woensdag 14 december 2011

Photographer wanted?

I am looking for jobs in UK, US, Canada & Australia write to info@mery.nl and let me find THE BEST IMAGEs for you. With 15+ years of experience, I am now looking for freelance jobs in London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne to expand my horizon.

MeRy.com will show you more of my work, as does Flickr and my Facebook page.

Pay: negotiable.

Are you looking for European style photography, new way of styling or graphic design? Specialty: portraits & buildings. Better said: Portraits of architecture, not the cold, advertising photos but warm photos of buildings were people work, live, love.
My people's portraits are with next to no Photoshop, as I am educated to bring out the best in people without using fake looking techniques.
PURE. Amiso & Jermaine - 0% Photoshop:
Nominee Colorawards 2011 "Traces Of Silence" - shot with analog cross processed E6 film:

Ofcourse you can also book me for weddings, events, fashion, business profile pictures and portfolio shoots! My photos CAN and WILL make a difference.

maandag 12 december 2011

I See

'Professional photographer, 1900'

After my last bit of recent study I now know:
The Photographer Is Dead.

Everyone can take a photo,
but...not everyone sees the image. I see, so I exist - as a former photographer. "TAFKAP" - that's me - The Artist Formerly Known As Photographer. We are now Image Maker. Image Seeker. Image Finder. Image Hunter?

Searching & finding images is the new photography. Though I've always been an Image Finder, for over 15 years now. As it's the first thing a former photographer needs: a talent to see, to spot things and capture them.

I Am A Viewer.

I am different to all others using a camera because I see, I see, what you can't (see).
"Ik zie, ik zie, wat jij niet ziet" Dutch saying, children's game.

Former professional photographers are Image Finders now. We must show the world what we do best: SEE.

WorldPressPhoto > WorldImageFinders?! WorldImageHunting...
Image Hunter = former photojournalist.

Image Seekers versus Image Finders.
Everyone with a camera is an image seeker, but not everyone is a image finder.
'Iedereen Fotografeert' [everyone's a photographer]

woensdag 7 december 2011

11.11.11 Trash The Dress photobook out now!

Order your copy now and have it delivered 20-22 December! Perfect Christmas gift?! E-books only 2,99 euro :)

Trash The Dress photography is a wellknown phenomenon in the US since the late 90's. "Trash the dress" is the art of destruction or deconstruction of a brides wedding dress to create a new artwork that the bride would be proud to display on their wall. [Wikipedia]

'Drown the Gown', 'Running of the Brides' and 'Rock The Frock' are similar names for this fine art photography, mixed with beauty, fashion and glamour photography.

In the Netherlands Artstudio23.com created the first group event in 2008. 09.09.09 was the first event known worldwide, with 99+ women wearing their wedding dress once more. 10.10.10, 11.11.11 + 12.12.12 followed :)

zondag 27 november 2011

Photos for free

Study of internet + copyrights - I need to do some research. As a professional photographer I am about to become extinct. [as "everyone is a photographer"] For some reason, my idol of the 80s & 90s declared "The Internet Is Dead". So what's up with that Prince tell me!

Once I was one of the fans who would go to his concerts a day early, so we were sure to stand front row. Man, I know all lyrics by heart of the albums untill ...erh...what year, let me Google this... untill de album Come in 1994. (I admit I do like Musicology & 3121 of the later years, but the rest...OMG ;)

Anyway, didn't read that he announced 'The Internet Is Dead' [2010] untill a few weeks ago. But it still makes me curious. Why does he say that? I noticed his official website was shut down some time ago, which surprised me, as he was one of the pioneers to sell his songs online. A few questions pop up:
- weren't his songs selling anymore?
(I think it's rather a case of "he doesn't have to work (for money) anymore" so why should he bother idd ;)
- is Prince getting too old (for this sh*t)?

Especially the last question is intriguing. He looks in his mid 30's still, but Prince was born in 1958...so 50+ years of age now. This article points out the numbers of records sold by Gaga & Prince. [which in Gaga's case are also digital files/downloads] 'Ofcourse Gaga is hot now, but will she be in another 30 years'.

