6 years after starting to work as a designer, I got very interested into photography. 

My interest came forward out of photoshoots that we outsourced at the communication agency that I worked at. I wanted to get a better idea on how to direct a commercial photoshoot. So I started a photography study next to my job. The study opened my eyes for not only for commercial, but also for architectural and documentary photography and the combination of those skills with graphical and motion design.

I finished my study cum laude with a project about the Russian garage areas. After travelling twice to St. Petersburg and surroundings I placed the story on a self designed website. It reached the national newspapers on the same day that I finished my study.

The documentary got selected for the famous Dutch photography festival “Fotofestival Naarden”. And here I got to combine the two worlds: Design and Photography.

I got carte blanche to create my own exhibition. It included huge wallpapers, photos, video interviews, personal attributes that I found inside the garages, and even a real Russian Lada.

Grumpy Russians
Grumpy Russians was the second multimedia documentary about “normal” Russian life, fighting with the prejudice that Russian people don’t smile. To prove the contrary I pointed my camera as close as possible to unsuspecting passers-by on the streets of Moskou, Tver and St. Petersburg. And I asked them in a split second to look “grumpy”. As a result they all automatically started to smile.

An online platform showed interviews about how people were thinking in Holland about Russians. This was combined with portraits that I made on the streets of Russia of…SMILING Russians. The project was exhibited in the famous classical concertgebouw in Amsterdam, where I designed the exhibition. The project was also part of the Netherlands-Russia year organized by both governments.

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