Tell us about yourself. What is your background, and how did you get into photography?

My name is Marilyn, I am a mom of 2 kids Tom (5) and Olivia (3). I live in the centre of Amsterdam and am a very positive and happy person. When I was 21 I started a model agency and had this for 10 years. I did some acting classes in the meantime but that wasn’t for me. It did help me with getting more secure and now I believe it helps me seeing if a moment is real and in directing people. I also did some production of videos and when I was at a wedding a few years ago I couldn’t help but taking pictures and decided there that I wanted to become a photographer myself. The next year I second shot a few weddings and the year after I was fully booked.

Please provide us with a list of the gear you use on a regular basis:

2 x nikon D750
35 mm sigma
50 mm sigma
85 mm nikor

BE POSITIVE. Get into the law of attraction. Set your goals. Don’t compare yourself to other photographers.
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What does your post-production process look like?

(for a wedding) I back up everything to my hard drives, go through the pictures and make a selection. When I start editing the pictures I start with a picture in the series where the skin tones are important. I tap on the preset, that I've built from LXC, and change a little bit until it is how I want it to be. That costs me not more than 30 seconds. Then I copy paste the filter and put it on top of every image and go through them all and change every image just a little.

Has your photography style evolved over time?

Yes and no. Off course I (hopefully) got better, but when I look back at the starting days I see that I always focused on connection and realness. But I became a more 'full' photographer. I never worry about having a style. In the beginning someone told me, 'the style will find you'.

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What are your favourite tools for capturing, editing, and enhancing your photographs?

I don’t use extra tools beside my camera and myself. I use pinterest sometimes to get some inspiration, but other then that I am very curious to what other people answer to this question...

What is your greatest piece of advice for emerging photographers?

Force yourself to do a lot of great shoots. When you make an appointment to take pictures, you will have to deliver. Produce it yourself or find a great producer and your portfolio will boost. BE POSITIVE. Get into the law of attraction. Set your goals. Don’t compare yourself to other photographers. Try a lot, don’t stick to one 'style' colour pallet or whatever. I have too many pieces of advice!

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What type of photography do you most enjoy?

I can't choose. I love the fact that I do a lot. I do weddings, fashion and children (instagram @minibymarilyn). I think all of them give me so much pleasure. I am so so grateful for the fact that people are so happy with what you give them, so working with people definitely gives that extra joy to it. But doing a fashion shoot, getting creative and the only one creating is you, is also fun. I mean with a wedding you very often just run after what is happening and that is my approach to a family shoot as well.

What are you discouraged about in your work/business? What encourages you?

I cant think of anything that discourages me. Hmmm…

I am encouraged by the fact that I will keep on learning— it never ends. I am also encouraged by so many great personalities in the industry. I love that there is never a dull moment, and that I am taking pictures that matter, that will always have a special place in peoples’ hearts.


When was a time you thought you would/had failed? How did you overcome it?

I forgot to take pictures from the wedding signing, because I focused on the bride and groom being so in love... Well, it happened and it was shit. I would never forget it again. To me, it is not very important to have these photos, I‘d rather have a good hug on a picture with a witness. So in my head I turned it around, but I will always get the "must have" pictures...

What defines success for you as a photographer? If you never achieve that, will you still be satisfied with what you do?

A text message: “Oh these photos got me all teared up. Thank you so so much these mean so much to us. Thank you thank you.” I think it is a very big part of my job and happiness in my job. I must say when a client isn’t crying over my photos I am like, what is wrong? Don't you like the pictures? haha.