Joël Monster (1984) is a professional photographer from the Netherlands. He is specialized in landscape photography and travels around the world to capture the beauty of our planet. His huge passion for nature forces him to go outside and explore the landscape for photographic opportunities. An avid adventurer who often seeks the boundaries in order to get the perfect shot.
In his own words, Joël has not developed a completely individual style through the years. Sometimes he prefers to photograph the entire landscape, the other time he prefers to make detailed shots. Often he prefers color images, other times black and white. This all depends on various factors such as the type of landscape, the weather, the light, the season but also his own feeling and emotion and what he is trying to convey at that moment. Having one specific style could also limit yourself as a photographer in a certain sense, there are countless different landscapes with all having their own photo opportunities. Besides that, photography always develops and styles changes continuously. Even landscapes are subject to change. Therefore Joël focuses less on style but is always looking for certain important ingredients; the subject must be fascinating, the light must be good and the composition fully balanced. The photograph has to be complete, that’s the most important thing. In addition, he also values the purity of nature. His photos must be real, credible and without too much post-processing. Landscape photography is also a great way to escape from our hectic society and thus to clear your head. The best photos are taken when you are one with yourself and nature, Joël says.
Over the years Joël has developed a strong preference for certain destinations. Cold, rough and even arctic locations and then preferably also under tough conditions are an inexhaustible source of inspiration for him. You will therefore see a lot of images in his portfolio made at cold places and shot during winter and autumn. Some of his favorite destinations such as Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland have also opened his eyes when it comes to climate change. You read and hear a lot about it nowadays, but the moment you see it happening with your own eyes, the awareness is all the greater. If you return to a place more often, you will literally see the landscape change. Joël has for example photographed several glaciers over the years, that now for a large part are no longer there. But where glaciers disappear, water level rises. Living in a country that is largely below sea level makes you realize that we are extremely vulnerable and cannot ignore this. Therefore he uses his photography now not only as a tool to show the beautiful nature, but also to create awareness for the fast changing and disappearing landscapes. It’s important because these are the landscapes in which we live in, the landscapes in which animals live and the landscapes that we all need to be able to breathe. Awareness leads to change and that is what we need now more than ever.
In 2015, Joël and his good friend, fellow photographer and companion Walter Spoor, founded a photo tour organization called Fotoreisspecialist (Photo Tour Specialist). Sharing the perfect combination of nature and photography with others. That is their passion. These photo tours are also the ideal way to inspire people to go outside more often and enjoy nature. Beside the unforgettable nature experience, you also get photographic support in the field to further develop your own photography. With a nice and growing range of photo tours to Iceland, Georgia, Andalusia, Scotland and much more, there is plenty of choice for those looking for a true photo adventure.
Joël was born in Dordrecht. He grew up close to National Park the Biesbosch where his photographic adventure once started. Now he lives in Rotterdam together with his wife Deborah and his daughter Liv.
“The mountains are calling and I must go” – John Muir
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
+316 123 65 170
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