I am still thinking about the internet is dead thing. Is it? I'd love to know. As for us photographers, we suffer from the same. Prince has been fighting the internet for over a decade now, as he doesn't want his stuff, photos nor songs to be put online by anyone else but him. Though @ concerts you're now allowed to bring your camera(phone) in, he keeps telling people 'why bother to record' experiencing the real thing without a camera in front of your eyes should be the real thing when coming to his concerts. [he did so in a recent Belgium concert]

Still, it's easy for him to say!
The music industry (which he dislikes a lot) is all about selling and earning big money still. Maybe he indeed is too old, and shouldn't he be going on about this, but just relax and compose and perform live whenever he feels like it...
on the other hand...in all media business, like newspapers, magazines, photography and video, we [artists] suffer. Photographers suffer from free images, to be used, printed or altered by...anyone, at any time. So it seems.

Original artists suffer the most. Older fellow photographers (age 40 and up) are specialists...but...people aren't hiring specialists anymore. Due to the crisis people hire younger, cheaper, all-round photographers, of generation 'Z'. This generation wants to share. Share, share, share - without giving. They take, and don't want to pay for anything you can find online. "It's there to share" seems to be their thought.

Now what can I do with this, being an 'oldie' in the photography business? Ok, am not done yet, not AT ALL, but fellow photographers: it's not like it used to be anymore! At all. We, trained the analog way in the 90's, need to shift our minds to a higher gear.
Haven't found the answer yet, but will share it when I do.

Prince: 'I'm a musician. And I am music' --> I am a photographer. And I am photos'

maandag 7 november 2011

Global Women's Summit LA 2011 - day one

Paula Fellingham opens the Los Angeles Summit, Entrepreneur Workshop 28 October 2011.

Kelly Breaux teaches us how to hoola hoop :)

Ineke Hurkmans wants us to Jump!

Want to see more photos of the first day of this wonderfull summit? Check out the sets on Flickr or Facebook 1 + Facebook 2. Enjoy!

"Global Women's Summits are part of a powerful global movement to celebrate and educate the women of the world. Our motto for these historic events is "Enlighten Women's Minds and Empower Women's Hearts … for a Better World."

Beginning June 11, 2011, and finishing October 29, 2011, the Women's Information Network will host Global Women's Summits in 12 countries.

At Global Women's Summits superb speakers and entertainers will address the personal, business, family, and community/national issues that are profoundly important to women in each country.

Women will be educated and empowered. They will have the opportunity to receive solutions for their lives, share their ideas, and really connect with one another heart-to-heart.

Global Women's Summits will help women, worldwide, learn how to:

Become strong leaders in their communities and nations
Believe in themselves and in their gifts and talents
Radiate joy and confidence as they build personal power
Set and reach high-achievable goals
Be wise with their finances
Overcome many of the obstacles in their lives
Reach out and help other women

Join the global women's movement as they participate with powerful women's organizations like The Women's Information Network, Women Celebrating Life, Global Women's Summits, and others

Lovely aunt Lena (aka Anne-Louise Sterry :)

zondag 23 oktober 2011

MDG5 - my goal

A warm hello to you all,
I am looking for your attention please. My name is Melanie Rijkers and I work as a fine art photographer in Breda. The second half of my career (in total over 15 years now) I’ve been involved in more than one ‘social subject’, by creating portraits and documentaries for all beautiful people in this ugly world.
It started with looking up my old schoolmates from last grade of elementary school.

After 20 years we had our first reunion, and half of them didn’t show up. ‘Why?’ I asked myself. Curious after the absent people I decided to visit them. I made portraits of them too, and they shared their lifestories with me. Fascinating. The picked-on girl turned out to be stronger then I thougt. But another picked-on girl was so affraid she didn’t dare to come to the reunion and face her bullies. And the bullies? They couldn’t even remember her.

