try out a somewhat more high production value lighting setup and at the same time fine tune my retouching skills. The goal here was obviously for the images to do justice to the power of this athlete and for them to have a heroic touch to them. The full series will be up on my portfolio soon.
In order to refine my lighting skills and perhaps at some point master the art of coaching subjects in front of my lens, I try to often schedule test shoots with friends. The goal here is always simple: shoot an appealing portrait that has a certain cinematic quality and makes the model look confident. For this purpose, I often ask my subjects to slightly look away from the camera and turn the shadow side of their face to me. I feel that this makes the subject look that much more interesting and is a style that’s perfectly suitable to top athletes. I’ll probably dedicate a full post to this subjects soon, for now here are some quick results from my recent sessions!