Bye 2012…. a year of wow

Every year I do a small overview of what the year brought and 2012 has been quite a year…. pffff
Of course there was a lot of bad news but I don’t want to focus on that, let’s keep it all positive and a bit more concentrated on what happened for us, but I do want to say that our thoughts go out to all the people that fell victim to needless violence and forces of nature.


Some of the highlights for me (us) from 2012:


Professional Imaging
2012 was the year that I finally was asked to do workshops on the main stage at the Adobe theater in Nieuwgein. I’ve been doing the Professional imaging for years now for Fotoflits (the Dutch Elinchrom agent) but never really did the main stage, but in 2012 somehow Adobe decided they wanted me up there. I prepared 9 different seminars but ended up doing only 2 because Adobe NL thought that would be better… well we proved them wrong, the room was PACKED and I mean PACKED, people were standing in the hallways. It was a great feeling because let’s be honest a “home crowd” is the hardest thing to do, but I loved you guys there. Also thanks to the organization I did a Masterclass which was sold out so PI 2012 was a huge success, and of course working with my buddies Drew Gardner and Dave Black is always fun.


Answering questions during the improvised Q&A

Photoshop World Washington
As Larry Becker once told me, the most important and fun days in the year are Christmas, birthdays of your kids/partner and PhotoshopWorld and I can wholeheartedly agree, I always feel like hanging out with family and friends when I’m at PhotoshopWorld it’s just way too much fun and it’s way too short, it’s always over before you know. And even though I’ve been a member of the team for some time now I still feel incredibly honored when I’m teaching on the showfloor or in the rooms, it’s a great ambience.


After Photoshop World it was time to drive to Philidelphia where we visited an old prison, however that was just an in-between stop because we had to stop in New York to visit B&H and teach a seminar that was later released online and I still get a lot of responses from that one and it ranks very high in the stats, so I’m more than proud of that one.


After B&H it was in the car to Boston to meet up with our good friend Brendan Stewart (who got married this year, congrats dude) to teach workshops from his studio in Boston. Lots of great locations and a great model……. well actually this was the first time EVER we booked 5 models and 2 makeup artists and NO-ONE (I kid you not) showed up…. that’s why we book at least 4 models for a workshop, but this never happened before. Luckily we had a great stand in.


In New York I bought an X10 from FujiFilm, loved the look and wanted a smaller camera without feeling like shooting with a “brick” or digital notebook. For fun I started doing fashion with it and this got picked up by FujiFilm in the Netherlands, before I knew it we were working together and I was testing (and falling in love) with the X-Pro1 and later the X-E1 (my all time favorite compact camera). Also in 2012 I taught two seminars at Kamera Express for FujiFilm about travel and street photography with FujiFilm cameras.


More Seminars and workshops
As you probably know, my passion is teaching the workshops and seminars, and 2012 was a great year for that. I did several seminars for local photoclubs, some schools, the ZOOM campus and even a small class on my son’s highschool (and trust me that’s scary, because I don’t want to let Brian down of course). Also the workshops I teach in our studio in Emmeloord got some major overhauls and new things were added to almost every single workshop.


Being the hero of your kid
The most fun expression I ever saw on Brians face in connection to my work was when I hang up the phone after a brief call about an upcoming photoshoot. I was asked to shoot the SPEC group artists, now people from outside the Netherlands will probably not know these guys but let’s put it this way, it was during diner and Brian almost fell of his seat, it’s a collection of some of the biggest names in the Rap/music scene in the Netherlands. Normally Brian does like what I do but you know he’s 13 (now 14) and it’s work that daddy does, but shooting some of his heroes well that’s different…. so I hope he will also pick up the camera more seriously 😀


This year I also filmed two new videos for KelbyTraining, one has already been released and is called “The Art of dance”. I think it’s without any doubt a great addition to my other classes on KelbyTraining, the other one is 100% on small flash but will probably be released in 2013 because some material had problems and needs to be reshot.


A Dutch book on small flash
2012 was also the year I was asked by a Dutch distributor of photographic books to write a book on small flash, a topic I love but don’t give a lot of attention to normally (don’t know why), the book is now in the editing stages and I hope on an early 2013 release.


