Published On: December 1, 2023Tags:

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MY THREE FAVORITE ACTIVITIES ARE…

…riding my motorcycle, photographing and being outdoors. And preferably all at once. Through my lens of adventure as a professional photographer, I capture the thrill of the winding roads and the humbling beauty of the great outdoors, making memories that last a lifetime.

My visibility on social media led to several requests by businesses to create content for them as well. It was the start of my professional career as a photographer and storyteller. But if you told me at 18 I would be doing the things I do now, I simply wouldn’t have believed you.

A TOUGH BUT MUCH NEEDED DECISION

I’ve always been into photography, starting out with analogue and smaller cameras. By the time I saved enough money to buy my first DSLR, I had big plans. I had this idea to pursue a career in photography or in the travel/tourism industry. But when I got denied 7 times to the Photo Academy in Rotterdam because my portfolio was insufficient I thought to myself ‘maybe this is not what I’m supposed to be doing as a career’ and so my hopes faded away. After looking at the costs of TIO, a private tourism business school, my heart sank. It was almost €10.000 a year, something I could NEVER afford.

Motorcycles weren’t a part of my life yet back then, but I did ponder about getting my license before even thinking about getting it for the car. After almost starting with some lessons, I decided I needed the money for other things, like moving out, studying and life in general and so that idea got put on the shelf real quick. I was 18 at the time.

Looking at my options, I eventually decided studying Media, Information and Communication in Amsterdam would be a good alternative. Here I learned a lot about marketing, writing, journalism and a few snippets of photography. But I ended up doing absolutely nothing with my Bachelor degree and forgot most of what was taught. It turned out I didn’t feel at home in this big Dutch media world and got myself a fulltime job at the secondhand store close to home for the time being. That led to working in various fulltime e-commerce jobs for a decade, working my way through different roles in logistics, webshops, customer service and content management systems.

Thinking I was doing quite ok for myself career wise, I realized I was actually very unhappy at that time. Combined with a troublesome private life I could no longer cope and that was the first blow, a severe burnout followed. Having to return to work far too early led to two more burnouts in the years after. My light was dimmed and I didn’t know what I wanted with my life career wise. I needed to pause and decided to take a long break.

LIVING THE LIFE?

Eventually I landed a part-time job at a motorcycle rental company in Amsterdam, amidst the process of getting my own license. In the second week of the job I passed my exam and I could call myself a motorcycle rider… at age 28! Ten years after I initially wanted to, but hey, I made it happen. Thinking I had my dream job, I saw myself having a successful career in the motorcycle industry.

I started an Instagram page to connect with other bikers in the area, dusted off my camera and started creating content of my Ducati Monster 821 and eventually it led to others asking me to shoot some content for them too. It seemed like everything was going smoothly, but there was still this nagging voice in the back of my head and it made me feel like I wasn’t there just yet.

I got overworked, again. Also as a result of not having healed properly from the previous times. And at this point I knew I had to make some bigger changes in my life and I decided – after a year filled with many doubts – to become a freelancer. I started LNR Creations and crossed my fingers I could make a living out of it. I didn’t have a solid plan, but I simply didn’t want to work a 9-5 job for a boss anymore. I wanted to decide my own hours and be able to take a rest when I needed to. Something that was much needed and incredibly scary.

The first two years I photographed interiors, motorcycles, cars, events and what not. I wrote articles about anything motorcycle related and well, grabbed pretty much every opportunity with which I could make some money. Trying lots of different thing, but by doing so I noticed my career wasn’t taking off. In 2022 I bought my Ducati Desert X and the adventures that followed that summer opened my eyes to new possibilities for LNR.

NOW HERE I AM!

During my six week trip through Italy, Spain, back to Italy and Switzerland in 2022 I had an epiphany. This is what made me happy: traveling on two wheels and documenting everything. From this moment on I started focusing on the motorcycle industry and an idea was born. What if I create LNR Moto to exist next to Creations? Focus solely on motorcycles. Was it too farfetched? Something that many others were maybe already trying to pull off? Am I good enough to try this? All kinds of doubts filled my mind.

My Instagram was growing rapidly and more and more questions arose from riders how to pursue a career in the motorcycle industry combined with content creation. I didn’t really know and for sure wasn’t in the right place to answer those questions. But if I wanted to get this motor starting, I knew I needed to do more than ‘just post some pictures and a story’ and shoot some pictures for companies here and there.

While at the EICMA event in 2022, I got in touch with Ondrej from Canary Ride. He asked me why I wasn’t on YouTube yet, to which I replied with the question what on earth I should possibly be doing on there. There are already so many motorcycle vloggers. After our talk it became clear that I could combine my photography with vlogging and that’s where the seed was planted. Around that same time I got more and more questions from clients on wether I also did videography, which I wasn’t comfortable enough with just yet to offer that.

Starting a YouTube channel was a nice way of expanding my own skills plus experience without any pressure and to see if this is something I thought would be worth pursuing. There is some money to earn in YouTube and it was something I could combine with my trips, photography and storytelling. I just needed a few more hours a day to pull it off while on the road to start videoing.

ISN’T IT FUNNY?

I can now say after more than a year that I’ve found a great passion for documenting my trips and to give you a view into my day with – or at least trying to – spectacular content that hits the emotions as if you’re there. My photography jobs have increased and even though I don’t write as many articles as I’d like to, I can look back happily on the growth of the last year. Safe to say it comes close to ‘living the life’!

In everything I create and the gear I use, I strive for quality. It takes time and I need to remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’ve come to terms with my own strengths and weaknesses and I’ve learned a lot over the last few years. My biggest step was to jump into the unknown and become a freelancer and create my own path. And while I still don’t know what I want from time to time, I do believe I realize better what I would like to create and who I am. I finally found something that makes me happy and that I see myself doing for the next 50 years. Isn’t it funny that I eventually ended up in photography and traveling after all?

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