in CONNECT | 02 Nov 2017

The Face behind the Camera


We're switching it up. She's not behind, but in front of the camera this time. And rightfully so. Our photographer Nanda Hagenaar shares with us an inspiring story on how she found her passion and followed her heart. She grabbed life by the 'cojones' and is now living her ever developing dream.


Q: What was your relationship to photography before you became a photographer?

 A: I wasn’t a photographer from the beginning. I was always interested in art, I drew sometimes, but I never knew I was going to be where I am right now. My life changed a few years ago through photography. Before this I was studying International Business and Languages in Arnhem. After that I worked as an office manager at an advertising agency in Amsterdam. During that job, surrounded by creatives, I picked up a camera and started photographing.


Q: What is your favorite place in the whole world?

A: I have a few answers to this question. First of all it is always near people that I love. Amsterdam and Sevilla share second place. I left my parents house when I was 18 for an internship in Sevilla and that is where I learned a lot about who I am and the things I want in life. That type of growth I experienced again with a second change of air, when I moved to Amsterdam. These are the two places where I learned a lot about myself and in both places I found a sh*tload of passion.


'There is scarcely any passion without struggle.' Albert Camus


Q: What is it about Sevilla that sparks something inside you?

A: Can’t explain it. In words at least. I can better translate it through images. I’ll give it a try; have you ever been to a place that moves you, just by breathing the air, walking around, looking around. It doesn't take much more than that. Sevilla does that to me.


Q: How has your strong connection to Spanish culture manifested itself into your work?

A: I keep returning to this place. I think this part of Spain has a culture that I can relate to very much in my work. So much is about passion, it is pure, almost like love. The sky feels nice. It's like poetry, romantic in so many different ways. I try to communicate that in my work as well.


Q: When did you know that you were going to become a full-time photographer?

A: In January 2016 I decided to lock myself up in my apartment for about 6 weeks. I had one wall of 9 meters long, where I wrote down all my dreams and goals, my ambitions, my fears and my struggles. I can tell you, that wall was full.

It looked a like this.

After that I quit my job as office manager (scared sh*tless) and started working on my photo skills. In the evening I went back to working as a waitress again to make sure I got my money. After a few months I was fully able to provide myself with my photography. As David Alan Harvey said: it's a lot of work living the life you want to live, but that is what I am doing.


Q: In one of our previous articles, mindfulness-trainer Suzan Roemer mentioned that when she used to work as a photographer, she could see how people truly felt about themselves through her lens. What do you think about capturing reality through your lens?

A: I am super sensitive and I’ve always had trouble with it. I never knew how to use this “power” in my advantage. Luckily, right now, I am able to play with it in photography. I can easily sense or read the person in front of me. It is almost psychological game that is played during shooting. You need to tune in, make yourself go to the frequency of the person in front of you, so you can make them drop their mask. Only then I can capture somebody’s real, undistorted personality and character.


Q: Where do you find your inspiration on the daily?

A: Everything is inspiration. Having pain is inspiration, experiencing love is inspiration, eating a sandwich is inspiration, the person next to me in the tram is inspiration, a crazy weekend is inspiration, everything is inspiration. I’m never switched off. It's like this quote by Marcel Proust:

"the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."


Q: How important is spirituality to you?

A: Let's save that for another interview... ;) #zwevenaars

Q: What is your go-to beauty routine?

A: I used to have acne when I was young, so I had to learn to take good care of my skin. Most important is that I make sure I clean it thoroughly by the end of the day to take off my make up. I spend money on good products, I love the brand Kiehls. I’m not so good with make up so generally I just throw stuff on my face and hope it looks kind of okay. 


Q: What do you like most about working with the Juicery?

A: I have been working with and for the Juicery for one year now and every week is a new challenge. It inspires me, it drives me. Every single time I really want to make great new things that haven’t been done before. I also really like working in a team. As a freelancer I have so many different people around me it is nice to have one steady team that I work with weekly. We grow together.


Q: What are your favorite products from us?

A: First time I came to the Juicery somebody screamed “SHOT TIME”. I was quite surprised. A little tequila doesn’t scare me so I was really quite impressed by this new team. It turned out to be a ginger shot, which nearly killed me. Now I really love it, I take one every time I'm there.


Q: Do you have anything to say to people who are still in doubt whether they should leave their job to follow their passion?




En wel nu.