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Jacob Tuinenga: Photographer of the week

by Yvette Depaepe 

Jacob Tuinenga excels in photographing special moments in people's life.  His portraits show the inner feelings and the soul of his “models”.  He loves to share emotions and succeeds very well to transmit them to the viewer.  Discover more about this great artist and wonderful person in this interview.


“Enjoy the silence”


Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I am Jacob Tuinenga born in '58 and raised in Berlikum a little village in the North of the Netherlands, very close at the Waddensea and now in the beautiful city Franeker where we have the oldest working planetarium in the world.
After my school time I had to go to obligatory military service. At the same time I was buying my first camera, a Praktica and after thst one was stolen, I got the Olympus OM10 with motor drive, manual adapter and 50mm and 135mm lenses.
But long days working in the fields, sport and heavy weekend duty, had temporarily set an end to my photography.
My sports where waterpolo, police dog training, running and finally and still ongoing, cycling on race bikes.
A family member from my mother’s side, told me that we are related to the Magnum photographer René Burri, well I do not know if that is true, but I like the idea :)

How has your history and life experiences affected your photography? Which are your most important experiences that have influenced your art?
Nowadays I work in shifts in a plastic processing factory, where we make flexible pipes for agriculture and electrical cables and that was one of the reasons that I was starting with photography, manly nature photography, after the noise and work pressure in the factory, I was looking for some more peaceful places and in nature you can find it, even without a camera.


"My way home"

In 2012, I made a trip to central Mexico, there I have taken several photos of the beautiful Mexican people and that was a start for me to make more portrait photo's, they accepted me taking pictures when I was asking and were even somewhat proud being asked.


“Into my soul”


What first attracted you to photography?
It was not really photography, it was more that I wanted to capture special moments in life. Now, you can do that with a photo camera but also with a film/video camera. However my interest went towards the photo camera and so my development as a photographer started.

Describe your overall photographic vision.
Respect the people who you want to photograph and the natural environment where you are.

Why are you so drawn by Portrait Photography?
I love the contact with the people who I photograph and  most of them like it too. In your photo's you can capture their inner feelings , as was also said by an great 1X member and photographer: I want to see the shine, the light in their eyes as one can see with close portraits. In my opinion there is more emotion in portrait photos.



What is more important to you, the mood/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
Photographing the mood and the inner beauty of the person, is more important for me than the technical perfection. The first part is more about feelings, the second part, the technical perfection, you can learn and I have still a lot to learn!


“Nothing last forever”


What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
When I was starting with photography in the digital era, my first camera was a Sony A350 and after that the A700 and A 77. Especially the A700 was a very nice work camera for landscape photography and I have used it a lot.
But I became more and more interested in Nikon and when the D810 came out I have sold all of my Sony gear and bought the Nikon D810
I have several lenses, among others, Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art Nikkor 85mm 1.8G and from Carl Zeiss 135mm ZF.2 Apo-Sonnar and  the 85mm 1.4 Milvus
Most of my portraits are made in my living room using some different backgrounds and for lighting I use a daylight lamp.
For editing I have a wonderful 24 inch screen, but most of my images are edited on my laptop!


“The Red one”


What software do you use to process your images?
For the processing of my images I am using Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop CS6 and I love the Nik Software filters. For a short period  I have used Portrait Pro but the results appeared too plastic-like for me, maybe I was doing something wrong!

Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
When I start with a portrait photo, I build my living room into a studio, depending on the model and the atmosphere, I have different backgrounds.
After a short chat and explaining what I am going to do regarding poses and exposure, we start shooting, after the shooting we discuss the results and the model can specify which photos she likes and, later when I am alone, I start looking and select some images, especially the pictures with a high emotional content in expression are important for me.
I am doing the first corrections with Camera Raw, like highlights, Saturation and Luminance in HSL/Gray scale and Lens Corrections.
I then open the image in Adobe Photoshop CS6 and start with other corrections such as retouche, brightness/contrast  and others. For some extra mood or black and white images I edit the photos with the Nik Software plug-ins.

What is your most important advice to a beginner in Portrait Photography and how do you get started?
Take your time before starting to photograph talk with the models and win their trust, tell them what you want to do and how. Show the photos which you have made and sometimes they see what’s wrong with their pose in the photo. Discuss this with the model  which makes it easier for them to understand what to do, of course dependent on the level of experience of the model.

Who are your favorite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography? 
There are many photographers who’s work I like, but some favorite photographers of me are Jenny Boot .
I have followed a few of her workshops. She has a very strong personal style and works most of the time only with available window light or a Daylight lamp.
And second there is Henri Senders
 . He is a great photographer with only natural light and mood in his photos and also his processing is amazing most of the time he is ready in 5 minutes!
Some of the other photographers and 1X members are
Peter Allert  and Paul Apal'kin .

Some photo's made at the workshop of Jenny Boot







”Her name is Jildou”


Some photo's made at the workshop of Henri Senders


“Whispering Wind”


"Winter is coming"

“Waiting for you”


Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
I have not a specific photo which inspired me, but here are so many wonderful photos and cinematographic moments which are inspiring to me!
But if I have to choose one, then it is a photo of Peter Allert


“Eyes of Soul”


Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
I have no specific goals in the future, there are so many kinds of portrait photography which I like, the most I make are at home, but I also like many outdoor and on location portraits, so maybe more an expansion of photography and improve my edits!

Describe your favorite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
It is hard to describe or to say what's my favorite photo, I love a lot of them but the one that is special for me is a portrait of Hillary Amira,
I was following and still do, several portrait photographic workshops and some of the photos from the workshops are selected here on 1X, but the one with Hillary was the first at home made selected portrait!




And not to forget my most successful photo here on 1X, "My way home", which was in the old 1X ranking very highly placed in most popular!


