Caroline Elenbaas is a Dutch wedding photographer based in Heijningen, Noord-Brabant. Because she is only half an hour from Rotterdam, Breda, and Antwerpen, she says clients are always a little surprised to arrive at her studio, located on a cow farm in a small Dutch village that seems to be in the middle of nowhere. That's where Caroline lives with her husband Jacco, her three kids, her parents, and a handsome horse she shares with her oldest daughter.
Her location is well suited to her life-long love of riding. Her father was a horse breeder, and Caroline and her sister grew up training and showing horses. She also competed in show jumping and dressage shows. Today, she remains active in equestrian sports through her service on the board of a horse riding association that organizes riding events for the local community. Her love of horses makes environmental issues one of her top concerns.
The nurturing spirit, gentle disposition, and patience she developed while working with animals have turned out to be assets when managing the unexpected challenges of wedding photography. "My clients find it amazing that, during weddings and shoots, I'm always cheerful, kind, and quiet," she says.
Her favorite quote to live by is: "Don't worry. Everything is gonna be all right." Those are words she tells her kids and tries to live by herself, even if it doesn't always work. In that case, she has another strategy: "Work from your heart, and always be yourself. Sometimes, try something else. Find something new that suits you."
Caroline says she always knew she wanted to be a photographer, and went to school with the plan to specialize in horse photography. Things changed when she agreed to photograph a friend's wedding.
"I really liked it, and I was very inspired by the people and how they revealed their emotions." She quickly discovered that she loved the beauty of documenting these moments, working in the nice sunset light, and getting to share in the love between people. "There were so many things that inspired me," she says.
What she especially loves is the combination of storytelling and journalistic photography she can create as a wedding photographer. It allows her to be artistic, romantic, and emotional-and to tell an important human story for two people and their family, regardless of their religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Caroline's approach is always the same: to dive into the moment with a sense of kindness, cheer, and positivity that helps her produce meaningful pictures.
Caroline Elenbaas | Netherlands | Fearless since 2016