The growth of your art and your business. Guided by me.
Why do I explicitly emphasize that you are an artist? Because you are one; anyone who creates, anyone who expresses his or her vision of the world through a medium is an artist. Reality becomes art because YOU make the decision when you press the shutter button. How you portray the world depends on your creative vision. The more you can put of yourself in your photography, the stronger this vision becomes and the more unique your photos will be. Many photographers are still searching for their own voice in their work. I help you develop your unique vision so that you can confidently call yourself an artist and capture the world in a way that no one else can.
As an entrepreneur, your business must fit into your life and with who you are as a photographer. In our mentoring we will pay a lot of attention to how we can set up (or transform) your business into a profitable business in which you enjoy working every day.
As a graduated artist at the Art Academy (in sculpture and illustration) I have developed a distinctive view on documentary photography and I use unique methods to help photographers in the creative and business field. In addition to a clear view on creativity and a strong analytical capacity, I also have years of experience as a coach, so I can work with you through your insecurities and fears. Together we break down your blockages stone by stone, after which you, freed from uncertainty and with a clear creative vision, can confidently step into the world. And capture it as beautifully as possible.
Floating on a wave of inspiration after Nienke’s “Unfreeze Yourself” workshop, all I knew was that I didn’t want that inspiration to end so I signed up for her year-long group mentoring. For me, it was always clear that I wanted to be part of a mentoring group, rather than one-on-one. I wanted the community and I wanted to learn from the experiences of multiple photographers. In a group mentoring setting, I knew I would be able to hear people ask the questions I didn’t think to ask. I knew I would feel my perspective grow by seeing how differently others would use photography to address the same assignments I was having. A year into the group mentorship and I can confidentially say that all these desires have been met. Never have I ever pushed myself as hard as this past year, not because I was being forced to, but because I was inspired to.
One of my favourite things about Nienke as a mentor is her honesty. I know when I ask her thoughts or opinion that I’m going to get a real answer and not just fluff that I can’t do anything with. We joke together that she gives me “tough love” which is fantastic because only with honest feedback and her supportive and caring way, I/we truly dive deep and progress. I also love her genuine willingness to make the mentorship a positive experience where we grow while also enjoying ourselves. She brings some of the textbook-style information but also spices things up by introducing new photographers of different genres, keeping things fun and interesting.
While Nienke raises topics and probes us to dig deep, my learning capabilities are multiplied when I am not following this journey alone but together with other photographers. We feed off each other, encourage each other, and we have a support group to lean on when there are struggles. While I could certainly have this with Nienke alone, being part of the group mentoring means that I get Nienke plus four extra photographers to share this experience with and to learn from. Together we thrive. A rising tide lifts all boats! I am so grateful for the way this group has guided me with wisdom, motivation, and passion for this craft.
I had the pleasure to spend a year long mentoring with Nienke. Right after her eye opening workshop, the Unfreeze yourself, I felt that her approach and teaching style fits me perfectly and I wanted to continue with her. This year was a real game changer for me. Step by step, I learned to express myself better and better in my photography to transform my vision into images. Her mentoring program was perfectly built and structured but also she was very flexible and creative to adapting it to my situation anytime if needed.
Nienke is the most kind, funny, straight, intelligent and sensible teacher I ever had ! Thank you so much !
The absolute beauty of this lady is that she goes waaayyy beyond the expectations of mentoring. She has this natural ability to focus so individually and creatively on her students' needs... and ALWAYS with her heart. Oh and yes, with the right amount of ass-kicking for her more renegade students, who have a tendency to go off-piste whenever they feel like it!
I will never forget that mentoring session after entering a global pandemic. We spent those first emotional moments in tears across our screens with each other, not knowing what would happen next. We threw away the 'rule book' that day and you led from your gut, which is 100% my chosen language. Thank you lady, you rock.
Finding the right creative mentor is like finding the right therapist. So if you're looking for someone who preps and focusses on you like you're the only student in her world, then Nienke is, without doubt your lady. I've not only gained a deeper insight into my approach and what I need to do more or less of to keep going where I'm going, I have also gained a life-long friend.
Nienke mentored me for 12 months and it was the best decision of my photography career! My skills have improved drastically (and that's an understatement!) since participating in her program. She tailored my homework specifically to me and my skill level. Nienke pushed me to do better in a kind, patient and FUN way! Nienke was (and is) extremely available to answer any questions between our sessions together; she encouraged and supported me when I had fears or anxiety about an upcoming session or about my homework. She checked in on me and I know she truly cares. I came away a different photographer and I am so very happy she pushed me in a positive direction. I will 100 percent work with Nienke in the future and I recommend her to any photographer looking to improve their skills.
