Inspiration for her photography comes from the people she meets, youth and her own work. While not directly influenced by any photographers, she does admire artists such as Diane Arbus and Sally Mann. Her greatest inspiration, however, is the youth she photographs. “Young people are so inspiring, and I love to be inspired by them. They’re so open and new and fresh, they have to explore everything, and I love to guide that” (Colberg). To create her square color portraits, Van Meene combines this with her inspiration of the small ordinary details such as “the light fall on white skin, bruises on an arm, hands which disfigure in water, and starting goose-pimples in frosty weather” (Schampers).
Van Meene calls her work “photographs of adolescent situations and attitudes which represent the type of normality we don’t usually share with others but keep ourselves” (Schampers). When looking at her photography, particularly her early work in her hometown, the scenes appear to be ordinary intimate moments in the natural environment of the model. Yet, there is usually something odd about them: a strange pose or clothing that does not fit or is inside out. The honest looking scenes often seem like windows into the lives of the girls. H...
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...natural light, she avoids the distraction of studio lighting. She feels this helps her remain open to possibilities instead of being preoccupied with setting up a scene. For her, “being in a studio is often about chasing an idea or a pre-conceived picture.” (Cotton) With the natural light, she is able to achieve photos with soft light and a classic feel.
Creating timeless scenes, Van Meene continues to explore the theme of adolescence in her work. Most recently she did a series of photo for the New York Times shooting young actresses who broke through in 2009 (Secret). What first drew me to her work was her use of natural light and color. As I continued to read about her I was intrigued by her thoughts on adolescence and how she goes about photographing them. The way she chooses her models and her reasons for photographing them help her make these unique images.
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