The full name of this project is FaceBoard – What did life teach you. In short, FaceBoard is a regular photo shoot, what really makes it special is that during the session I ask my subjects to write a sentence on a blackboard, a sentence saying something that he or she has learnt in life and I take a picture of it. This is just one photograph called the FaceBoard shot, other than that it is a regular photo shoot. You can read more about it here.
What about the sentence, what should I write?
That’s very simple: all it takes really is to write something that you have learnt in your life:. Something in the tune of “Do not waste the opportunities that life throws at you” just to give a practical example, it can’t be too difficult so make it special and, please, make it yours!
Can I write a quote from a book/movie/song in the FaceBoard shot?
Well…. no. The FaceBoard shot is supposed to be made of original sentences, not quotes. So let me hear what your life thought to you. Sure enough you can use a book as an inspiration if you like, but the sentence should be yours and just as original as your life is. That’s pretty much the only important rule here, so I hope it’s not too complicated. Also, just to be clear, I am sure you can go beyond sentences like “I fancy world peace”, rather tell me why you like world peace so much.
Do I need to pose with the board in every photo?
Not at all, the FaceBoard shot is just one photograph. So you will only pose with the board in one photograph. That is unless you really fancy to have a lot of mug shots
How many pictures will you take?
Believe it or not, but it depends more from you than me: usually the number of photos increments with the number of cloth changes and generally speaking, changes of looks and style. I usually do not like to impose a limit to the number of photo taken during the session. Also please keep in mind that in order to have a few good photographs one might need to take a fair amount of shots especially if some practice is needed. Let say that we’ll be shooting for about one hour.
Can I have all the pictures? Including the one you rejected for editing?
Sometimes people ask me this and you have to know that, from the point of view of the photographer, this is a rather impolite request. Technically speaking photographs are made of two components: the actual shot and the work made in post production called editing, so the final result is the expression of both works.
Usually a photo session like this costs quite a bit, where is the catch?
Quite simply there is no catch. I donate the amounts to charity, so for me this is free work and I am still well committed to do it professionally. I love seeing people giving back to the community so I guess this is my way of doing it, besides what I get in return for this photo shoot are FaceBoard sentences which means extracts of lives and this is invaluable: the least I can do is to offer something valuable back.
I am not a professional model, can I participate?
That’s going to be our little secret: you don’t need to be a model 😀 The project is for the rest of us! And don’t worry too much about posing, ok? I’ll do my best to guide you.
Can you take photos at my place?
No I do not do that. I am sure we can find a suitable location in a public place in The Hague or Scheveningen. If the weather is hostile, or if you prefer, the studio will be a good option.
Is it possible to take portraits also in your studio?
Yes it is, in fact the studio gives the advantage of a more predictable weather and allows subjects to change looks and clothes as much as they like.
I would like to take my kids with me, can I?
If we shoot in a public place, go ahead and take your kids with you, but please do make sure that there is also someone else able to follow them unless they are grown up. In the studio unattended kids are not allowed for security reasons.
Can I also participate taking with me a friend, my family, my wife?
FaceBoard is open to individuals, it is not intended for groups nor families, best friends nor love stories. I like to believe that I respect the work of other professional photographers and I have to make sure that this project cannot be a threat to their income. That being said, of course you can take with you as many friends and wives and family members as you like during the photo shoot but pictures will be taken individually (one person at the time) and for each individual, of course, I will also ask a photo with the black board and a charity contribution.
What charity organization are you sustaining?
I like to contribute to charity organizations when I see that the work in these organization is conducted with diligence and passion. I also, from time to time, like change organization and support a variety of initiatives but lately I have been mainly supporting the Sea First foundation: I live near the sea and I believe that the sea it’s something really worth preserving. They are good at getting this message being spread.
What is a model release and why do I need to sign it?
The reason why I ask the signature of a model release is to allow me to publish the famous FaceBoard shot in some form of publication including an exhibition or a book (the editor needs a model release for the publication).
I am not a model, can I sign the model release?
Of course you can. Believe it or not, I get this question asked pretty often. You need do not need to be a professional model in order to sign a model release and it’s a pretty common practice in photography.
Can we schedule within a month from now?
Usually I take appointment as close as possible to the publishing day of the announcement. So one month is definitely too far. I travel often, conduct a fairly busy life so I need to make sure that the dates are filled efficiently. In short, I would be glad to schedule your photo shoot more or less up to one week from the date of the announcement, anything later than that will have to wait the next announcement.
I wrote you an email and never got an answer back, why?
I do not reply to emails only in two occasions:
1) If the sender has cancelled at the last minute a previous shooting with futile reasoning (by far I consider this one of the worse things one can do within the scope of this project, especially considering the free nature of this project) fortunately this doesn’t happen often so the blacklist is pretty short 😀 .
2) If I am in Antartica. Considering that I don’t go or plan to go to Antartica very often, I tend to follow up on emails. That means that if you don’t get your voice heard, your mail might have end up in spam (quite rare happening though) feel free to send me a SMS/Phone/Whatapp or whatever social media messaging function you like to use and I’ll be prompted.
I have you on Facebook and do not see a lot of portrait work, why?
I respect privacy and do not like to plaster the Internet with pictures of other people. Whoever shoots with me, knows it. So I usually do not publish these photos on social media and most of the photos you see on my stream are landscape, which I fancy doing, or portrait posted by subjects I photographed who then tagged me.