Interview: Photographer Bertus de Leeuw (The Netherlands)
Can you tell us a little about you?
My name is Bertus de Leeuw, born and raised in the Netherlands and a 41 year old photographer. My passion is art and photography and I love making music and I’m an enthusiastic designer/artist.
How and when did you get into photography?
Ever since I was a kid I have been fascinated by the camera, I started with analog and I drove my parents crazy because they had to pay for the development of the films haha. When I hit puberty I stopped for a while, other things on my mind if you know what I mean, but after a few years I picked it up again and together with graphic design I made it my profession.
Where do you get inspiration from?
This is very diverse, I can get it from something that I see on the television or I get inspired by other photographers and models, but usually I get my inspiration from ordinary life all day long. The world is beautiful and gives me a lot of inspiration.
What does photography mean to you?
I think photography works like a time machine, you look at the past, a moment that you can never recreate or experience twice. It makes a moment last forever and I can express that moment by building light and playing with all kinds of settings. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and has imperfections. I want to highlight the beauty and imperfections in my models. It's okay to be who you are, be proud of yourself!
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I prefer to do strange things, in the "gray zone". Photographing with wide angel or macro lenses for portraits and shooting out of the box. Working with a theme can also give me a lot of satisfaction. Besides portrait and fashion photography I really like documentary photography that I am currently developing.
Studio, on location or both?
I love my studio, it's the ability to manipulate studio light and its tranquility. But I also enjoy photographing on location, especially photographing in nature and somewhat strange places gives me great satisfaction.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture ?
That depends on the situation, I have done some complexer shoots that you have to prepare but I also love it to go in blank and go with the flow. Usually I use some basic moodboards to keep a grip during the shoot.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
Both! when I do out of the box things I still consider myself as a hobbyist because I still have to learn and develop myself but most of the time I think can call myself a paid professional.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
There are way too many memorable sessions I've done. But once I did a session with Ximena with all kinds of plastic, which was a lot of fun and a great result. Also a shoot that was very cool was one against bullying. The models had written texts on their bodies to emphasize the photos.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I use canon equipment but I don’t think the brand of the camera is relevant for the outcome of you pictures. It’s all about the creativity of the photographer and the model. My favorite lens is my fisheye lens (a Samyang 8mm) and my plastic fantastic (Canon).
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Don't overthink it. Go do your thing and make sure you stay enthusiastic and always support your decisions. Appreciate your abilities and never envy someone else. Everyone, including you, has unique qualities and is special in their own way. Make the most of your qualities and don't let anyone get in the way of achieving what you think is possible.
What do you think of our new magazine?
The magazine is awesome! I always read it and get a lot of inspiration out of it! It offers a perfect way for photographers to profile themselves in a unique way.
Sophie van Lankveld
Sensemielja Letitia Sumter
Ximena van Keulen
Loes van Vugt
Esmee De Meulder
Ximena van Keulen