Dutch wedding photographer Marlies Dekker makes her home in the countryide near Rotterdam with her husband, their dog Storm, and a dwarf parrot named Twiedel. “I love the combination of being able to be in the city real quick or having long walks with my dog in nature,” she says. While she lost her dad last year, she’s happy to have her mother and brother nearby.
Marlies became a wedding photographer after becoming bored with her career as a web designer. “I decided to start photographing for fun and to go photo school part time,” she says. Attending school in addition to her full time job turned out to be a lot more work than she expected, but she also discovered that the process of making pictures actually energized her. After completing her studies, she launched her photography business and quit her web design job. “I really love spending my days with people shooting their special day—and I love doing it with a passion I didn’t find behind my desk as web designer,” she says.
“Authenticity” is a word that Marlies says people often apply to her. She thinks that’s a likely a reflection of her down-to-earth personality as “a Dutchie.” Enjoying the simple things is what what brings her the most pleasure. “I love to be together with my love, who is also my best friend, because time flies and life is short. I try to live in the moment and be aware of the simple, beautiful things nature gives us every day. With a blink of an eye, a year has passed by,” Marlies says. The couple’s favorite way to spend the day is outside at the beach, making a meal in their little caravan and then napping on the bed with their dog—listening at the sea waves and night sounds of nature, with the windows open.
In her photography, Marlies pairs this relaxed and genuine sensibility with a sense of humor and quirkiness—saying that she has never quite learned to grow up and values the happiness that comes with staying a little bit weird. Both of these qualities help put her subjects totally at ease in front of the camera, and more open to sharing their emotions. “I can come really close in someone’s personal space without forcing it. It just comes naturally,” she says. “I just follow my intuition.”
Asked what it means to her to be fearless as photographer, Marlies concludes, “Going for it without boundaries. Being brave. Going to the max for that one, single hot shot.”
Marlies Dekker | Netherlands | Fearless since 2017