How and when did you become a photographer and what type or genre of photography do you enjoy capturing most?
I have been photographing since I was a teenager, later I had my own darkroom. But I didn't really start taking the better pictures until I bought a digital camera at the beginning of this century and became a member of a photo club. I like all genres of photography; landscape, nature, travel photos, macro, urbex, architecture, street photos. But what I like most is macro, capturing things I find around the house, such as forks, ice cubes, or spools of sewing thread.
Sometimes I see an object in the house and think: what would that look like in a photo or what can I do with this in a photo? But I also get inspiration from photos I see on social media, in photo magazines, or on photo websites - I’ll see a photo and think: I can give that a try. Ultimately, it turns out differently because the material is different, the background or the lighting. For example, I saw a picture somewhere of a thread through a needle. I thought that was a great idea to capture. In the end, my photo turned out to be very different, and frankly more beautiful, than the example I saw. I also came across a photo of a pile of colored ice cubes somewhere. I also started working on that, but it turned out to be a mess. The lumps were skewed, I didn't stack them properly and they started to melt. Two lumps turned out to be intact and when I put them on top of each other mirrored with a light behind them, it turned out to be much more interesting than the original photo I had seen.
Have you sold photographs through an image library before?
In my own country, The Netherlands, I have sold photos through the National Image Bank (Nationale Beeldbank - Beelden ), but they only need Dutch scenes or events. In recent years (due to Covid) I have had very few sales. I used to sell photos at 500px.com but after they teamed up with Getty Images you only received 3 cents for a photo sale (which I think is an outrageously low rate) so I withdrew my photos from licensing there. I also sell my images, on occasion, to private individuals via The Nederlandse Werk aan de Muur (https://www.werkaandemuur.nl/nl/beeldmaker/Henk-Langerak/5590) which pays a reasonable commission.
Why did you decide to start selling your work with Excio?
I wanted to tap into a new market, to see if there is interest in my photos in your part of the world!
Do you use Social Media platforms to promote your work?
I post two or more photos on Facebook and Instagram almost daily, but I don't see that as a medium to boost sales. I am mainly followed by friends and former colleagues.
Tell us about some of the stories behind your more curious shots...
I have had a few moments of luck and happiness in street photography. My experience is that it is best to wait in one place until something happens. For example, last year in Trier, Germany I was resting on a bench in the center when a middle-aged couple suddenly started kissing violently in front of me outside of a shop window. And in The Hague, Netherlands, a Muslim woman was walking past a lingerie store when her little daughter held out her index finger, making it seem like she was warning her mother.
How do you select what images to publish for sale?
In the first place, I select the photos that I am satisfied with, then I ask myself if I would like to hang it on my own wall. And then I just hope that others get a good feeling about the image too.
Can you tell us about your best-selling photos?
My best selling photos are a photo of Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park, USA and a photo of a group of zebras startled and jumping up while drinking. The first photo was taken from a moving tourist bus. The second with my 400 mm lens during a safari in Etosha National Park, Namibia. In PhotoShop, I converted the photo to black and white and erased the background so that the zebras stood out better.
Where can we find you online?