Interview: Photographer Arno Nieuwhof (Netherlands)
Interviews / Stories
Tell us something about yourself
My name is Arno Nieuwhof, I’m a 30 year old photographer from the Netherlands. I specialize in (plus-size) model photography and spend most of my time photographing models in favor of their (starting) model portfolios. This March I had the honor to photograph the cover series of the Dutch Playboy including several pages inside and the centerfold poster.
How and when did you get into photography?
I started to take photography more seriously in 2010. Before that time I always had an interest in photography but walking around with a camera limited itself to summer holidays alongside my father. He is the one always taking the longest time getting his framing and exposure just right. Him being an analog-kinda-guy this make perfect sense.
What does photography mean to you?
I consider photography my passion, I take part of my identity from it and it’s something that can make me feel proud one day and frustrated the other. I’m very critical on my own work and are rarely fully satisfied. Of course this critical view is something that motivates me to do even better next time. But it can be hard when you fail to do so.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I consider my style to be feminine, honest and pure. Although my style tends to be sexy it always turns out tasteful. I have tried to make it more edgy, but end up selecting the more tame photo’s. I guess that’s just the way my respect and adoration for beautiful woman comes shining through.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Instagram mostly, I’m subscribed to multiply agencies, magazines, models and photographers on their and the supply me with my daily dose of inspiration.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
I’m a very go-with-the-flow type of photographer. I do think of a certain vibe and style beforehand and of course the type of lighting that I require. But when the model is ready and the first position/location is determined I tend just to follow the sunlight or the inspiration that comes from a certain expression or pose.
Studio, on location or both?
Home-studio, but I set myself the challenge to go out more in 2017. I know my daylight studio so well that I catch myself repeating the motions instead of having to think about lighting and camera angles. Part of me loves this place, as do my models. But in order to grow I know I have to ‘move out’ and set myself a challenge again.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
Having a fulltime daytime job as a furniture/interior photographer and online-media manager at a furniture company, forces me to limit my model photography to the weekends. That’s OK because the day job pays the bills.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
That has to be a groupshoot of 12 models in a 4m wide living room studio for longtime friend and plussize agency owner Miranda Koelemeijer (MaximeModels). I ended up shooting them in 3 groups of four and photoshopping them together to compose the final (panorama) image. That day is quite some time ago, but the result can still be found on my website.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
I recently visited Peter Lindbergh’s exposition in ‘de Kunsthal’ in Rotterdam. On the wall there was a quote of him saying: “It should be the responsibility of photographers today: to free women, and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection.” This really hit home for me and made me realize that there is beauty in almost everything. And that I to sometimes contribute to this perfect photoshopped world. I’m more determent than ever to keep photographing (wo)men in their pure and beautiful form. Without too much up-smuck and post-processing.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Canon for sure, used a 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.8 for a long time but recently purchased the 24-105mm 4.0 and I’m blown away by the image quality, sharpness and benefits of Image stabilization. So now I’m saving up for a 70-200mm 2.8 IS L II.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Just keep on going, challenge yourself to do better and develop your own style. Start with amateur models, but as your work gets better aim higher. Your lighting and exposure and framing are only as good as the model you’re photographing.
What do you think of our new magazine?
Really nice the way it developed itself and aims more and more to bring high quality exposure to the best in the business.