The big book on modelphotography
Oh man, I’m phsyched beyond believe about this one. During PhotoshopWorld Washington Scott Kelby chatted with me about releasing a book and although I love to write I never hoped for a book that would be released through their channels because let’s be honest… you can’t get better people in the business than their team. So I could not hold back and started the task to write a complete book on model photography from A-Z including many many topics from the need to style, makeup, clothing, light, light meters, calibrations, posing, coaching, finding models and even a brief chapter on retouching… it’s truly become a book that covers everything I could think off. Also this book is in the final stages of editing by some of the best people in the business and will be released around PhotoshopWorld in April.


Esther  1 Augustus 2012 - 0340

Poldermodel 2012
Finding new models can be a problem… so we thought why not organize a competition to find the best model from our area…. well we got some great ones I can say 🙂 including Esther (which you see above) who won. In the end we added three new stunning models to our line up for the workshops and photoshoots.


X-rite Colorati
During Photokina I met up with the people from X-rite and after some very nice conversations I was asked to join their lineup of Colorati photographers. A few weeks ago I also did the first webinar for them.


Going green
2012 was also the year where StudioFD went 100% green (well almost), we added 47 solar panels to our buildings in the hope to cover our annual use for the full 100%. In the end it will be a little bit less, but it will be a huge savings, and of course it’s great for the environment.


The DOORhof is always open
It started as a joke and something I did not actually wanted to do, but in the end the people won 😀
In 2012 we started our videowebpodcast called “The DOORhof is always open”, at the moment we’re working on Episode 7 already so it’s going great. I’m taking a very “free” approach to the episodes, some are jampacked with interviews, including a two parter with a lot of the PhotoshopWorld instructors, some are very themed based, like one on streetphotography, styling and model photography. In the menu above you can go to the pages to see the episodes, or subscribe to iTunes.


Workshops 18 Juli Canon - -54-Edit

Photoshoots with models in Castle, Palaces and stunning locations are never boring.
So when I was asked to host several days in Austria with these kind of locations I almost peed my pants, and said very relaxed “yeah, sure no problem would love to”. In the end a great experience and I’ll be doing it again in 2013 if the schedules are compatible, I had a blast, small groups and great locations what more to wish for. Well maybe models that do speak a bit of English, Dutch or German…..


Frank Doorhof and friends
2012 was also the year where we started the “Frank Doorhof and Friends” seminars/workshops.
And because you have to start with a bang I decided to invite my buddy Glyn Dewis over to teach a two day intense Photoshop course. People were literally coming in from all over Europe and I think we can say that it was a great start. For 2013 we have some other guests that I’m looking at now 🙂

Vegas naar LA Canon  September 08, 2012 - 732_HDR

PhotoshopWorld Las Vegas
Always fun Las Vegas, but this time very special because we brought my mom with us.
Highlights (next to PSW, nothing beats that) was the trip from Los Angeles to Vegas and back which we did off route, and a large part via Route66, it was an awesome experience and I can’t wait to do that again next year. Also thanks to my good friend Ian I got to shoot the wonderful Marie Betrand, a Hollywood actress and script writer.

Maria Bertrand canon September 10, 2012 - 130-Edit

After a few days of rest it was already up to Koln for Photokina.
Without any doubt the biggest show on earth for photography, well at least for Europe 😀
I was able to walk around for 2 days and teach for 2 days at the Elinchrom booth, the audience was great and I would love to thank everyone that attended those shows and make it a great experience for me.


Photowalk Amsterdam
I started participating with the Scott Kelby worldwide photowalk last year in Kampen and had a blast. This year we choose Amsterdam, and although it was raining cats and dogs we had two walks planned and we ended up with walkers, although in all honestly half of them went home due to the really bad weather, but hey we’re Dutch and we are used to a little bit of rain.


Sony A99
During the time of the Photowalk I was approached by Sony Asia if I would be interested to testdrive their new Sony Alpha99 camera. My first response was…. “well I’m really busy and …. well I did not say this but it’s a Sony”. Now don’t get me wrong I love Sony, our Home Theater features a Sony SxRD projector and it’s a great unit, but cameras… well I did some research and decided to give it a go after reading some specs which made me go “Hummm if that’s really true we could be having something interesting after all”… well to make a long story short I loved the camera but hated the EVF at the start, and this changed into loving the EVF and on the brink of 2013 I’m actually seriously thinking about selling my Canon gear (which I love).


