One of the photo shootings I had on my bucket list for a while. It just took me some time working out the plans for this crazy idea; spotting the ideal location seemed to be not as easy as I thought. But, the city of Willemstad turned out to be quite perfect for this bizarre photo shooting theme.
The history of Willemstad
Willemstad started out as a simple hamlet called Ruigenhil. In 1565, Ruigenhil became a hunting ground for the gentry, as the surrounding marshland became a polder (land reclaimed from the sea). Ruigenhil was renamed Willemstad in 1584 in honor of Willem of Orange, after his assassination by Balthasar Gerards, a crazed French Catholic.
Although Willemstad’s fortresses were to be demolished in 1926 by royal decree, nobody got around to doing it and today the town is considered one of the most beautiful fortified towns in the Netherlands. Willemstad has 67 national monuments and several significant historical sites and events that shaped the history of the Netherlands including the WWII German underground bunkers, military garrison and anti-aircraft batteries.
Willemstad has seven bastions named after the seven original provinces of the Dutch Republic in the 16th century. Holland Bastion faces west toward the open sea on the wide waterway called Haringvliet. Between 1940 and 1945, to defend the entrance of the Hollands Diep, two German gun casemates and large bunkers with an underground labyrinth of passageways and rooms were built on the old ramparts of Bastion Holland. A casemate, also known as a pillbox, is a small cement enclosure in the wall of a fortress, with openings from which guns or missiles could be fired. The anti-aircraft gun positions can be seen as you walk through the entire series of bunkers.
Enough with the history lessons. Willemstad is just a great venue to take interesting photographs. It’s really amazing how many different views and angles you can get. I am certain we will visit this location again someday to work out another project.
The Crazy Crew
For this photo shooting I worked together with photographers Manja Knoop (aka Made by Manja) and Elsabijn Lindenbergh (aka Elsabijn Fotografie). I have collaborated on no less than six shoots now with photographer Manja Knoop and each one was memorable, including this latest photo shooting. It was the second time I worked together with photographer Elsabijn Fotografie and it was another succes story.
My wild hairdo and sickly make-up were done by professional make-up artist MakeUp4U. She really did an amazing job making me look like I was admitted to a mental institution for quite a while.
And I just love working together with my sweet boyfriend during photo shootings. It’s really great sharing the same hobbies… and having the same twisted sense of humor. It makes me feel like we were made for each other even more. My boyfriend did a great job playing the creepy mad doctor in this photo shooting. He fitted like a thumb in a glove.
We had a mad day at Willemstad’s underground bunkers. And we were quite lucky with the weather, as we kept it a dry day during the entire photo shooting. I have to admit, it was still a bit cold for standing outside barefoot in not much more than a straight jacket and some underwear.
I am delirious about the awesome results. You can also find the pictures on my Facebook page.
Pictures Manja Knoop (Made by Manja):
Pictures Elsabijn Lindenbergh (Elsabijn Fotografie):