This really startled me, what people do, or don’t do. But later the scared picked-on girl wrote me a letter saying she was glad she posed for me. This was also something she was scared of doing, but in the end, aŌer seeing the results, it made her stronger. And this is what I do ever since.

Creating artwork that changes people, their self-image. Photography CAN be therapy.
Red-On-Red was therapy to natural redheads, another group of ‘tourmented’ people.
They are so beautiful! Women who sent me an e-mail saying that after seeing the photo
they were finally “proud of herself and her red hair”.

PURE. Young mothers, age 16 to 22, in our country -with one of the lowest teenage pregnancy rates in the world- are not accepted. In the Netherlands, where all seems to be possible, choosing to have a baby at a young age isn’t accepted. If you’re a mother 24 years old (or younger) people ask if having that baby is a mistake, an accident. Why? Why do we judge people for choosing LIFE.

The exhibition 'PUUR. Trotse tienermoeders' and photobook were a huge succes, proud young mothers, posing nude, pregnant or with their baby. Amazing pictures, as there wasn’t any photo editing at all, all portraits are 100% Photoshop-free. In this day of age, with all Barbie look-alikes in the magazines, these young women showed themselves. Naked. PURE.

Life = pure. Pure = life.

One of my recent projects for LIFE was to get as many pregnant women in one photo
as we could. In a co-operation with the city of Breda and Simavi we gathered 113 ‘bolle buiken’ (big bellies) to kick-off the world mothers estafette for Simavi last September. Goal was to collect as many signatures with our petition for the 5th Millenium Goal: reducing the rate of deaths of pregnant and newborn mothers in the 3rd world.

These signatures were handed over to the minister, who was attending the UN summit in 2010 in New York. United Nations have set more Millenium Development Goals, which should be reached in 2015. STOP Maternal mortality is the 5th goal.

The first unique photo event in Breda with all pregnant women was a huge succes. I’d like to continue this in another city or even...country. I know there will be another Simavi estafette this year, but I like to do more. Go to New York City and create a similar photo event there, to draw as much attention as we can, as the 5th Millenium Goal is the one with the worst numbers still. Why is that? Why, in these modern days, women still have to suffer, and in the worst case, die, because of the lack of proper medical equipment or medical knowledge?

Women, mothers, are giving us the future. Children are our future.

Do you support our cause? Please let us know via info@mery.nl If I can find the financial means to travel up there (expenses paid only) we can create another photo event and share our concerns with the world.

Please support this goal - I'd like to do a similar event in New York City, but won't be able to do so without your support:

IBAN: NL41ABNA0607286849 BIC: ABNANL2A - Melanie Rijkers - Artstudio23 Breda

Will be attending the Global Women's Summit in L.A. If you want to meet me, just let me know! Will be there 27 Oct - 1 Nov 2011.

vrijdag 26 augustus 2011

Life without limitations

commissioned photography for Össur UK. Following model Jim around in Dartmoor National Park with all different kinds of prostetic (sport) limbs.

dinsdag 9 augustus 2011



Melanie Rijkers of Netherlands was Awarded in the PX3 2011 Competition. De fotoserie Trash The Dress 09.09.09 won één van de 5 honorable mentions in de categorie press/stories professional.

Px3pressrelease2011 persbericht Prix de la Photographie Paris.

A.s. zondag zal ik in Canada, Niagara Falls, de leading photographer zijn van the 1st annual 'Running of the Brides' event, supporting Wellspring.ca (cancer support). Kim & Kathy van Elope Niagara willen op ludieke wijze aandacht vragen voor de unieke trouwlokatie Niagara Falls. Niagarathisweek.com

Meer over 14 augustus event: Running Brides Canada press release of kijk op www.TrashTheDress.nl

NiagaraThisWeek Article: Eat your heart out, Pamplona

vrijdag 22 juli 2011

NiagaraThisWeek Article: Eat your heart out, Pamplona

NiagaraThisWeek Article: Eat your heart out, Pamplona

Article about the 'Running of the Brides' event August 14, to support Wellspring.ca.
Still looking for more participants, do you want to fun-run?! In a weddingdress??? You don't have to be an actual bride, just show up in a dress and join us for a great photography event at the Niagara falls!

dinsdag 19 juli 2011

PURE. Proud young mothers (16-23 years old) part two

PUUR. Trotse tienermoeders - PURE. Proud young mothers

When a young woman (16 to 23 years old) decides to have her baby, chooses LIFE, who are we to judge and disapprove of her choice?

