Bio: fotograaf Jan van Goor Amsterdam

Jan van Goor Amsterdam Holland, streetphotography, portraits. 2008 - 2018.

Lives and works in Amsterdam. Takes images of people in special situations. Spontaneous, asks permission afterwards. Causes rarely problems.  Images are authentic, divergent, wierd, funny.

I started doing photography seriously a bit later in life. Until then, whilst I was still working in my professional career, I had been taking photos recreationally at events in which talking, listening and writing about well-being and healthcare stood central.

In 2009 I started the company W1F (What a Photo). I ran a gallery, organised workshops with professional photographers and bought and sold photos and photo books in three different locations in the centre of Amsterdam. I wound up the company in 2015.

I have been a curator for a number of photographers and organised several openings and exhibitions (which I still do).

Although I have taken many photos abroad, I still take most photos in Amsterdam, my home town. Amsterdam is an attractive city full of buildings, art, culture, water and, of course, people.

Amsterdam is a city where people can be free, more so than in most other places. I am most interested in people that show a great sense of individuality in their behaviour and/or looks. I focus on the people that are the way they want to be and care little about the opinions of others.

The people I photograph generally approve of me doing so. I never ask for permission in advance as this only leads to people posing in front of the camera. I always ask for approval after I have taken a photo. I make eye contact, show the photo and provide an explanation. Sometimes I send people their photo. Occasionally, someone does not approve of having their photo taken, in which case I delete their image.

Taking photos in public spaces means there is no preparation: no art-directing, make-up or artificial lighting. Therefore, I don’t always make the perfect photo from a technical perspective. However, my photos demonstrate individuality and, hopefully, expressiveness.

A selection of 150 photos has been added to my book ‘just a couple of people, … just a couple of, people’. This book, containing my photos of people in Amsterdam between 2009-2018, has been published. I exhibited a number of these photos in the summer of 2018 in Gallery Hooffzaak in Amsterdam.