Big events, accessible to everyone, where a melting pot of various ages, cultures and backgrounds develops, are very inspiring for me to photograph due to the positive energy of an enthusiastic crowd. As the regular photographer of the Pietermaai District I am involved in all public events in the area, such as King’s birthday, the Christmas Market, “Pietermaai Proeft” (A Taste of Pietermaai), the XXL Pagara Party and the Curacao BlueSeas Festival. The atmosphere pictures I take are mixed, with large groups of people shown as if from a helicopter alternating with close-ups of small personal moments, such as an exuberant laugh, a sly flirt, or an emotion. Before the event I always discuss with the principal the practical purpose of the photos, such as sponsors who may have to be shown, the atmosphere of the photos, the target the principal would like to address, etc. These photos can also be used by the principal for the promotion of an event, online through a website or social media channels, but also through print media such as newspapers and magazines.
Pietermaai Proeft (A Taste of Pietermaai)
A weekend for gourmets! At Piermaai Proeft various restaurants from the Pietermaai District come together for a culinary event, where visitors can get acquainted with the various kitchens in the area by tasting small bites. Pietermaai Proeft is a pure joy for a photographer, with a happy public enjoying the nicest snacks and the greatest wines.
King’s Birthday Festivities
Curacao being part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, we celebrate each year on April 27 the King’s birthday. The whole island is showing the orange color. Young and old, locals as well as tourists are dressed in orange and participate in all kinds of festivities in the heart of Willemstad. During the previous night various restaurants and bars offer live music. The streets are barred from traffic and it is one great party. That is also the case the next day, with the free market, games for children and again live music. I take pictures for two solid days of all festivities and happy people, and each year this results again in very colorful photographs.
One does not need a winter climate with cold temperatures to create a cozy atmosphere during the Christmas season, as is proven by the yearly Christmas Market in the Pietermaai District: a pleasant and comfortable event despite tropical temperatures. Nevertheless it remains a surreal picture: Santa Clauses in heavy costumes and various cold-climate delicacies being offered at 86 degrees Fahrenheit. This contrast, the surrealism, but also the warm colors and the desire to be together during the Christmas season are great to be caught on picture.
Ladies Night at the Promenade Shopping Center
A lot of chatter and laughing: It is Ladies’ Night at the Promenade Shopping Center and it is almost impossible to catch all that is happening with my camera. It is a cozy get-together for the “ladies” on the island while they are shopping, having their hair or face done, getting a manicure or pedicure, etc. A really fun evening.
The New Year’s Eve XXL Pagara Party
It is tradition on the island to get rid of evil spirits at the last day of the year with lots and lots of noise. It starts around noon with lighting the first of many pagaras (firework mats filled with an incredible number of fire crackers) and it is now party time until early the next morning. The longest pagara event is in the Pietermaai district in the heart of Willemstad as part of the XXL Pagara Party and an almost 3300 ft. long pagara will be fired. All day and night I run through the sweltering town with my camera to catch all the fun that goes with it.