Emmeloord, The Netherlands
Sony A7RII, Mamiya Leaf Credo60.
I’m a meat and fish eater.
As long as it’s clean.
Frank Doorhof – Born into a family of photography enthusiasts, I was bitten by the bug from a very early age. I loved the magic of that frozen moment in time. When I grew up, I started out as the owner of a recording studio, which later made way for an IT company that my wife (Annewiek) and I ran for a long time. In 2013 we sold the company to focus 100% on Photography, an activity that started to grow professionally for me 10 years earlier.
-How did you first become interested in photography?
My family was very much into photography and video so I really got into it very early. Also, realising you couldn’t really make money out of it, I never hunted for that kind of a career, one could say it just happened.
-Did you always want to be a professional photographer?
No not at all, I wished of course, but I’m also a realist. I knew that only a lucky few could actually make a living out of it, and I never expected that later in life I would be one of those lucky ones. I really mean lucky because it’s the best job in the world, you are creative, meet a lot of people and we travel the world. What more could one wish for? (Well, maybe a boatload of money).
-What words best describe your style of photography?
I love to capture a moment. I always describe photography as capturing unique moments in time that never come back. I see every photograph as that. Capturing the essence of a place or person. Of course, I love to add a little bit of myself to that with lighting, styling etc. (if possible).
-What is your typical camera setup on a shoot?
When I have total control, I love to shoot with medium format cameras or even film. When I wonder if I will encounter problems (like the need of high ISO) I always grab my Sony A7RII, I know that camera will never disappoint me and will shoot fast and up to higher ISOs. On the streets you can also often find me shooting a Leica R series (film) and/or a Yashica Matt camera (twin reflex). What can I say? I love film.
-Is there a theme or concept that runs throughout all of your work?
No Idea… I think you see a lot of movement, storytelling and I always love the colour red. I try to do something new every time I shoot, but people do tell me they immediately recognise my work. Now, if I knew how… mmmmm.
-What is your creative process like?
It really depends on the shoot. Sometimes we plan something for months or even years and it comes out exactly as planned, or totally different, and sometimes I don’t know what I’m going to shoot till I shoot it. Both can deliver great images.
In all honesty, I think the thing that does give me my style is that I always try to be creative and find solutions. We sometimes take shots during workshops where people did expect those shots to be prepared and planned, while in essence they were 100% spontaneous. I listen to the people around me and leave everyone room for input and ideas. I think what defines me as a photographer is that all that input combined with some creativity from my side somehow always give good results.
-What is your post-production workflow like?
VERY simple 😀
I do my RAW conversions via Capture One and actually hardly change anything (I shoot with a light meter and colour checker) and in Photoshop it’s a simple matter of:
1. Cleaning up what I couldn’t do on set.
2. Skin retouching with the healing brush and a filter.
3. Adding some pop (some form of contrast boost/sharpening).
4. Tint the image.
Most of the time I won’t spend more than 5 minutes on a shot.
-How do you stay up-to-date with the latest photography techniques and trends?
I love my job so I try to read as much as possible online, follow YouTube channels etc. Magazines, now a days, are actually way behind the news, forums and news letters are a much faster way.
-What is your dream project?
Shooting Brian May from Queen, the actor Bruce Campbell or Lady Gaga.
A more realistic one… Travelling Route66 in an RV and photographing the little towns and their inhabitants and writing a travel/photography guide kind of book about it.
-What was the best career advice you were ever given?
Oh, that’s hard. I was brought up in a family of entrepreneurs so I’m used to running a business, but I think some of the best advice I got, and can give, is that you always have to be creative. If something is on your radar and you want it, go and get it and don’t let anything stop you, but always be realistic. I could of course call out I want to be the next president of the USA but that’s impossible.
I never set goals that are far away or hard to reach because if you don’t reach them, it’s a disappointment and disappointments will come anyway. Don’t go and look for them. But do always aim higher. No one ever climbed the stairs in one step, so take those little steps, but always remember that NOTHING is really impossible.
Connected to that, don’t EVER, EVER do something just for the money. This is a road to failure. Although I earn my money from photography, I could earn much more in a job fitting my education and experience. However, we only live once and you can better look back at 40-50 years of great experiences and fun and creativity than look back at work you’ve done to pay for your hobby, which only was a fraction of a moment on the scale of life.
If you do your job/hobby with passion and love, this will reflect and people will start liking you and hiring you. Before you know it, those goals will be reachable. Now, it’s vital to NEVER stop and NEVER forget who helped you out, always stay loyal to the ones that were important in your career and NEVER EVER forget your fans or your followers. As soon as you forget or disconnect from that group, it’s all over. I dare to say that fans are WAY more important than clients, because they will get you the clients.