How nice of you to visit my website!
My name is Angelique de Graaij and I have been taking photographs ever since I was a little girl.
I got my first Nikon camera from my grandfather, and photography has been the main theme in my life ever since.
After secondary school, where they specialised in graphic design, I studied at the Academy of Visual Arts. After having graduated there, I continued studying at Hogeschool Tilburg, also an academy. This is where I obtained my teaching degree in Drawing, Crafts and Textile Work. Creativity has therefore always been my thing!
Over 20 years ago, my friend’s father asked me if I would be interested in taking over his shop/photo studio. After a moment’s hesitation, I decided to take the plunge. Now, many years, photographs and assignments later, I still have no regrets whatsoever about that decision. Each and every day I find it quite wonderful to be practicing this tradecraft. I feel privileged to make such beautiful things for and of people, and that gives me a feeling of intense satisfaction.
Every day is different! I do a lot of work for individual clients, but also for companies. I have seen many families, children and animals pass through our studio, but also on location. In addition, we do portraits and profile pictures for businesses, combined with photographs of the business itself where applicable.
The other thing that is so wonderful to do is to photograph newly-born babies! They are so small, so fragile, and yet the parents put their complete trust in me in dealing with their most precious part of their lives, in order to record this particular moment in their lives. It really is amazing that I have the opportunity to do this, and that every time feels special.
Last year I also completed my course in medical photography. This is a completely different line of work, but most definitely a special type of photography.
During my spare time, I can also be found playing around with photography. This is when I do most of my personal projects. “Fine Art Photography” is what it is called. One of these projects involves young girls, aged 15 to 20, who feel very insecure about themselves. I so often hear that girls in this age group find themselves so ugly, or always have something that they are really not happy about. I therefore ask them if they would like to have a special photograph taken of themselves. I often do the make-up myself, though my daughter has become quite good at it too. I sometimes incorporate some type of body paint as well. The theme/idea of the photograph is worked out by myself, and I also make the body paint myself. The best feeling I get from these projects is when a girl gets to see herself in the end result and just says: “Wow!”.
Because I have done several of these projects, it has resulted in a whole series, which, with permission of the girls, I have put on large panels and then displayed them in actual galleries and public exhibitions, both domestically and abroad. It is because of these photographs that those girls get a boost in their confidence, and that is exactly the reason why I do these projects and why I get a such a good feeling about doing this.
20 years ago I became a member of "Master Photographers Network", previously known as Colour Art Photo. This is a trade organisation for professional photographers that strives to help each other reach a higher level. This way you stay alert and up to date on the latest developments and techniques. The beautiful part is that you get to learn a lot from each other, but that you also end up with many wonderful friendships. I am very proud to be a part of this organisation.