Singing a song thinking this is the life

Alex Callier, Hooverphonic

If I was interested in photographing a little over a dozen singer-songwriters for his book, that was the question Julian De Backer asked me early last year. Julian and I both went to the same college to study journalism, but we actually go way back to kindergarten. As toddlers, we were in the same class, until my parents decided to move about fifty kilometers away. Twenty years later, we serendipitously ended up in the same school once again, and Julian actually became one of my first models when I just started dipping my toe into photography.

Julian De Backer

Fast forward another ten years (man am I’m old or what?), and we were working on Songwriters (by publishing group Lannoo), Julian’s first but definitely not last book. In this work Julian has collected interviews with singer-songwriters, going in-depth about the life and art of professional song writing.

Kris Wauters, Clouseau
Isolde Lasoen

I was honoured to be a part of this project and to catch a glimpse of how some of Belgium’s most famous artists go through life. I also don’t know anyone who could have been a better author for this book, as Julian is a wonderful writer and clearly a walking music encyclopedia, and it was lovely to see him and his interviewees get so deep into the subject at times I feared I had lost them forever. ;)

Featured in this blogpost are some of my favorite images, but there are lots more to be seen in the book itself, which also features a cd with never before released demo’s, which is quite a treat. Available in stores or here and here, to name a few.

Ozark Henry

Paint it black

Earlier this year I made some self portraits featuring a white background and black paint, and since then I’ve had the idea stuck in my head of making a portrait like this. It’s always interesting to see how an idea in your head transforms when you try to turn it into reality. Victim of choice was Charlotte, who I’ve basically been shooting with since my early photography days (and her early modelling days). Of course Kathleen Van Walle, the only makeup artist who can read my mind, had to be there for the party as well. Another Sunday well spent!

Paint it black

Model: Charlotte Goyvaerts
MUA: Kathleen Van Walle
© Els Vanopstal

Pink is my favorite crayon

There are two kinds of photographers: those who prefer to shoot black and white, and those who prefer to shoot in color. Even though I really like black and white at times, I will always prefer taking a good color photo over a monochrome one. It’s of course a totally personal preference, but there’s just something about color that really sticks with me. I guess it just feels more me. And whenever I have the chance to experiment with some color, I just get happy. Color makes me happy. So here’s some experimenting with a pink background with lovely and sweet Marie.

Model: Marie @ Flag Models
© Els Vanopstal