Tell us a little bit about who you are, how you got started in photography:
I am Andrea Gulickx and live in the Netherlands. I am a real nature lover and a spiritual person. I like to keep my feet firmly on the ground but I am also a bit of a dreamer. I can be completely off in my own world when I am focused on my passions, which are macro-photography and the garden. I have worked for years in the fashion industry designing graphical prints for children’s clothing. After 10 years I became a freelance designer.
During this period I met my partner for whom photography is also a hobby. On our first holiday I took photos every now and then with his SLR camera. Then, from that moment it started to itch. The next holiday I had my own digital SLR camera. My passion for macro-photography started in our garden. I am a self-taught photographer and I learned by experimenting. After the first experiments, I left the garden and went into nature again to discover more, and up until now I am still discovering.
Tell us about any new projects or assignments you're working on, and how you're executing them?
At the moment I am discovering landscape photography with the Lensbaby and it’s really a great adventure. It’s a big challenge for me because my specialty is macro-photography. Up until a few weeks ago I had never seriously used my Lensbaby for landscape photography. Using a Lensbaby for landscape photography gives a completely different experience compared to a ‘normal’ lens. The bending possibility gives a totally different perspective. It’s more experimental, not only the shooting experience, but also the results, and I love that about Lensbaby. It is really surprising. I just go to an interesting area and start experimenting. I never used my tripod for macro-photography, but now I have to so that’s also new to me.
How would you describe your work?
I think my images are recognizable by the intimate atmosphere, light, and softness, but also by the power that radiates in the image. By playing with depth of field and natural light, I have created my personal style. Light and emotion are the key ingredients for my photos.
How has your work evolved over time?
When I started with photography, the background and atmosphere were the most important elements in my photos. These two elements both are still more important to me than the subject. If I don’t have a great background then there is no use making a picture. After a while I started to use aspect of light in more different ways. This became the handwriting of my images and the reason why people attend my workshops. Lensbaby challenged me to get closer to the subject, and at that point ‘light’ is even more important.
Who/what inspires you and why?
Nature in itself and natural light are my biggest sources of inspiration. My creativity flows best when I go into nature with an open mind. No planning at all. When I look through my camera, I feel a strong bond with nature and everything flows. Sometimes it seems as if nature takes me by the hand and shows me its beauty.
What draws you to nature and macro photography?
As a child I liked to stroll through nature. One day my dad gave me his old analogue SLR camera which made me very happy. With our family we made long walks on holiday. I always took pictures of nature in all its variety. I think that’s when my love for nature and photography started.
When I discovered macro-photography I was overwelmed by this magical small world and I just wanted to show everyone my perception of it. Being in nature also brings me back to myself and gives me inner-peace.
What are your goals for your own photography career?
I am not a person who is really chasing goals. For me as a creative person, ideas need to develop. Sometimes I can feel that new opportunities will cross my path, although I don’t know when and what. I just rely on my intuition to tell me that I am on the right path now, certainly moving to a turning point and still learning on the way there. There will always be people and nature involved and I bring those two together. I love to give workshops and lectures and will continue to do so, I am also sure there will be changes in my photography beacause I am always exploring and experimenting.
How were you initially introduced to Lensbaby lenses, and how do you use them in your photography to help realize your vision? differentiate your work?
Five years ago one of my friends told me about Lensbaby. That piqued my interest, I looked on the Internet for more information. I already had a 105mm macro lens when I bought the Lensbaby Composer and all the different optics that were sold at that time. I hadn’t developed a style yet, so I started to do so with Lensbaby. I was really frustrated because I didn’t get anything sharp in the pictures. So I put it away and it was in a closet for almost 4 years. During that time I developed my style in macro-photography and started to give workshops. One and a half years ago I needed to be challenged again, so I grabbed my Lensbaby, and from that moment we became close friends.
Before starting with Lensbaby, I already developed my soft style. Lensbaby didn’t actually change my style but the big difference is in the way you can create it. It's also fun and makes me happy with its playfulness, I can be experimental and the results are very surprising. That’s also what I see and what people say during my workshops.
How do you plan to challenge yourself this year as a photographer?
As I already mentioned, I always try to push boundaries and want to challenge myself in photography. But there will also be another big challenge this year,I have been asked to mentor a group of nature photographers. Since macro-photography is my specialty, this forces me to broaden my horizons. I am really looking forward to this and since it'll be a learning experience for me too.
Check out Andrea's workshops and other work here.