My mentoring with Nienke was very valuable to me. I have been a professional photographer for 6 years now, but had become a bit 'lazy' in my photographic work. Nienke really challenged me to look differently and see where my points for improvement lay. She taught me a lot, especially in composition (backgrounds) as a storytelling area. I see a clear difference in my photos now and that makes me very happy. In addition, Nienke is a very good mentor who is more than 100% committed to her students. Each session was carefully prepared and I could always contact her in between. A winner!
The first year of Nienke’s mentorship provided me with so many foundational materials I didn’t even realize I was lacking. It also served as a framework for moving forward and building. Nienke introduced me to many different documentary photographers and their work, gave composition assignments (so many composition assignments, and while I will be honest and share that I don’t love them, I must admit that they have helped me to SEE more) and offered honest feedback (because let’s be honest, hearing that you did amazing on every assignment is not helpful).
Over the course of this mentorship, I forced myself to stop hopping from one trend to the next and to stop jumping back and forth between multiple courses. Instead, I had to stay the course with my commitment to a year-long mentoring program. Sometimes when there are so many choices it is difficult to remain focused & the duration of this mentorship helped me to center myself & also showed me the importance of playing the long game. Forward movement is, in my opinion, one of the most important things in growing a creative skill or in building a business. This group mentoring has given me a constant bit of motivation to continue building, one piece at a time, by providing accountability, feedback & consistency.
Working with a group mentorship is great if you enjoy having a group of other photographers to discuss ideas with, but it is important to understand that it is not the individualized experience of a one-on-one mentorship. I believe the most important piece to having a successful group mentorship experience is understanding that you’re all building businesses that fit you as individuals and while many of your goals overlap, there are still so many pieces that you may each do differently and still find success. A group is helpful to get feedback for your ideas and your images, they are super helpful to complain to when you’re lacking inspiration and they are great for giving you an extra push to get motivated when you are feeling behind. I think it is fair to say that our group chat has conversations happening in it more days than it does not & this has definitely helped me to maintain momentum in the past year.
I am so excited to embark on a second year of mentoring with Nienke and the rest of our group. I feel like at this point we all have a good understanding of where each of us is at and where we would like to go. It is such a comfortable place to call a starting point and I can’t wait to go into the second year with the momentum from the past 12 months carrying us forward.
When I signed up for a mentorship with Nienke, I had a straightforward goal in mind: stop taking pictures on my iPhone, and finally learn how to capture the images in my mind’s eye using a dSLR. I had taken many online classes before with this exact goal in mind, but for whatever reason my pictures were falling flat, and my camera sat in the back of my closet collecting dust. I was surprised to find that getting complete control of my camera was only the beginning of what I would learn throughout the year. I learned the beauty of failure (that triangle assignment!). I learned how to muster up the courage to try again. I even learned so much more about compositional techniques I thought I already knew. In essence, Nienke taught me how to be an artist. With the perfect amount of patience and persistence, Nienke took my photography knowledge to heights I never even thought possible. There was one particular assignment that changed me in a profound way; I found myself walking alone in a park in search of an image, and for the first time in my life, I listened to my inner voice to get it. Now it comes with me on every shoot. If you’re reading this and thinking about jumping in to this adventure, don’t hesitate - do it. You will come out of the year transformed into a more knowledgeable and confident photographer.
As a mentor, Nienke gets into your head. She doesn't teach you how to shoot like she does, but she uses her knowledge and skills to improve YOUR photography. In addition, she really sees who you are as a person. In her mentoring she combines all her super powers and she not only communicates with me as a person, but also talks to that little voice in my head. Nienke gives honest and constructive criticism and is very direct. It is so nice to work with her and I see my photography improving and myself growing as a photographer. And when I get stuck I can feel her kick under my ass. Dear Nienke, thank you for all your attention, time, knowledge, skills and humor. I couldn't wish for a better mentor.
The group mentoring was everything I imagined. I loved the group support, answering questions and giving opinions no matter what time it was. It was constant empathy and help and cheerleading from the ladies. Nienke is a warm, passionate, hilarious human who really and deeply cared about us. She was direct with her encouragement and critique and that's what I needed to grow as a photographer. Nienke helped me see the world differently to see shadows, light, contrast and feel emotions while photographing. She was flexible and met our needs gracefully. I have really grown this year in my confidence as a business owner and my skills during this group mentoring.
