Grietje van der Heide

"Every human being is beautiful"

Passion for photography and a strong sense of wanting to help people is something I always had, but I did not have a clear direction in photography. Then my mother was diagnosed with Frontotemporal dementia. The disease progressed, as did the realization that I was going to lose her. I felt sorrow and powerlessness, but my mother inspired me to look at the beautiful moments. I took my camera and caught these cherished moments on photo. What happened then surpassed my emotion. I felt so much gratefulness that I was allowed so many beautiful moments with my mother. The magical combination of my passion and the strong sense of wanting to help others was born. I want everybody who is struggling with the gradual loss of a loved one to dementia to have these beautiful and cherished moments.

People are emotions, expressions in all varieties. For me it is important that people are accepted as they are. That makes the best photos. Everyone is unique and that is what makes photographing people so much fun.

This is certainly true for people suffering from dementia. They want to be treated as human beings, not as a disease.

Respect, feeling, trust and emotions are essential to me for a good photo. My phots are not just pictures of what I see. Behind each photo there is a story and an emotion.

A little more background information on Grietje.

  • Photography has always played a role in my life. My first analogue camera was a Pentax MX. I bought the lenses second hand, often on flea markets. Black and white photos intrigued me. I started to develop my own films in a tiny dark room.

  • Later in Spain, I learned a lot from Antonio, a professional photographer, in 10 years’ time. He worked with a Hasselblad first and then turned to a digital camera, which was quite a struggle for him. I bought a Pentax digital single-lens reflex camera, the 1st Ds. This opened up a complete new world for me.

  • Back in the Netherlands it kept itching. A good friend introduced me to a Canon 1Dx. I was an instant convert, what a camera. My budget wasn’t that large, so I decided to buy the Canon 7D Mark II with the fantastic 70-200mm f.2.8.

  • I was fascinated by people’s emotions and the challenge to capture this in a natural way. I did a fantastic workshop ‘Moment design’ with Heleen Klop photography, and on a city trip to Vienna where we did 2 love shoots, I could let myself go completely.  

  • 2019 Graduated as a professional photographer at the School for photography in Utrecht.
  • 2020 Studying at Robbins-Madanes Training.

Recent photo awards and nominations:

  • 2018 - 1st prize in the Essence category of Fix Photo Award London with the photo "Rechazo.
  • 2019 - Finalist in Siena International Photo Award with the photo “Rechazo”. 
  • 2019 - Short listed in Pink Lady food Photographer of the year 2019 and finalist (among the best 13) in the category of Student food photographer of the year 2019 with the photo “food from all over the World”. 
  • 2020 - Nominated for the Golden Plume 2019 Nieuwe Ooststellingwerver.
  • 2020- Nominated for Arno's goudenclownsneus in corporation with Mimakkers

Member of:

Dupho, Dutch Profesessional Photographers