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Angelo van der Klift: Photographer of the week

by Yvette Depaepe 
Published the 14th of September 2020

Angelo van der Klift is a Dutch photographer and digital artist based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Since 2015 he is making stunning storytelling images with a touch of surreal magic. Read more about this artist and get carried away by his tremendous creativity...


'Dreams can come true'


Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs, Angelo.
My name is Angelo van der Klift and I am a father of 2 beautiful boys. My wife and I know each other this year for 25 years. Besides my own photography business, I also work for a Dutch insurance broker. I love to visit museums with my kids, it does give me inspiration for new artwork.

How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
I was born in 1977 and I grew up in a small town near Rotterdam. My father was a hard-working father of 3 kids with his own insulation company. My father already noticed my creativity very soon. I played a lot with Lego ™ and I was always trying to invent new things to make. He taught me how to paint when I was like nine years. I draw a lot of paintings in that time, which I mostly hang in my room. So, I had a room full of drawings.

When I grew older I learned to play guitar, from my father off course. I played in a few bands, and when I graduated, I wanted to learn photography at a photography school. That was an expensive school at that time, and there wasn’t an alternative. My fathers business wasn’t going well, so I didn’t had the change to go to the photography school. I chose to focus on something different: marketing, communications and commercial economy.

I got my first job at an insurance company, and year by year went by and I grew older, learned more and more about the insurance business. Besides my job, I also had a review-website on where I wrote reviews about concerts, performances, etc. I wrote a lot of them. I wanted to elevate my reviews with pictures of the performances, and so I bought my first digital camera.

When my wife got pregnant of our first son, my parents in law surprised me with a DSLR. My first one. And that is where my photography adventure really started. As I was already making photo-shopped images for my websites, I was used to edit in Photoshop.
I got deeper into to matter of photography. I really wanted to know all about it. Besides watching tutorials online, I also participated masterclasses and workshops of the best artists from all over the world, such as Renee Robyn, Adrian Sommeling and Dmitry Rogozhkin.

In 2015 I started my own photography business. Now, 5 years later, I have specialized in making creative storytelling photography art, with a touch of surreal magic. Though I still think you can always learn new things!


'The Waiting'


Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
The last 5 years were a roller-coaster for me. My father got cancer in 2014 and past away in 2016, while my wife was pregnant of our second child. That had a deep impact on me and as a result on my photography. Photography was for me the only way to express how I felt at that time. And I tried to use that gift to the fullest. To create artwork that tells my story.


'Towards heaven'

Describe your overall photographic vision.
For me photography is a tool to visualize my thoughts, my fantasy, my story. And nowadays I also use it to tell others stories. Photography is listening to the colours and light around you.


'Calm after the storm'


Why are you so drawn by creatively edited photography?
I really do like to just photograph people, landscapes, architecture and other stuff, but I am a perfectionist. And that is not always a good quality, but in this case it helped me to create my own unique style. I love it when I succeed in visualizing something I have in mind. The most fun part of it all is that every image is like an adventure or journey to me. I really see it in that way.


'Burn the ships from the past'

What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
Nothing is perfect. That is just the perfectness about it! For me it is important that the image tells the story!



Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
Basically it is like this:

There is a story that I need to tell
I make a drawing of some ideas and choose the one that is most fit for the story
I scout locations and sometimes models to shoot all the elements
If I need props, I can search for hours and hours to find the best props. Sometimes I ask my network for help, and they always do! Thanks guys!
I photograph all elements. Or sometimes just draw them.
It all comes together in Photoshop
When it is finished, I first ask my wife about her opinion. If she likes it, it is good. If she doesn’t, I go back to the drawing board.


'Excavating the sun'


 When it comes to photographing and editing 25 kids, the workflow might differ a bit form the usual 😉


'Old Dutch Games'

What is your most important advice to a beginner in creatively edited photography and how do you get started?
Get inspired by other artists. Try to participate on their workshops, it not only learns new tricks, it also helps to see how other artist work. And off course: just do it. Go out there and practice!



Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you? 
In March of 2019 I made “After the Rain there is Sunshine”.
In 2017 I got tinnitus, and that was drop that made my bucket overflow. I got in a burnout. I was struggling to get back on my feet again. I had to work hard to get that sunshine back in my life. In 2018 I got the idea to somehow visualize that story.

The idea was to photograph myself in stormy weather while I was pointing to a little light. I had to wait for a big storm and finally it was there in March of 2019. I went to the beach with my oldest son. It was our project. He made the photos of me that day. I tried different positions. But it was like after taking 20 pictures of me pointing, that I saw a fisherman that was pulling his fishing rod, when it hit me.

I made a video about how I made that image. 

This image was literally a tipping point in my life, and when watching the video it still gives tears in my eyes.


'After rain there is sunshine'

How are you holding up during the COVID-19 pandemic?
In the beginning we had to stay at home. I worked from home, so I had no travelling time any more.
It was just before I started my Marketing training, that I made Geppetto’s story in my spare time.
That was so incredibly fun to make. It was an idea that I wanted to make, since I started my own business, but never had the time for it.
I was glad that I waited so long, so now both of my sons could participate in it. Also made a making of video.


'Gepetto's Workshop'

Is there anything else you wish to add  and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
1x is a curated photography website and a fantastic concept. You can browse through inspiring work of great artists all over the world. You can help them by giving feedback, but it helps you getting better by also receiving feedback from professionals all over the world.


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'Bibliothèque Saltimbanque'



'Not my cup of tea'



'Risk Managing'



'Swedish Chef'



'The Secret'



'The Goodbye'



'The Re-creation of Adam'




Very beautiful gallery and report, very beautiful creations, great artist.
A great photographer and artist
Indeed, Angelo is a very creative artist from whom we all can learn, XibiaoHuang ... Thanks for your appreciation, my friend.
Thanks for sharing so much about yourself and your work with us, Angelo! Congratulations with the well deserved feature of 'Photographer of the week'. Cheers, Yvette
Angelo amazing images you have a wonderful imagination that you try hard to turn into beautiful photographs. Congratulations I love all of them. Well done Yvette great choice.
Thanks, Daniel ;-)