Thanks to the people of DNAsoftware and Phottix I got some problems I had with the A99 sorted out (tethered shooting and wireless flash) and I just love the system, so in 2013 you will see me using Sony a lot I hope.

Dubai 11 November 2012 desert  (75 of 409)-Edit

We ended our workshops in Dubai with a stunning last minute shoot in the desert, VERY high on my wish list.

We love to travel but up until now it was always Europe and the States, so when I was asked to teach at Gulf Photo Plus I was a bit too fast with saying “hell yeah” :-), and indeed it became the trip of our life, the people are awesome, the photo opportunities are immense and the people from Gulf Photo Plus ROCK, they do push you hard with long teaching days but man it was worth it. We shot in the great Cavalli club, a parking garage with an awesome car and of course a studio day.


Also during GPP I did the press introduction for the Sony A99 on stage in which I showed for the first time ever in public that the camera did tether, we got that working a few moments before show time, so imagine the stress.


New York
Now I hear you asking, “why did you say yes too fast?”
Well as much as I love to travel I also like to be home for a bit longer than a week, and to be exact we were home for 5 whole days after Dubai before we had to be on a plane again to film a live webinar with the great people from the MAC group for Mamiya Leaf, and ….. we broke a record 😀 we got the most attendees ever for an online webinar about medium format from the MAC group, and also now when we look at the ranking the video is doing incredibly well, than you guys so very much for that.


During our stay in New York we were shown around by some incredibly nice people we met online (thank you guys, you rock) we saw the aftermath of Sany which will be in my mind forever, we visited the Reuters building and got a great tour through the smaller towns of the New York area, and to finish a perfect week off I met up with Jay Maisel in his house in New York to talk about street photography and just hang out and have fun.


Right after New York it was up to Tampa to meet up with Scott Kelby to go through my book, to make a long story short I learned more about book writing in 3 days than I think could be possible in a life time, that man is walking inspiration wow. And when in Tampa you have to be on the Grid so that was also squeezed in.


In November we were hardly home so December was planned to be free time, and we all know how that goes, but at least we are in the Netherlands.

One of my fav NY shots

One of my fav NY shots

Help Portrait
In the Netherlands we already start in February with the preparations for this day and this year it was a bigger success than last year, we had a lot more locations, a great team of volunteers and again wonderful stories and images. I shot myself in Emmeloord (of course). For 2013 we will be doing the nationwide organization again without any doubt.


Most impressive prop of the year
When you phone rings with the question if you want to do a shoot with Deloreans there is not a doubt in my mind. When I asked them “is it ok if I bring a model and some lights and smoke” they probably thought that I would be photographing a “beach beauty” in jeans and a tanktop (or less), much to their surprise it became something else.



Looking back 2012 was an incredible WOW year. It started really bad when we lost our beloved cat Joey, but it’s been a year of many many highs and little lows and we hope that 2013 will be even better, and we do think it will.


Some cool things I can already share that will be done in 2013.
Of course the release of the books, but also a workshop in New York, just before Photoshop World, several shows in the UK including some workshops, we are planning workshops in France, I will be traveling to Morocco to teach and we are starting a whole new series of workshops in Emmeloord including seminars at night time…….


But the biggest thing (well at least for us) is that we will be adding a large extra area to our studio.
Starting 2013 we will be joining my wife’s companies building, just a 10 second walk from our studio and we will be using a very large part of that building for a brand new studio and education center from which we will be teaching guest workshops, seminars and my own workshops. The room can fit 100-150 people at ease and has a nice podium. Both studios will coexist, but during the year the “old” studio will be transformed into the video building while the new studio will become the main photography and educational part. My wife’s computer company will continue with new management so that Annewiek is able to join me more freely. Due to the cooperation with the new partner the computer company will be part of a much larger company (but with the same social and business values as ITC) this also means we can keep stock and other space consuming materials central meaning almost 75% of the building is now available for the photography.
This also means that we will be focussing not only on workshops but also on more portrait work, families and of course fashion work. Our team will double in size meaning we can work faster and more versatile and for me…. well I can focus on the things that are really important and think of new things….



So this is my/our overview of 2012, and I hope you enjoyed reading it, let’s go to 2013 !!!