“A long road to go”


Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work
Most of what I have learned is from workshops, YouTube PHLEARN with Aaron Nace, he is superb and looking at many, many photo's here on
1X is a great source of inspiration but not only by looking, also the Exchangeable Image File (Exif) information on how a photo has been made can be helpful. I just don’t quite understand why this is not automatic saved with the photo after upload, as done by several other sites, but okay, maybe this is a choice of the founders!






Mooi interview Jacob, gefeliciteerd! Goed werk Yvette! . Gr, Nick
Dank je voor je fijne reactie, Nick :)
Wow Jacob, gefeliciteerd met dit prachtig interview dito foto's! Je gaat als een speer!
Hartelijk dank, Mariëtte :)
Always a delight to see your work! Many compliments dear Jacob!! :))
Thank you kindly, Carla :)
Gefeliciteerd Jacob! Mooi interview!
Hartelijk dank, Wieteke :)
Met veel interesse dit boeiend interview gelezen Jacob. Dit is een mooie erkenning voor je als een begaafd fotograaf. Je werk is steeds opmerkelijk en telkens met een andere toets. Gefeliciteerd Jacob. (by the way Aaron Nace heeft me ook al veel geleerd) Ook nog dank aan Yvette om dit interview online te krijgen. Groetjes.
Dank je voor je fijne reactie, Marc :)
He is a great Photographer!!!! Every picture, conveys many emotions. Good article, very interesting, Yvette!!
Thank you kindly, Carmine :)
I'm so happy to see this space dedicated to you! I love your work and the emotional content in your images,dear Jacob!Many congratulations!
Thank you for your kind words, dear Julien, much appreciated :)
Good article, very interesting to learn about the work of other photographers. Thank You Yvette! Thank You Jacob Tuinenga!
Thank you kindly, Mikhail :)
Gefeliciteerd Jacob en terecht! Mooie beelden en interview, bedankt voor het delen en leuk om de persoon achter de beelden wat beter te leren kennen. Kijk uit naar je volgende beelden. Groetjes en een hele fijne week! Edith :-)
Hartelijk dank, Edith, voor jou ook een fijne week :)
Mooi interview en een prachtige en zeker ook terechte erkenning voor je boeiende werk Jacob, proficiat!
Hartelijk dank, Jeroen :)
Bedankt voor je fijne medewerking, Jacob! Prachtig interview en een interessante kijk op de man achter de prachtige portretten die je ons keer op keer brengt.
Dank je voor je reactie en het vertrouwen, Yvette :)
thank you, Jacob, for the insight and to let us know a little more about yourself. congrats, for your work
Thanks a lot, Paulo :)
Met recht hier in het zonnetje gezet Jacob: een mooi en verhelderend interview! Op deze manier leren we je beter kennen! Je zult ons zéker blijven verrassen lijkt mij met je uitstekende portretten- dan wel landschappenwerk! Thanks for sharing this all with us!
Dank je voor je reactie, Huib :)
Gefeliciteerd Jacob met deze interessante kijk op je werk en op je inspiratiebronnen. Je bent een fotograaf met een signatuur, dat is een hele verwezenlijking. Dank om dit met ons te delen en dank Yvette voor het fijne interview. Vriendelijke groet, Luc.
Hartelijk dank, Luc :)
Interessant om eens te lezen hoe je te werk gaat en wat voor passie er achter je werk schuilt :D proficiat
Dank je voor je reactie, Monika :)
Een uiterst interessant interview om te lezen en om de bijpassende foto's te bewonderen. Erg leuk om je achtergrond te leren kennen Jacob! Het is altijd weer genieten van je foto's en de sfeer die ze uitstralen. Ik hoop er nog velen te kunnen zien! Hartelijk dank voor het delen Jacob, en Yvette veel dank voor het mooie interview.!
Hartelijk dank, Greetje :)
Prachtig interview. Altijd weer leuk om iets meer van de fotograaf te weten zoals zijn wokflow en wat zijn inspiratie is. De beelden spreken voor zich!! Gefeliciteerd.
Hartelijk dank, Piet :)
Hello Jacob I have been curious about you and your photographic work for some time, and today my curiosity has finally been rewarded. I admire their portraits because the character's spirit is guessed right through them. I am glad to meet you a little better and congratulate you for the magnificent interview. Receive my admiration and affectionate greeting.
Thank you for your kind words, Asuncion :)
Prachtig Artikel Jacob en Yvette. Zowel voor de uitgekozen foto's als de vragen
Dank je voor je reactie, Renco :)
Wat een geweldig Interview Yvette, ik heb het bijna ademloos uitgelezen. Ik ben al lang fan van Jacob zijn werk, ook al heb ik zelf niets met portret. Zijn portretten zijn zo speciaal, ze zijn met gevoel gemaakt en ademen een zekere sfeer uit, waardoor je ernaar blijft kijken. Persoonlijk hou ik meer van de landschappen, ook deze zijn zeer herkenbaar door de sfeer. Ik hoop nog lang te mogen genietenvan je werk Jacob. Tip: probeer eens een macrootje :-))
Hartelijk dank voor je fijne reactie, Wil ... en hopelijk volgend jaar na de winter, een groot aantal mooie natuurfoto's ;)
Fantastic article about an impressive photographer! Thank you Yvette for sharing it with us! Congratulations Jacob for all your activity!
Thank you kindly, Marius :)
Love your work Jacob! Great interview!! Thank you Yvette and Jacob!
Thanks a lot, Nuelle :)
Excellent report,thank you Yvette and congratulation Jacob.I love your work.
Thank you kindly, Alexandra :)
Thank you Yvette for this fantastic report and for approaching this great photographer of the soul. Congratulations to Jacob for your wonderful work!
Thanks a lot, Martin :)