In this new blog piece, we will do regular interviews with local businesses that we think have a great service and have a great story to tell.
This week we thank Benjamin Arthur for taking the time out of his busy day to answer our Q&A. Is it an interesting life he has ? Well look at the photos and decide for yourself !
1. Tell us about your products and services.
I’m a freelance photographer based in Amsterdam for 5 years.
From my website – benjaminarthur.com – you can see that I focus on events, weddings, parties, portraits and walkabouts. I’m a people person and like to think I’m incredibly easy to work with, I get the job done in a no-nonsense way and, above all, my images are beautiful.
2. How long have you been in the business and why did you choose this sector ?
2008 was when I first started taking commissions. I gave myself 5 years from then to make it work and fortunately by 2013 things were taking off.
As with anything it took me a while to learn my trade and nearly as long to figure out where I wanted to focus my energies. We can take photos of anything these days… knowing what you are good at and where you can add value is vital.
3. What is the thing you like most about your work ?
All who meet me know that I am truly passionate about photography. This is a craft that is almost alchemical; from nothing something is created in one two hundredth of a second. That something can be wonderful or dramatic and capture an emotion that is often unseen. Doing that for a living is special. In addition, I love the diversity of people I meet and the fascinating number of challenges every day brings.
4. Which nationalities are your clients ?
Around 50% of my clients are from the UK and the US. The rest are Dutch, French, Belgian or German and this year my Asian business has started to take off; especially India and Singapore.
5. What do you think these internationals love best about living in Amsterdam ?
Amsterdam is an incredibly liveable city… it is small but perfectly formed and, in spite of its size it is genuinely multicultural yet with this wonderful Dutchiness running all the way through it. I’d say the character of Amsterdam is best expressed by its tolerance of alternative lifestyles. The “live and let live” attitude goes back centuries and expresses so much about the character of the Dutch people.
6. What do you like to do in your spare time away from work ?
I’m a reader so I love doing that. To feed my habit I spend inordinate amounts of time in Amsterdam’s many fine bookshops – new or second hand. The ABC is my favourite for new books but the Timbuctoo stand on the boekenmarkt on the Spui (Fridays) and the general market on Lindengracht (Saturdays) is a personal favourite because Robert – who runs it – is such a perfect bookseller.
7. What is your fondest memory or proudest moment at work ?
Photographing Princess Beatrix at the Pritzker Architecture Prize ceremony at the Rijksmuseum in 2014 was a thrill. She seems like a lovely lady. Very Queenly.
8. What do you think the expats and international think of the Dutch people ?
I would hope there’s a real connection and friendship there. Personally I feel extra- ordinarily positive about living among the Dutch. I think they’re great! And crazy!
9. Which product or service is your best seller and why ?
Multi day corporate events and trade shows….because unlike most of the competition I genuinely care.
10. What good Dutch words or expressions should non Dutch people learn ?
My favourite Dutch word is “ongelofelijk” (incredible or unbelievable). You should learn it too.
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