Category Archives: Considering a Photo Shoot

Camera Time

I am into the themed posts lately and hope you like it. Today’s post is inspired by an old home video my mother re-discovered recently. It’s made by my granddad and makes me very nostalgic. At one point I had to laugh and say: that must have been the moment I was holding the camera for the first time! I will share that photo at the end of the post (and comment on the camera model too). But first let me share a couple of favorite photos on this topic from my client’s photo shoots.

kinderportret_OlgaRook

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Children’s portraiture and Music

Some time ago I had a special blog post featuring portraits with pets. Our relationship with animals says a lot about us. And so do things we enjoy doing, our interests and hobbies. They can add an extra dimension, a story to the photo. That is why I like to incorporate one’s favourite activities into a photo session.

Today’s post is about portraits with music instruments. I have quite a few “music portraits” of grownups, but today I wanted to show you a selection from family and children’s photoshoots.

kinderportret-muziek_OlgaRook-2

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Friendship photo session in Antwerp

Having a photo session together is a wonderful way to celebrate those special bands within a family or a couple, between siblings or friends.

Today I want to feature a friendship photo session with two beautiful ladies in Antwerp. You can call their friendship life-long, as the girls became best friends already at the nursery school! Decennia later when the ladies live relatively far from each other (one in Belgium and the other in the Netherlands) this friendship is as warm as ever.

Antwerpen-vriendschap-fotoshoot-OlgaRookPhotography

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Jeannette’s winter photoshoot in Maastricht: part 2

Today I want to share more photos from Jeannette’s photo session in Maastricht.

fotoshoot-portret-maastricht-3

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Jeannette: Winter photoshoot in Maastricht

Jeannette wanted to give herself a special birthday present: an artistic photo session. Being an adventurous spirit inspired by nature, Jeannette thought of an outdoor location. She grew up and lives in Maastricht and enjoys the beautiful nature of South Limburg. That made our choice of location easy: Pietersplas, a nature resort on the Maas next to the Maastricht Marina.

fotosessie-natuurgebied-maastricht

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“A Day in the Life” Photo Sessions

There is a new type of a photo session that I’m offering and would love to announce: A Day in the Life reportage.

Idyllic old-fashioned portrait of three sisters in the garden: two little girls and a baby.

The underlying idea is story-telling, documenting the typical and therefore precious moments of a family, kids or a couple. It is about their lifestyle, their connection and interaction in their preferred environment on a relaxed or active day together. Such extended photo session would typically last some 4 hours. During that time life goes on its natural way. There is no posing and the photographer can be unobtrusive, capturing special moments and expressions in a semi-candid, often journalistic, style.

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Wall Art: Presenting the Photos

Portraits and artworks on the walls make a great difference when it comes to the atmosphere and psychological comfort you feel in a room. A room with naked walls would lack personal touch even when filled with design furniture. And a single image (of course, I am not talking about mass production here) can turn a boring home into a stylish one.

Some time ago we have talked about decorating your walls with photography. There are several ways of arranging photos (and other wall art) in a pleasing and coordinated way. It’s about balance and composition: depending on your taste and the room’s interior you may choose symmetric, asymmetric or eclectic approach.

When you plan to put a photo or a grouping of photos on a wall a question often arises: what kind of material and framing to use? Shall you have the photographs printed, matted and framed or do you prefer unframed photos mounted on canvas, aluminium (dibond) or plexiglas (acrylic)? There are several factors to consider here when you make this choice.

An example of photo presentation on a wall.

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Photo Sessions to Consider

Have you thought of a photo session this year but still not sure what kind of session exactly? I’ve got a couple of ideas for you!

Individual portraits

A personal portrait session is always a perfect choice. If you are looking for portraits that are more artistic, show one’s personality and reveal one’s inner beauty, consider individual photo sessions. The photographer then can give undivided attention to one person at a time – to you or each of your children. With little children their individual portraits can be the main focus of a family reportage, while photos of brothers and sisters or parents and children together could be a natural part of such a photo shoot.

Children and family location photography in Gent region: portrait of a little girl

Examples? Take a look at the retro-inspired photo session with little Collin, a “jazzy” photo shoot with artistic Asia and Keanu or a at the little sisters Anna and Lara.

