I am Rick van der Kraats, born in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, 2000. My parents presented me with a camera during a trip to Norway in 2011. This proved to be a great decision and provoked both my interest for nature and photography. A picture in a magazine of a White-tailed Eagle sealed the deal: a new hobby was born! I became a nature photographer.
My surroundings in Amersfoort were a fertile breeding ground for my new hobby: I treated the Arkemheen polder as my back-yard. This polder even provided me with the contacts for the sale of my pictures to ambassadors and ministers of the EU and the royal family: a great honour! Fuelled by his enthusiasm about my photo’s, the Dutch ambassador in Luxemburg even started selling my images for me! This in turn fueled my confidence.
My photography deepened. I deepened. I started to experiment more. Looked into other art forms. I started to question what made the image appealing? How it is built up? Does the image tell a story? Bottom-line: I wanted to improve!
It became clear to me that the image is not the only thing that counts. It's the satisfaction I got from nature and taking the picture that was the source behind this deepening. For this reason I often went out into nature without my camera. I noticed that I needed that. For inspiration. To charge-up and let fresh ideas arise.
I started to feel the potential of my photography. This is what I wanted. This feeling was soon confirmed by winning six mayor nature photography awards.
- WNF Frans Lanting Photo Award 2016 ‘’Young talent’’ (first place)
- Groene Camera ‘’Nature photography talent of the year 2017’’ (runner-up and first place)
- International de Photo Nature de Namur 2017 ‘’Under 18 years’’ (first place)
- Nature Photographer of the Year 2017 ‘’Youth’’ (first place)
- Lowlands Photographer of the Year 2017 ‘’Youth’’ (second place)
- Montphoto Contest 2018 ''Youth'' (winner)
I had the honour of enjoying a workshop with Frans Lanting in person as part of the WNF-Frans Lanting Photo Award.