IPA Interviews with Winning Photographers

Interview with

Jeroen Stel

1st Place in Wildlife Category 2015

What is your background?

Not so long ago (although to me it seems like in a previous lifetime..) I was actually a fashion designer… This may seem hard to believe but I was contemplating the colors and trends for next season and designing casual menswear collections for several well-known Dutch brands. As a designer, I learned to look at the world around me from an artistical point of view and this has certainly aided my photography. At this point, I am a professional wildlife photographer and author.

What kind of photography do you most identify with?

Wildlife photography. Nature photography and landscape photography

Explain your style in 100 words

I specialize in capturing “the moment” and think my style is “raw wildlife photography” capturing species during their daily routines and behavior.

What photograph left a lasting impression on you and why?

A photograph of a red fox I took many years ago as it took me 3 months for the fox to get used to my presence and at that moment the fox finally trusted me enough to walk past me at only 4 meters with a greylag goose in its mouth that it caught for its cubs.

When did you discover your passion for photography?

about 20 years ago

What’s your most embarrassing moment related to photography?

When I dropped my 600mm lens on the pavement in front of 20 other photographers

What jobs have you done other than being a photographer?

Fashion designer, web designer

What is your dream project?

Any project for the National Geographic Society

Name 5 photographers who have inspired you

Frans Lanting, Steve Winter, Vincent Munier, Paul Nicklen, Michael Nichols

What would you do without photography?

Be bored to death…

How do you know when a body of work is finished?

I do not think you are ever finished in wildlife photography. And I always get surprised whenever I get bored with species

Is there one photograph of yours that you are very proud of? Why?

A nocturnal image of a pine marten as it took me 6 weeks to make the image the way I had envisioned it.

What is your most important gadget? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

Infrared trigger

How did you start taking pictures? Why do you take pictures?

I started to take wildlife images to get away from everyday stress in the fashion industry I was working in

What was your first camera?

An Agfa Clack

What camera do you use now and why?

I use a Canon 1Dx as it has incredible ISO handling and is faster than anything out there.

What role does the photographer have in society?

As a wildlife photographer, I think our role is to protect nature and wildlife through our images.

You can contact Jeroen here.

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