Interview

Alice de Kruijs

Alice de Kruijs is a fine-art photographer based in The Netherlands. She frequently touches the subject of identity and diversity and aims to go against the standard ideals and showcase stories through culture and different ethnic backgrounds, her work is a celebration of these differences in culture. As her way of life, she loves to conceptually and symbolically tell stories. Usually by showing a different perspective on personal daily life.

Alice de Kruijs, please introduce yourself

I am a fine-art photographer based in The Netherlands. I frequently touch the subject of identity and diversity and aim to go against the standard ideals and showcase stories through culture and different ethnic backgrounds - my work is a celebration of these differences in culture. As my way of life, I love to tell conceptually and symbolically stories. Usually by showing a different perspective on personal daily life struggles. 

 

Where do you live, does your place of residence inspire you to take pictures?

I was born in 1981 in the east of The Netherlands. I grew up in an artistic family. Nevertheless, my true artistic passion in photography started in my late twenties.
My residence can be inspiring but I focus on conceptual photography and the concept are very globally focused. Therefore, I do not have a direct connection with my residence in sense of photography. I often travel for my photography projects, with the COVID 19 period I made a personal home-based project for the first time. All though my projects are globally, my home is a very comfortable place where I can dream away for future plans and projects.

 

Do you have a photographic background?

Yes, after graduating from International Fashion Design and later from Applied Photography Design with a specialisation in Fine-art portraits I dedicated my life to conceptual photography.
In my early thirties I gradually moved to storytelling photography 

 

How comes that you are interested in photography?

I feel like I’m expressing myself, my opinion and myself-being in my images. It feels wonderful every time I publish a brand-new story. 

 

Which photographer has inspired your photography?

I don’t believe I have that one artist or art movement that I follow closely and influenced my work. For me it is that feeling your heart in moving faster, the moment you see that wonderful image, painting, story or thought. It inspires me instantly and it can’t leave my mind. When I feel overwhelm in this creative cloud I  have to draw my first ideas to freeze my thought, usually this is a combination of  sketches and words.
If I have to name artist that inspire/influence me greatly I have to mention Salvador Dali, his surrealistic capabilities are amazing. I also have to mention Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf, his stillness in his later work is just perfect. 

 

Why do you work in black and white / color?

I’m a conceptual photographer, meaning I think about the project in front and have a clear plan what to do. Using this method I’m convinced the story is stronger and you are better focused during shooting and developing a photo story. By using this conceptual method you don’t start thinking about images directly but first find out which story you want to tell. So, in this way I have a different starting point and after finishing the concept statement I start thinking about color ranges.
For me it is very clear to use color or black & white. I only use black & white when using old photos (analogue) in my project. For all other photos I use color. I always choose a certain color range with colors standing close to each other. I often add a pantone color tones in my concept statement. Color symbolizes a lot and the colors I use in a particular project are thought out. 

 

How do you prepare for a photo?

Well I mentioned it already, as I have a conceptual approach to every project.
Therefore I think about the project in front and have a clear plan what to do. Using this method I’m convinced the story is stronger and you are better focused during shooting and developing a photo story. After I finished the concept I write down the models, colors and trimmings I need for this series. I often make my own props and cloths, or go to second hand shops. Often I repaint, cut or I customize it till I have a suitable result. So once I have the photoshoot I have everything prepared well. Nevertheless I find it important the storytelling is true and natural.

 

What are your technique and creative process?

I work with Photoshop on my MAC for image post processing. I regularly use a non-digital and digital process method within the same project. For example in my last serie “ Family Members” I printed all photos and sprinkled them with glitter and beads to symbolically express the story.

Afterwards I photograph the print and edit them again till the end result.
When creating new work there are always two layers in my images. The outside, the visually appealing image is always clean, in a certain colour combination and I love the stillness and calm look in my images. The deeper layer is the message that I want to tell and it is either very personal or a subject that touches me dearly.  When viewers see my work, I want them to see a visually strong story with a touching message from within. 

 

Which projects would you like to tackle?

I frequently express the subject of identity and diversity and I aim to go against the standard ideals and showcase stories through culture and different ethnic backgrounds. I see my work as a celebration of these differences in culture and identity. I love to conceptually and symbolically tell stories. Usually by showing a different perspective on personal daily life struggles. 
My themes are different every time and I mostly follow my inspiration to express every story. I think when you look at my work the style is very similar in all series but the conceptual statement is different every time. I strongly feel I need to show another side to stories and situations

 

What do you do in your life besides photography?

Besides being a passionate photographer and artist I work as a product develop. I work for a brand-named Basil, specialist in all kind of accessories for bicycles. I’m responsible for all the bags and together with a small team we create new collections every year. Usually I would travel 3 to 4 times a year to Asia for developing new products and checking production. Besides my work I love spending time with my dear family, friends and my partner.

Thanks a lot Alice de Kruijs for the Interview

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