I shoot, you decide: the results


First of all, a happy New Year to all of you.

During last month I launched a little project, some of you might know this, for the others, here is a short sitwrap. I proposed a shoot on black and white film with as a result 2 a5 and 1 a4 print. After seeing the result, the client got to decide what all this is worth to them.

At announcement and during the month of december I got asked to share the results. So here it goes

The project ran from the 24th november till the 24th of december. During this period I received 4 bookings, here are some facts about the clients.

  • 3 knew me before the project
  • 1 found my action through facebook
  • 1 couple, 2 sisters, 1 family and 1 portraitshoot
  • 20 to 30 photos per shoot

The question I heard the most was: “Aren’t you going to cut in your own flesh with this project?” Here are the numbers

  • 2 to 3 times transport, 2h of shoots and at least 2h darkroom work
  • Cost of the material for every shoot: 50 euro
  • Normal price: 200 to 250 euro
  • Average amount payed per shoot: 190 euro
  • Average extra order: 75 euro
  • Average total amount per shoot: 265 euro

As the results show, the perceived value of the shoot is very close to the price I put on the shoot. I’m satisfied with the results and had loads of fun working with these clients.

Due to the success I’ll repeat the I shoot, you decide project again at certain points in time. Every time the package will change a bit. Follow here for more info.

My first wall print

Wall print by PitsLamp Photography

During last month I sold my first piece of furniture. I know I’m a photographer but a printed photo in a size of 1×1.5 meters is no longer a simple print, it’s a piece of furniture. To be honest I still am very impressed with the result

The photo is printed by an UV-printer on a aluminum sheet of 1mm attached to 3mm dibond. Because the whites in the photo are not printed, the aluminum reflects light and the landscape looks to be alive.

From now on, everybody can order prints like this, with or without a shoot, just contact me

[PitsLamp-shorts] Kristoff

PitsLamp Photography: Portrait Kristoff

After Help-portrait, Kristoff asked me to make a quick portrait of him. I literally shot 9 photos in less then 5 minutes, but Kristoff is a natural, so it worked out great.

[Tip]: Make-up for B/W portraits

Make up brush

Black and white portraits require a whole other approach on make-up and clothing than colour portraits. This should be kind of obvious because of the lack of colour, but it can be hard to imagine your make up in black and white. I’ll try to provide some pointers in this blogpost.

First and foremost keep in mind that caucasian skin will be very close to white in a well lit black and white photo. This means you want to apply very little foundation. It is better to use more yellow looking foundation to cover up pimples, spots or reddish marks on your face or neck.


In black and white most dark tones will look lighter than you think, they can be great to apply on all places where there are natural shadows and soften those places. You can use them on the hollows of cheeks, temples and eye sockets. Do not use darker colours on eyelids or brow bones instead only use them in the crease of eyes, and around your eyelash line.

Light tones will appear darker. A light toned concealer blended under your eyes, from the inside corners will, lighten the shadow under your eyes and lower you cheekbones. You can use highlights to accent the areas where the light falls, like bridge of the nose, brow bone, center of forehead and tops of your cheeks.

Red is a special colour in black and white, it will turn out dark grey in black and white. So don’t use very bright red coloured lipstick if you don’t want black or dark grey lips.


Because of the lack of colour in black an white, texture will show very easily. This means you want to use a lot of blending to smooth out all the texture of the powders you are using. When you are drawing lines, like under your eyes or around you lips, don’t use a pencil, but use a small brush and paint a shadow instead of a line. This will give a more natural look.

Don’t use any glitter or wet look, glitter will only show up as white spots where the light hits it. A wet look lipstick can appear to be saliva which is not really a look you want on a portrait, unless it is.

Wrap up

Use mainly prime colours, that way you can easily judge how they will look in black and white. If you are not sure how the colour will look in black and white take your camera or phone and put it in black and white mode, that way you see how it looks. Make sure you blend very well to remove all traces of texture. Watch out with wet looks, glosses and don’t use pencils but use brushes to create a shadow instead of lines.

As always with make up don’t overdo it and don’t stop abruptly below your chin, try to create a kind of gradient to have your face match your chest area.

If I made any mistakes in this article please let me know, after all I’m not a make up artist.

Help-portrait Belgium


For the 4th year in a row, I’m organising during the second weekend of december together with some other photographers Help-portrait in Belgium.


As the image above explains, the goal of Help-portrait is to find somebody that can’t afford a photoshoot, photograph them and give them their printed portrait to take home.

Help-portrait is an idea from American celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart, it started in 2009 when Jeremy wanted to give something back instead of always taking photos. Since then it has grown enormously, at last count, there are 16500 photographers in 60 different countries and on 1800 locations that participate in the event. Together they already donated 200 000 portraits.

Today I had an interview on the local radiostation Katanga, about Help-portrait, which is held this saturday the 8th of december 2012 in the event hall of the KAHO Sint-Lieven (kwalestraat 154, aalst). You can listen to the interview below, keep in mind it is in dutch however.

Also don’t forget you can still book a portrait session and decide yourself how much it’s worth: more info

FAQ: I shoot, you decide!

Project #30303030: Bruno Monteiro

Last thursday I posted here, that I’m doing the “I shoot, you decide!” experiment till the end of the year. Now I noticed that a lot of people have some questions about this, that’s why I decide to post the answers here.