A Day in the Life

An extended “lifestyle” photo reportage works both for a single person and a family or a couple together. It can be a record of a typical weekend or some special activity.

You can combine various indoor and outdoor activities, visit several locations and change outfits. Think about a family walking in a park and then baking a cake and reading a book at home. Such reportages could capture moments of real emotion and communication and yield plenty of beautiful and funny semi-candid portraits.

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How to Prepare for a Photo Session

You have found the right photographer and booked a photo session.

Some photographers may offer you a consultation prior to the photo session. This could be very helpful – you’d learn more about how your photo session will look like, what to expect and to pay attention to. Think about organizational moments, styling and accessories, hair and makeup, and more.

Here are some tips and points of attention.

voorbereiding voor een fotosessie is belangrijk!

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Choosing your Portrait or Children Photographer

Photo of a father playing with his little son: so much love, fun and emotion!You have decided to go for a professional photo session for yourself, your child or your family. How do you choose the right photographer?

Here are a few tips.

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Three Ways to Decorate your Walls with Photos

Having loads of photos on our computers is everyday reality. But beautiful professional portraits and artistic images deserve not just virtual, but also physical life – on your walls and in unique albums.

Are you happy with your wall design, or is there something to improve or update?

Why leave your walls blank or fill them with IKEA mass production pictures? Personalized wall art can add style and a design twist to your interior. Not to mention positive emotion and inspiration filling your home!

There are various ways of presenting photographs (but also paintings, objects, etc.) on the wall. You can use a symmetric or an asymmetric design or choose and eclectic approach.

Framed photos on a wall in a simple symmetric combination

Symmetric wall art presentation is pleasing for the eye. It can be simple or sophisticated, but is more “intentional” and gives you an orderly feeling. This is great not only for those who prefer clean classic lines and love order by nature. It can also be a manner of bringing more order and balance into a chaotic environment!

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Portraits are forever

Professional portraits: A Girl’s best friends

Yes, I am talking about professional portraits. Much like diamonds, they are forever and are girl’s best friends when it comes to self-confidence and other wonderful feelings they can give you (and not just you).

I believe that every woman should have special, beautiful and highly personal portraits of herself taken. Whether you know you are stunning, or you not so sure about that, there are serious reasons to do this. Let me sketch the three main scenarios for you: I think they would fit different images that ladies have of themselves.

  1. You are pretty – or even beautiful. It is a fact that nobody can deny and you know it.
  2. You know you can look gorgeous but this takes some effort. In daily life you have no time or no desire to work on your stunning looks.
  3. You think that great looks is probably not the strongest side of your personality.

stylish portrait of a young lady

Scenario 1.

If you are confident of your charms, then you have probably already realized that you should not limit yourself to holiday and party photos alone. Think of the paparazzi images of the celebrities. Don’t they look way better during a dedicated photo session with the right light, setting and moment? Of course they do! The difference between your portraits taken professionally as compared to snapshots will be no less drastic.

Scenario 2.

You normally wait for a special occasion to present yourself in a stunning way. But what and when are these occasions? Whether you organize a party yourself of go out with friends – it is not about you personally. Events are by their very nature about a group of people. Once in a while you would require a special moment, a different kind of holiday just for yourself – a personal, dedicated photo session that’s all about bringing out your special powers of beauty and charm. I will help you to feature your inner diva, a star living inside of you!

Scenario 3.

You are probably too critical of yourself. If you do not look like a Barbie doll or like a copy of Angelina Jolie, this does not mean you are not beautiful in your own way. Beauty does come from inside. Be yourself and enjoy it – and you will look great. A portrait session with a professional photographer who gives you enough time and pays you real attention will help you find the beauty that remains unnoticed in mere snapshots or in a standard studio setting.

beauty

I do believe it and prove it all the time!

If you choose for custom photography, you can have your beauty captured in a natural way, so that you can be yourself. Portraits with a fashion twist or even a Hollywood touch are not an everyday sort of photography – yet, you can still look natural on them. The setting of the photo session and you being yourself make all the difference!

