Jaap van den Beukel | Amsterdam

Jaap van den Beukel grew up with 4 sisters, mother, and a father who was a vicar. He had a talent for drawing, photographic copying of a ‘deathlike’ subject and bringing it to life. Searching to figure out what he wanted to do in life, he decided to go to Adult School for Art and Culture for a year, to gain some experience in drawing and graphic design. When a good friend introduced him to the world of photography, he very soon switched over and started a Photography and Photonics engineering course at a college in The Hague, The Netherlands. This very technical education gave him a very good foundation as a photographer that he could develop further in a working environment.

After a relatively short time, he moved to England to gain more experience at photographers there. On his return to The Netherlands, a partnership with photographer and childhood friend, ‘Erno Wientjes’, followed. For 5 years they shared a studio in Rotterdam where they worked on independent assignments, but also assisted each other on photography jobs. They parted ways after a few years and ‘Jaap van den Beukel’ chose commercial photography as his speciality. The technique and lighting in photography kept him occupied for hours, just like he used to do as a youngster with his drawing, until everything was under control. This gave him many assignments for a variety of big companies and advertising- and design agencies; national and international. After a very busy working period, he decided to move with his family to Barcelona at the beginning of 2008.

After 3 years he decided to leave Barcelona and to establish himself in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Having come back to a changed photographic market, he decided to continue his chosen path and also to start filming.

The photographic approach remains strongly in his films. ‘Even though contents is, of course, the most important element in a documentary, I do not want the visual aspect to be taken over by the story.’ He amplifies the quirkiness of the individuals he portrays, with visual means set against the background of its surroundings: one by one people who follow their own sometimes-lonely path in life.