1. Please introduce yourself, your current creative focus and where you're based.
Hello, my name is Lieke and I'm a photographer based out of a small town called Heerlen in the Netherlands, where I live together with my husband and 4 year old son.
At the moment I run a part time photography business (I'm also a hospital Nurse) where I mainly focus on shooting "entrepreneurial portraits", but I also shoot couples and families to keep a steady income. In the past couple of months my Instagram has grown massively - Instagram for me is a platform where I can really express myself and my creativity, but also build a community of likeminded people.
In 2022 I would love to focus more on taking aesthetic portraits of other creatives and take on some more branded collaborations, those are the things that truly make me happy. I just want to create.
2. Do you have an early memory that influenced your creative journey into
I always took photos, even as a kid! My mum and dad where also into photography, my dad had his own darkroom in our basement. So I started out with several Point and Shoot cameras from Canon and when smartphones made their entry, I shot with those.
But it was back in 2017, right after our son was born when I started to have a different look on photography. I was searching for a way to express myself creatively. Before that I had a blog and wrote a lot about my life in the city. I started to take photos for my blog and later realised that I enjoyed the "content creation" part even more than the actual blogging.
3. As a self-proclaimed "Fujigirl" is there something in particular that has drawn you to use this system as part of your kit?
Oh yeah! Before Fuji I always shot Canon, because that was familiar to me... But in the last couple of years I started to have neck and back problems. Due to a couple of different life events in 2020 I was forced to take a step back and take rest, so in May 2021 I was at home and not working. I missed doing photography but whenever I looked at my big, bulky Canon gear I didn't feel the urge to go out and shoot with it.
I started to look online for a smaller, more compact camera for everyday use. And that's when I was introduced to Fujifilm. In march 2021 I bought an X-T30 and fell instantly in love with the camera and it's color science! It didn't take long until I also got an X-E3 and what seemed like seconds later upgraded to the X-PRO3 and X100V! It's the look and aesthetics of the cameras that I'm drawn to. When I look at them, I just want to hold them and take them out with me on a regular everyday stroll around the block. I never had that with Canon. Fujifilm makes sexy cameras you always want on your side!
4. There's definitely an element of romance in your photography shared on social media, what is your inspiration for this creative style?
Correct! I like to create pictures that reflect the life I want to live. I romanticize life and small everyday things. Like a cup of coffee with a croissant, I immediately think of Paris, for example. In addition, I am very visually oriented, I like to look at photos that make me feel good, that inspire me and motivate me to create even more. You can also see that in my work and I want to give others that same feeling and experience!
5. How long have you been a professional photographer? Has there been a point in your career you think was pivotal in your creative development?
The turning point for me was in 2017, when my family started to tell me to pursue photography because they thought I had real talent. And that was it... I created an Instagram account, started to ask people to take their portrait and put my name out there! In 2018 I registered at the Chamber of Commerce and my business was officially born!
6. As someone known to many for actively elevating other creators on social media, what motivates you when a creative block sets in?
Of course I sometimes suffer from that too. In those times it is very nice to have friends who also work in the creative industry. You can talk to each other about certain problems you run into. But also encourage each other and cheer each other up when you're in a creative rut - we all need that from time to time. That's why I think the online community is such a beautiful place, it's really easy to approach people, ask questions and simply connect and level with each other!
In addition, traveling always gives me a lot of inspiration too, I think places like Paris and Berlin are beautiful and are right up my alley to gain some new inspirational insights!
7. Do you consider the work you create to be art? Can you explain your answer?
No, I don't see my work as art. Although I certainly think some of my photos are worthy of hanging on a wall somewhere haha, maybe in a cute little coffee shop somewhere? My work is mainly there to inspire and encourage others. And as a portrait photographer, it is my mission to give you confidence by capturing you in a pure, powerful and gorgeous way!
8. Do you have a brand or individual you've dreamed of working with, but have yet had the chance?
Oh man, I'm so glad that in the relatively short time that I've been doing this, I get to work with an awesome brand like Clever Supply Co, who make beautiful handmade leather camera straps and other leather goods! But of course, I would love to work with Fujifilm, that would be a dream! So dear people at Fujifilm, if you read this.... HI! hahaha.
9. Are there any passion projects on the horizon that you're excited about and would like to share?
Well, of course there are! Ever since my growth on Instagram I really started to appreciate the Creative Community out there. I get daily DM's with questions about photography, Instagram and finding your own creative voice. That's why I'm currently working on a workbook for creatives where I teach them (from my own personal experiences) how to find their own way on a platform like Instagram. It is mainly for creatives who want to leverage their business on Instagram and generate more reach. It's called "The Creatives Guide to Insta-Success". I'm still working on it and hope it will be in my webshop by the end of january!
Also, I'm very proud to announce that I will be opening my own daylight photo studio Klein Atelier Zuid (which means Little Atelier South) in the beginning of February! It will me my own office/studio space where I can welcome new clients and do photoshoots, but it will also be a rental studio that other photographers can book for their own shoots! A very exciting start of the new year I would say!
And of course create more Presets!
I would also just like to say that I'm so grateful for all that is happening right now. Just know that if you keep working towards your goals, you can really make things happen for yourself! But nothing comes by doing "nothing". Expose yourself to the process and show yourself to the world! #creativesontherise
If you read this interview, feel free to connect with me at @liekevroomen - I would love to hear from you!