Interview: Photographer Febe Van de Wiele (Belgium)
Can you tell us a little about you?
Hi there! I’m Febe, 24 years old and I live in Zelzate (Belgium). During the week I work as an occupational therapist in a daycare center for elderly with dementia. In this job I can really put my caring side. In contrast with my time off, then I am really busy with my creative side. I am actually occupied with all aspects of photoshoots. I’m not only a photographer, but also a make-up artist and a model myself. The combination of all 3 of these makes me notice a lot of details during shoots.
How and when did you get into photography?
I was already a model for two years when my dad gave me his old camera as a Christmas gift. It layed in the back of my closet for a year, since I didn’t know how to use the manual settings properly. And using a SLR camera with automatic settings is just very disappointing! I did notice during shoots that I had a vision in my mind of what I wanted the pictures to look like, but they wouldn’t turn out like that. On a boring evening during last year’s lockdown I decided to learn how to work the manual settings of my camera. It didn’t even take me that long to get used to them. A week later I asked some friends if I could take some pictures of them, and I just kept on shooting after that. I’m really convinced of the fact that to be a good photographer, you just really have to have a good eye for it. Not the biggest knowledge or most expensive equipment.
What does photography mean to you?
It’s really my creative outlet. I get so much pleasure out of creating beautiful things. It’s also amazing to make people happy with what you have created. Next to portrait and fashion shoots I also love doing pregnancy, love and newborn shoots, and it’s really so nice to give people something so meaningful.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
It depends a bit on the kind of shoot, but in general I like close up portraits with a bit of a moody vibe. I pay a lot of attention to the skin, since I’m also a make-up artist. A lot of my editing time goes into skin retouching. My edits are mostly quite warm and dark greens appear a lot in my pictures.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
I definitely like to make a plan in advance, but a lot of the time the best ideas just come during the shoot iself.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I browse a lot on Pinterest and that gives me a lot of ideas, but very often they also pop into my head during the day. Since I’m into photography I can’t go anywhere without subconsciously spotting locations for shoots.
Studio, on location or both?
Definitely on location! I like studio pictures, but I love the challenge of looking for a nice location and working with it. I’m also a big fan of using natural lighting and reflections.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
At this point it’s more of a hobby, but in the future I would like to work part-time as a photographer. I do get paid for my expenses sometimes.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
A couple of months ago I went to the botanical garden in Meise with my friend Gaëlle Wauthier. She’s a professional model and is absolutely amazing in what she does. We created the most amazing pictures there. The location is stunning and we could be very creative.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lense?
I’m a Canon user since my dad is and I got his first camera. I’m used to it now so I will stick with it haha. My favorite lense is the one I just bought, the Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art. I used a 50mm 1.8 almost all the time and absolutely love it, but for indoor shoots that one is just a bit too narrow. Especially since my camera isn’t a fullframe.
What’s one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Do a lot of portfolio work to start off and get used to working with models. Maybe also do a shoot yourself to actually experience how it feels to model. It helps with giving instructions to your models.
What do you think of our new magazine?
It’s absolutely wonderful and has great quality content. I feel honored to be in here as a relatively new photographer!