Hi, my name is Raïs! I am a portrait and wedding photographer. Since I was a little girl, I was captivated by how photographs are a creation of pure art. It strikes me every time that a photograph shows that it works as a window through time that people get to cherish for life.
I studied photography in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Although I can say that most of my work was done through self-teaching, and I also learn from many other talented photographers as they have the eye to share, and teach you to see the world from a different angle every time. Nothing beats the pure uniqueness of every photographer's eye and their experiences. Through these, I got to develop my own style and created a narrative each and every time.
I do actually! I stole my parent's camera when I was just a little girl and decided to shoot the entire film roll on one angle of our cat laying in the garden. I loved it. It was like I froze a memory of time. Later when my mom came back from developing the images, she told me I really shouldn't shoot an entire film roll for the same scene :) It was a really good memory.
It all started with the Canon 5D Mark II. In the meantime, my main go to's are the Canon 1DX and the Canon 5D Mark IV. My main lenses are the 50mm F/1.2, 24-70 F/2.8, 70-200 F/2.8, 35 F/1.4. I do have many other lenses, such as: Mavic Pro 2, Sony A7III, and some analog cameras.
I would love to share the experiences and my own eye on the world with others now. I would love to teach and would love to pass on. I have received the question to teach many times, and I hope to achieve this in the next upcoming years..
The comment of Andras, a very talented wedding photographer from Calgary. He told me "A good photographer is good because they are creative and experienced, but of all, because they also see things through their hearts!". That touched me so much, because I truly don't just try to replicate, but I try to capture the emotions, the essence, and the true soul of an image.
Most of my inspirations come from the emotions around me. Such as, the bright light hitting on someone’s face when they are speaking of something that upsets them, or the way their eyes speak when they laugh. Those scenes are difficult to capture but that is truly what I want to achieve in my images. Next to my spontaneous style is I try to create an incredibly powerful and beautifully crafted images that leave the viewers breathless. Whenever I achieve that kind of images, it never failed to give me goosebumps as I know I have created something so unique for the rest of their lives. Lastly, my style was inspired by the art from around the world, other talented photographers, or just simply my mind whenever I wander around the location even before I had camera taken out from my bag.
This is truly incredible!!! My heart skipped a beat when I received the incredible news. It always means something so special when your work gets the recognition it deserved, in such a beautiful way. My awards get both a special place in my heart as in the photo studio, where they all are on display. It gives a sense of satisfaction to know that all your effort you pour into your photography, including your heart and soul, means something to the world as well.
After knowing that this award recognizes photographers of all levels of experiences and all kind of photography styles, I feel the need to hand in the image that I took myself which I think is truly breathtaking. It is an image that the couple love to this day. This image makes you stand still and wonder, how is this taken? And after that, you will get a sense of passion, fire, and soul from seeing this image. Therefore, I saw the perfect opportunity for me at this prestigious MUSE Awards.
Next to the fact that it truly means something to yourself as a photographer, it also gives a certain sense of respect and trust towards your clients and wedding couples. Your images don't get better, but there is something about an award-winning image that entrusts people even more in choosing you as their photographer. I would definitely say it developed my career in a positive way and made for many more bookings to come.
Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh, Richard Avedon. The classics. The truly good artists, crafting with light, emotion and making memorable pieces throughout history.
Choose a niche. Don't photograph everything. You will only get good when you focus on one niche and become pro in that.
Focus on what you love doing most. Don't get in there shooting for others or shooting to get paid, but shoot what you truly love. With that, your images will radiate your passion and love for photography. You will shoot more, will go the extra miles when you shoot what truly means something to you. Over time, your images will be the exact style people love and they will come to you, without you having to adapt to others.
Never stop growing and learning. Don’t think that you know everything and think you don’t have to learn anything anymore. Way too often I see photographers think they had everything figured out. However, the industry is constantly developing and growing, and so does your mind. If you keep pushing yourself with new projects, you will receive new perspectives, and new ways to grow. With that, your photography skills will exceed its limit each and every time.
I love it. I follow quite a lot of people from the photography and creative industry, such as: painting, digital art, sculptures, and many more. With that, I will keep myself inspired with their works and hope to inspire others in the future.
I would definitely nominate my friends from Amsterdam with whom I studied.
Raïs De Weirdt firstname.lastname@example.org Jochen Mersy email@example.com
TThank you so much to the Muse Photography Awards, you are truly incredible and I'm truly honored to be a part of it!!
Raïs De Weirdt is a portrait and wedding photographer. She believes the images she captures radiate her passion and love for photography.