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Behind The Lens: Steef van der Ploeg

Name: Steef van der Ploeg

Age: 32,

Location: Netherlands, Groningen

Insta: @stewie.image

Camera/s: Canon 250D Minolta Riva Zoom 70EX

Leica 2 mini (being repaired)

Main photography style/s: Street photography

When did you first get into photography and what was your first camera?

Haha hard question to answer. Think I bought my camera (250D) like three years ago.

Main reason was, that I travelled a lot before and never really took pictures. So therefore I decided to by a camera, but soon figured out, it was not as easy as they show on YouTube (become a photographer in 10 min LOL), plus at that time my phone made better pictures than I did with the camera.

However, a good friend of mine, who is a professional photographer, (Justin / insta: fxue.jpeg), visited my house during my birthday party. He explained it, created some interest again and asked if we should go together on a shooting night. Since than I’ve been sold. So guess I got in to photography almost a year ago

What's your dream camera and location to shoot?

My dream camera is the Fuji XT 2 and Tokyo, or Norway. Before I mention so many other places I would like to go haha

What are you looking for when you go out to shoot?

Depending if I have already something in my mind, maybe because I had seen the location before etc. Otherwise not a specific object. Street life, is something that changes faster than you can shoot. Therefore just go out walk around, observe and see how people interact with others or even with themselves, can create the best shots. I have the idea, that when your to focussed on a subject, you miss out on opportunities which you don’t see, since your focus is just on that main thing. Of course I have favourite stuff like, long shutter, reflection and now black and white. But those are not points I focus on but more walk in to.

Favourite shot and why?

My favourite shot, again a question that makes the brain tickle. It’s a shot that I made during my first few weeks of photography. Me and a friend (fxue.jpeg) were driving around and thought it was not going to happen. However, out of nowhere the sky turned kind of purple and made this insane reflection on everything. The reason for being the favourite picture is, that I took a shot, no editing whatsoever, and still think its amazing. Coming home and looking at it, made me so proud, that for me it is an motivational picture.

Photography career goals?

None really. Love the fact that I can put my own time and creativity in it. If I would have career goals related to it, I think I lose my freedom and start seeing it as a career. However, more followers for sure!! For inspiration and appreciation, Love the photography community.

However, if I would get an opportunity for a project, of course I would not say no. But like I said, I have to walk in to it. Till that time its just me, the street, my camera and creativity that create my content

Best piece of advice for new photographers?

  • Don’t focus to much on YouTube tutorials. They can be really handy, but at the end of the day, you’re the one making the picture.

  • Shoot what you like, not what you think others will like. Everyone is different and so are you. Being different in your creativity, makes your picture unique. At the end, shoot what you like and more will feel probably the same.

  • Go out and learn. Make horrible pictures and wonder why it looks that way. Learn by doing is the best way to go.

  • If you have a friend that is in to photography, ask him or her, to meet up and hit the road together. Its fun and you can learn a lot.

  • Most of all, have fun doing it, its not a competition it’s a passion.

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