It is essential to have artistic portraits of yourself. They can help you discover more about yourself and are so important for those who love you!

Find out more about my portrait photography.

Custom Portrait Photography on Location: in your Home and Outdoors

My ways to make your portrait session happy

My goal as a portrait photographer is to give you images that are unique and artistic and are about your (or your child’s) personality and individual charm. Being yourself is essential for such images. My three main ways to facilitate it are:

  • giving you all time and true attention;
  • a 100% satisfaction guarantee to remove any risk and worries on your part;
  • meaningful location choice.

In this post I want to talk about having a professional photography session in your home and on location.

Advantages of a professional photo session at home

First of all, your home is a place where you and your children naturally feel at ease. It is your own territory that you are used to and where you can be yourself in daily life. This will also make it easier to be yourself during a portrait session.

Portrait of a little girl in her living room

The atmosphere of your home is unique and cannot be imitated.

Second, your home has its character as well. In many cases it would reflect your taste and style. But even if you do not live in your dream-house (yet) or do not care much about the interior, there would be some objects that reflect your interests or have an emotional value for you.

For children, an image with some details of the house like a sofa, a fireplace or just a door frame will help them recall the happy moments of their childhood when they will be older. Favorite toys, books, musical instruments, to name just a few, would also contribute to a natural and classic portrait.

Your own house is also the best place to change outfits, adjust hairstyle and makeup. Selecting clothes and accessories and visage is also something I could help you with. We can experiment, improvise and play around, still in a comfortable way – it is a lot of fun and adds variety to your images. The time is all yours, with no other clients next to you waiting to be helped. And, of course, you do not need to go yourself or to bring your children anywhere: the photographer comes to you. I am based in Rotterdam but work at various locations across the Netherlands and Belgium.

Portrait of an elegant man in art deco interior

Your house often says something about your character and style.

You do not need a huge house for a beautiful portrait session. An ordinary size living room with a big window is a fine starting point. I take a lot of equipment with me, including lamps, but prefer to use natural light to preserve the natural atmosphere.

… and outdoors

In my practice, one’s home is often a perfect place to start a custom portrait session. Depending on the type of the session, your wishes and the weather, it is great to go out as well. I love to combine both during a single photo shoot. Sea, forest, dunes are awesome. But one does not need to travel far. A local park, a quiet street or a trendy place in the town work excellent as well. An interesting location captures your imagination, distracts your from worries and adds new inspiration. The weather creates a special setting as well.

fine art child portrait in the dunes of Wassenaar

Each season adds its own poetry to a portrait.

Your home and outdoor locations help to personalize your images, add unique details and make your portraits more authentic. I believe in the power of custom photography to bring out and capture one’s character and genuine emotions. And portraits that show who you are something you and your children deserve!

Find out more about my services as professional portrait and children photographer.

Family Photography: your Time Machine

The Power of Photography

A photograph can capture a moment

Because photography has an ability to capture moments, it can be seen as some kind of time machine. We have all watched old chronicles and looked at photo reportages that bring us closer to the people from other times and places. And we all have albums (printed and digital) with photographs of us, our family and friends – to preserve our memories as the time passes by.

Natural and tender portrait of a little girl

It is important to take a camera with you when you go on holiday, meet friends or visit some events. Those photographs have special charm because they are about our experiences and social life. They are meant to record where and with whom we were and how much fun it was. Yet, the typical social “say cheese” images are by their nature not about WHO you are, they are not about your personality.

It is usual to have a professional photographer capture your special events. But it is also important to capture “a day in the life”, a slice of your normal life when you enjoy time with your family or friends. And you are not behind the lens to but in action in the picture!

photo from a lifestyle family reportage in the streets of Amsterdam

More families now look for unobtrusive and natural reportages, and lifestyle and documentary family photography is getting more known and popular. These reportages will bring back true moments and make you smile.

Looking at old images can take you on a journey to the past. It brings back emotions and gives new life to the foregone moments. These memories and emotions is something we should take with us through our lives. Photographs help us preserve what has become part of us – preserve it not only for ourselves, but also for our loved ones and even for the future generations of our family.

photo from a children "day in the life" reportage

A Professional Portrait can capture your Essence too!

