Richard and his Tyanna in Amsterdam

Richard&Tyanna

Once apon a time, there was this guy from the northest of north Holland, a tiny place in Friesland. Let’s name him Richard. When his girlfriend Tyanna graduated from high school, he wanted to surprise her in a way she had never been surprised before. So, that said, he dropped me a line and we agreed to meet up in Amsterdam.

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When I met them, I realised they had a great vintage thing going on; Richard looking smart, like some one who had just walked out of a 50’s movie an d Tyanna had obviously gone out of he way to find the perfect dress for an occasion she still knew nothing about!
Tyanna was thrilled to be surprised like this by her very romantic lover. I think you can tell that from her face, don’t you?

Vintage in my studio? I don’t see why not…

Meet Loesje.
Loesje is a very typical Dutch name. She has a great vintage thing going on. When I first met her, she was wearing black rimmed, rather nerdy glasses -you know the type- which suit her to the moon and back!  We came up with this burlesque meets baroque theme, which we would have shot at a great location in Utrecht, were it not that they wouldn’t grant me permission to take photos of some one so scarcely dressed. Lol.

Loesje4Considering she actually wouldn’t be wearing much for this shoot, we decided on my studio in the Hague, in which I can easily create different backdrops. While dreaming up images I wanted to take, I constructed a moodboard on Pinterest with poses, clothing and make up ideas and also “how to” tips.
As you can imagine, Loesje and I had great fun in the studio, doing hair, false eyelashes, tugging her into her grandma’s undies…

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Like the honeycomb backdrop? I ordered mine at PSIkhouvanjou, who has a lovely webshop selling all kinds of stuff. Love the birdcage veil? I made it myself. How to make one for yourself? Super easy with this tutorial from Designs by Megan Turnidge.

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While shooting, I realised Loesje resembles our very own Dutch singer -who also does that vintage thing with flair- Caro Emerald and she also looks a bit like a Dutch actress -gone singer- called Carice van Houten. Loesje had done her fair share of research, getting all kinds of stuff together. Net stockings, her old satin party dress…

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I had a great time, thanks so much for becoming a vintage bombshell, Loesje!

Vintage loveshoot in Amsterdam

Remember the walk I did in Amsterdam last week? Well, it was for this shoot! This lovely couple has been photographed by me before, but never in a setting like this.

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Looking around one of the canals (Ouwezijds Achterburgwal), there is a small bakery that goes by the name “Maxime’s”. Yes, it sounds French, but f it was supposed to be, they didn’t quite manage the real French feel like you get in a proper boulangerie. Saying that…. Just around the corner to Maxime’s, there’s a gorgeous entrance to an antique bookstore called “Books for cooks“. Inside this entrance, you will find and original exhibit hall, with small stands like you find on the Seine in Paris. What a surprise!

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I parked my car on the Herengracht, and while walking to meet Alex and Sylvie, I passed Australian Homemade, who we all know sells great chocolate. Window shopping, I saw some large macrons as well – what to call them? Maxi-macrons?- and I decided to include a few in the shoot, to compliment the French feeling. Personally, I love macrons. On our last trip to Paris, a few weeks ago, we picked up some very coulourfull specimens on Montmartre. They were amazing!

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Alex is a graphic and interior designer and has his office building just around the corner to this location. Feeling a tad cold, and in need of coffee, we decided to shoot some photos in the warmth of his office. I know I never expected to find a pair of Chesterfields in the hallway or, as a matter of fact, a piano in the stairwell!
It was a day of fun photography, nice surprises, great coffee, sweet macrons and love…

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Thanks Alex and Sylvie for modeling for this shoot!

J’Aimsterdam!

Amsterdam. City of canals, of shops, of tourists and freedom. Where to start looking for vintage spots in this city, which is only 45 minutes drive from my hometown, the Hague?

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A few weeks ago, while watching tv, I came across an interview with another lover of anything French. This guy designed an app for iPhone and Android with a visual tour of French Amsterdam; basically, anything remotely French that resides in this city! What this app-tour does, is take you around a 4 km walk, while showing you parts of French history. From buildings to shops, from hotels to restaurants. The app is the most expensive app I have ever bought, at € 3,99 but it did the trick.
J’aimsterdam can be found here.

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So, there I was, walking around, trying to find the perfect spot for a shoot this week, when I came across more than a few gorgeous French-looking parts of the city centre. Though the challenge is to find a bridge or fence that doesn’t have numerous bikes chained  to it, or where the graffiti isn’t too obvious, I finally found the perfect location to shoot in.

