Photography has always been a big part of my life, together with writing. Ever since I can remember I have been walking around with a camera. I think I was about 8 years old when I used a single use camera for the first time. When I look back at those pictures I took as a young girl, they remind me of that warm and special family holiday.
When I got older, I was still taking photos. As much as I could. I remember putting in all my savings to buy new equipment. Somehow I always thought I would end up at the School for Fine Arts. But life turned out differently. After turning 18 I wanted to make money and I left school, I had no idea what I was doing…
I got the opportunity to work for an e-mail marketing agency at the age of 20 where my love for communication started to grow. After 1,5 years I decided to go back to school and so I did. I studies Corporate Communication for four years, did a minor in Mindful Communication and graduated cum laude.
My corporate journey started at the age of 26. Even though I already had some working experience from before I went to college, it was still exciting and new. I started my first job as a junior at a Belgium advertising, PR and design agency. I had the chance to work nearby Antwerp and also in my hometown Amsterdam. I was constantly traveling back and forth. I loved the diversity, but after a while I realized this was not what I wanted, at least not yet.
I quit after four months and started working at a kids conceptstore in Amsterdam. It was the perfect place for me to think about what I wanted to do and to relax for a while. I knew I wanted to become an entrepreneur, but the risks frightened me, so when I received the offer to work for one of the biggest kids brand in the Netherlands, I said yes and I went back into the corporate business.
After working there for a view months, I started to feel sick. I had stomach problems and was dealing with bad anxiety attacks that I tried to ignore. After 8 months I was forced to stay at home with a burn-out. I had no energy left, my body was aching and it felt like my whole life was falling apart.
Like most stories, this one has a happy ending. My burn-out was my wake-up call. I got to know my sensitive side and learned how to be more gentle towards myself. After my burn-out I realized I wasn’t following my dreams, but was walking away from them because I was afraid to take a leap of faith. I had always been such a perfectionist and there wasn’t any room to fail. I wanted to change that. I wanted to be able to fail in writing and fail in photography. I wanted to fail in order to learn and to get better.
My creativity grows inside of me. I get inspired by mindfulness and meditation and I take the time to really see what I see when I step out into the world. I love to meet new people, see new faces and hear new stories. I love to create beautiful and messy things, nothing has to be perfect. Not the model standing in front of my camera, not the setting, the light or the quality of the picture. I want to tell a story, a real one. One that you will remember after more than 20 years. Just like I remember that family vacation whenever I see the films I took as an 8 year old.
Interested in a photoshoot? You are more than welcome in my home studio in Amsterdam, de Pijp.