So Daan isn’t necessarily a “pro photographer” and when I say “pro photographer” I’m meaning, someone who earns an most or all of their income from photography. However his quality of work is up there with the best of them and as Daan mentions “pro photographers” don’t necessarily have the best work.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Daan, I’m married and since June I became the father of an extremely cute son. I work and live in Belgium and received my master in aeronautical engineering in 2004. Since then I work in the Sales division for a large American company.
What made you get into photography?
I started with photography in May 2009 after the purchase of my first DSLR, a Nikon D60. A few months later, my sister-in-law took off with a MU course and a tiny collaboration was started.. Since then, my passion for photography, especially the combination of people, creativity and beauty, increased exponentially. I always considered my photowork as an creative counterpart of my current job but it looks that I’m evolving into the direction of commercial fashion and beauty photography.
How did you get started?
I started photographing people in my direct neighbourhood.. I casted amateur models via a local website. With each photoshoot I put the bar a little bit higher.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
In the beginning I started with some allround photography, but it was clear that my interest was particularly when photographing people. The dynamism, the interaction with them and the challenge to capture them in the most flattering way, were my main drivers.. In this kind of photography; it’s possible to create something from scratch.. it’s possible to visualise images that otherwise only exists in your imagination.
At the moment; I’m mainly focussed on high fashion photography because you can combine creativity and commercial work.
I love the work of high level commercial photogaphers such as Dirk Lambrecht and Javier Vallhonrat and I hope that at a certain day, my work can be placed next to them 🙂
What gear are you using?
2 years ago, I started with a Nikon D60 (beginners DSLR), a year later… I switched to a Canon 7D with 15-85 IS and 70-200L IS.. Again not much later; the need for a FF became more and more significant for (low light) quality and distortion reasons.. Now I’m working with a Canon 5DMII with 28-70L(for full body and portraits) and 70-200L (for beauty and portraits). I like working in studio with customised spots and beautydishes.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
I prefer the 28-70L because of the versatility. I like to experiment with perspectives and 360° viewing angles and this lens gives me the freedom.. Moreover; the qualilty of this lens is great.
How are you marketing yourself?
I do not market myself at all because I do not live from my photography. I always considered my photowork as a hobby and most of my cooperations with other people such as models, MUA etc.. came via Facebook and Modelmayhem.. However, very recently I started to cooperate with a professional photoproduction company to produce more high quality portfolio work. This way we hope to add some new fashion & beauty clients to our client portfolio. This cooperation gives me the opportunity to work with more professional people.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
This image was recently created in cooperation with the fotostudio Fotofrancken.com. We got the model for a testshootl from a well known models office. She’s actually a little bit famous in Belgium because she is Miss Belgium 2010. I created some concepts where the last one meets the high fashion category… I chose this photo because I consider this one closest to my personal style.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Since I’m not a professional photographer, this question is hard for me to answer.. Professional photography is not always a synonyme for very high quality photography.
As a Pro, most of the time work for a customer that pays you.. Usually the client has an expectation that the photographer (or the photo) must meet.. It’s your job to exceed that expectation and add some limited creativity. However, do not go too far in this.. the customers product remains priority nr. 1.