Best Team Ever

It is an absolute joy to work with models Shannety and Romi. After working with Shannety for more than 7 years, she’s more than a regular model. I can say she’s a friend. Romi is an absolute doll. I am happy that she wants to model for me after being away from the modeling business for quite a number of years.

Model Romi

Model Shannety

Obviously no photo shoot works without models and a photographer, but it is the make-up artist that seals the deal in our case. Elem is so talented and so driven. Her work lifts our pics to a higher level. She has a very busy day job, so I am really grateful she takes the time to come and do make-up.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH LADIES FOR ALL THOSE HOURS OF FUN AND YOUR HARD WORK!

Great Team

A Country in Mourning

I drove into Brussels this morning, on my way to a customer. Just 2 days after terrorists struck Brussels Airport and the Maalbeek metro station in the Brussels.

No planes landing or departing from the airport as entered the Brussels ringway. It felt uneasy. Entering the city via my normal route through the European quarter towards Place Shuman, right on Rue de la Loi, past Maalbeek metro station. Simply eerie.

My customer houses just around the corner from the Belgian parliament. Before heading home, I made this panorama of our parliament building flying the flags half mast in honor of the victims of the horrible attacks earlier this week.

Belgian Parliament

#duckie In Space

Astro Duckie Pays Tribute To NASA's Apollo 8

On Christmas Evening 1968, the crew of NASA‘s Apollo 8 were the 1st to broadcast from orbit around the moon. Their broadcast included a beautiful message of holiday cheer.

This photo of my little buddy #duckie is an homage to the crew of Apollo 8. Prints of the earth and the moon–done by my good friend Glenn at Studico–and some crafts & arts, I put together this scene. I back lit the earth with an Elinchrom studio strobe, setup the print of the moon and #duckie on a couple of C-stands and lit them with a studio strobe and a small softbox. And look… #duckie is happily floating in orbit around the moon.

Happy Holidays!

New York City from the Air

Today had me all excited: I got to see NYC from the air, and shoot pictures too.

Taking a helicopter flight over the city has been on my bucket list for a long time. Many companies for flights, but little do it as FlyNYON do it. They specialize in flights for photographers. You get to fly with the doors off and your feet outside the aircraft, and take as many photos as you want. They will even let you decide what you wanna see.

Me getting on board the FlyNYON aircraft

After getting a safety briefing, getting your gear secured, you are strapped in and hooked to the back of the aircraft and they take you up for a 30 minute flight that is just awesome! Really awesome. I saw the city like I have never seen it before. And the Hudson River too… When our pilot pitched the aircraft over to the side where I sat over the Hudson River at the Statue of Liberty, it felt like I was flying!

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island with FlyNYON

Flying whit FlyNYON is better than any roller coaster.

Shooting turned out to be a lot harder than I expected. Doors off means that you are fully exposed to the environment, the wind, the speed of the aircraft and the down wind from the rotor. But I got a couple of very nice shots.

One World Trade Center from FlyNYON

One World Trade Center from FlyNYON

A few minutes before we were supposed to take of, a call came in from air traffic control: “a VIP arrived in Manhattan. The airspace above Manhattan will be closed.” The VIP turned out to be US Vice President Joe Biden. A closed airspace meant that we could not cross Manhattan, hover near the WTC or Times Square. But to me that turned out to be a blessing. Our pilot took us up the East River as far as the Bronx. And that gave me a chance to take this nice shot of Yankee Stadium.

Yankee Stadium from aboard a FlyNYON aircraft

Scott Kelby’s 8th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk

The Scott Kelby Annual Worldwide Photo Walk is on its 8 edition. I don’t think I’ve ever missed one. The For the 3rd year in a row, I’ve joined Marco Voet‘s walk in Antwerp. I meet a couple of the same photographers there. Some of them have become friends by now.

The Worldwide Photo Walk to me is just as much a social and networking event as it is a photo event. Didn’t shoot a whole lot of photos. But I had my Fifty-Five Fifty project in the back of my mind on the walk and I came up with 2 nice shots of icon places in the great city of Antwerp.

Bourla Schouwburg in Antwerp

KBC Tour in Antwerp

Good Luck Shannety!

I am gonna go and get on my way to Elckerlyc theatre and cheer on my dear friend Shannety. She is competing for the title of Miss Fashion 2016. And tonight is the big moment: the finals are tonight.

I wish my little girl the best of luck and I hope she’s gonna have a lot of fun on stage. And just to cheer her on, I’ll share a couple photos from our latest photo shoot.

GO SHANNETY!!!

Shannety in a Latex Dress Designed by William Wilde

Young Model Shannety

I Don’t Like Music Festivals

I love going to concerts, but I don’t like festivals. Here’s why:

  • They serve overpriced warm beer in small plastic cups (and I don’t like draft beer);
  • They sell lousy food that is often cold and too expensive;
  • It’s too crowed on festival grounds for my liking;
  • Half the people there come to be part of the experience, I just wanna enjoy the music;
  • I don’t wanna camp out in a puddle of mud for 3 days to see a handful of bands I would wanna see live;
  • Tickets are too expensive and they are only a third of what you will spend there.

