Esther Emma Jongste – Photo Talk #23

November 7th, 2011 |  Published in A-E, PhotoTalks  |  13 Comments  |  Subscribe to Comments

Welcome to PhotoTalk #23. This week’s interview is with Esther Emma Jongste, a photographer living in Friesland, Netherlands. I got to know about her work going through the successful submissions of SoFoBoMo 2011 – a challenge where photographers photograph and complete and publish a pdf ebook in 31 days. Emma’s book for SoFoBoMo 2011 Time Off or Some Holiday Impressions is a very enjoyable book with some very beautiful images. Looking through her images made me want to look at more of her photographs.

That led me to her blog – Emma, and then to her Flickr stream at After reading this interview, I would recommend setting aside some time to enjoy her photos.

SU: Hi Esther ! Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?

ESS: Well the thing about telling about yourself is that other people can do the job more properly than you do it yourself.
Some facts are more easy. 49 year old [or young, it is what the reader prefer to think :-]. Married with children. 4 days a week I work as a graphic assistant at a retail-company [toys and leisure]. In my free time I love to work with images [photography & imaging]. Watching movies, listening to music and having a good time with friends and family.

Garden Impressions I, Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved
Garden Impressions I – Pink Poppies
On Flickr – Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

SU: How did you first get into photography? Why photography?

ESS: At the age of twelve I got my first camera-box. I think it was a Agfa-matic. So far as I know, my father was an enthusiastic free-time cameraman and photographer. So I think I inherited the love of holding the camera by my dad. At the age of fifteen I bought my first SLR an Olympus OM10. It took me three weeks of work in a biscuit factory in my summer holiday spare time, so you could say I was pretty focused having an interesting camera :-)

Photography has a mix of technique and creativity which I love. And maybe you can say I always was a kind of watcher. Framing a scene that you like has something magical in it.

Since photography has become a digital occasion, I love to play with the imaging. Mixing up techniques has something magical too.

This is an Occasion , Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

This is an Occasion or genuinely tiny Knickers (Bridget Jones Diary quote)
On Flickr – Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

SU: Looking through your beautiful photographs at your blog and your flickr stream, it looks like you don’t constrain yourself to any one kind of photography. What kind of photography do you enjoy?

ESS: The red line across my photography is maybe to show the specialty of the common. To enlighten the ordinary things. To set the spot on people like you and me, to show we *are* special. I love to play with abstract composition, matching colors, take portraits with a swing. etc. II, Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved II – Winter Sun, till the far end of the room
On Flickr- Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

SU: I found your eBook Time Off or Some Holiday Impressions on SoFoBoMo 2011 and I really liked your book. Why did you decide to participate in SoFoBoMo 2011? How has participating changed your photography?

ESS: In 2008, the first edition of SoFoBoMo, I was pointed to the project by my Austrian photographer friend Andreas Manessinger []. Just in time to participate for that year. The book ‘colorful daily details’ was the result. []

For me it was a wonderful challenge to create a photo-book of my own work in such a short time. Working with a time ultimatum you are forced to make decisions and move on.

Unfortunately I had to skip the SoFoBoMo editions of 2009 and 2010, because of a lack of time. For this year I forced myself to make room for this wonderful project, because I know the satisfaction of a completed book is just great.

To be forced, is what you need. To move on with expanding your knowledge and experience as a free-time photographer, well that’s what I think. :-)

it's all in how [365-198], Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

it’s all in how [365-198] – Chair Battle
On Flickr, Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

SU: Most of your images have such emotion and such a beautiful feel to them. Also I feel a sense of joy and playfulness coming across. Are you striving for such effects when you make your photos? How do you go about imbuing them with this much personality?

To me this is the most difficult question. I think the answer is, I do what I do. It is such a pleasure to create pictures that touch me. I think I can’t help myself making such images :-) So the images tells a bit of who I am. Love to laugh, love to play. (just bought my first lensbaby and can’t stop playing around with that babe :-)

better gray [365-348], Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

better gray [365-348] , better gray than grayishness[Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres quote]
On Flickr – Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

SU: Can talk about the technical sides of your photography? What equipment do you use?

