By Michel Verhoef
My photography tries to communicate emotion. Some of my images may be classified as art photography, while some may be seen as a documentary or a crossover between both. I usually want to capture an emotion within our daily lives that is laying a bit deeper, or very deep, or a just-below-the-surface.
You may see my love for the old-style photographers in my work: the Bressons, the Friedlanders, the Parrs or even a Norman Rockwell could be hidden in there. Just to name a few. The Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf is also a great inspiration.
Essentially I want to keep the scene as original as possible without changing it by copying or adding in information from other pictures. The basic mood of a picture has to be already in the picture through the real-life content of the scene. I just need to enhance my images by dodging and burning to emphasize the feeling and to guide the viewer’s eye. Every picture needs to tell a story, preferably through an interaction between people or between people and their environment. In most cases my subjects are people who demand a quick response from the camera’s shutter and sometimes a lot of patience is required to get people used to that lingering-guy-with-a-camera.
Michel Verhoef was born in Germany and immigrated to the Netherlands at age nine. His father was a Dutch jazz musician and his mother a German housewife. Verhoef started at about that young age to make his first pictures with a Brownie that he got from his mother. From her he inherited his feeling for the visual art photography. It has always, though, stayed a hobby besides his actual job as a housing engineer.
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