After the color powder shoot, I couldn't get the smile off my face. It's just great fun to coach people and help them advance in photography. Whether they are famous Dutch people or not. When it comes to photography and people need a coach for this, it makes no difference to me and everyone is equal.
The jury assessment and results are shot at the NDSM site in Amsterdam, a well-known area because I regularly give workshops here. When I walk to the street museum I hear my name shouting through the street, French German is shouting and waving a little further away. What a super nice group of people this is.
We trickle in and everyone immediately gets a hug. I feel completely at home again. William Rutte and Cynthia Boll also enter and immediately introduce themselves. I have to be careful with everything I say, because they weren't there the previous day and don't know who took which photo. So when asked about how the shoot went, I stick to the surface and only tell some generalities.
After a cup of coffee I go downstairs to look at the set. The photos are displayed large and I walk past them to take a good look. Some photos surprise with positives and are really very good. Others are unfortunately less good. I look at them carefully to discover what went wrong and which accumulation of errors led to a poor result.
Yet I cannot suppress a feeling of pride, they all went for it and they have all shown that they have developed a passion for photography. For me they are all winners.
But unfortunately the program doesn't work that way. The recordings begin and the group enters the main hall. The large photos adorn the set and make an impression when they arrive. It's fun to see the reactions and everything in the museum fits together so well that the whole set is impressive.
To keep the reactions pure and not to see how I react, I secretly watch them enter the hall afterwards.
Then they line up and William, Cynthia and I stand next to each other. I get the place right next to the photos. My first thought was that William and Cynthia would decide and direct everything, because they are of course the experts in photography and the main jury of the program.
But nothing is less true. The collaboration was really nice and they gave me plenty of space to give my opinion. In fact, she often gave me the floor as an expert in this field and so there was mutual respect very quickly.
In my opinion, the photo of Waldemar Torenstra was not successful, the concept is certainly good, but the light falls behind the gymnast and Waldemar unfortunately missed the sharpness, the wall in the background is sharp. He knows this himself and assumes before the recording that he thinks he will not score well with this.
During the assessment with the group, William did not see this well and he starts with a lot of compliments, I don't know what to do. I see Waldemar becoming more and more cheerful. From a distance and in the haste of the shots, the photo seems good from a distance. It is nice that William takes the time with me to look carefully and together we come to the conclusion that there is something to improve.
Sylvia Geersen's photo stands out, in a very positive way. Wow, this one really pops and she did a really good job.
Frans Duijts is also doing very well and has a beautiful photo. He was very busy with my videos and photos before the recording and also asked a lot of questions and this paid off with a beautiful photo. Especially the direction of the light, which I keep emphasizing, is really well chosen.
Anna Drijver also had a good plan, but unfortunately it did not work out well. She wants her gymnast to come out of the wall on the trampoline. But the cut-out is very narrow, so it is almost impossible to see that it is a trampoline and a trampoline on the side is unnatural. I am always a big believer in creating a concept, but under time pressure it is sometimes very difficult to execute well and always think about what is natural.
Henry Schut used the most powder of all. But the result is impressive, a beautiful photo with a lot of movement dynamics and therefore a really top photo.
Sergio has a very difficult part, the mushroom where the men do gymnastics and only practice 'flanking'. There is not much variation in the exercise and during the shoot I already felt sorry for him. Unfortunately you can see this in his photo. The time pressure did not help.
Loes Haverkort also struggled quite a bit with the device, but with a little help throwing powder from Tijl and myself, she achieved a good result. And that is very good for even a difficult part.
Quinty Misiedjan has a nice spot at the top of the very old building and is very happy with the light. Super nice of course and after I helped her along a bit, she came home with a good photo!
Niek Roozen really has an advantage: he is very relaxed and does not let time pressure drive him crazy. This allows him to fully enjoy it and that benefits his creativity. He has quite a difficult part with the AirTrack because the device has to come forward in the photo, but it is just a long mat.
Mr. Cool just fixed it and takes a beautiful photo.
After these recordings, we will discuss the photos in detail, rank them from best to least and determine the grades. This is a really good democratic process where William and Cynthia let me choose and then we look at it together.
We quickly reach consensus per photo and then determine the final grade. Then we go back to announce the results to the candidates, which is of course an exciting moment because with the first shoot of this episode, someone has to go home again. And that's never a nice moment.
After the results, the celebrities can get to work recording interviews and responses. And then we as a jury start working on the recordings around the jury table. Super fun to record this and really get an interplay from the judges.
While viewing, William and Cynthia have an extendable pointing stick. An old-fashioned car antenna type. As we go through the photos and the cameras are running I suddenly hear: OOPS. We look at Cynthia, she is standing with two pieces of antenna in her hands... broken... A wonderful moment of laughter.
If you look at the time pressure and what this does to you, all 9 delivered a top performance. Without any prior knowledge they were thrown into the deep end. It is certainly not surprising that there are differences in the figures and I think we can all learn the following from this: Time pressure really blocks your thinking and creativity.
You too have this during important shoots. You quickly think: I have to hurry, I can't keep them waiting, I'll go a little faster. This causes stress, you recognize that.
If you, like Niek, can get this under control, your photos will become even better. And think about a concept in advance, but if it doesn't work out, be prepared to let go of the concept
After all the recordings I hear that the celebrities have settled down on the terrace on the NDSM site and I decide to walk by and say hello. But of course that's not how it works with this group, they immediately ask me to join them and have a nice chat.
It is a very special feeling to sit on a terrace with a group of celebrities, but they give me the feeling of completely belonging. What a great group of people.
This is how this day ends, what a journey, what an adventure. Everyone from Het Perfecte Plaatje: Thank you!!!