Based in the south of Holland, Hilde van Gerwen is a graphic designer who pours her heart and soul into her work. As such, it only makes sense that’s she’s managed to capture the heart and soul of her subjects through photography.
Van Gerwen works with brands to tell their visual stories through her small business, but in her capable hands she manages to make digital marketing feel carefully curated and bespoke.
Take, for example, her recent series of photos from the Dutch Royal Ballet Company — through this set of images, she manages to capture the passion, anticipation and beauty of this ancient artform.
What inspired this particular project?
The love for craftsmanship. I got the wonderful opportunity to photograph behind the scenes of the Dutch Royal Ballet Company in Amsterdam. The hidden spaces where all the fragile dresses with delicate layers of tulle are waiting to play their role for the ballet dancers, all carefully handmade with so much dedication and craftsmanship, by a team of people who shape a bit of a dream every day.
At the same time I was also asked to do a shoot for a new Spanish concept store, to photograph for their visual identity.
They share the same values — honoring craftsmanship, authenticity, the choice for slow and honest manufacturing, all made by local artisans, only things created with a soul. These projects fell fluently together.
Are you purely a photographer or do you have other creative pursuits?
At this point in my life photography is a tool for my work creating visual stories for brands, which I absolutely love. In the future I hope to be able to do more personal work as a full time photographer capturing what I love, and travelling to places where nature’s beauty takes me.
Why did you choose photography over other creative mediums?
It wasn’t a choice, it just happened. During a difficult time in my personal life, where I lost my dear father, photography saved me. It helped me express my feelings through images at times when words failed. Nothing can tell a story more than a photograph, even more than words can do. So when words get stuck, I put my thoughts and feelings into an image.
What camera did you shoot on?
How does your gear help you be a better photographer?
My Canon is still challenging me to learn more about all of its possibilities. Because it has so many, I’m still learning every time I use it.
If you could shoot any subject who would it be and why?
That’s a difficult question because I have so many in mind, but I would like to photograph behind the scenes of designers I very much admire like Axel Vervoordt. Shooting an interior created by him would be definitely high on my wishlist. Or Dries van Noten, my all time favourite fashion designer. A peek into his workspace and the atelier where his collections are made, and to photograph his world — that would be a dream too.
If you could go anywhere to shoot where would it be and why?
That’s an easy one. The Scottish highlands, by far! Nature is my daily inspiration and where to find it in more glory than at that place? Sigh!
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For more of Hilde’s work: