Year In Review: 2019, ‎You’ve Been Good To Me

2019 is coming to an end, and it’s time again to look back at the past year and all great photo-shooting adventures.

I’m happy to say 2019 has been a(nother) great year for me. I managed to work out some great projects and even got published in a famous Dutch magazine… how cool is that! I visited several awesome fairs and other events during this year, and I have met a lot of amazing and fascinating people. Some of them became close friends. Love you all!

I hope 2020 will be another creative year with lots of awesome photo shootings.

As I do every year on this day, I gathered (almost) all of my shoots of the past year and made a collage of my favorite photos. Hope you’ll like them too.

Further more, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my followers for their support over this past year and I hope you stay tuned in 2020. A very happy New Year to all of you!

Made by Manja (Manja Knoop), Vandervenfotografie (Cornel van der Ven), Elsabijn Fotografie, René Prins and Blommers / Schumm.

Día De Los Muertos Photo Shooting

Another one of those photo shootings my sweet boyfriend Count vlAD and I had on our bucket list for a while. It just took some time working out the plans for this amazing photo shooting.

My sweet boyfriend Count vlAD and I have always had a thing for sugar skulls. I mean, what’s not to love about sugar skulls? Sugar skulls are colorful and beautiful, but also we love the history.

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a two day holiday celebrated in Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere, between October 31st and November 2nd. During this holiday, Mexicans remember and honor their deceased loved ones. It’s not a gloomy or morbid occasion, rather it is a festive and colorful holiday celebrating the lives of those who have passed on. Mexicans visit cemeteries, decorate the graves and spend time there, in the presence of their deceased friends and family members.

When is Day of the Dead?
The two-day festival begins with Día de los Angelitos (Day of the little angels) – which kicks the holiday off at midnight on November 1st. This is where the spirits of all deceased children are believed to be reunited with their families for 24 hours. Families construct an altar, known as an ofrenda, with the departed child’s favorite snacks, candies, toys, and photographs to encourage a visit from their departed children.

At midnight of the following day, November 2nd, the celebrations shift to honor the lives of the departed adults, which is called Día de los Difuntos. The night is filled with laughter and fun memories, much like the night before. However, the Ofrendas take on a more adult-like theme with tequila, pan de muerto, mezcal, pulque and jars of Atole.

On November 2nd at noon the grand finale and public celebration of Día de Muertos begins, honouring the spirits of all the dead. People will come together in their cities, dressed up with Calavera painted faces (Skeletons) for parades in the streets.

Sugar skulls
Calaveras (or skulls) are ubiquitous during Day of the Dead. The skulls are often drawn with a smile as to laugh at death itself. They take many forms such as sugar candies, clay decorations, and most memorable: face painting.
Sugar skulls are decorated and placed on ofrendas of loved ones. The reason they are called “sugar skulls” is because the authentic sugar skulls were made out of clay molded sugar, decorated with feathers, colored beads, foils and icing. These sugar skulls are very colorful and whimsical, not scary at all.

In terms of meaning, the skull symbolizes death but in a positive manner. In Mexico it is believed that death is not the final stage in one’s life but rather a step forward into a higher level of conscience.

Photo Shoot Crew
For this photo shooting Count vlAD and I worked together with two familiair photographers, which are RoKo Foto (aka Ronald Kooijman) and Elsabijn Lindenbergh (aka Elsabijn Fotografie).

I have collaborated on no less than five shoots now with photographer Ronald Kooijman and each one was memorable and very well-arranged, including this latest photo shooting. This was the third time I worked together with photographer Elsabijn Fotografie and I may say it was another succes story.

The awesome skull make-up was done by professional make-up artist MakeUp4U.  She really did another A-MA-ZING job!

We couldn’t wish for a better location than the beautiful (ruin of) Asten Castle, locally known as Kasteel Asten. The mystic atmosphere is perfect for a photo shooting like this one. We even managed to create some kind of miniature cemetery in the castle gardens.

They say proper preparation yields good result… and it does! We all had a very fun and relaxed day at the beautiful Asten Castle and I am over the moon to share the amazing results. You can also find the pictures (and more) on my Facebook page.


Pictures RoKo Foto (Ronald Kooijman):

Pictures Elsabijn Fotografie (Elsabijn Lindenbergh):

Autum Shooting 2019

Autumn is a perfect time to take gorgeous pictures outside. Colorful leaves on the trees and on the ground will serve as a stunning background. And, as the rich golds and reds fall about you, you just can’t help but feel that romance is in the air. And what could be more romantic than making beautiful autumn pictures with your one true love?

