Raisa Zwart is a travel photographer from the Netherlands whose snapshots are taken from all over the world. The timelessness of the images and their quality is one of her main hallmarks. If you are passionate about the world you live in, Raisa is the photographer for you.
Hi Raisa! Tell us, how did you discover that you wanted to devote yourself to photography and not to, say, accountancy or juggling?
Yes! Good question. I was actually on my way to become a lawyer when photography found me, as I like to tell the story. After high school, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do in life. Traveled a bit, still didn’t know. A friend of my parents is a photographer, he noticed my interest for it and showed my the first steps. That’s where it all began. It took a some time before I dared to make the jump, but eventually I dropped out of law school to start my photography business. It’s the best decision I ever made.
Do you have a ritual before you start photographing, a coffee, a special playlist or do you simply invoke the muse of creativity?
From time to time I will visualize what I want to make, on my way to a destination. But my favorite pieces of work are actually created on the go. I just like to take the time to walk through cities, forests and beaches, and capture whatever sparks my interest. You could say I put myself in the way of beauty, and allow it to inspire me.
Looking at your work, there is a focus on colour, how do you go about capturing these?
I love color. It’s definitely one of the main things that inspire me, next to textures, lines and composition. Colors speak to me, and so I capture them.
Speaking of inspiration, is there a film, book or song that has directly influenced any of your photographs?
Directly or indirectly, my work is of course influenced by all that I consume as an artist. Some sources of inspiration that come tot mind are Ruben Östlund & Quentin Tarantino for their compositions. Big Magic from Elizabeth Gilbert is a continuous source of inspiration for me, especially within the realm of owning my creativity, and feeling free within it. Music is a big part of my days, and I love listening to Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz and Ziggy Alberts while creating or editing my work.
Any funny or strange anecdotes that happened while you were working on a piece?
What’s interesting to me is that quite often people will recognize places from my photos. And I don’t just mean the beach, city or town that it’s shot at, but the exact place. They will send me their own photo of it, or will tell me about a memory they have from it. I think that’s really special: that me and them both were drawn to the same corner of the beach, some texture or some unique door.
Your photographs convey a very free and positive atmosphere, how do you get your personal emotions reflected in your art?
I hope my art shows people how beautiful our world is. As a society, I feel like we’re confronted with a lot of ugliness on a daily base - in so many ways. So, I focus on beauty. All I have to do to reflect my own emotions in my art is to keep seeing the world from that lens: as a beautiful place, with so many amazing people and interesting stories.
I hope my art shows people how beautiful our world is. As a society, I feel like we’re confronted with a lot of ugliness on a daily base - in so many ways.
If your paintings had a soundtrack, what kind of music do you think would be the perfect soundtrack to accompany them?
The artists I already mentioned as sources of inspiration fit my work perfectly, I think: Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz and Ziggy Alberts. Folk, a little bit of pop, good storytelling: music that makes you feel good.
And to close, can you share any exciting future projects or something that is bubbling at the moment?
As I’m writing this, I just arrived in Oaxaca Mexico. Honestly: I don’t know if I’ve ever been this inspired to create. The whole town is filled with pretty streets, pastel buildings, decorated doors and so many artists and therefore, art. I’m spending the next few months in Central America and am certain I will create a lot of work in this time. I can’t wait to share it with you.