Hi Charlotte, it's so lovely talking to you! First of all, could you introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you, where do you come from, where do you live now? Tell us a little bit about your personal background!
Hi Karin! It’s a pleasure talking to you. My name is Charlotte van Driel. I was born and raised in Gendt, a small country village. It was nice living there, but the big city has always caught my attention. So nowadays I live and work in Nijmegen. It feels more comfortable because it meets my needs. Terraces, cafes, theatre, concerts and shops are close by, and the city is on a river where I can find peace when I want to. All this gives me a sense of freedom. This is important to me.
What exactly do you do for a living? When did you start with photography?
I work in the pharmacy of a big hospital, a very nice job. What I enjoy most is interacting with patients and seeing the result of a medical treatment.
Since my childhood I devoted most of my time to reading specialised books about photography and in 2016 I joined my first photography course. Stimulated by this, I finally started practicing my passion (to the delight of my audience). I focus on architecture and landscapes with the same intention, that of capturing the moments of calm in the general atmosphere of chaos as we experience here on earth.
Your pictures are very calm, yet eye-catching thanks to the intense colors and minimalistic style. How did you develop your style over the years?
In the beginning I was a little cautious, I think. But the comments and enthusiasm of my audience, other photographers and galleries gave me enough confidence to show more. Also, a few years ago I got burned out. To recover, I took long walks. Looking back, it was a precious period in which I got to know nature, architecture, and the world around me again. I mainly searched for quiet, deserted places, and captured this with my camera. I experienced making and editing photos as a form of therapy, it had a healing effect on me. So, I started gently but nowadays I use original bright, happy colours.
What do you like most about the minimalistic style? Do you also live a minimalist lifestyle at home?
I like the calm in minimalism. When I look at it, I feel like anything that could be subtracted, has been subtracted. Nonetheless, I don’t miss it, but I feel a satisfying sense of completeness.
When it comes to minimalism in lifestyle, I focus on what’s really important and essential to me and try to get rid of all the things I don’t really need. It is the most tangible and effective way to apply minimalism.
What inspires you and why?
Traveling inspired me the most. Everywhere I go, I first visit local stores for books about that place or area. That’s my guide. I love to visit historic places but also nature, and the beaches are my favourite places on earth. A good example that inspired me is the historic centre of Panama City, Casco Viejo. The district has so many colourful houses with small windows and balconies. I couldn’t get enough of it! Or Bocas Del Toro, an archipelago at the Caribbean coast with beautiful tropical beaches and colourful architectonic houses.
Looking at your Instagram Feed you seem to love being outdoors and also try capturing moments of movements. Is there a special message you try to communicate through your photographs?
With my photos, I want to take the viewer to a moment of peace. “Minimalism is the ultimate sophistication”. My aim is to transport the audience into a minimalistic world where a therapeutic sense of calm reigns. This is the most important visual aspect of my photography.
Could you tell us a bit about your creation process? How do you get your ideas and how do you edit your pictures? Do you plan much ahead or do prefer taking pictures spontaneously?
Both. I prefer to shoot images in which often only one element occurs, immersed in a neutral background. When that doesn’t work, I transfer them to my MacBook and start the editing process.
How and why did you start using Instagram as a platform to share your photography?
I started on IG in 2018. At that time, I had not yet the intention of sharing all my photos there. The enthusiasm of my followers made sure of that. Now I think IG is the best platform to show my work.
Do yo have a favorite photograph of yours? Can you tell us the story behind it?
That’s a difficult question because I have many favourites. But I like the one with the red wall and the blue door very much. The combo of colours and the sunshield above the door make me smile. I am wondering what’s behind that door and would love to take a look inside, to see if it is just as cozy and cute as the outside. I took the photo in January 2020 in Costa Rica on a very warm and clammy day.
How do you feel about your IG community? Do you conect with them a lot? Do they help you find new ideas?
I am in regular contact with my IG community. They are very important to me because they are stimulating. Thereby I participate in live sessions of other photographers on the platform. I learn a lot from them.
Could you name some of your favorite Instagrammers who inspire you?
There are a lot of Instagrammers who inspire me. If I mention just a few names that will mean I am doing others short and I want to avoid that.
Do you like sending and receiving postcards?
Yes, I do. When I visit a bookstore, I always stop by the postcards. I like it so much because the small pictures are telling a story or evoke an imagination. And I always get a surprised response when I sent a postcard. It gives people a special feeling and they know that I really care and thought of them.
Did you know Pickmotion before we started our collaboration? If yes, how did you become aware of us?
Yes, I did, because the postcards of Pickmotion are for sale in my favourite bookstore, here around my corner. It is a great honour for me to collaborate with you and see a few of my own pictures on a postcard from Pickmotion.
Would you like to share a little anecdote or story with us? Please feel free to tell us anything!
I remember one of my last trips to Sri Lanka. I rented a tuktuk and the roads took me past villages with coloured houses and rocking chairs on the porches. No high-rise buildings but only palm/banana trees and pineapple fields. Iguanas slept in the sun on the roadside or on a branch. Birds including parrots in the colours purple, yellow and green flew past my tuktuk. I was on my way to Tangalle, a place on the coast to see how huge sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach at night. I enjoyed it to the fullest. The overwhelming flora and fauna made me realise that this is what it’s all about and how much we should protect this. The whole day I left my camera untouched in my bag. Because I wanted to see the spectacle with my own eyes and not through the lens of my camera.
APM-0254, APM-0226, ZG-0917-DE