Hi! I’m Ellen, a 21 year old Dutch photographer and videographer. Thanks for stopping by. If you love traveling, beautiful landscapes and spending time outside, you’ve come to the right place.
I really want to tell you about how passionate I was about all of the above from when I was a kid but the truth is, I wasn’t. As a matter of fact, when I was a teenager I didn’t really know what to do with my life. Just like many of the people from my age. I knew that I wanted to something good like; ‘’changing the world into a better place’’. I wanted to travel the world but that was a dream that would never come true anyway.
After graduating from high school I needed to choose what for study I wanted to do. I always liked sports a bit so I got hired at a study to become a sport teacher. It was only then when somebody told me about the study called ‘’Journalism and Photography’’ I didn’t hear about before. I found photography pretty interesting and I figured I could do the journalism part too. Not really understanding what I signed up for, I applied last minute, cancelled the other study and got hired at the ROC Friese Poort in Drachten. It was soon that I realised that this spontaneous last minute decision, was one of the best decisions I made in my life.
I became passionate about photography and fascinated by journalism. I realized that maybe I could use the skills that I learned, to make people aware about the problems in the world. In that way I can contribute and actually make a difference on earth.
I did my best during this study and worked hard to develop my skills. My first internship was at a local TV station when I first got in touch with video. My second internship was at a photography magazine called Zoom.nl in Amsterdam. Which I did so well, according to my teachers, that they nominated me for a sort of ‘’student of the year’’ competition. You can read the story about why I was elected etc over here (in Dutch sorry, Google translate if you are really interested haha).
I won from my school, and to my surprise I won the second round, from the whole province too. That’s when the weirdest and most hectic period in my life started. I was interviewed by different newspapers, radio stations and a photo of me was even hanging at bus stations, asking people to vote for me. Like, what?!
Anyway, the goal was to gain as many votes as I could to reach the top 10 out of 50 people racing. I spent a lot of time recruiting and made it to the top 10! 2000 people had voted for me and I’m really grateful for that.
In the end, Cassandra Winkels won the election and that made her ‘’mbo ambassadeur of 2014’’. I was really happy for her and glad I made it to the top 10. That is a big achievement for me, something I’m proud of.
My last internship during my study, was at the regional TV station RTV Noord, the company where I wanted to work since year one. I worked at the social media desk, where I experimented with video that got a lot of engagement on Facebook. When the videos that I made for Facebook went viral, I started to make items for tv too. After the internship I got hired as a freelance tv-reporter, where I went out to the news location by myself, filmed and interviewed at the same time, came back and edited the item before the deadline. Here is an example of an tv item.
Apart from that I got hired to make photo series like this one and manage the social media for different projects.
I was very happy. I got the job that I absolutely loved. But still really felt the urge to travel. I knew that if I didn’t start traveling now, I would never make that step in my life. So I quit, packed my stuff and together with my partner, Jelmer Meijer, flew to the other side of the world.
During our travels we do different media projects such as making promotional videos for companies like this video below. You can read more about what we do on the Work With Me page.
Now, we’ve been in New Zealand for over a year, when we promised to be back the Netherlands within 9 months, but plans changed. We fell in love with traveling, fell in love with the feeling of freedom and exploring the unknown, fell in love with outdoor adventures and we fell in love with this beautiful country. If I look back at the amazing experiences we’ve had, the friendships we’ve made and the things I’ve learnt in one year, I can’t believe it has only been a year!
My goal now is to keep on traveling, get to know the world a little bit better, get on outdoor adventures and hopefully inspire you to do the same, capture the beauty of the earth and maybe one day, I get to do a project that would really, really, make the world a better place.