When I started my mentoring with Nienke I wanted to learn and grow as a documentary photographer; I found myself kind of stuck after some time. My images were a bit messy, and were more based on what I thought was a nice photo, that on telling a story within the image itself.
Nienke saw me, saw my potential and is helping me reach my goals. I can now proudly say that looking back, I’ve learned a lot during the year and half I’ve been mentoring with her. My composition is more intentional, I make deliberate decisions when I photograph, I think about the story I want to tell and she’s pushed me to develop my own voice. I see in colors now when I was mostly seeing black and white before, I’m on my way to start my own photography business and on top of it all, I have a good friend who nurtures me and cares for me. I am so grateful we crossed paths, and I can’t imagine where I would be now in my photography journey if it was not for her.
Of course it requires dedication and focus, but don’t think twice about mentoring with her. Not everyone has such a clear creative vision and is such a good teacher!
A program build to fulfill all your creative and business needs
This is what I offer you:
- Your story; How do you see the world and how do you want to capture it?
- Intuitive photography;. Learn to trust your gut and in this way learn to take more unique photos that say something about you as a person.
- Experiment; Experimentation is vital to your creative development.
- Point of view; Step away from that central composition and find the point of view that best fits the story!
- Basic composition; Let’s build a solid foundation first
- Complex composition; Challenge yourself further; think of complex layering and background composition
- Storytelling in one photo; Learn to tell your story as clearly and interestingly as possible in one photo.
- The complete story; How do you build a visual story with multiple frames that is diverse, interesting and readable? And evokes emotion?-
- The selection process; An indispensable part of creating your story- Transition photos. Photos that glue the big picture together in an artistic way.
- Detail photos; Photos that can convey strong emotions by zooming in on an important detail or atmosphere.
- Non literal photography; Photos that are essential for the diversity in your story because they add atmosphere-
- Creative use of technique; Learn how to make the most out of varying your aperture and shutter speed.
- Editing; Your photos, your style.
- Use of light; Be in control of any lighting situation and learn how different types of light can affect your storyline.
- Environmental portraits; A wonderful addition to your documentary series
- Customer experience; Learn how your customers feel seen, heard and spoiled by you and thus become repeat clients.
- Pricing; Learn to determine prices by using clear calculations.
- Selling Products; Learn how to best approach the sale of your favorite products so that they bring you a good profit.
- IPS vs Fast Turnover; The pros and cons of selling or not selling your digital photos so you can choose what suits your business!
- Online and offline marketing; A basic introduction to a very extensive world of possibilities!
- Website; Whether you still need to build it or remodel it: we do it together!
- SEO; An introduction to an indispensable tool.
- Instagram; Learn how your account can generate followers and customers
- All the One-on-One mentoring spots of 2022 are already taken! Spots for 2023 are limited. Please get in contact with me HERE when you are interested in one of the One-on-One Mentoring spots in 2023!
- Spots for the Group Mentoring of May and September 2022 are going FAST. The May Group has 2 spots left and the September Group has 4 spots left. Contact me HERE for your spot!
- € / $ 325 / 395*monthly
- One year, divided into 12 monthly 2-hour Zoom sessions.
- Exclusive 1-on-1 attention and guidance
- A program specifically adapted to your wishes
- An extra free bonus mentoring session at the end of our year together, free to use whenever you want
- Always standing by for your questions in between the mentoring sessions via email, Whatsapp or PM
- Level of photography doesn’t matter
- * Photography businesses get the 21% VAT reversed charged (0%), private persons have to pay an additional 21% VAT on top of the € 325 / $ 395
- € / $275 / 335*monthly
- One year divided into 12 monthly group Zoom sessions of 2 hours.
- A small group of students, a maximum of 5
- Personal attention for the development of each student
- A private environment for you and your fellow students where you can contact each other (and me ) with questions and where you can keep in touch with each other in between mentorships.
- 6 extra Min-Zooms in between the mentoring sessions
- 3 half-hour One-on-One sessions per student
- 2 Q&A's with your favorite photographers
- Entry level: advanced hobby photographer or professional photographer
- * Photography businesses get the 21% VAT reversed charged (0%), private persons have to pay an additional 21% VAT on top of the € 275 / $ 335
AN ALL CREATIVE PROGRAM?
Forget about business, let's deep dive into your art!
Are you already on top of your business and are you only interested in deepening your creative self-development? Or don’t you want to go in business at all? I can make a customized creative trajectory for you. Please contact me if you are interested in this!
When you have any questions at all about both mentoring programs, please contact me!