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The results will be on the blog soon, so keep in touch by signing up for the email notifications. Does Amsterdam appeal to you? Are you living in Holland? Or maybe visiting our capital for a weekend? Let’s get together for a shoot sometime!

Design can be vintage too

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I was having a pretty hard time trying to decide on the designs for Mais Oui Vintage. I looked all around for inspiration, and finally came up with this design; clean and very simple but with that old fashioned thing going on.

Although we do have stamp makers in the Netherlands, the ones I contacted seemed to either not understand my needs, or only be interested in working for big companies producing more than 10 stamps at once for them. That is not what I want! So… back to the drawing board, back to Etsy, where I had been very lucky in the past.
When designing the wedding invites for a couple, I came up with the idea to have a custom stamp made for them that we could use on the invites, but also later on thank you cards. I designed the stamp and ordered it from a designer on Etsy, who understood exactly what I wanted. It looks lovely, with it’s wooden handle en rubber stamp on the bottom.

San from Hawaii seemed happy once again to make my stamp and it arrived last week. I had real simple cards printed and spent an afternoon stamping away at the kitchen table.

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It gives the business cards and envelopes that vintage feel, I think.

Paris, city of DSLR filming and lights

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Finally we made it over to Paris for a long weekend of lights, Christmas inspired shopping and exploring. But most of all, to shoot a small movie explaining what this ‘French Vintage photography-thing’ is all about.
The first days where spent looking for all the right places, comparing them to the story board I had made at home. Day four was spent filming with my Canon 5D MKII. We started the story at the famous Tour d’ Eiffel, continued on to the Pont d’ Amour – actually called Pont des Artes, but because of all the engraved padlocks locked to the brigde by lovers, it is now fondly known as Pont d’ Amour -, passed by some cafe’s on the way to warm up, climbed up Montmartre on high heels and ended the story at the Moulin Rouge.

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Because there are so many second hand shops in Paris, we didn’t have any trouble at all finding the right clothing to fit the ‘look’, 50’s inspired Paris. The very best shop we came across was The Kilo Shop in the Marais, a shop containing not one, but two floors of every vintage item you could ever want! All you do is sort out what you might want, weigh it at the scales and pay. Great concept! Another great shop is Chez Chiffons that stocks everything from hats and shoes, to coats and dresses.
Le Marais, Paris’ gay headquarters, is my personal favorite when it comes down to fashion – which, trust me, it always does when in Paris – and the food, mostly Jewish falafel is exquisite! We stayed in a tiny apartment in Montparnasse, found on AirBNB, which catered to our every needs.

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Now the obvious thing to do, is get down to some serious editing, music searching and get the thing online! To be continued…

Vintage Rotterdam

Rotterdam the first of many backdrops

The very first photo option has been mapped; the Wilhelmina Pier in Rotterdam, with it’s rich history of wealthy and pour Rotterdam inhabitants leaving to find their luck in the USA by ship. This area is also home to the Dutch Photo Museum – also a good place to be inspired by loads of vintage photography -
It has parts, buildings even, that may seem quite derelict, some are being done up. All of the ancient warehouses along the pier are protected by heritage laws and have a long history.

Join me for a cup of coffee in Hotel NewYork, now a lovely vintage hotel, also serving food and drinks. Let’s explore how it would have felt in the 50’s, to leave your loved ones and travel the world, carrying your whole life in a small round suitcase… Do you see what I see?

Wilhelmina Pier

Want more background information about this location? 

Just around the corner you will find the EntrepotDok – even the name sounds French – where the old warehouses have been done up by the loving council of Rotterdam, though now no longer home to goods entering the Rotterdam harbour. The vintage buildings have been converted into houses, office buildings to the creative workers, shops and there are many restaurants dotted around for a secret lunch with your lover.

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The concept: Come and see the 1950’s as they were. Pack your bags, bring your lover to wave you off and end up with some amazing vintage shots of you both in the process!

Mais Oui Vintage | Paris is always a good idea

Doisneau knew. Even in the early days of 1940; Paris rocks! Sadly, we can’t all live in Paris. So we live in The Netherlands; the beautiful Amsterdam, the Hague, Gouda, Haarlem, Utrecht or Rotterdam.

Cities that also rock, but more interestingly…. have a lot of vintage going on. Interested in vintage photography? Always fancied yourself as Audry Hepburn? Perhaps a Brigitte Bardot look-alike?

From December you will find out more about this form of photography, so please sign up for the RSS feed and be patient!