I have no clue what a shoot is worth, can’t you just give me a price to pay?

No, I can’t, I understand it can be hard to determine what the value is of a portrait shoot. However the purpose of this experiment is to have you decide what the shoot is worth to you. It is important to me that you are guided by your circumstances and your satisfaction for the experience and the end product.

I can try to give you some pointers, if you look on the internet, you’ll find that for a similar package prices range from 100 euro to 2500 euro. So that is not really a big help. I can tell you that the final cost for me, including film, chemistry and papers will be around 50 euro for every shoot.

What’s the catch? What happens when you find that I don’t pay enough?

There is no correct price, I’m not expecting any fixed amount. If you think that the package is only worth a coffee, then buy me one. If you are not comfortable handing me cash, just hand me an enveloppe, I’ll only open it after you leave.

Do you prefer to give me something else instead of cash, that’s possible too. After all, I’m throwing the conventional invoicing model out of the window.

I can guarantee, that when you book a shoot, I’ll deliver the whole package, regardless of what’s it worth to you.

How does it work, when do I pay and can I get an invoice?

Every shoot will go according to the following steps:

  1. You contact me for a booking
  2. We discuss the type of shoot you want and decide on a date, time and place
  3. I’ll come to you and we first get acquainted and discuss how we will do it
  4. During 1-2 hours I’ll be photographing you with an analog camera. I’ll make some photos with a digital camera too, so that you have an idea how everything will look
  5. The film gets developed and I print a contact sheet, with all the images
  6. During our next meeting, you can have a look at the photos and decide which ones you want to have enlarged
  7. Afterwards you decide how much the shoot was worth for you and I’ll make an invoice if necessary
  8. If you want more prints than included in the package, we’ll discuss this, however for these I have to charge a fixed amount because of supplier costs
  9. I’ll make all the enlargements and deliver them if possible personally

Can I really give what I want?


Are you going to earn a living from it?

To be honest, I really have no idea. This project is a gamble.

That’s why it’s a temporary project, if it doesn’t work out, it’ll end after this action. If it succeeds, it can become a permanent package.

Are there rules?

To quote a famous movie: “There is only ONE rule: there are no rules!”

“Site van het jaar” nomination


Every year the Flemish computer magazine Clickx organizes the “Site van het jaar” (Site of the year) election. Imagine my surprise when I received a notification that I was selected as one of the nominees for the category photography.

The contest itself is not very important to me, but it sure drives a lot of traffic to the Flemish counterpart of this site (pitslamp.be). It is free advertising for me, so why not enjoy the attention while it lasts.

I have no illusions of winning the contest, but I would be gratefull not to finish last. So if you have some time to spare, head over to sitevanhetjaar.be, register with your e-mail, wait for a confirmation mail and select “pitslamp.be” in the category “Fotografie”.

Also don’t forget you can still book a portrait session and decide yourself how much it’s worth: more info

I shoot, you decide!

I Shoot You Decide

With the end of the year nearing fast, I thought it would be a great moment to start an experiment. In the Netherlands there is a system called, pay what you want. I heard about it a while ago and I can find myself in a system that does not value time, but perceived worth.

The idea is that I don’t set a price but the client decides after receiving the photos, how much they are worth to them. I find this a very interesting idea and to determine if it would work in the long term, I want to try it out for a while.

Every portrait shoot booked and photographed between 24th of november and the 24th of december, will be according to this system. The package I’m offering, consists of the following:

  • a black and white portrait shoot
  • on location (at home, work, in the park, …)
  • A contact print with all the photos
  • 1x A4 print on quality paper (RC-paper)
  • 2x 13x18cm print on quality paper (RC-paper)

The above is what I’m offering, after receiving and seeing the contact print, you decide what this is worth for you. Once you told me, I’ll make an invoice for that amount.

If you want to book such a shoot, fill out the contact form or call me at +32 486 36 29 61

Also don’t hesitate to let me know what you think

[PitsLamp shorts] Chief Viking – Hans Similon

Dmix: Hans Similon

The last couple of months I’m shooting editorial portraits for the direct marketing magazine DMIX. Most of the portraits I’m shooting are for the ongoing series “The future bites”, in this series, young upcoming marketeers are interviewed.

One of the people I photographed for such an article was Hans Similon, who’s title is Chief Viking for the MVNO Mobile Vikings. Hans is a very easy going person with an open mind towards photos. I really enjoyed photographing him

As offices aren’t the most attractive environments for a creative photo, I always try to use something extra. In this photo we used some of the attributes Mobile Vikings has around the office, like the chair and the billiard table.

[Client] ABB: service brochure

ABB service engineers at Arcelor Mittal

Last august, I was on the road for 3 days shooting on several locations for ABB. They wanted to update their service brochure with new photos. We went to shoot at the harbour of Rotterdam, a service labo and more. It was an unique experience, I could go and shoot at some locations where you normally would have not been able to come.

ABB repair team at Euromax

Not only was it an unique experience, but it was also very challenging to shoot during 3 days on several locations in the Netherlands and Belgium. I had strict guidelines to shoot in the house style. It is very rewarding to see that the most photos got used in the brochure as is.

ABB test engineer in the labo

The photos in this post are the originals and you can find them also in the Service Benelux brochure 2012