/ 2017 / Nature / Underwater


  • Prize
    Bronze in Book Proposal (Series Only)/Nature, Bronze in Nature/Underwater
  • Photographer
    Richard Westerhuis, Netherlands
  • Studio
    Direct Art Photography

This serie shows the beauty of the vulnerability that human beings
and nature have in common.
Is it strange or even delusional to desire this recognition for the
relationship between us, humans, and this force of nature? Water
will always be our most precious resource of life. However, it also
difficult to fully grasp nature because our oxygen-needing bodies
are not able to reach this underwater world. The closer we come to
exploring, the higher the risk of drowning. Maybe some people are
not able to have a genuine connection with nature because of a
physical and mental distance? The titel of the serie is inpired by
the wonderful news that The Whanganui River finally has its
human rights.

About Richard Westerhuis
‘Simplicity is beautiful’

Richard Westerhuis is an independent creative photographer with a love for pure and timeless (portrait) photography.

What is beauty? Nowadays, the world seems to be obsessed by being perfect and will even prefer artificiality instead of someone’s natural appearance. Westerhuis on the contrary photographs his models without judgment and encourages his models to be authentic. He believes there’s a beauty in being vulnerable and being yourself. His aim is to portray people the way they are; as real people, without pretending and each with their own story to tell.

Real life In this dynamic school of life there are welcome emotions like joy and hope, but also unwelcome emotions like sorrow and uncertainty. Westerhuis isolates these emotions by photographing his models in a studio setting with a ‘less is more attitude’; simplicity as a tool to stay close to reality. He often puts his models in front of a dark backdrop and uses painterly lighting reminiscent of old masters like Rembrandt. A good Portrait, to him, is a Portrait that captures an emotion or a gaze in its purest form.

It is the mixture of inspiration from art of the past and the present, which helps shape his art photography today. He believes experimenting and practicing are key to grow as a photographer and as a person. By always asking questions and letting curiosity guide him, he is constantly discovering and learning different ways to visualise stories. The overall theme in his projects is ‘the beauty of life and the wonderful vulnerability of human kind’.

Sometimes it only takes one moment, one face and one story; simplicity is beautiful.