From the rooftop overlooking the fireworks in the center of Amsterdam.
It is almost genetic, I guess. I was brought up in a family with a super 8mm camera and later a video 8. It was mainly my mother’s hobby but my father had to push the buttons. I always doubted his true interest for film, because he did not use the camera very often. Unless of course, there was snow outside. My father could spend endless meters of expensive Kodak film just to document his car under a fresh deck of snow.
I am more into filming people and I do not own a car. That would be a real burden in an overcrowded city such as Amsterdam with little or no space to park the vehicle. Like my father I rarely film, but this seems to be changing lately. I grew very fond of the film options most modern camera have.
Here is my impression of Amsterdam during a few days of snow.
Filmed by Max van der Kamp.
I was working on the 21st Century Madonnas series when I heard that this year’s group exhibit of local artists of the Nieuwmarkt area was planned to be at the Zuiderkerk, an impressive church around the corner of where I live. I was to select one work for this group exhibit of seventy artists and I had immediately ruled out the 21st Century Madonnas series I was working on. That would be blasphemy. My strict Catholic upbringing occasionally shows in my decisions.
But the idea of exhibiting one of my 21st Century Madonnas in that giant church built in 1603 became irresistible.
So, after a night of feverish dreams and falling out of bed once, I decided to select one of the 21st Century Madonnas for the group exhibit.
Much to my surprise the work was accepted. There was a church service just before the exhibit reopened Sunday on 12:00, but no real protests were heard. The show was a success and I had an unexpected large number of people visiting my modest studio and of course this website.
Here is the the work as exhibited in full detail:
My partner Eveline is a real Paparazzi when it comes to documenting my work in the small studio at Nieuwmarkt 221. This raw clip is about two of my favorite models: Tess and Lena.
In general it is a good setup if you have two people coming over to be photographed in the same time slot. It is a lot better than the situation where a model takes somebody with him or her, because he or she is feeling uncertain about being photographed. The uncertainty I can handle, that is part of the job. If I could not deal with models feeling insecure or even nervous I would be a lousy photographer of people.
As a rule the person being brought to the studio as a chaperone of some sort is my biggest problem. I take my time photographing people, so a photo shoot can take up to four hours depending of how many ideas there are and how much time it takes to create just the right mood. All this time the chaperone has to just sit there with nothing do, getting bored or worse getting jealous which puts a lot of stress on the person posing.
So two people coming over who both love to be photographed is a very good situation to create photography. That is if you don’t get assistance in directing one model by the other. Still this was one of the happiest shoots of 2017.
WAM as you may know or may not know stands for Wet and Messy. It is fetish, actually and it can be experienced with all sorts of fluids. In this particular case it is yogurt.
I have done quite a few yogurt shoots. It is simple. We buy 12 liters of yogurt and put it on the heating for a while. Then we poor it over the models or have them poor it onto themselves and the fun starts.
But that is just during the shoot. At the end of the shoot things become tricky. How to get the models to the shower without having them drip yogurt all over the place. An overlooked spot of yogurt can produce an incredible stench once the yogurt turns sour. So we put kitchen paper all over the floor to lead them to the shower. Usually that works. Except for the fact that the studio has a shower cabin with tiny rails for the glass doors. As it turns out there is almost no way to get the yogurt completely cleaned from he corners of the rails. So, exit shower cabin.
This particular shoot was dramatic because suddenly the model on the floor started spanking the model on top of her and yogurt became airborne hitting my face, the camera and even the cameras behind me. The cleaning job took days, but it was fun!
An unforgettable photo shoot.
The biggest problem with my kind of photography is to get the right kind of people to pose for me. I am not a fashion photographer working with a stylist and a make up artist. I am a portrait photographer at heart and my work has a certain erotic flair. That makes it even harder to find models who may very well think of me as a dirty old man. A label that suits me fine as long as people understand that they are completely safe on my studio floor.
Especially if people have to travel a long distance to come to my studio for the first time, it is even harder. They don’t know who I am, they have no clue where they going to, etc. etc. Just answering their questions in DM’s or E-mails is not enough.
Luckily most models come through people I have already photographed, but for those who responded to a call for models on social media we edited this video, based on clips shot in the studio during photography. Most of the material was made with compact cameras and cell phones, so the quality is poor, but it really helped some people to set an appointment.
December 21, 2017 update:
The new site going live at January 1, 2018 will not have this clip on the ‘About’ page. We are working on something new and a bit more professional I hope.