Learning to capture the best pictures, Talenthouse pro-photographer Stijn Hoekstra led a new "Moxy in the City" Masterclass experience at the Moxy Amsterdam Houthavens Hotel. Using Marriot Bonvoy points, people were able to sign-up and attend an Instagram photography class to upgrade their photo shooting skills. Featuring Amanda van Effrink, aka Glitziegal as a model, Hoekstra walked the class through lighting, composition and various other photography techniques to help the class capture the best images. With their phones out and ready, the class took to the streets to hone in on their newly learned techniques. We caught up with the photographic master to learn more about his inspiration, the Moxy Masterclass and his gear.
TH: What was it like to teach a Moxy Masterclass at the Moxy Amsterdam Houthavens Hotel?
SH: It was a great experience sharing my knowledge to people from all over the world. Normally you go deep into the whole technical stuff, this workshop was all about “what’s in your frame” and that to me is what photography is all about.
TH: When did you start taking pictures?
SH: I started taking pictures (more seriously) on set. I used to work as a camera assistant on various movie projects where I had plenty of time in between takes. I started taking BTS (behind-the-scenes) pictures and shared them with the crew. This was also the moment I started doing a lot of street photography in my spare time. The first real commissioned job came after I shot a video for a big company. They liked my style and asked me to do the photo part as well.
TH: Where does your inspiration come from?
SH: From day to day scenes, just wandering the streets, visiting museums. And when I’m at home, I use the internet and Instagram as inspiration.
TH: Who is your favorite photographer and why?
SH: Harry Gruyaert, he is a Belgium photographer and he started really early on with color photography. The way he paints with color and light is incredible, he travelled the world to document the streets and everyday scenes.
TH: What advice do you wish you had when you first started out?
SH: Looking back I don’t really think I missed out on any advice, I think the struggle is also a big part of your career. The only thing is that you never give up and believe in yourself.
TH: What 5 words would you use to describe your photography?
SH: Cinematic, Documentary, Realistic, Colourful, Dynamic
TH: What is your go to camera and lens?
SH: I love the Sony camera’s, and I’ve been using them for quite some time. But I used to shoot with my Fuji X100 which never let me down and takes great pictures. As for lenses, I love to work with old M42 lenses from the 70’s they give beautiful bokeh and flares. But it’s not about the gear, it’s all about the eye.
TH: What are some quick technique tips for taking pictures?
SH: The thing I teached during the workshop were the 4 elements that to me are most important.
Subject- What is in your frame?
Composition- How do you frame it, what kind of perspective?
Light- The use of light can tell a story.
Patience- Wait for the right moment, and don’t be happy to easily with the result.