Fashion Photographer

Gail Meijer is a young fashion photographer from the Netherlands. She lives in a small town near Amsterdam and she has her own studio. When she finished her education 3 years ago, she didn’t really know what to do because she was only 21 and already completed an education for becoming an art-teacher. Then she realized what she always enjoyed doing: being busy with photography. Of one came the other and here she is! Not there yet, but happy with where she is at this moment.

When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?

I think it was during the period when I started to photograph a lot of fashion stories more and more, that started less than a year ago actually. I did assist fashion photographer Martijn Senders already at that time, and I thought wow, how cool would it be if I could also do this for a living. After that I just made a lot of work and ending up in my own studio making, even more, work, making big steps forward in my work as a fashion photographer, in a short amount of time. Although the days sometimes are quite long, it makes me happy to see that I can create something beautiful with a great team. In the end, that’s the thing that matters the most, that it makes you happy.

What is the most important at the moment you take a picture?

I think it is important that you bond with your model and team. If you’re not comfortable, they’re not comfortable. It not always just work, serious business, in my opinion, you also have to loosen up as a photographer and have a little bit of fun. Most of the time, the best pictures are made during that moments.

From where you get your inspiration

It sounds stupid and maybe a little bit weird, but I get my inspiration in everything that I see. Sometimes it’s a certain art-work that I like, the next time it’s a movie, song or even a model with very specific features. I guess I really am a ‘feeling’ person, haha. I also like to get my inspiration from runways and new trends: if I like something, I immediately collect ideas on Pinterest for an upcoming shoot.

How do you look for the perfect spots?

At this moment I’m working at my studio at every shoot because I really like how you can manipulate an image with lighting. I love to work with artificial light because every time there is a possibility to learn something new and try out different stuff. When it does happen that I have a shoot on location, I search on the internet or I just go to a city of what I think fits the feel that it needs.

Describe a typical shoot.

A typical shoot at my studio…that’s a difficult one! It depends on with who I’m working with. Something that is always there, is music. If there’s no music, I can’t work. I think that has also to do with the fun part I described earlier. Music makes you move, become a little bit looser, you name it. Who doesn’t love music? Another thing that is important for me is planning and the fact that people have to be taken good care of. There’s always enough food and drinks (healthy, of course) Most of the time I bake a healthy cake or I make a nice salad. It’s nice to see that, despite the working, you can have a nice time with the people you’re working with. The last thing to name is my type of shooting. Most of the time I’m lying on the ground or you see me work myself in difficult positions. I always joke about it and say: “Everything for the arts!”

Were you educated in photography, or are yourself taught?

I did go to an Art School, but the education in photography there was not really a priority. My education was about becoming an Art Teacher, not an artist or photographer. I did learn a lot from all kinds of art, from drawing to film, and I guess that made me look different to how I take pictures. I look at shape, colour, ambience and also if it’s good as a series of pictures. So, in a sense, I’m half self-taught, because I do have a background in photography from my time at art school, but not in the technical way a schooled photographer would. I believe in practising, asking others with the right knowledge and just dare to take a step further and just do it. To be a photographer, you don’t specifically have to follow an education for it.

What camera do you use most of the time?

I use the Canon 6D with a Sigma 24-70 mm lens at all times in combination with my Bowens flash set. I do want to check out other lenses, but for now, I’m very pleased with them.

Which photo are you currently most proud of?

I’m actually quite proud of all the photo’s that I’ve taken because it shows a process of growth and the willing to get better and better every time. But, if I have to choose, I choose my series for Institute Magazine, called ‘Androgyne Chic’. It was my first publication and I still love the series very much!

Comparing where you are now with where you are when you first started, what could you have done differently to get to where you are sooner?

That’s a difficult question, to be honest. I believe that things happen for a reason and it’s up to yourself how to handle it. If you really want something, work hard for it and it will pay off.

Favorite photography book?

My favourite photography book is Pictures: Tim Walker. I think he’s a one of a kind photographer and I really see his work as an example how fashion, art and photography come together beautifully and create a stunning picture every single time.

Comparing where you are now with where you are when you first started, what could you have done differently to get to where you are sooner?

That’s a difficult question, to be honest. I believe that things happen for a reason and it’s up to yourself how to handle it. If you really want something, work hard for it and it will pay off.

Favorite photography book?

My favourite photography book is Pictures: Tim Walker. I think he’s a one of a kind photographer and I really see his work as an example how fashion, art and photography come together beautifully and create a stunning picture every single time.

To know more about Gail, please visit: Gail Meijer

 

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