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Interviews  / Stories

Interview: Photographer Robbin van Turnhout (Netherlands)

Tell us something about yourself

I'm a Dutch photographer, and I live with my wife, two children and three cats in Zutphen, a small town in the east part of Holland. After my study mechanical engineering I worked for several years in different kind of industries, but in 2009 I decided to fully concentrate on my passion, photography. My photo studio is situated in a 14th century former monastery, a beautiful and inspiring place.


How and when did you get into photography?

I really fell in love with photography 14 years ago, when I bought my first digital camera, a Konica Minolta Z2. It was a fantastic camera with an amazing 10x optical zoom lens. I took pictures of almost everything I saw around me, from landscape and wildlife to macro photo’s of flowers and insects. It was a lot of fun to play around with this camera, and the results were amazing. I also liked the fast and easy self-educated way of photography with the digital camera, as well as editing and post processing the photo’s in Photoshop and Lightroom. After some time I bought my first digital reflex, the Canon 350D (Rebel). More Canon cameras followed, and at this moment I shoot with the 5D Mark IV. I really love its wifi function for tethered shooting in the studio.


What does photography mean to you?

I think that everything you experience, is filtered by your own thoughts and feelings of that experience. So ‘reality’ is subjective, and photography for me is a way to express my reality. It’s also a tool to create beautiful things.


Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

Difficult question…I never thought of developing my own style. A style occurs after a period, because of the way you photograph, the models you choose or the way you edit your photos. But let’s give it a try…I would describe my style as being classical, pure and with a subtle edge of beauty. But it’s never static and still changing.


Where do you get inspiration from?

The people I see in the streets, in the train or in the supermarket inspire me every day. Their uniqueness and inner beauty forces me to make portraits of them.


Think you in advance what you want in the picture?

Yes, most of the time. When people come to my studio I broadly know what kind of photo I want to make. This depends on the type of person and what the photo will be used for. So it’s always custom work. Of course the fine details come during the shoot.


Studio, on location or both?

The studio. I feel more comfortable in a studio setting, than on location where it can be pretty chaotic. Besides that I really like to play around with studio flashes and control the light.


Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

Both. Although I do commercial work, I also do my own personal projects.


What has been your most memorable session and why?

For me every session is unique. But when I work with somebody who has no modeling experience at all, and after one hour we make the most beautiful shot, it’s always a great joy.


What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?

The work of the old Dutch painters like Rembrandt, is always very inspiring, especially the way they ‘paint with light’. But also photographers like Helmut Newton and Anton Corbijn, give me a creative boost.


Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

I shoot my photo's with Canon, since several months with the 5D Mark IV. But both Canon and Nikon make nice and good quality cameras. And of course don't forget Sony, which became a big player on the market. My favorite lens? I really love the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art. A beautiful lens I use a lot for portraits.


What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Follow your creativity and develop your own style. And of course, love what you’re doing :-)


What do you think of our new magazine?

It’s a great magazine for both photographers and models. And it’s free on the internet, so you can enjoy the work of very talented photographers and models from all over the world. Good job!

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