In 1987, I have been graduated as a graphic designer. Having a job in a design-office, I had to take pictures from the first working day. Everybody can takes pictures. But my habbit for lay-out and playing with parts of text, improved my way of taking pictures and also this way of working made me a versatile photographer.
In 1994 we started a shop on the mainroad of our hometown. I had only a very small photostudio of a few square metres. In 2008 we changed our garden into a bigger photostudio of 250 square metres. This big investment gave me a lot of new opportunities.
2006, was the first time I had contact with the country China. China was something far away in the East. A lot of questions crossed my mind. In Belgium my work exists about 50% of portrait shooting and 50% of industrial photography. The industral photography is very worthwhile to pay off the big investments that I have made. A very big comfortable and well equipped photostudio was and is still responsable for my great amount of costs. But inside my photographers’ body I feel like a “belly-photographer”. I frame my picture without thinking about rules. Just shoot like you feel it. My background as a graduated graphic designer helps me a lot to compose a picture in a natural way. Lines, patterns and perspective in the fore- or background help me to put the main object in phocus and gives the pictures also a large depth. My favourite lens is a wide-angle. The wide-angle lens orders you to touch the main object or person. And with the wide-angle lens, you had to be close enough. If the picture is not good … you are not close enough (cfr. Robert Capa).
Till now I have visited China six times. Every time the atmosphere was different. But the Chinese people were allways the same. Rich or poor, high educated or working … Allways I received a very welcome feeling from the Chinese people. Having a big respect for them and also for their long cultural history. In 2009 I decided to learn some basics of the Chinese language together with my son. Also the respect for the Chinese people improved. The networking with Chinese colleague photographers also improved because I was always interested in their kind of way taking pictures. The Chinese photographers have a great feeling to capture the available light. Interested in my kind of working, several Chinese delegations visited my photostudio in Belgium. In 2008, Mrs. Shao Hua, the former president of the CPA (China Photographers’ Association) and the daughter in law of chairman Mao Zedong, visited our photostudio in Belgium. In 2009 I invited two Chinese colleague photographers at my home for 10 days to exchange photographic experiences. My home was their home. These two friends were a part of our family. In 2010, we were invited back to China by these two friends to have Chinese NewYear with their families. We did not understand very much of eachother language. But the photographic language was the same and our brotherhood was very intensive. Without knowing very well, I applied a kind of guanxi. A lot of Belgian people and friends always ask me: “Why do you like China?” I always answer them … “I can not tell you …”. Words are not enough to express the kind of warm feeling that’s very deep inside me for the Chinese people. A band of brotherhood made by the very positive way of thinking by the Chinese people. Also the eye-contact, expresses more than thousand words and these expressions we have to catch in our simple cameras. Very expensive camera’s are not the solution to catch these expressions if you do not have the sensitive eyes. The eyes and the inside spirit order the finger to push the camerabutton at ‘le moment décissif’. My Chinese pictures, expresses my feeling, received from these people, who opened their private lifes for me. Some moments are unforgettable. A sensitive touch between two cultures with images who says more than thousand words.