Hi Nikki, tell us something about yourself.
Hi! my name is Nikki van de Poel, a 29 year old photographer from the Netherlands. I live in a cute house together with my husband Pablo and our sweet cat Yoko. When I’m not taking pictures you can find me browsing for vinyl/clothes/cameras at vintage shops or cycling around to spot old cars (I’m a bit of a nerd hihi). I love finding magic in everyday life; the way the rain makes everything sparkle, the way the wind makes it look like all the leafs are doing a little dance, the way the light reflects on water. I capture these moments with my camera, creating my own little dreamworld.
Why did you choose analog photography?
I learned to photograph with an analog camera and fell in love with it so bad I don’t even want try to shoot digital. Analog photography really suits my way of thinking and seeing the world; with a lot of attention for detail. I love that you have to make sure everything is perfect before you click the button, there’s no room for shooting a thousand pictures and choosing afterwards which one turned out the best. It’s about creating the perfect image and finding the right moment to take
the picture. When you get your roll of film back from the lab and you see the picture turned out exactly the way you wanted it, it feels so good. + the grain, I love some good old grain, it gives your pictures an extra layer.
Tell us about your book “Americanalog“.
Americanalog – the world of two lovers traveling through the America of our collective dreams – the LA of the Eagles, Jim Morrisson & the Byrds, Route 66’s neon paradise, Jackrabbit Slim’s $5 milkshake, drive-in cinemas, gold rush ghost towns, a UFO descending from Roswell’s deep dark starry desert night skies and capturing it. Sometimes this dream world was hidden underneath a harsh reality, that somehow seems to be twice as harsh in America. A country with one foot stuck in the past, too proud to change in favor of a better future. Poverty, guns, trailer ghost towns in which only some mean-looking dog gave away the fact that there were actually still people living there: the blues. Sometimes it was hidden underneath some kind of anti-reality: a thick plastic Las Vegas-layer, so thick even the blistering desert sun can’t melt it. But it’s always there somehow: in the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, the LA morning sun, in some of the kindest people you’ve ever met and just that feeling that you’re sitting on top of the world.
Americanalog. The two sides of America; one harsh and the other more beautiful than you could ever imagine. Our love for each other and for this amazing country with its astonishingly beautiful deserts and forests and mountains and endless cities in the center of the world were captured in this book and this record. Let us take you away to this mesmerizing place you should definitely see through (y)our (own) eyes.
Which cameras and films do you use?
My main camera is a Fujica ST605N and I love shooting with my Mamiya C3 as well. I always use Portra 160!
What kind of photographs you like to take?
I especially love shooting portraits, capturing somebody’s personality. I prefer to shoot these portraits in their homes, the place they feel most comfortable. I often also shoot couples, people in love are my favorite to document. It feels so special when they let you into their little bubble of love and share these sweet moments with you. Capturing these moments and make them last forever through one click of your camera feels like magic to me.
Do you have a favorite photographer?
It always changes a bit, right now I’m loving the work of Katch Silva, Sarah Eiseman, Neil Krug and Marianna Rothen.
I’m currently working on my first online magazine! It will be filled with a serie I’m shooting; ‘Morning Rituals’ in which I follow girls around while they get ready for their day. It’s so much fun to see the difference between all the morning rituals. The magazine will be launched on november 5th!