ESS: In 2005 I bought my first digital camera. A Konica Minolta DImage Z20. and I am still in love with her. Since 2010 the love has become more complicated; I got my Nikon D90 with a 50mm 1.8 and a 16-85mm 3.5-5.6 and since yesterday a Lensbaby muse :-) and sometimes they both have to share my love with my Nokia gsm camera. The quality of the images is so low that I love them even more and more and together with some imaging and textures they become little painting-alike creatures.

Because I like to mix up my photo’s with imaging, there is some software I love to use. Lightroom, Photoshop, Nik-software are my favorites and sometimes some apps I want to discover. For example Poladroid 9.6. I used this app for more than a year on a daily basis during my 365-day project july 2009-2010.

do you know [365-233], Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

do you know [365-233], Melted water on ice
On Flickr – Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

SU: What are your photography goals?

ESS: Ooh another difficult question. :-)) In my own language (mother tongue :-) the shutter button is called button to relax. And that’s exactly what it does. Being active with my camera, I forget everything what preoccupies me. So it is mostly having fun. :-)
And more specific: working out ideas I have in mind. My SoFoBoMo book 2008 and 2011 are good examples. Making short stories, framed and bundled together in an interesting way, so it is a pleasure to watch them again and again.

every picture [365-188], Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

every picture [365-188], Every picture shows a spot with which the artist has fallen in love…[Alfred Sisley quote}
On Flickr – Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

SU: Any recommendations? (Artists / Photographers you admire, Music, Books, quotes, food, words of advice….anything?)

ESS: Oh sure a bunch of them. First of all a group of photographers who are so dedicated, enthusiastic and inspiring, I return to them again and again by their blogs, books and of course their photo’s: they are called ‘The Shutter Sisters’. []
Further there is Andreas Manessinger [ ], who managed to post an interesting photo, story and piece of music day by day during several years now.
Photograffity or Annika van Balen [] is a very talented Dutch photographer with a special gift for the little ones. Her baby and children portraits are amazing.
Well, of course the list of names is endless, but take a look at my blog and you will find some links to some more photographers who create interesting work :-))
There are some pretty famous photographer and painters I really love too. Vivian Maier [], Stephan Vanfleeteren [], Edward Hopper, Vincent van Gogh, Séraphine de Senlis and Paul Klee.
Music: any kind with a special foretaste for singer-songwriters :-)
Books: Expressive photography [Shutter sisters], The photographer’s eye [Michael Freeman],
Creative digital photography [Chris Gatcum], Hot shots [Kevin Meredith]
Quotes: oh yes I love quotes. Especial the of other artists. For my 365-day project I used them every day [] and I have to say that I learned a lot about artists and their work by reading and understanding their quotes. :-)
Words of advice: do what you want to do, if that is photography? Just take your camera and push the shutter button :-) And second: viewing other photographers & artists work, especially those who caught your attention liking their works very much :-))

One true work [365-165], Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

One true work [365-165], The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection [Michelangelo quote]
On Flickr – Photograph by Esther Emma Jongste, All Rights Reserved

SU: Can you mention how people interested in your work can contact you?
ESS:If you are interested or like to ask some questions, just write a message on my blog, facebook page or flickr account
Last but not least, thank you for taking the time to read this stuff about me and my camera. And
maybe we will meet somewhere between your camera and mine :-)

Thanks Esther Emma!
Comments are welcome!


  1. » Esther Emma Jongste – Photo Talk #23 Photoblog – Suprada Urval says:

    November 7th, 2011at 6:07 pm(#)

    [...] Below is a preview: To read the full interview head on to Esther Emma Jongste – Photo Talk #23″ [...]

  2. Esther Emma says:

    November 7th, 2011at 8:12 pm(#)

    suprada, it all looks great. you did a good job fitting it all together. thanks you.