A professional photo session goes beyond snapshots and daily life records. It is about you – or about your children, or you together as a family. Professional portraits are meant to bring out your personality, to show your individual beauty and charisma. Such portraits have special power. They not merely preserve the moment: they will preserve a part of your person in an image.

A unique artistic portrait is a time machine that can not only take you to the past. It will send a part of you – as you are now – into the future. Thus, this time machine performs different tasks for us today and tomorrow. Professional portraits that create a feeling of presence are an important and precious part of family heritage. They are also a sign that you care about your loved ones and send the gift of connection to those who will come after you.

 

a romantic portrait of a little girl made as part of a lifestyle photo sessionI was happy to grow up in a family that cared about portraits and photo albums. I loved – and still love – to look at the photographs of my grandparents as small children, at the portraits of their parents, family, friends. It gives you a feeling of time, history, roots, connection, and a greater family. You see dear or unknown faces and want to learn more, to hear stories behind the images. I find family albums a beautiful tradition that adds so much to our lives!

Professional portraiture is something that will not happen itself; therefore, you have to plan it consciously.

When you choose a portrait photographer to photograph you and your family, you choose a person who will help you create memories for the future. You must consider several things. Do you like the style of this particular photographer? Will you get enough time and attention to relax and to let the photographer capture the true best of you? Do you want your portraits to be unique rather than follow some prescribed formula? Would retouching be important to you? Does the photographer offer a guarantee? These are some of the questions.

When you have found a photographer that is right for you, you know that he or she can take you on a travel in time. And you will be able to enjoy and share this travel again and again!

View my website for more family and children photography.

Why you should try custom photography

Professional portraiture for grownups: fascination and fears

Most people realise the necessity of children photography and are ready to document important events. Yet, the idea of a personal photo shoot often makes one shy.

A professional photo session is not something that we do on a daily basis: at least most of us don’t. It sounds exciting because of the quality results and fine experience it should bring. We all crave to be valued and understood. We also may – secretly or not so secretly – want to try out how it feels to be a star, a model, the center of attention for just one hour. Who would not like to have images of him- or herself that show how beautiful and bright, interesting and unique you are? Good professional portraits make people stop by and enjoy looking at you.

Portrait of an actor and singer playing his piano.

Professional portrait photography is a necessity for an artist but reallife people need it just as much.

Yet a professional photo shoot may appear frightening at the same time. One is usually held back by the two main considerations.

Fear No. 1: Looking good

Hmm, how do I know I will really look good on the photos? It is unusual for me and I will feel tense and nervous and then freeze or start posing unnaturally. I am also not in my best shape right now: yet, life is hectic and I wonder when I will be…

Well, here is my simple answer to this fear:

It is the task of the photographer to help you relax and have fun. A photographer with a good eye will find the right angles and moments to capture. A photographer with empathy will also feel your own style and charm and will reveal them in images. I photograph people on location. That means that I come to you or meet you at some special place so that you can have time and possibility to relax and distract from your worries, as well as to change outfits. Moreover, I offer a satisfaction guarantee, so your portrait session is risk free!

Portrait of an elegant young lady made at client's home

What about looking like a royalty?

Fear No. 2: Do I dare?

Doesn’t a portrait session mean that I am thinking too much about myself? Am I allowed to invest in myself?

This fear is really about one’s self-esteem. Professional portraiture is not some forbidden fruit. You are a unique person and deserve artistic images that show who you are. You also deserve the experience of being a star. It is not just 15 minutes of fame: the results will be visible, tangible, and sharable. You can share your images with the people that are important to you. You can give your portrait or photo album as a gift: what could be more personal? It will not make you look selfish but prove that you care about your loved ones. You do not think about it now, but professional portraits – if you go for them – will be cherished by your grandchildren.

Letting people encounter themselves can be a very positive experience both for my models and for me, and this is my biggest motivation as a portrait photographer.

I am curious to hear your thoughts about having a professional photo shoot. And, of course, I will be happy to hear from you if you have any questions about my sessions!

Find out more about my service as professional portrait photographer.