In the Netherlands being a 'teenmom' is the real last taboo. With teenage pregnancy numbers almost the lowest of the world, they're rejected and prejudiced. 34 Young proud mothers show themselve in this pure photobook, and tell us their story.

164 p. full colour, 45 euro ex. shipping.

woensdag 1 juni 2011

Trash The Dress down under

Trash The Dress down under!

To me Trash The Dress is the reprise of wedding photography. Why only wear that beautiful dress just once?

Being a fine art photographer I always want to do things different, and after stumbling upon the American Trash The Dress concept online, I asked 99 brides to pose for me in 2009. (09.09.09)

Together with my husband Hans I created the first mass Trash The Dress event ever, and made the news worldwide.

We first did a try out with 8 brides 08.08.08 using 'boring' dates differently. 10.10.10 we did another Dutch event in the old fort of Geertruidenberg. The 11.11.11 event will take place in Zeewolde: Centerparcs.nl/trashthedress

Receiving invitations from all over the world to do more Trash The Dress photography, I went Down Under February 2011. August 14 I will be one of the photographers of the first annual 'Running of the Brides' event at Niagara Falls, Canada, supporting breast cancer research.

12.12.12 is the last special date. Hopefully we can do a multiple Trash The Dress event on more than one continent. We are now looking for models, (you don't have to wear your own gown, you can also buy a secondhand weddingdress and participate) muas, hairdressers and wedding/event planners to co-ordinate this all.

A major sponsor for these events is very welcome too,

please send an e-mail to: info@mery.nl

TrashTheDress.nl MeRy/Melanie Rijkers & Hans van Nunen



Impossible Project, complete behind the scenes film by DFpro

made by Digifotopro, Impossible Project behind the scenes.

It's very cool to see how the lonely repair guy talks about the experience he has (36 years with Polaroid, 27 as a repair guy) and now does ALL repairs from around the world! It's also cool to see how the chemical paste is developed, the films are processed etc. What a job!

Wish we lived closer to Enschede, which is in the North-East of Holland. There's a shop now, so you can buy films @ the factory. But still for us Dutchies or European people it's far more expensive than when you live far away in US... the products are much cheaper in $$ than in euros...but I the website won't let me pay in $$...

Another fail: the new films can't be developed in open air. This feature is very important to me, I hope they'll create new films soon, as watching the image come up is pure magic to me and this process shouldn't be lost...

Official website: Impossible Project

donderdag 19 mei 2011


Blikopener = eyeopener. About being healthy and then...you are handicaped, by accident or illness. What society does, and how you need to cope with life after. 10 Clients of Noutenhof's activitycentre told their story, shared photos and had their portraits taken.

"All of a sudden nothing is obvious anymore, it felt as if all knowledge was deleted, I didn't even know that water came out of the tap."

dinsdag 17 mei 2011

Impossible Project, factory Enschede, trailer

take a look behind the scenes of the Impossible Project factory in Enschede, the Netherlands. Once the very last working instant film (Polaroid) factory, now producer of new instant films... ♥ 'em!

zaterdag 23 april 2011

Short film by Mees (11)

Son Mees (11) filmed this at the playground of Bosbad Hoeven, with a little help of brother Pim (8). Enjoy the 'middelpuntvliedende kracht' of the sand falling down in the wheel.

donderdag 14 april 2011

Grand Theatre Breda

Grand Theatre in Breda was closed in 2007...I then made this lovely portrait (and now this photobook) of the abandoned cinema. 28 April 2011 there will be a re-opening 'old style' check grandtheatrebreda.nl ...you can now wine & dine there, but no more cinema...