For this photo shooting we worked together with photographers Vandervenfotografie (aka Cornel en Marijke van der Ven). We have worked together so often that I almost can’t count the number of times. But each one was memorable, including this latest photo shooting.

Although we were a bit early for the time of year (the trees were much greener as we had expected), I am very happy to show the results. You can also find the pictures on my Facebook page.

Heather Shooting With Photographer Made By Manja

Who doesn’t like the sights of blooming heather fields? It’s a purple Dream!

The Netherlands is famous for its windmills and the tulips. But, this small country has a lot more to offer than these historic icons. There’s a very rich variety of nature. Personally, I just can’t stay away from nature when the heather fields are in full bloom and large parts of our small country turn into a deep shade of purple. You will find yourself a dreamscape that looks like it popped straight out of a fairy tale. It’s a perfect “decor” for photo shootings.

The heather plants usually only bloom during mid August and early September, so it is a fairly short window of opportunity for photo shootings… which, of course, I couldn’t resist.

Together with friend and photographer Manja Knoop (aka Made by Manja) I visited the former broadcasting station “Radio Kootwijk”; an iconic (monumental) building made of concrete walls, which is surrounded by beautiful heather fields. In the war the Germans used the station for communication with submarines. At the end of 1998, Radio Kootwijk finally went off the air. What remained was the combination of the wonderful art-deco edifice and a pristine environment.

We were very lucky with the weather, as it turned out to be one of the best days of the week with a little wind and aplenty sunshine to make some stunning pictures.

I am over the moon to share the amazing results. You can also find the pictures on my Facebook page.


For The Love Of Corsets

I’m an avid fan of corsets, as you can probably tell if you follow my Facebook model page or Instagram. Most people see corsets as a sexy piece of lingerie, but generally I consider corsets to be their own category of clothing, and more of a piece of classy outerwear than underwear.

In my experience, wearing a corset feels a bit like being hugged. A gentle squeeze, perfectly proportioned all around your torso. A good quality corset gives the best support you’ve ever felt (better than your best fitting bra) but with no weight on your shoulders and no elastic digging in anywhere. And, ladies, isn’t that what we all want? 😉

Although I love to wear corsets, I don’t wear them every day and I am not doing “(corset) waist training”. I mostly wear corsets during my visits to Renaissance fairs and during photo shootings. In everyday life, I also wear jeans and comfy sweaters.

A brief history of corsets
Corsets throughout history have been almost exclusively an undergarment for the majority of the time. During their heyday in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, corsets transformed from a purely functional piece of clothing to a beautiful piece of lingerie. With the introduction of luxurious silk fabrics and dainty lace trims, many corsets became elegant components of trousseaus or decadent boudoir accompaniments, a new incarnation for these previously staid garments. 

Yet in the latter half of the 20th century (in the 1960s), when a slim athletic figure came into style, exercising replaced shape-wear for attaining an ideal figure. And for a long while, corsets were a rare item for those not into historical reenactment or the fetish scene.

It wasn’t until around the 1980s that corsets saw a major resurgence (one that we can largely attribute to Jean Paul Gaultier’s corseted costumes for Madonna). Corsets stopped being solely hidden under clothing.

Many corsets are now being designed exclusively as outerwear pieces, whether these be as casual wear, evening wear, or bridal wear. These pieces still often give a nod to lingerie though.

My thoughts on corsetry
The area of corsetry that most interests me most is couture. I follow some amazing designers on social media and Etsy. It would be criminal to cover up their beautiful corsets with clothing. And besides, these corsets do not look as underwear at all. They are an unique piece of clothing on their own. But unfortunately, these unique creations are often way out of my budget.

I prefer to buy steel bone corsets. Why? Because they fit into my budget and, more important, a corset without steel bones is like a car without gas… it simply doesn’t work. Corsets that use cheaper plastic boning are simply for looks or fashion, but will literally burst at the seams if you try to tighten down.

I regularly purchase my corsets online. Here are my top three online stores for affordable and good quality corsets:

  1. – Where I buy most of my corsets. They sell good quality corsets and shipping is free. 
  2. – When I stumbled across this website; It was like finding gold! They sell such a wide variety of corsets.
  3. – Just gotta love the beauties in this shop!

I sure hope this will be helpful in saving you time and money when it comes to shopping for a nice corset.


Picture by Imaginem Photography