At 500px amazing photography is at our core, but these photos would not be possible without the talented people behind the lens. The 500px Spotlight series highlights the global and diverse photographers that are part of the 500px Community.
This week we are excited to introduce you to editorial photographer and retoucher Amel Herzi.
Hi Amel, introduce yourself to the 500px community!
My name is Amel, and I’m a photographer from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
From a young age, I wanted to become a photographer, and I’ve never looked back. I got my first camera when I was little, and once I landed my first real job, I bought my own camera. This investment allowed me to become very serious about my practice. I will never say I’m done learning—I am constantly learning new things. Photography is amazing and is my life.
As an editorial photographer and retoucher, your work is very diverse, a rarity when so many photographers specialize. How do you ensure that your portfolio stays cohesive with such a wide array of work?
While my work is all over the place, and I just can’t seem to commit to one genre, I do try to have a recurring thing in my photography. Which, for me, is plants and flowers. I love walking around in nature, listening to music. Whenever I do that, it kind of translates to photos and ideas in my head. From there, I think about what kind of shoot I want to do, and who I want my model to be and look like.
What inspires you before each shoot? Are there any photographers you look to and admire?
I get inspired by a lot—the weather most of all. It reflects in my work. When it is sunny, I tend to shoot a lot more color. When it’s cold, my work turns darker (but still with lots of colors). I don’t really look up to anyone, but if I had to point to what inspires me, it is definitely music and nature.
What do you want someone experiencing your work for the first time to feel and walk away with?
While I get that photography is emotional, and a lot of photographers want people to feel a certain way, I just go with the flow. I don’t really need people to feel something special. Sometimes seeing something you like is a feeling itself. A bit of happiness for a few seconds is enough to brighten your day.
Navigating freelance life is not for the faint of heart, what are some tips you would give to other freelancers dealing with the impacts of COVID19?
It’s hard out there. Just keep practicing and trying new things. Sometimes getting a job that pays the bills isn’t the job that you want, but the one you need. As long as you keep yourself busy in your free time, and keep building yourself a portfolio.
You also work as a retoucher, which means you have mastered editing techniques. How do you work with Capture One and Adobe Photoshop to take your work to the next level?
I first edit photos in Photoshop before I do any color correcting. I love putting on some music and editing. After I feel a photo is retouched properly, I color correct in Capture One. While a lot of retouchers prefer one or the other I enjoy working across both.
Have any of the features on 500px helped you foster a sense of community? If yes, could you explain how you’ve found the platform helpful?
500px has been great to me. I feel lucky to have such a large community support my work in times when I feel there isn’t much support on other platforms. The editors have put me in the spotlight a couple of times, which helped me realize there are people appreciating and connecting with my work from around the world.
How do you ensure you’re putting your best foot forward as a team player on big projects, especially when clients start to be difficult?
Clients hire you for a reason. Even prior to you starting the project, they like your work. Before you start shooting, let them know what they can expect and when they can expect it. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. If they act out in an unreasonable fashion, it is up to you if you want to continue. A client being difficult is different than being unfair.
You are part of a team where many people want the same thing, which is a great image. Treat people with respect. Let people know your every step.
Overcoming showing your work can be challenging, what advice would you give when it comes to exhibiting?
One way to find out how it goes is by doing it. Try to have a story.
Do you have a favorite image on your 500px Profile? If yes, we’d love to know which one and the story behind it.
Every new photo is usually my favorite, until the next shoot and post.
Do you have anything exciting in the works that you would like to share with the 500px community?
I have a cool shoot coming up where I’ll be photographing the work of a Dutch designer. It’s a bit dark and mysterious, which is cool because my work usually has a lot of colors. So, I’m excited to see how this works out.
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