All images in this interview are courtesy of Paul Blank and www.postproduktie.nl.
Soccerlens is very pleased to welcome Mr. Paul Blank. He is a professional photographer who lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with his partner and daughter. Mr. Blank has a very diverse and excellent portfolio that ranges from flowers to football, along with many other interesting themes. I would encourage you to visit his site to appreciate this very talented photographer.
I have used a few of his images for my World Football Commentaries blog; for example, Alessandro Del Piero and Luca Toni, respectively. Please note that Mr. Blank’s portfolio represents his livelihood. If you would like to use any of his images, please contact him to obtain permission.
Paul, please accept a warm welcome to Soccerlens.
You were born in Zaandam. When did your interest in photography begin, and how did you learn your craft?
My uncle had a studio. He made and developed black and white photos. He taught me the first basics. Later on, I met two other photographers, and they taught me more about technique.
Your voetbal (football) portfolio shows many pictures of players who have competed at the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League. Who are some of your clients, along with your favorite footballers to photograph? Do you ever have a chance to speak with the players?
Some of my clients are: Vara (Dutch network) TV guides, TV programs, and Parool, a Dutch newspaper, who want a high resolution photo of a famous footballer. My favorite player to photograph is Ryan Babel. He changes his looks frequently; therefore, I have a diverse portfolio of him. I have talked to him frequently.
Do you use chemical film or digital storage to photograph your subjects, and what are the advantages of your chosen method in terms of traditional processing or storage devices?
Nowadays, I only use digital storage. This gives me the opportunity to work more efficiently. Besides, I do not have to use a special darkroom. I can use the Photoshop program to edit my pictures.
Since many of your subjects are famous, how do the actions of the paparazzi with their stalking tendencies affect photographers such as yourself who demonstrate complete professionalism?
I am not disturbed by the paparazzi, since these photographers are usually not in my area when I take pictures of my subjects. Furthermore, I personally know a lot of the persons I take pictures of, which assures that they do not have the ‘paparazzi’ feeling if I take photos of them.
You have an extensive online portfolio. How do you protect your images from being taken and copied by other sites?
Basically, I do not protect my pictures. I always demand a source description (www.postproduktie.nl). On my website, you can find only low resolution pictures. If someone wants to use one of my pictures at high resolution, they have to pay for it. It is only allowed to use the pictures of famous people for other purposes; no one may use my private pictures.
Furthermore, I give my photos of famous people for free to Wikipedia because I support the principle of this community.
Your portfolio lists visits to Berlin, Gambia, Mallorca, and Portugal. What has been your favorite destination for travel photography?
My favorite destination for photography is Berlin due to the fact that it has modern as well as classical buildings. Berlin is a sparkling city with a lot of underground parties which results in beautiful pictures.
One of your images from the Portugal portfolio might be of interest to some of our readers:
Do you plan more of these as Euro 2008 approaches? 🙂
Wait and see… I will definitely show you some nice photos and parodies.
Paul, thank you for your kind contribution to our column at Soccerlens, and all the best wishes. Dank U wel.
A special thanks to Phil Ruiz, Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau, for his assistance with this interview.