I have been to plenty of festivals over the years: Rock Wechter back when it was still called Torhout-Werchter, Pukkelpop, Hard Rock Calling, TW Classic, Pinkpop, Suikerrock, Marktrock, … I’ve done my share. They all start out small and cozy and fun, but after a few editions they all suffer from the list above.

I know… I know… I know… 80000 persons go to Rock Werchter every year, over a 100000 join the madness at Tomorrowland and there is the 40000 or so that rock their socks off at Graspop. Does my list of reasons proves they are wrong? No! All those people buy they’re tickets for a good reason. And all those tickets sold proves there is a market for summer festivals.

Do all those sold tickets prove that I am wrong? Well… I don’t think so. As I said I have been to my share of summer festivals. I just don’t fit in there. So much so that I even don’t wanna go to a festival to see Springsteen. And if you know me, you know how much I like his music.

I was quite impressed with Calvin Harris opening for Rihanna a few years back. He played a nice DJ set. I didn’t know him at the time, so it was a serendipitous moment for me. I come across some of his music from time to time and I’ve even bought some of his songs on iTunes. But would I pay to see just Calvin Harris perform or to see him perform at Tomorrowland? Definitely not.

I’d love to go see Metallica. Should pay €80 or more for a day ticket to a festival–or worse, upwards of €200 for a 3-day ticket–and waist my day waiting for Metallica to come on stage? Please, don’t make me go through the ordeal of having to see 5 or 6 bands I don’t wanna see before Metallica comes on . I’m sure I will go see them at some point… You know: just Metallica and a pre-show artist maybe… Would I be willing to pay €100 or more? Most probably yes.

I’ve traveled half way around the world and to 7 different countries to see Bruce Springsteen perform. I’ve seen Faith Hill & Tim McGraw at Madison Square Garden and The Gaslight Anthem at Radio City Music Hall (in New York City that is), the Dixie Chicks at Royal Albert Hall in London, Billy Joel in Wembley Arena in London, Mylène Farmer and Patrica Kaas in Paris, Paul McCarthy in Köln, Kylie Minogue and U2 in Amsterdam, Jewel on her 1st performance in Belgium for little over 200 persons, …

I’ve seen bands and artists like Pink Floyd, Madonna, Britney Spears, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, The Spice Grils, Axelle Red, Hooverphonic, Bob Dylan, Isabelle A, Barbara Dex, Alicia Keys, Melissa Etheridge, Heather Nova, Daniel Lanois, Peter Gabriel, The Indigio Girls, Simon & Garfunkel, Tegan & Sara, Emmylou Harris, Rihanna, Loïs Lane, Ilse DeLange and many more. Hell, I’ve even seen the Rolling Stones live and I’m a Beatles fan. And a bucket list of artists that will take me well into the next century.

You may not like my taste in music, but I go see 20 or so concerts every year, I have a collection of 2500 albums on CD and still growing, I am proud to say I buy all my music… One could say I do like music, no?

So please don’t judge my love for music based on the fact that I don’t wanna go to a music festival.

Fifty-Five Fifty: A Photography Project for 2015

I’ve never done a photography project before. 2015 seems a good year to do something about that. One has to have some sort of new year’s resolution, right?

So I came up with this idea to shoot 5 iconic images in 5 different cities with my 50mm f/1.8 in 2015. And I’ll name the project Fifty-Five Fifty. It’ll combine my passion for photography and my love for traveling in something that–hopefully–be worthwhile looking at.

Duvel Brewery Photo Receives 6.5K Likes on Facebook

Duvel over the Rainbow

My snapshot of a rainbow over Duvel brewery I took a couple weeks ago has received 6501 likes on Facebook, and got shared more than 12oo times.

I am so trilled about that. It is by far my most successful photo ever. And I am also so happy that Duvel brewery sent me a crate of Duvel to thank me for my smashing photo.

 

Lucky Shot Turns Hit on Facebook

I was stuck in traffic on my way to a customer yesterday morning. Traffic was dense, it was raining, a couple of accidents on my route. It resulted in a 3:15H drive to Brussels. Somewhere half way, I spotted a rainbow over the Duvel brewery in Puurs. I grabbed my iPhone, shot this picture and posted it on my Instagram. As a tag line, I wrote: “There really is a pot of #gold at the end of the #rainbow #duvel”.

Duvel over the RainbowIt got picked up by the guys at Duvel. My friend An sent me a message saying Duvel re-posted it on their Facebook page. It turned out to be a big hit too. This morning, my photo had over 5700 likes and more than 1000 shares on Duvel’s Facebook page. Makes my day for sure. This must be my most successful and most popular photo ever. Talk about being at the right place at the right time. I guess that is what you could call serendipity.

Facebook Screen Capture