2017 is upon us, and what better time to reflect on the past year than now. Here’s my 2016 year of photoshoots, captured in exactly 50 shots.
This year I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to clearly define my mission and focus as a photographer: capturing cinematic images of top athletes for brands. I’ve contacted heaps of athletes to conduct personal projects with them, capturing the action of their sport while they’re training. Using these photos has allowed me to build a coherent portfolio that shows the story of my mission. I’ve actually loved shooting so much personal work over the past year, and I’ve found that it really helps clients as well. They can clearly see what I love shooting and what I’m best at, and know which assignments to hire me for, and for which they should probably look for a colleague who’s more suitable for the project. This year, some of my favourite shoots have been with the PSV youth squads, where I was able to document the lifestyles of these young players.
A word of thanks
As I’ve stated before in my bio, my photos are merely a tribute to the energy and dedication of the athletes. Without their hard work and focus, I wouldn’t be able to take one good photo. Therefore as ever, I’m thankful to the athletes who’ve been patient enough with me to keep repeating the some moves ten times without complaining so I can capture the best possible frames, the athletes that allowed me into their worlds and explained their lifestyles to me, the athletes who somehow found time for me in their crazy busy schedules of training, representing their sponsors and participating in their competitions.
Goals for 2017
With a new year come new goals, new dreams and new ambitions. In 2017 I will focus on connecting with top athletes and showcasing their lifestyles and dedication through my photos. In 2016 I’ve already been fortunate enough to photograph a few different athletes who were active during the 2016 Rio Olympics, I’m looking to add quite a few more of these to my portfolio. Ultimately, my goal is to help both brands and athletes with my photos. Working with some more blue chip sports brands is a major goal for me this year.
And now, without further ado, onwards to my favourite 50 photos from the year 2016. I’ve divided these into a few categories and included some short descriptions, feel free to just scroll down and enjoy the visuals though!
One of my favourite clients has still got to be PSV Eindhoven. The club has been ever so innovative and open to interesting concepts, allowing me quite a bit of access to their youth squads. Their media department strives for high quality and I feel that my photos are allowed to really shine on the pages of the printed magazine. Be sure to check out some tearsheets from the mag on my publications page.
Mexican first team player Andres Guardado with his young son just before a game
PSV youth players on a cold and early morning, warming up for their game
PSV youth players receiving instructions from their coach
These PSV youth players invented their cheaper version of goal line technology
Oleksandr Zinchenko portrait for PSV magazine
Campaign for street football
This campaign for street football was shot for the agency Dr WOOOW!. I was tasked with following around three Dutch stars of street football and shooting vibrant lifestyle photos of them throughout the day.
Tom Vegter doing a signature trick
Jeand Doest enjoying himself
Nasser el Jackson needs no pitch to practice his tricks
Campaign for Mad Rock in Fontainebleau
Mad Rock is an American climbing brand, focusing on producing climbing shoes and crash pads, amongst others. I’d worked with them before capturing top German climbers Jan Hojer and Jule Wurm. For this most recent shoot, we traveled to the French forest on Fontainebleau to shoot some of their sponsored athletes. These included stars of both competition climbing and outdoor climbing like Guillaume Glairon-Mondet and Alexey Rubtsov.
Alexey Rubtsov hoping for some good weather
Guillaume Glairon-Mondet in his brand new scarepiece
Campaign for Jaybird
For this campaign for the Dutch launch of the athlete earplug brand Jaybird, fellow photographer Maurice van der Meijs asked me for some help to tackle an enormous shotlist in one day. We split the shots and both ended up capturing some authentic moments of the earplugs in action.
Campaign for Dutch Heart Foundation
This has got to be one of my favourite campaigns of 2016: the Dutch Heart Foundation (Hartstichting) launched a campaign this year to encourage sports clubs to ban smoking near any sports pitch. We shot a bunch of images with kids playing a variety of sports and acting like proper anti smoking hooligans.
Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF)
The CWIF is quite probably my favourite climbing event of the year. The Climbing Works gym in Sheffield (UK) invites a bunch of international top climbers and local crushers to this comp, with the best athletes battling it out in a world class final. The combination of top athletes and a very friendly and local setting make this a unique comp.
Melissa le Neve looking as focused as can be
Local star Shauna Coxsey totally crushing it
Climbing World Championships in Paris
The Climbing World Championships in Paris were probably the most spectacular championship I’ve ever seen. Taking place in a huge venue, the sport of climbing appears to have matured beyond what anyone ever expected. In this comp, I focused on capturing intimate photos of the athletes, showcasing their energy and focus. Both the lead and the bouldering part of the event proved insanely spectacular competitions.
Miho Nonaka engaged in some proper crimping
Veteran Anna Stöhr from Austria handling this volume with ease
Superstar and soon to be world champion Adam Ondra on his way to victory
Sean McColl from Canada making a historic clip
Utter determination with Mina Markovic from Slovenia
Jain Kim doing it the elegant way
Adam Ondra showcasing sheer focus
Manuel Cornu is this finger-crushing problem
Sierra Blaire-Coyle posing for my analog project with top athletes in Paris
Dutch climbing competitions
The climbing action wasn’t just abroad this year though: the Dutch national bouldering championship was organised at an excellent venue in Amsterdam, allowing me to capture some very moody photos of the action. National champion Julia Meijer later posed for an intimate photo where it’s just impossible not to see those freckles.
One sport that’s had an appeal to me for quite some time now has been running. The pure character of this athletic sport is mesmerising. In 2017 I’ll be looking to add some more variety to the running portion of my portfolio. On a side note, I’ve recently taken up running myself as well, in order to be as fit as I possibly can, which is surprisingly crucial for a photographer!
One of my main focus points this year was to capture athletes during their training. This proved to be an excellent opportunity to show both their dedication and lifestyle, with some more light hearted moments in between at times.
Dutch national gymnastics team athlete Bram Verhofstad training
Close up of the gymnasts hands. I wrote a blog on the lighting for these shots for my trusted flash supplier Elinchrom.
Rowing athlete Lisa Scheenaard training in Eindhoven.
Portrait of Lisa Scheenaard. She only just missed out on the Rio Olympics.
Dutch top BMX flatland rider Dez Maarsen training in Utrecht
In 2016, I’ve tried to get in touch with as many Dutch Olympic athletes as I could. Hearing the stories told by these athletes was an awesome experience and seeing the heroes I normally see on television perform their athletic feats right in front of my camera was a unique opportunity. In 2017 I’ll be aiming to photograph quite a few more Olympians.
Sanne Verhagen training in Eindhoven
Intimate portrait of Sanne Verhagen
Close-up with the wrong end of Sjef van den Berg’s bow
Sjef van den Berg, Dutch Olympic archery athlete
2015 FIH world player of the year Lidewij Welten shot for Herbalife
Jiske Griffioen, gold medallist and winner of Wimbledon