Loesje Kessels: Be prepared to give it your everything
Photographer: Loesje Kessels @loesjekessels Model: Fleur - Galucci Models @galucci.agency Hair Stylist: Jos Peeters @changeyourself.nl Change | Hair & Beauty Salon Makeup Artist: Dewi Kolliadimas @changeyourself.nl - Change | Hair & Beauty Salon
To begin, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how did you get into the photography world? Do you have any formal training in your background?
As I was traveling around the world and working in different places in my early 20's it was in Vancouver where I bought my very first DSLR. My love for photography started with travel photography, from a desire to capture all the places I went to. In the years that passed I assisted many photographers in different areas of the world and worked for a photo and video production company. After a while I decided to pursue my own clients and dreams and I set up my own business in Dubai. After shooting hundreds of events, weddings, family and children, commercial, fashion & beauty shoots and much more I found that my passion lies with fashion & beauty photography which is what I have been specializing in for over 3 years now.
You have a very unique style. How would you describe your photography to someone who has never seen it?
Thank you! I would describe my style as bold, vibrant and edgy. I love getting adventurous and making every shoot very unique. Each concept needs to have it's own style which I do by using different lighting set ups, color pallets, posing, model choice, set design and so much more.
What is one last impression you want to leave in your photographs?
With probably more online content than ever I always strive to create a visually impressive photograph that will stop people in their (busy) tracks and be drawn to scroll back and take a moment to enjoy my work. Whether they are attracted to the lighting, color combination, the model's pose, the styling, the angle, the location or a combination of everything together.
Beauty photography comes with a lot of stress, how do you handle it?
On large campaign days there is definitely a lot of pressure on the photographer as you are working within high standards yet have to follow a tight time schedule. First and foremost it is important to always stay calm and tackle one thing at a time. You very often see in these shoots that the first look takes the longest because you are perfecting the light, look, color pallet, set design, styling and so much more so it feels like you are way behind on schedule. In reality, once the tone is set, the next looks usually shoot much quicker and you can relax a bit more as the day goes on.
What's going through your mind when you are on set behind the camera?
So much at once and nothing at the same time. As a photographer you are the one person that needs to make sure everything comes together; from set design, make up, hair, posing and of course your lighting and camera settings. You are looking at every single detail to make sure the shots are as good as they can be. At the same time, when I am shooting it is one of the few times in life where I am really in that moment and think about nothing else; not about yesterday or tomorrow, just this moment right now.
You bring a very high production value to your work. What is your retouching/production philosophy? How important is Photoshop in your final images?
Photoshop is definitely important in my images. It is most important in my beauty work than any other genre that I shoot. The photo should already be as perfect as it can be 'in-camera' and photoshop is where you enhance them to that amazing end result. I do find it extremely important that my work is clean but natural.
Are you the sort of photographer who plans for every minuscule detail or are you more spontaneous with your creations? Where do you find the majority of your inspiration?
Yes, I do really like to plan out an entire concept and the planning of the day. Regularly this is also already done by the client. When you get creative it is very easy to lose yourself in time and you find yourself steering away from the objective. That is where a shoot planning comes in to play to make sure you stay in the right direction within the right time frame. Having said that; you can plan as much as you want but with every concept there is room for spontaneity and creativity and you will always end up with at least one amazing shot that you had not planned.
What advice would you give to someone looking at a career in photography?
Hop on and enjoy the ride! But be prepared to give it your everything. Photography is no easy job (as some people still seem to think); many aspects come in to play and you will need to work hard on mastering them all.
What types of projects are dearest to your heart? Why?
Some of the projects I did for clients such as Carolina Herrera, Dior and Estée Lauder in the Middle East. These were all amazing projects to work on form the team to the final results that I thoroughly enjoyed working on.
What projects are you working on next, and what are your goals for the future?
I have been working on some very exciting projects; both commissioned but also personal projects which I love to do whenever I have time. I have also been shooting more still life photography during COVID times which I am very excited to share soon. Unfortunately I can't tell you too much yet but make sure to stay tuned; they will be coming soon!
Where can we see more of your works and get connected with you?
You can see some more of my work on my website loesjekessels.com and you can connect with me on Instagram @loesjekessels. I would love to hear from you!