Meeting local creative talents.
One of the best things we like about Amsterdam is the number of small independent businesses that can and do flourish. Yes, there are chain stores around, but thankfully there are still a lot of small businesses that also do well. In fact, the variety is quite staggering. Look around. Some are selling some really great products and we need to support them. That’s just the shops. Have you noticed all the art galleries ? In the Jordaan area there are a plethora of really great little art galleries. I have been wanting to give them some recognition for some time and soon there will be a blog post about them.
That thought leads me to the other very large contribution made to the Amsterdam art and business sectors, namely the creative industries. They are vast numbers of people making a living in Amsterdam using their creative skills. Be it artists, designers, writers, filmmakers, fashion, music, performing arts, photographers, publishing, game/software design, advertising and many more. Many famous writers have found they creative powers flowing in Amsterdam. Quentin Tarantino scoped out the large lines of Pulp Fiction in Amsterdam. There is something in this city that ignites a creative flair.
All throughout 2019, we will be spending time with these creative heroes to find out more about them and to highlight the great work they do. Recently, we used the services of a portrait photographer in Amsterdam to get some great photos for professional use. So, we start this series with some insights from Dave Pelham, a British photographer who has been living in Amsterdam for a few years.
1. So Dave, where are you from and what brought you to Amsterdam.
When I visited Amsterdam 15 years ago from the UK, I had a feeling that one day I would move here. That became a reality when I married a Dutch girl and we settled 8 years ago, via a short stay in Belgium. Although we’re not together any more, Amsterdam is very much home and is a great place to raise our kids. I feel very lucky to be able to run my business here.
2. And nowadays what keeps you busy in Amsterdam?
I’m working as a portrait photographer, shooting for businesses, brands and individuals. I set the business up 6 years ago, and for the past year have been working on it full time.
3. What drew you to photography ?
I photograph because I am drawn to meeting people and knowing their stories. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed creating. It fascinated me to see my Dad work hard on his craft as a good amateur, shooting landscapes and the cities we would visit on holiday. Once I picked up a camera and decided to put time into really learning the craft, I realised I had found my thing. I love faces and human expressions, so it made perfect sense when I really started enjoying shooting portraits!
Every time I pick up a camera for fun or work I thrive on the artistic challenge, the experimentation, the endless possibilities, and the interaction it leads to. I’m compelled to make awesome, vibrant photographs. And photographs that mean something, that provoke emotion, that aren’t merely impressive but make an impact.
4. Please tell us more about your business.
My business is focussed on people. I love real people, real personalities, real stories. I am curious to find out what makes you actually you. I take all of that into shooting headshots and portraits for businesses, entrepreneurs, and people who want to take their career to the next level.
For me it’s important that my clients enjoy the photoshoot experience, as well as come away with new pictures that represent them well and that they are proud to share.
5. What kind of people are your clients ?
The type of people I am most attracted to work with are involved in something creative, and are enthusiastic to collaborate with me to create the visuals for themselves and their work. I also love to work on larger projects creating a set of headshots for startups and corporate businesses. The challenge is always different!
6. What difference does an image make in essence ?
An image makes all the difference these days! If you are applying for a job, employers will search for you on Linked In, or your own website. So having an up to date professional headshot is really going to help you stand out and look like the professional you are. Don’t let your first impression be a selfie!
7. What are the images used for?
Clients use their images for their websites, Linked In profiles, and Facebook and Instagram presence. Sometimes also for internal communications within a large business, or for a speaker headshot. For artists and actors, they are using the images to promote their work through agencies and online streaming platforms.
8. Everyone has a camera nowadays, either on their phone or a SLR. What are the extras that a professional photographer brings ?
A professional photographer brings a way of seeing that comes with dedication and practice over many years. Experience that means they can handle unexpected situations and still get the shot. The patience, anticipation, people skills and technical understanding it takes to create great work don’t come in the box with your new iPhone or camera. These things can only be learnt through hard work, time and dedication. A professional photographer will also have invested a huge amount of money in their equipment, from cameras, lenses, bags, to studio lights, filters and insurance.
9. What other interests do you have outside work ?
I love to keep active so I’m busy playing tennis and ultimate frisbee, and enjoying the great outdoors. I’m also happy reading a book in the corner of a cafe, and philosophising with friends over good food or at a museum.
10. Can you see yourself in Amsterdam for a long time ?
I’m here to stay!
Thank you Dave
We know you are a busy man, so thank you for these interesting insights.
Dave’s website is here.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile : 061 513 0348