Monday, 21st October 2019

3:40PM at Cafe de Barones, Amsterdam

Yesterday, took the train to Breda via Rotterdam and arrived at 11:35AM. Met Rianne de Witte, a designer living and based in Breda (in the southern part of the Netherlands) designing simple and classy clothes for women. She was waiting for me at the station exit with her daughter Lua (14 years old) – I borrowed Lua’s bicycle and cycled with Rianne first to see her atelier office, then to her home (a little cottage-like house) about 15mins from the station.

I’ve always wanted to see what’s inside a house like hers and it was a nice surprise! Her home was tiny and filled with a lot of stuff, but yet it was cosy and warm. We made tosti’s for lunch as well as some coffee with almond milk. Such a nice ‘gezellig’ feeling! We had our meal just outside the doorstep in the little garden in front of the house, with is my favourite part.

After eating, we started with the portrait shoot, first by the window indoors where her desk is. Got a lovely picture which I feel has the old school vibe and represents her really well. Rianne didn’t agree 100% with me but perhaps she’s just not used to seeing herself that way. We then moved to the garden for some outdoor portraits, and that was the moment that I felt really inspired. The garden had a ‘run-down’ vibe which worked really well, especially of her sitting on the wooden swing. Really love the mood of the photo – made better by the overcast skies.

At the end, Rianne shared with me a photobook belonging to her family that was made for her grandmother with dementia to help her remember. The photos were so heartwarming, and I got to see many typical Dutch costumes from the past. Rianne, Lua and I then cycled back to the station where we parted.

It was about 4PM then, so I decided to walk around the city and explore for a bit. The streets look really nice (I know, such a lame and overused word) in the grey day/light. Ended the day with a hearty McDonald’s meal in the center to reward myself. It was super delicious because it was an incredibly wonderful day, and most importantly I ‘discovered’ a possible direction for my work, which is to expand and focus more on portraits for artists/entrepreneurs.