What is it like being a photojournalist in Holland?
Being a photojournalist is really chaotic sometimes because you never know when something will happen. Some days can be really quiet, and you don’t have anything, and sometimes you are on your way to a job and something else comes in, so it can be really chaotic. But I love that part of it, and you never know when you will receive a call. For example, from the fire brigade and we just go ahead, and maybe there is a fire and it can be a very small fire or a really big one. And it can be upgraded in a minute and you can see smoke from miles away.
I’ve done this for a pretty long time, almost ten years. I’ve seen the most terrible things. I’ve seen dead people, I’ve seen people being done CPR on them… I see anything I am pretty young! I am 21 and I have seen literally all the things that a normal Dutch person would never see in his life.
I feel that it is cool because it’s an interesting part of society, but I don’t really feel like it’s my passion taking photos of people in pain, or accidents and fires. What I like the most are the calls with animals, because animal news is always almost good. You see the animals looking cute and looking happy and it’s always good because people want to see it and it also makes me feel good because people go to the website and see the animal news of a cat being rescued in an abandoned house instead of a motorcycle being hit by a car so every day.
How do people react when you’re doing your job?
People can be very aggressive if you are there taking photos, but I make sure to tell them that I will make sure that you are not recognizable, and it’s also for me all about respect. If I can see that I can help, I will help first and just put my camera away. I mean, it can be aggressive but, in the end, I am just trying to turn it around and make them confident that I will treat them with respect. On one occasion, that I was on scene for an accident and it was a really bad accident, I arrived on scene with one police officer that I knew, and a cyclist wasn’t breathing. He was hit by a car and he went through the windshield and he wasn’t conscious, and we were all really terrified. At the end luckily he survived and that was an occasion even though for the image it would be very interesting, I couldn’t do it If I would see my family member there on the ground or in the car in this case, suffering, I would rather I will leave my camera and not spend time and money taking photos.