Jan 6, 2016

Behind The Lens: Marnix Postma

Marnix Postma, 41, Dutch, Antillean, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Hi Marnix. First and foremost, how are you?
Hello, I’m very well, thanks for asking!

I’ve read that you studied Architectural Engineering before you went to art school. What’s up with that?
I wanted to be an architect so this was a first step. I finished the technical training but I found that I wanted more creativity with a faster pace.

marnix postma behind the lens

How did art school support you in your career?
The art academy exposed me to a multitude of disciplines. The first year was very broad and students from different directions were mixed together. Only a few of the lessons were directly linked to my field of study (which at that time was still architectural), but we were being taught how to draw, paint, work with metal, wood, glass and synthetics, screen print and so forth. One of those workshops was photography, so I had my introduction to the medium there. It immediately appealed to both my technical and creative sides so I changed my course of study and here we are. So I can say it’s been very important to my career.

It immediately appealed to both my technical and creative sides so I changed my course of study and here we are.
So I can say it’s been very important to my career.

You’ve worked with a lot of street brands. How did you get into this scene?
During my time at the FotoAcademy of Amsterdam, I became interested in the way fashion can be used to make an image really interesting. For me as a photographer, it’s very important to stay close to my core and be genuine.

For me as a photographer, it’s very important to stay close to my core and be genuine.

Since I have always been in the street / lifestyle scene, it is just who I am. I consider myself lucky that I get to work with so many people and brands that I enjoy.

marnix postma behind the lens

I love the work you did for Daily Paper. How did you guys meet?
Thank you! One of my best friends introduced us and did the art direction of the first shoot we did together. I’m very happy to be able to work with them and really like what we’ve created together. We understand each other very well and share similar aesthetics, interests, etc, so we come together in a really nice way where we can feed of each other and create cool shoots.

Having just finished another big shoot for them, I can definitely say that the best is yet to come from those guys.

So, I’ve noticed that you mostly shoot people. What do you love so much about working with people?
I think the person you use to portray the story or the brands image is one of the most important elements of the image.

marnix postma behind the lens

It seems to me like more and more people are trying to become photographers. How do you take yourself out of the crowd?
First of all, I always work hard and try to do the best job I can do and deliver good work. A lot of it comes down to your technical skill and experience and also if you’re genuine and pleasant to work with; nobody wants to work with someone they don’t like.

Eventually you develop your own style and niche and people will find you.

Do you think originality is an important aspect when it comes to photography?
It’s important in everything one does. Originality doesn’t necessarily mean being the first one to do something; rather doing it in your own way, putting your own fingerprint on it.

Originality doesn’t necessarily mean being the first one to do something; rather doing it in your own way, putting your own fingerprint on it.

marnix postma behind the lens

Do you have a unique selling point?
I would say that I’m street and I’m very technical. I’m also really open. I always welcome input or ideas when defining a concept. I never pull a “my way or the highway attitude.”

I think you’re a very creative individual. Do you have any rituals that help you to stay creative?
Thank you very much, that’s nice to hear. I spend a lot of time seeing things that I enjoy or that inspire me and keep my mind open and active. For me, that’s seeing lots of concerts, films, and visiting museums wherever I am in the world. I’ve also been screen printing for a few years now and just had my first show here in Amsterdam. Printing allows me to explore and work creatively in a way totally detached from my usual work; still hands on and technical, but totally different.

Printing allows me to explore and work creatively in a way totally detached from my usual work; still hands on and technical, but totally different.

It tends to create more questions than it answers, so I am always getting a lot of creative energy from doing it. I’m working on a way to incorporate it into a shoot soon..

I believe you’re still living in Amsterdam. Any dreams of moving or doing projects overseas?
I am based in Amsterdam, but everywhere I go I try to do a project. I’ve done projects in London, in Rio de Janeiro and two in LA so far. I’ll definitely keep that up and am planning on setting up in a bigger city soon.

Are there any photographers who inspire you?
I respect and enjoy the work of a lot photographers. I tend to gravitate towards artists whose work seems to happen naturally because they are capturing what is around them.

I tend to gravitate towards artists whose work seems to happen naturally because they are capturing what is around them.

Not necessarily straight documentary style photography, even though sometimes it ends up being that. I have full respect for those people who create because they are driven to, who are always shooting as an extension of themselves, without any commercial consideration, like the work of guys like Jamal Shabazz and Glen Friedman. That spirit is a big inspiration for me, more so than someone’s individual style.

If you could work with any individual on this planet, who would you choose to work with?
That’s a very hard question… I’m gonna say Snoop. I’d like to shoot him for something, a brand or a magazine.

marnix postma behind the lens

What’s the one thing you would teach photography students if you were going to give a masterclass in photography?
I’d put a key emphasis on the self. Spend your time becoming an interesting, actual person and your work will do the same.
When you meet someone at a party, who do you talk to more, the accountant with nothing to talk about except for work or the person who is traveling the world and has hobbies you’ve never heard of?
It’s great if you find people you click with and build a team of forward thinking, creative people that you can call on and involve, but you also have to have the spark. In the end, there are a million ways to shoot the same thing. No two people will create the same image, we are all showing up to the job with completely different ingredients.

No two people will create the same image, we are all showing up to the job with completely different ingredients.

So just be yourself, do your own thing, and stay true.

Are there any future projects which you can tell me about?
I’m just finishing work with Daily Paper on their next fall/winter collection and it’s looking pretty great, that’s all I can say about it. I’ll be trying to get ‘streets of LA’ out, which is part of the series of projects shot around the globe, and I have some plans for a few editorials I’d like to shoot in the coming months. I’m also working with DEZEEP on the campaign shoot of his first clothing line and a few other Amsterdam-based lifestyle brands.

marnix postma behind the lens

What’s the one thing you love most about your job?
I very much enjoy the diversity of the job. Every day you’re working at some other location and with different people, and weird challenges.
I get a lot of returning clients/projects too, which makes it fun.

Written by: Fares Masharawi

 

Want to see more of the person behind this lens?
Visit his website: marnixpostma.com

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