Hi, nice to meet you..
Chloé Chanté Leenheer, 27, actress and photographer, based in Amsterdam.
I met Chloé Chanté on instagram, when she complimented me once with my column for JAN Magazine. I began to follow her and was very impressed by her beautiful images and unique style.
You might know Chloé from Dutch television or theater. She recently launched Pop in Portraits, a super nice concept where you can pop in for twenty minutes to get four stunning portraits. And not just ordinary portraits – no way! – the kind you are going to hang on your wall and cherish forever. I certainly will pop in with Micah!
Where did you learn the photography skills?
‘I have had no specific training. I always found photography fascinating. And on a random day I just started. At first just because it was so much fun to do, after many positive reactions it has become increasingly serious. I try to learn as much as possible and get inspired.’
What does photography mean to you?
‘My most beautiful dream as a nine year old girl was becoming a ballerina. When I was twelve I had an accident that made it impossible to become a prima ballerina. At the Royal Conservatory I discovered the magic of the stage. The love for that magic I now have found in acting but also in photography. It’s great fun to be creative in different ways. Photos intrigue me, I see so much more through the lens of my camera.’
What makes an image beautiful and interesting?
‘The composition, light .. It also depends on the type of photography. I love fashion pictures, but in documentary photography something else makes a picture interesting. A picture should immediately touch me at least me. Let’s keep it that way.’
What is characteristic for your images?
‘I always try to radiate a kind of authenticity with a portrait. I keep switching from softness to rawness. According to my friends, you can tell if a photo is made by me. But what the exact reason for that is..’
What type of camera do you work with?
‘A canon 5 d Mark III and oh, I’m so incredibly happy about that!’
How did you came up with the idea of Pop in Portraits?
‘After an intense theater tour with the show War Horse I wanted to start photography again. But in a way that was never done before. As an actress, I noticed that a lot of actors had the same casting photos for years. It is often very expensive and many people secretly find it quite scary to have their pictures taken. I wanted to make it more common and so much faster but also much cheaper. It is a bonus that you as an actor, but also as a director, can switch much faster because your photos are up-to-date.’
How does it work?
‘You ‘pop in’ for about twenty minutes for four professional photos. The idea is that it is pleasant and fast. And it makes the decision for new casting photos and resumes pictures much easier and you can switch much faster. When it is for example summertime and you have a summer glow and your hair has just been dyed and so on. There is also a seasonal card; if you have your pictures taken every three months you’ll get a discount.’
For whom is Pop in Portraits meant for?
‘Mainly actors, but anyone is very welcome. For example, I also find it super fun to photograph children.’
What is the purpose of the pictures?
‘Whatever you like! The emphasis lies on casting and resume pictures. But it can also be a photo for your Facebook profile, or a nice gift to your parents.’
What is the best response you received so far?
‘I am very grateful when I’ve made someone really very happy with a picture.’
Do you shoot at a fixed location?
‘For the portraits I have my own studio. But it also depends on somebody’s wishes. Sometimes I shoot in a more fashionable way. That could also work outside or at a crazy location like, the Amsterdam zoo, Artis.’