FOP Portraits

On september 18 I will be joining thousands of other runners from the Netherlands in the 10 mile ‘Dam tot Damloop’, a running competition from The Dam, in the city centre of Amsterdam, to Zaandam. As I frequently join running competitions this in itself is not really a shock, nor has it anything to do with photography. This time, however, i will be running to collect money for the FOP stichting, an organisation dedicated to creating awareness of and stimulating scientific research into the disease of Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP, more information on As this entails raising money, I’ve decided to combine my love of photography with this aim.

My intention was to do portrait shoots with friends and family in return for their sponsoring of my run. This way, I gain valuable experience in portrait photogrpahy, a field of photography I must admit I have untill now almost no experience in; my friends and family get a nice portrait (hopefully), and I will raise money and awareness for FOP.

Due to a busy time with other assignments, the portrait sessions had to be delayed a bit, but this week I’ve finally started with the first few ‘subjects’ (perhaps a more appropriate term would be guinea pigs, as I’m almost literally experimenting on them). I intend to do a whole series of portraits, and apply what I learn on the go. It might also be a good idea to go back at the end of the series and see what could have been improved.

One condition that I’ve placed on myself in doing these portraits, is that I will only use natural light. On the one hand, this will force me to look for nice locations and nice light and I will learn a lot about light intensity, shadows, contrast etc. On the other hand it will also make life more easy, since all I will need (I think) is a portrait lens and perhaps a reflection screen. We’ll see..

The first few photographs have been made, and I hope to add to them in the coming weeks.