SOME STORIES ABOUT THE PORTRAYED PEOPLE
I was eating a pizza in a pizzeria in my own street in Amsterdam when Cornelise came in. From that moment I knew I had no choice than to ask her to portrait her some day. With lead in my shoes I walked to her table. She answered: 'Oh, I have to think about this'. Three days later she called me and agreed. ‘But,’ she said, ‘I only want to be photographed on the beach with sun and no wind.’
One week later we drove to the beach in my car but exactly when we arrived it started to whiffle and rain. So we drove back to Amsterdam without even getting out of the car.
Two weeks later, spring started and we made a new attempt. The sun was shining and there was no wind. I took the portrait. Later on we drank tea for more than four hours in a beach bar. She had a combination of pure wisdom and at the same time she also was a young and naive girl. I learned a lot from her. We stayed in contact until the day she died.
Omar was a gym teacher in a luxury hotel in the Gambia. When he saw me walking around with my camera, he said hi and we started to have a conversation. He asked me if I wanted to marry him because he was searching for a way to enter Europe. I told him I was engaged so I was not an option anymore.
We decided to take a photo of him for dating sites. Maybe other European girls would be interested. I sent him the photo and we stayed in contact by email. Unfortunately the photo couldn’t convince any of my girlfriends.