My approach when making photographs is considered and precise. I carefully build the image, staging all details, sculpting the face and posture into the most fitting shape and position. Creating flattering and genuine portraits. In the end subject and space have an equal importance within the frame.
Simone Henken, 1960 Richmond Australia
Academy of Photography, Amsterdam 2000
UvA Psychology and Sociology, Amsterdam1995
Academy of Expression, Kampen 1984
* Drama and language education teacher
* Photography teacher, for both MBO and HBO courses. Associated with the Fotovakschool from 2005 till 2018.
* Founder of Beeldvoorziening Foundation, guiding starting photographers and serious autodidacts in setting up their creative business.
* Founder and owner of Smart by Art. Organising creative art classes on inspiring locations to increase creativity and personal growths.
I followed various courses before completing my studies at the Photo Academy in Amsterdam. My theater background as a drama teacher and my psychology studies are reflected in the social themes that I address in my images and in the way they are shaped, in which light plays a very important role.
In a play there is a dramatic development, in a photo there is only 1 frame in which the story takes place. 1 film still, stripped of sound and movement. In my opinion, all picture elements must coincide into 1 whole. What does not contribute to the essence of the photo must be left out of the picture.
My pictures are very carefully put together. Each object is there for a reason. That reason does not have to be logical, but can have an intuitive/ emotional meaning.
Often my photographs arise from a hunch, or an object or what a model brings in. From there the story unfolds, little by little, layer by layer with references to social themes without depicting them directly. That would be too 1 dimensional.
I always look for layering; physical presentation, emotional expressions, contemporary themes and symbolism interwoven with icons engraved in our collective memory.
The result is often somewhat absurdist and with a humorous twist.
I devote myself to photographing people who are not used to posing in front of a camera. Their personality, environment, clothing and habits are the ingredients for an intriguing image. The photos do not have to be 'real' in a journalistic sense, but they must be 'true' in a narrative sense and form their own reality. Just as a theater scene is not 'real', it can show a deeper reality with great expressiveness. An effect that I also strive for in this photo series.
My images are often based on themes such as multicultural society, integration, family relationships, man in relation to his environment and budding adulthood.
National Opera Amsterdam / The Gurrelieder
Dutch Design Week in commision of Remasered Art.
Stedelijk museum Amsterdam; familieproject You Are Art
Uitvaartmuseum Amsterdam; De laatste aai
Gemeente Amsterdam. Campagnes en kookboek Amsterdam Aardgasvrij
Genootschap Burgemeesters, Strausscoffee, JK Huidcoach, INNOO, Stichting voor Nederlandse, Pleeggezinnen, Jongeneel; portretten en produkten, Citypartners Amsterdam; jaarlijkse campagnes, IBT- productfotografie voor diverse merken thee, koffie en andere producten-, Agis, Nutrilon, Ondernemershuis Amsterdam Zuidoost, ‘Thuis’ interieurfotografie, SBAW Rotterdam, Stichting Maatwerk, Q&A Hilversum, RVD, Gemeente Amsterdam, Speakers Academie Rotterdam, Toolbar Hilversum.
Volkskrant, Vrij Nederland, New York Times, AD, Viva, Flair, Nouveau, Vrij Nederland, Telegraaf, BLV, NRC.
Movies and tv:
Kruimeltje, Pietje Bell 1 en 2, Kameleon 2, Left Luggage, 10 torens diep, Spagaat, ‘Denktank’, ‘5 op een rij’.
De nationale Opera, Hoofdstad Operette, Theater Terra: Kleine Ezel, De Zevensprong, De Heideroosjes; videoclip. Fifi L'Amour', TOPS, cabaretgroep ‘Geen Familie’, Jenny Willemstijn, jazz zangeres Karin Vrijburg.