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Bianca Van der Werf: “It is important that you keep experimenting”

March 31, 2009 by · 10 comments

Mariana Velichkova’s interview with the photographer Bianca Van der Werf

Movement – me

Bianca van der Werf was born in Den Haag, The Netherlands and there she studied Architectural Design at the Royal Academy of Arts. Since 2005, she has been hooked on photography and devotes her time to this form of art. Before that time drawing and painting were the forms of expression she used and elements of these art forms are being reused in her photographic experiences.

mother of pigeons
Mother of pigeons


When viewing her work over a longer period of time one will perceive specific elements which constitute her signature style. Her creations are not slick nor polished but rather raw, scarred and sometimes look damaged to the viewers perception.


russian paper
Russian paper

This rawness harbors an unmistakable beauty which can cause a certain tension at first glance, but turns into a warm embrace when absorbing the experience a little longer. She has the gift of perceiving the world differently and to amaze those exposed to this perception.

keeping the faith
Keeping the faith

The use of barely readable text and script lets as part of her signature style arouses curiosity and the experience as a whole invites the audience to indulge in their own fantasy.



Feel free to see more of her work on:

When and how did photography become a part of your life?

I started in 2005 taking pictures because my boyfriend bought himself a new camera and I got his old one. Before that I was always painting and drawing but I was never really happy with the result. Photography let me make the decisions that I needed to be happier with my ideas.


Are you a self taught photographer or did you have a mentor that showed you the ropes?

No, I didn’t have a mentor. I’ve tried everything myself. How to use the camera, how to experiment with Photoshop. Play and try is my advice. I didn’t use any books as well 🙂

lady of the lake
Lady of the lake


How do you decide on locations and subjects?

That depends. Sometimes I think about an image and then I sort everything out. I make the costume, the objects, the hair, the make-up and then it becomes a reality……. But on the other hand, sometimes you are on holiday or in a specific place where you want to go and then pictures just are there. The only I have to do is give them my own atmosphere…

holy reflections
Holy reflections

Do you rely on lighting /natural and artificial/ or do you rely on darkroom/computer manipulation?

Yes, natural or artificial light is crucial! When there’s no light, all your photos look boring. You can play with the light in Photoshop, you can make an atmosphere with it, but when there is none you can not make it (in my opinion but I am no PS wizzkid)

ancient tree
Ancient tree


What challenge do you face as a photographer?

I make photos with my intuition, I feel and wait for the right moment. I have to be more technical about it, learn more about photography, artificial lights and Photoshop. Everyday you can learn something and it is important that you surprise yourself and always keep experimenting!


What famous person would you like to take picture of and why?

Hahaha, Bono from U2, because I like this band so much for more than 25 years…. It’s about time 🙂

old dance
Old dance

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