As a self-taught film photographer, Colette der Kinderen makes sure to imbue the natural rawness seen from the naked eye into the photograph. When it comes to vividly capturing the natural light and colors, the Barcelona-based shooter is an expert. Through these elements found in her portraits and scenery, we feel the joy of life. Get to know more about Colette and her work through this interview.
Hi Colette! How are you lately? How's the creative life so far?
Hi! Thank you for asking, coincidentally I´ve been more than good lately! Feeling very inspired and with a lot of energy to create new things and discover new things!
May you share with us how you got into film?
How did it all start? I guess it has always played a role in my life. I’m from the 80’s, so since I was very young I always had my own Fisher-Price indestructible camera with me everywhere, which resulted in some hilarious ‘fashion’ photoshoots with my sister who is two years older than me. And I think I've never owned a digital camera until a few years ago, now that I have to for some jobs. But I forgot about photography for some time when I was studying at University. I realized I was living someone else’s life — this life of studying, working on a business career, wasn´t for me. I missed creativity, contact with my interests, and expressing myself somehow.
Then I got a boyfriend who was a photographer and I realized I always loved photography. He gave me my first analogue camera after all those years again and I just never stopped shooting. I noticed that I didn´t get bored, I only started getting more inspired and every time I got my rolls back, I was more content with the results. I just never let the camera and that passion go again. I found that I could create something I could be content with and that other people enjoyed seeing as well. And for me the way of creating, the process, the post-production of analogue is something very peaceful and enjoyable, it can’t be rushed. Which I think is beautiful to have nowadays.
You shoot a lot of portraits and travel shots. What gravitates you to these subject matters?
Travel shots because I am very restless, I have to discover new things, I am always searching for new impulses, if not I get bored easily. And on these new discoveries, I find beauty all around me and I try to capture that. Portraits are something that I have grown to love. I have always loved seeing great portraits that tell someones story. And I think unconsciously I took it as a challenge to try and get people’s stories out of them through my lens.
I still have a lot to learn there though and am always analyzing what to do better next time. I found it difficult to take pictures of people’s faces before, especially if they are not professional models, but I think over time I have already gotten a lot better at having people be natural and relaxed in front of my camera, now the next step is to have them tell me their stories through my lens.
We really love the bright and colorful, natural-light shots of yours. May you walk us through your film aesthetic?
I love how you describe it, I haven’t created that style very consciously, but it is just what I like best. I like it when a picture pops, it catches your eye and makes you look again, that’s when you start listening to it. I guess that’s where the love for color comes from, it pops. The natural light is the story the picture is telling. It is as much a player in the picture as the model is.
On shooting portraits: how do you coordinate with your models or subjects for a smooth photoshoot?
I think it is quite smooth because I genuinely want to get to know them. I want to show who that person is. I don’t have a mood I want them to set, I want them to show me who they are. So I ask them questions, have them tell me things, and I want to connect with them, that’s when I get the best results out of someone.
Where do you get inspiration from for your work?
I find inspiration in things that are perfectly telling a story! And I can find that a curtain in a window is telling me a story, or the color of a dress in a field. The light that hits a subject, a movement that explains and sets a mood.
Lastly, what's next for Colette der Kinderen?
For now, I want to consolidate my name as a referential photographer working in fashion and specialized in analogue photography. But I’m always on a journey, there’s no fixed destination because before I would get there, I am already looking at the next destination!