We’re celebrating ten years of the X Mount by featuring the amazing work by local Fujifilm photographers. Anje van Dalen (photographing as Madison&West Lifestyle) tells us how a box of old photographs inspired her to become a photographer, and how photos often say more about the photographer than the subject.
Why do you love photography?
Ever since I was a little girl, I would find myself in my parents’ walk-in closet where they stored a little wooden box. This box contained all the riches in the world – photographs of them when they were little as well as images of my grandparents. These were very particular to me since I never knew my one grandfather that passed away. It absolutely fascinated me that I had something tangible in my hand to represent someone that wasn’t with us anymore.
The other peculiar aspect of these images was that it formed a type of time capsule which captured the styles, fashion, cars, houses, etc. of that specific time frame. These ‘unboxing’ sessions as a little kid awoke a nostalgia in me that could not be quenched.
Tell us a bit more about your photography and what you would like to achieve through it.
I believe that photography reveals a lot about the person behind the camera. The photographer is so exposed to the viewer because what you are drawn to are the things that you photograph; the way you perceive things will be portrayed in the angles in which you take them.
As we have many facets of ourselves and our personality, they can all be portrayed in the different genres that we shoot. My genres include maternity and new-born, family, couple and content photography – these portray the everyday documentation of life as well as assisting others in growing their businesses. I’m also interested in portraiture and fine art photography which focuses a bit more on the soul and the emotion, giving you a wonderful bouquet of life as we perceive it.
What made you switch to Fujifilm and when did this happen?
When I started out with my photography journey, I realised that I had a need for a smaller camera to make photography part of my every-day documenting. I was introduced to Fujifilm in 2016 where I had the opportunity to rent a Fujifilm X-T1.
The size of the camera really appealed to me and so too the electronic viewfinder that made you see exactly what you photograph. The placing of the dials also made everything easily accessible, and I realised that all these aspects would accelerate my workflow. A year later I received an invitation to rent the Fujifilm X-T2, and the rest, as they say, is history. I sold all my gear and moved over to Fujifilm and I haven’t looked back since.
Which Fujifilm camera do you use?
Currently I shoot with two bodies. The Fujifilm X-T3 is my main camera with the second being the little brother X-T30. I enjoy working with two since I don’t need to swap lenses as often when I work. I am very excited to try out the new Fujifilm X-T model when it’s eventually released.
What do you love most about your camera?
I really love the double exposure feature since I really enjoy creating pretty double exposures when I do portrait photography. I also have a manual lens in my bag and the zoom function on my camera helps me to keep a precise eye on the sharpness of my images.