The day will see if you will get some

There is something about nighttime that really gets my creative juices flowing. No other time of ‘day’ I get so much ideas and images in my head. Projects I want to bring to life. Many of which do not sound doable (at all) the next morning. As if the light coming through the windows affects my conception of what is possible and what is not. As if dreams seem more likely to come true at night.

Perhaps it is because I find something soothing about moments after midnight. The city sleeps and I am up, thinking. Letting my mind run free. No one around to say I should stop, so I don’t. Besides, everyone else is dreaming, too. I just do it with my eyes open.

The moment comes and it is mine. The world stops. Serenity covers me with its warm blanket.

Goodnight everybody.

Credits
Model: Christophe
© Els Vanopstal

You can go your own way

One of the hardest things to do as a photographer, for me at least, is finding your own style. Some people have it from the beginning. Some make bright romantic photos and stick to that for the rest of their life. There are those who are more drawn to dark, atmospheric images. Others search for what makes their images ‘them’ their entire lives. Maybe it is because defining one’s style has to do with knowing yourself. Every photo that you make is in one way or another a self portrait. There’s a part of you in it, whether you like that or not.

Me I have gone through all kinds of different photography styles. When I started studying photography, I was drawn to strobist lighting, using a flash to seperate the models from the background. I was also shooting digital, and I liked its crisp clean look. After a while, I started taking pictures in more natural light, finally seeing the beauty in that as well. Now I’m mostly shooting film in natural circomstances. And I feel this is the closest I have come to really finding my own style. But I’m still going back and forth between things like light or dark, dreamy or raw, natural or conceptual. And I don’t know if I will ever be able to choose, as I myself am a creature of opposites. I’m a dreamer on the one hand, and on the other I read Bukowski and think perhaps this world is doomed. I am silly, I am serious. I’m a creative, but my nature is very introvert. There’s a duality in me that I will probably never lose and therefor it will always be a part of my photography.

And maybe it’s good just to realise that. Maybe this knowledge will help me create the images that are most ‘me’. Those where there is a sense of duality, of struggle. I find that the photographs I like best, have this in them already in one way or another. For instance a gorgeous model, with a tear streaming down her face. A perfection broken.

Credits
Model: Renée @ Flag Models
MUA: Kathleen Van Walle
© Els Vanopstal

In the summertime when the weather is high

The summer of 2011 is quickly coming to an end. Here in Belgium though it feels like we have been living underwater the entire time. I yearn for more days of sunshine, my albino skin craves some good old vitamin D. But when I look outside, the leaves on the trees are already turning yellow and red. Fall is coming and there’s nothing we can do about it. But here I am, stuck on the feeling of these photos I made on another gray day in July. Sitting inside in summer costume, looking forward to when the sun will come out again.

Credits
Model: Laura Theys
MUA: Kathleen Van Walle
© Els Vanopstal

We are Spice Girls yes indeed

Last week I had a shoot with my two muses, Charlotte & Yaelle. I have had several photoshoots with them and I never grow tired of shooting them. This time I had a somewhat crazy concept in mind, involving spices and patterns, and I knew they would not mind going along with my craziness. Here’s a small behind the scenes video I made for fun while makeup artist Kathleen was doing her work.