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Keep in Touch

Fokko Muller

29 Sep '12

written by Nawid Sahebzadeh |  photo © Fokko Muller

Fokko Muller

Fokko was born in Rotterdam and now lives in Emmen, he is an IT consultant specialized in ERP solutions and started taking an interest in photography three years ago after a friend encouraged him to buy a DSLR camera. Fokko spends his free time on photography and wish he could spend more time than he can now.

How did your photography evolve?

At first I started a 365 project. I thought that would be a good way to keep me involved and inspired. I would take pictures of everything. Flowers, animals, portraits, buildings, just about anything. But after 300 days it became very difficult to stay inspired and keep making photos so I started asking people on social media for idea’s like:”Tell me what I should photograph today?” and the suggestions would pour in and I would take it. No matter how hard they were I tried to make something out of it. That was a good move. After a while a friend suggested to make a photo of an elderly person with my 50mm lens after asking permission. That felt like a serious barrier. Me being a photographer of mainly inanimate objects, now had to get all up in the faces of people. But I tried and it was my start into street photography.
What kind of things do you photograph? What do you like the most?

I like to be on the streets and make photos of people in their daily environment. I would like to say I don’t like poses. I don’t like to photograph people who know I’m photographing them It takes all the natural look of it away. I like to try and capture life as it is. No alterations. So I try to capture people on the street while they are unaware of my presence.
Do people notice you?

I’d say 90% of them does not even know they have been photographed. And I don’t tend to speak to them before or after I have made the shot. I’m just an observer. And I like to observe, true emotion and special moments people have.
Have you ever had any bad experiences with people who noticed you?

Once I was photographing a man in a suit and I walked away when I was finished. He came after me and wanted to grab my camera because he did not want to be photographed. I simply told him I would erase them for him and I did before his eyes. He then went away. I think in those situations it’s important to know that your subjects have a say in whether they like to be photographed or not and you should listen to them.
Do you prefer a certain type of camera to carry with you?

Let me answer that with a quote: “The best camera is the one you’ve got with you!” I try to make the best of it with the one that I do have. For now that is the Panasonic DMC-GX1 with 2 fixed lenses (14mm and 20mm). I even sometimes use my phone.
What is the relationship between you and the UPC?

Early 2010 a friend told me about UPC and got me interested. Shortly after I contacted Thamar about the possibility of extending UPC to Emmen and things went fast from there. In March of 2010 I organized my first meeting in Emmen and continued to organize the monthly meeting up to last August. In oktober 2011 I found 2 co-hosts (Aize and Moniek Schipper) but for lack of a permanent substitute host for Emmen and also the lack of free time on my hands we decided to quit Emmen for the time being.
Who do you think we should interview next?

I think Linda Rodel is a very good candidate.