  3. Tanja Ootes says:

    November 8th, 2011at 8:12 am(#)

    I really love your work already from the beginning.
    Go on with this and follow your dream !

  4. Nel schouwstra says:

    November 8th, 2011at 9:44 am(#)

    Hoi Esther,

    leuk gesprek over je passie! Wat zou ik graag wat van je leren, wat betreft het werken met fotoprogrammas. Kun je me daarin de weg wijzen? Ik loop er tegen aan dat ik veel ideeën heb, maar de uitwerking niet kan realiseren. Je werk spreekt me aan, niet alles natuurlijk, maar de onderwerpen, het kleine en alledaagse. dat blijft mij ook altijd weer boeien. Het aan de weg timmeren met een website ligt me niet zo. (ook dat moet je beheersen). Esther, bedankt voor je mij op de hoogte houden. dat waardeer ik! groet, Nel

  5. heer jongste says:

    November 9th, 2011at 9:34 am(#)

    Dear Emma,
    Although I know you a bit, I am surprised by the beautiful photo’s which ar published in this intervieuw. I realy like to meet more of your creations; and more of that: I like to meet the photographer herself ! She sure must be a fantastic woman and when we’ll meet, I shall start talking and talking and talking and more of those wunderful communications things.
    Suggestion: What do you think of wednesday the 9′th of novembre about five o’clock?

    Greetings heer Jongste

  6. Esther Emma says:

    November 11th, 2011at 7:39 am(#)

    thank you tanja, you are certainly one of my biggest fans from the start. and you know i follow my dream :-))

    ha die nel, wat leuk dat je de moeite hebt genomen om hier langs te wandelen. erg leuk om met jou in gesprek te gaan en te zijn over de mogelijkheden en onmogelijkheden rondom uitwerking van ideeën. daar hebben we het binnenkort eens over :-))

    dear heer jongste, i think we already did meet wednesday the 9th. and you know i am looking forward to the next one. and you know me that well, you give a yell and i’ll show some more of my creations. thank you.

  7. Betty Visser says:

    November 12th, 2011at 6:12 pm(#)

    Hallo Esther,

    Erg leuk om even mee te kijken. Veel succes met deze hobby, je bent er echt wel goed in.
    groetjes, ook aan de heer Jongste!

  8. Esther Emma says:

    November 12th, 2011at 10:20 pm(#)

    he betty, wat leuk dat je ook even hier langs kwam wandelen. en dank je wel voor je complimenten. het leukste is dat je er veel plezier in hebt en dat zit wel goed :-) en ja ik doe de groeten aan heer jongste :-))

  9. Esther Emma says:

    November 12th, 2011at 10:23 pm(#)

    thanks suprada for making it possible to follow the comments. i just was able to answer another guest who visited your phototalk. sorry, that can’t read it in english. but they are all positive about the interview. they all like it to read some more about my passion for holding the camera :-))
    have a nice day :-)

  10. Kees Ootes says:

    November 15th, 2011at 3:08 pm(#)

    Su,thanks for this interesting interview with a good friend of my, drilling into motivation.
    Ess, a joy to read AND see the photo’s.

  11. Esther Emma says:

    November 15th, 2011at 10:29 pm(#)

    @ Kees haha nice to see you here. and of course thanks. my pleasure :-))

  12. Jolanda says:

    November 23rd, 2011at 7:16 pm(#)

    Lieve kunstenaar,

    Wat heb ik genoten van je kijkrichting.
    De kijkrichting die ons, die mij, bepaalt bij de schoonheid om ons heen.
    het maakt me stil, verwonderd en trots.
    A paz do Senhor en heel snel tot een langere mail!
    Innige groet,

  13. Esther Emma says:

    November 24th, 2011at 9:11 pm(#)

    lieve jolanda, wat weet jij het toch altijd weer mooi te zeggen. ben blij met je woorden en helemaal blij om wat van je te horen. dank je wel en we ontmoeten elkaar weer in de volgende lange mail :-))

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