“I always stay up late to edit pictures. Occasionally I even fall asleep surrounded by my rolls of film.”
Rein Kooyman (24) started as a club photographer at the Patronaat Haarlem and Amsterdam’s Paradiso, but felt like he needed
something more challenging after a while. Instead of shooting the club crowd, he started to shoot the artists themselves. And that’s what he has become known for, but now he’s working on yet something completely different; photographing landscapes. So how did he get there?
“Nature has always been a big inspiration. I grew up in Santpoort, a small afforested village. I was never a good student and didn’t like learning from books. And instead of doing my homework, I often escaped into the woods to make long hikes with my friends.”
“I discovered my dad’s camera while on a family trip to Belgium. I enthusiastically started taking pictures and did so with a lot of dedication, I got up really early and anxious not to miss the morning light. That was my very first experience photographing nature.”
This turned out to be only the beginning for Rein when it comes to landscape photography. When he was on a skiing trip to Switzerland having dinner with friends, he noticed the beautiful clear sky. Suddenly he had the urge to go up that mountain to capture the stunning view, leaving his dinner and friends behind.
“When I got on top of that mountain, I set up my tripod. The sun had set by then and I had never seen that many stars in my life. I took a picture and when I saw the result on my screen, I couldn’t believe it had been me who took that picture.”
It was then that Rein’s professional interest in photographing nature started. He went backpacking every summer in an endeavor to capture the world’s most breathtaking places. Ultimately he dreams of being a photographer for National Geographic.
“It isn’t only about my portfolio, I also want to show people how pretty this earth we live on actually is. I want to share the fascination I have for it.”
“After shooting in a busy city, I always like to return to Haarlem. But now I think it’s time for me to move to Amsterdam, where my studio is situated, to completely focus on my work.”
In a time where everyone owns a camera, it has become harder to distinguish yourself as a professional photographer. According to Rein; only if you dedicate your life completely to photography, you’re able to do this.
“I always stay up late to edit pictures. Occasionally I even fall asleep surrounded by my rolls of film. My friends and family are really important to me, but they all know that photography comes first. That’s why I chose ‘Thanks’ as the title of my last exposition. I wanted to express my gratitude to my friends and family and everyone who supports me. I also wanted to say ‘Thanks’ to the fact that something good has come from all that time spent on doing what I do most, photography.”
Rein will soon go on a trip to Iceland to grasp the life of a farmer. “I’ll be offline again. I’ll pack some books, bring my camera and be completely focused on what life there has to offer.”
We can’t wait for the results of his next adventure…
Interview by Yalou Slöetjes
Edit by Jinan Vyent
Portraits by Jannke Nooij