2018, Photography, thoughts

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I’ve thought quite a long time about this blog post. What inspires me? Not only in my photography, but as a person in general? I strongly believe that the way you photograph says a lot about you.

So my inspiration. My inspiration comes from many things, but I’d like to mention a few. It inspires me to see or feel differently. Allows me to get in a flow, or to do some mind traveling.


I wished I was good at making music. Except from playing a couple of chords on a guitar, my musical talents are very limited. I do however love listening to music. And one of my favorite singer/songwriter is Jeff Buckley. Tragically, he died three years after releasing his only studio album in 1994. I still think ‘Grace’ is one of the best albums ever released.

His voice was like a music instrument and could transfer so many emotions. It always hits me.

I was born in ‘73 and grew up listening to Pink Floyd and Abba in particular, thanks to my parents. It was however ‘Ten’ by Pearl Jam that greatly influenced me, more than Nirvana. For me, like many of my generation, it echoed so many of our sentiments in the early Nineties.

And when it comes to bands I’m all in for Radiohead. There are not many bands that keep evolving like Radiohead. Other bands I like are the Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, dEUS, Sigur Rós, Soundgarden, Toad the Wet Sprocket, The Tragically Hip, and Young the Giant.


Although I had to read a lot of novels for school, I’m not a huge fan of fiction. Although not too long ago I read a wonderful book (Dutch) ‘Meester Mitraillette’ by the Belgian writer Jan Vantoortelboom about the first World War in Flanders.

Instead I love to read travel stories. Redmond O’Hanlon for instance, or Bruce Chatwin who died way too soon. For me, one of the greatest novelists and travel writer is Paul Theroux. I absolutely adore his travel books. Especially ‘The Great Railway Bazaar’, ‘The Old Patagonia Express’, and ‘Riding the Iron Rooster’ were for me great travel books.

When reading these stories I just closed my eyes and the colorfully described scenes allowed me to sense the sights and sounds.


Back in the days when I was young I just loved to read magazines. Windsurfing, mountainbiking, photography. My number one magazine was National Geographic. It was the combination of geography, social issues, adventure, traveling, history, and photography, lots of great photography. All the things I love and am generally interested in.

So it was the reportages photographed by the likes of Sam Abell, William Albert Allard, David Alan Harvey, Alex Webb that caught my attention.

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And more

And so I could probably mention many other things that inspired me. The drawings by Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer‘s paintings, ‘Hollandse Luchten’ (Dutch light), William Eggleston and his color photography, among many things.

My wife and children, friendships, great colleagues, the daily commutes, road trips.

What inspires you?

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

5 thoughts on “Inspiration

    1. My own thoughts are very important too, Paula. These thoughts however are formed by things I find interesting, the character that is still forming through occurred events, my experiences, and intuition.

  1. In general, music, definitely. I have a Deezer subscription and according to recent stats I listen to music for about four hours a day, on average. So that’s a lot. Especially music inspired by past journeys, and the people currently around me: Turkish, Kurdish, French, Arabic, Persian.

    For photography I may have to say that good health inspires me. I only “see” photos when I feel good, physically and mentally. When I don’t feel well, photography does not work either (I would prefer it the other way around – photography having a relaxing effect, as with many other people).

    1. I can’t live with music either. I think, you’ve been on more journeys. And I can understand, that this can be very inspiring too. I’ve become a mental traveler.

      For a very long time I’ve considered my photography melancholic, soul searching and dealing with my health. It provided mostly an outlet, but when times progressed I found it less to have a relaxing effect. More, it became an almost too painful mirror. Feeling better now, it sure fuels me and inspires me to look differently. Therefore I moved away from B&W photography too.

  2. Wonderful post
    Inspiration is the only thing that reinvent us for being better.
    it is the concept that has different postive perceptions , which pushes us toward success.
    for my personal view, readind and listening for other succeed people are the things that inspired me.
    Thanks you for sharing with us this inspired post.

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