Van DER Hoven.

What's it like to live with a photographer?

You should ask my roommate. I essentially force her into a lot of my photographs. But she doesn't seem to mind too much because I let her dog be in most of them. Yep, she's the one with the adorable Australian Shepherd I constantly photograph. He's got the prettiest blue eyes and the most genuine, tongue-out smile.

I took Janna's graduation photos this past May, and let me just say- they turned out amazing. She is such a beautiful and strong person, and I am privileged to call her friend.

Janna woke up at about 5am and I woke up around 5:45am to be sure to get to campus early enough to catch that perfect morning lighting. Originally, we were going to do these laissez-faire, without Rhaegar the pup, and hope for the best. What actually happened was the dog conned us into bringing him along- and as a result the happiness in her photographs is about as genuine as it gets.

They say our pets are often a reflection of us. Rhaegar and Janna are pretty much in sync 99% of the time, so I'd say that phrase rings true.

Check out her entire shoot in my portraiture.

How to photograph a puppy

Step 1: Don't.

Kidding, always photograph as many dogs as you possibly can. They usually don't listen, and it's almost impossible to get them to look at the camera sometimes; but the photographs you get of the pure, innocent, furry happiness is priceless.

Here are some photographs of Rhaegar, the Australian Shepherd. He's extremely stubborn, but extremely cute as well- so he makes up for it! 

With dogs, you have to move with them. You can't expect them to always listen or pay attention, so sometimes you have to get down on the ground, and "do as the dogs do." Your clothes may get dirty, and you may get dog slobber all over your lens; but man, the moments you capture with them are too wonderful to forget. So here's Rhaegar, the 5 month old wiggle-butt. 

10 countries and counting

Traveling teaches you something every time you do it. I've been from one end of Europe to the other- and every nation is different. I speak a little french but not always enough, gotten lost on trains and in large cities, ordered foods that were in fact not appealing at all (and contained potential ingredients I am allergic to), rented rooms that were far too small, left clothes on the other side of the continent, and made a million other blunders and mess-ups along the way.


But the wonderful thing about it is that with every mistake comes a joy so great that you keep traveling and keep making more mistakes to feed the insatiable desire that comes with seeing the most beautiful aspects of the word. I'm just lucky enough to have a camera to capture it all.