Not every photographer is fortunate enough to be able to intensely enjoy all forms of personal photography outside their professional work. When one observes Ariane James’ work one immediately tastes her great, life-enriching passion for this medium.
Quote from an article in Photography (4 – 2013)

I believe in a personal approach.


At a wedding I blend in with the atmosphere, with the family in which I suddenly find myself. I make use of my technique and creativity to reflect the day in such a way that their experience is reflected through my eyes.



With portraits I decide beforehand what the best location will be. On location I look for the place that best suits my model. For pianists the background of Cristofori’s piano workshop in Amsterdam worked beautifully. It’s been completely renovated now, but then the walls were still frayed and unfinished. The Hortus Botanicus is also a beautiful place. Sometimes you don’t need anything else, just the beautiful light.

I’ve made a lot of family portraits recently. You’re just like a chef: a pinch of flash, table a bit to the side, make sure no feet are cut off. The art is to communicate well, and choose exactly the moment that everyone has forgotten about the camera. You can also do this outside: for this I use four separately operated flashes, a kind of portable studio. That also works well for group portraits.


I love making documentaries. With a good technique and judicious use of flash no situation is impossible. The best is if people are working. It makes no difference if they’re driving a bulldozer or building a contrabass.

The composition, on the other hand, is always relevant and something to which I pay great attention.

Art Objects

When I photograph beautiful instruments, paintings or miniatures, I’m always in service of the object.

With instruments the art is to show the curves without shiny spots. The grain of the wood must also be visible. The soft boxes have to be placed exactly in the right angle and produce a narrow band of light. With the contrabass I needed a whole ballet studio to be able to make a kind of black box from curtains around the bass. The bass was just finished and the lacquer gleamed mercilessly. I made this one with a technical camera.

Digital is more difficult. You very easily get a kind of interference between the strings and the pattern of the pixels sensors. Analogue is still the best.


Miniatures (photo: Ariane James)

With miniatures it was difficult to avoid reflection from the glass in front of the mini-paintings.

The flash had to be set up very precisely. I also wanted the golden edges to shine a little. To achieve this I covered the outside ring of a cake tin with crinkly aluminium foil and put it around the miniatures.

The miniatures are just a few centimeters high. You work with a macro objective. Grains of dust you can’t see with the naked eye suddenly become horribly disturbing. So lots of dusting during the photo session and sometimes still having to Photoshop afterwards.

Concerts and performances

At concerts and exhibitions you have to make do with the light you have. You often end up having to use high ISO speeds, especially if there’s a lot of movement, such as with circus and dance performances. You remove the extraneous blur later as carefully as possible. The trick here is to choose exactly the right moment. The high point of the jump. Exactly the moment the actor pulls the knife. If it’s possible I come to a rehearsal. It works best if you can photograph during the dress rehearsal. Then you can walk back and forth without disturbing an audience.

A Concert en feest Jeugdorkest (3)

Youth Orchestra (foto: Ariane James)


Interested? Please, mail or call me

On the site I have a large collection of photos in a portfolio.

Important sections that are interesting for clients:

F De Stad Amsterdam Mist (12)

Amsterdam in the mist (photo: Ariane James)


Interested? Please, mail or call me

Besides my commissioned work and teaching I also spend time on my own projects.

My interest lies in the search for languages in which I can express my personal story. A couple of examples:

  • At the Zuidas I used the movement of the camera to draw lines with light. To give the impression of walking on a drawing board, a planned environment.
  • With infrared (I work mostly with a camera that I specially adapted) I try to capture my love for nature with image. The feeling of wanting to be able to fuse with the landscape around me.
  • Working with zone plate and pinhole technique is the search for the poetry in the mundane. You don’t need to travel to Bali to see something beautiful. Beauty is everywhere. The challenge is then to show it in such a way that others can experience it as well.

C Eigen werk Verbonden met landschap IR (5).jpg

Infrared photography by Ariane James


Interested? Please, mail or call me