There’s more to traveling than meets the eye.
I recently had an interview with Friesch Dagblad newspaper about my work as a photographer, camera operator and it’s combination with traveling the world. I’ve taken the liberty in translating the Dutch article by journalist Sido Scholten into English.
Always searching for something real
This summer Friesch Dagblad is talking to Bloggers in the province of Friesland in the Netherlands who have a certain passion for culture, inside or outside the borders of our province. Today: camera operator and photographer Jaap Ruurd Feitsma.
Jaap Ruurd Feitsma (30) lives in Leeuwarden and has already seen a lot from the world thanks to his work as a camera operator and photographer. Amongst other places he filmed on the Maldives, in Africa, and Iraq. He filmed for Top Gear and ‘Boer zoekt Vrouw (Dutch TV show) and he lost his heart in Istanbul. Through his website www.jaapruurd.com he presents himself to the world.
Why did you start your website?
“It’s my calling card, my online portfolio. It’s always good to share your work. You can tell a little about yourself and you can give updates regularly. That’s important, through Social Media like Facebook and Twitter as well. The photography on my site is a combination of free work and work for clients. The traveling I do is pure passion. You often work crazy hours on the weirdest places as a photographer and camera operator. A week with little to no sleep at all is just part of the job, with commercial projects as well. Sometimes it can get quite tough, but the adventure and the unknown keeps pulling me forward. Just like that you’re filming in the snow at -20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) and one week later you’re in the desert at 48 degrees Celsius (119 Fahrenheit).”
What can be found on your site?
“I film commercials, promotional video’s, documentaries. Pretty wide oriented actually. The work is diverse and I really enjoy that. I think this can be seen on my website. For example: I recently worked on the first interactive music video, where the viewer can participate in the video himself by downloading an app. You can make choices of where the story will take you. You decide which scene comes next. This interactive element is interesting, because pretty much everyone uses a smartphone and/or a tablet these days.
How does your site fit in your daily work?
“When it comes to photography, I’m starting to focus more and more on the documentary side of photography. I want to capture more of the human element and it’s condition. For a commercial film shoot I went to the Maldives. With a small crew I filmed a beautiful resort, affordable only by the richest people on our planet. I felt that something was wrong, so I did my research. Talked to the locals, who do the heaviest work in these places and discovered that the original inhabitants of these islands had been moved to a much smaller island where they simply had to try and stay alive. The garbage of the tourists was being dumped on their new homes as well. those kind of stories, stories that matter, are the stories I would love to tell visually.
As for film: I’m focussing more on directing, and to be more specific on directing fiction. Because even with fiction - e.g. a science fiction or a horror movie - you can tell stories that really matter.”