Check out all urbex photos from 2007 in this Flickr album.

JUMP! for your business

"JUMP for your business" was the opening stunt for the Business Breda meetings 13 & 14 April 2011.
More photos of this business event in my Flickr album.

maandag 4 april 2011

Story Telling: Red-On-Red finalist Gala Awards

Red-On-Red finalist @ the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards

"1,020 series were received for the first screening, and of those 178 passed to the second screening. One winner, 4 runner ups and 29 honorable mentions were awarded, while another 100 series ...were finalists in the second round and will al so be featured in the book Storyteller. Sample of the images of those series are displayed below next to the names of the awardees and finalists. In this occasion we received the series from 44 countries. The first screening has been done by the Artistic and Editorial Team of WPGA while the second round was juried by Julio Hardy, managing director of the WPGA."

More natural redhead beauties via http://www.mery.nl/rood

maandag 28 februari 2011

Australia 2011

Just back from an amazing trip to Oz. I was invited to witness a Giant Trash The Dress event in Adelaide, SA. I just couldn't refuse, being the one who started the mass Trash The Dress photoshoots in 08.08.08 :)))
This time it wasn't such a big crowd as on September 9, 2009 (we had 99+ brides! :) but Kelly from SaySo Weddings did a great job. Hairdressers, mua's, the whole lot was there @ the Stramford Hotel. To me a good example of how to organise an event, though I am more into the photography of it than being the host. The Trash The Dress photos will be uploaded in a later stage, but part 1 of my travels down under is already online! Enjoy my trip to Kangaroo Island and the Great Ocean Road.
I travelled with Adventure Tours Australia and I highly recommend them. Already in 1998 me and my husband did a great tour to Kakadu National park with them. I just love the Australian bush, coastline and animal life. All so very special, I could easily go there and stay! Unfortunately Australia is pretty unafordable now, with the AUD. being up to 200% of what it was worth in '98 AND prices of e.g. a bed in a hostel (dorm) now is 30 instead of the 12-15 Australian dollar in 1998. Also food, even in supermarkets, is very expensive, 'Australian made' or not, it's also 4x our Dutch prices. E.g. a bottle of 600 ml coke, supermarketprice: 4,50 AUD = 3,50 EUR = 0,79/1 EUR in Holland. (!!!)
Still I loved being there, and I had such fun seeing my family again. John, my cousin-twice-removed, still lives in Melbourne and they were happy to have me, so I had a great time seeing them all and meeting the new extras (boyfriends) of the girls. I remember Willem as a little baby, born in 1993, (just when I was there!) and the girls 3 and 5/6 years old...man, time flies..!

woensdag 16 februari 2011

Vote for me plz!

Vote for me as I'd like to be the ambassador for United Nations/Simavi's 5th Millenium Goal. If I win Nationale Postcode Loterij will help me go to women's clinics to do a documentary about maternal mortality.

dinsdag 18 januari 2011

NOS Headlines - mass Trash The Dress 2009

the very best reportage of the mass Trash The Dress event we held 09.09.09 Over 99 brides trashed their dress in the Northsea, Scheveningen, the Netherlands. Thanx NOS!

zaterdag 15 januari 2011

new book: the Best in Breda 40+ local photographers

Over 40 Breda photographers showed their work at the BiB, Best in Breda weekend during Bredaphoto Festival 2010. This book'll give you an idea of what those photographers showed, on 20+ locations. Check http://tiny.cc/bredaphoto for more details of this weekend 23 en 24 October 2010.

zondag 9 januari 2011

Wanted: my former wedding couples

MeRy zoekt oud-bruidsparen | Het Stadsblad Breda online article in paper about my search for wedding couples to send me their favorite photo of the reportage I made 1996-2010.

Update December 2012: you can still send me your photographs. Info@artstudio23.com