Fleur Bult is a fashion photographer based in Amsterdam who loves to travel. She has worked with clients all around the world like Amatør, Wrangler, i-D, Yen, Also Journal UK, Love Stories, AUrate NYC, Lovers&Drifters, So It Goes Magazine, Anecdote, and most recently gracing the cover of our client’s publication jane. by the grey attic.
I couldn’t be happier with my profession, for me it’s a dream. I was already longing for photography when I was around the age of 14 and I knew I would love to do this for the rest of my life.
Some stories or trips abroad have been really special to me they continue to give me a feeling I can’t describe. It’s a mix between adrenaline and pure happiness. When I arrive at home after a successful creative shoot where I’ve challenged myself, I can’t think about anything else anymore, and I smile from ear-to-ear.
What role does the photographer have in society?
My style of photography is more of an art form. I don’t think fashion photography has the only purpose to sell clothing. Although I’m highly interested in clothing and fabrics, I love to play with forms and shapes of clothing and show the fabrics in the purest form. I also think that I share my feelings and a dream. You can inspire people with this profession. I really like the mix between working for fashion brands and independent fashion and art magazines.
What themes do you pursue?
Every story has a different concept to it. My work for independent fashion or art magazines usually has more layers to it and I spend a lot of time thinking about the concept. I have total freedom to create whatever comes to mind. When I work for brands or commercial fashion magazines it works differently because I also must keep what the client wants in mind.
The underlying theme in my work is that my women are always alone with their thoughts. Sometimes a bit melancholic, because I think it’s important that you feel something when you look at my work instead of photography that lets you feel nothing. My photography is serene, pure, clean, storytelling and it’s all about the person I photograph. I want to let their character and personality speak.
What other photographers / filmmakers have been inspirational to your work?
A lot of movies have been inspirational for my work. I love to watch art house movies with melancholic themes about life that has a lot of deeper layers to it. Directors like Lars von Trier, Terrence Malick and Derek Cianfrance have my preference.
American film director and screenwriter Terrence Malick makes extraordinary movies that make me think a lot. For instance, ‘The Tree of Life.’ I love the meditative voiceovers from an individual character in his movies and how they act. It focuses on an individual’s struggle. A big inspiration for my photography is Derek Cianfrance. Blue Valentine and The Place beyond the pines are just great. I could watch them over and over again.
Photographers I like a lot are; Karim Sadli, Josh Olins, Laurence Ellis and Annemarieke van Drimmelen.
What do you think makes a memorable photograph?
An image you could look at your whole life and which still has the power to captivate you.
What do you want viewers to take away from your work?
I like the fact that everybody can interpret art in a different way. I don’t want to direct them in a corner but hope they think about my work and see it as personal, intimate and inspiring.
What are some of your favourite books on photography – what do you love about them?
I have books but some magazines feel more like specials books to me because they are so beautiful. They combine fashion and art and I just love this. My background was in Fine Arts before I started with photography. The magazines have a special place in my house. My favourites are: The Gentlewoman, Twin, T magazine, Unconditional magazine, jane. by the grey attic, Rika, Union, WSJ, M le Monde and Russh.
When you’re shooting how much is planned and how much is instinctual?
You plan a lot with fashion shoots. Bringing a whole team together and finding a location. But on the day itself the freedom comes in and everything comes together. The magic moments with the model, the light that hopefully is on your side, and my urge to capture her in a particular way.
How has social media played a role in your photography?
I think it’s helpful if you want to work internationally. Some clients abroad have gave me jobs because they have seen my work through Instagram, so that’s really nice.