Meet the Creators: Nikki Van Toorn
Nikki van Toorn is a freelance photographer from the Netherlands who mainly focuses on sneakers, streetwear and lifestyle.
How have you been keeping creative during the pandemic?
When the pandemic started I was in the last year of my studies. So in the beginning I was focussing more on finishing my studies than on my photography. When I finished I finally had all the time for my career. Something I've been looking forward to for a long time, because combining a full time education and my photography career was quite difficult.
But due the pandemic I wasn’t able to do all the things I did before. In 2019 I stared with artist/ festival photography. Something I always wanted to but I never got the chance to, until 2019. That year gave me so much energy and I was motivated like never before. I was determined to make artist/festival photography mine, like I did with sneaker photography. But due the pandemic I couldn’t keep that progress going like I wanted to.
That made things difficult, it felt like my motivation and creativity was gone. I had the all the time in the world but I just could’t find the motivation to do anything. So I started to focus on myself through working out, I started to feel better physically and mentally which automatically affected my creative process in a positive way.
How would you describe your personal photography style?
I always find it hard to describe this. But for me my photography is my vision on how I love to see things (could be anything). This could be people in their beauty but also sneakers!
We’ve seen that you’ve taken some amazing images at festivals, who are you looking for ward to see perform when we things go back to ‘normal’.
Good one! If the moment is there I think it doesn’t really matter to me who’s performing, I’ll be so happy to even be there. But there are definitely some people on my list I’d love to see perform live, on top of my list are Ms. Lauryn Hill and Kanye West.
What’s in your current sneaker rotation?
Currently I’m wearing a lot of Nike Air Force 1’s, my current favourite is the Nike Air Force 1 x Kith collaboration. Besides that I’m wearing a lot of Nike Air Max 1’s and the New Balance 991 is becoming my new favourite.
When did you first pick up a camera?
My grandmother let me hold her camera for the first time. She always has been passionate about photography and when she saw my interest in photography she taught me all the basics. Together with my grandmother I took my first sneaker photo’s!
How did you start photographing sneakers?
While my grandmother inspired me with photography, diﬀerent creators on Instagram inspired me to photograph sneakers. I saw a lot of cool sneakers photo’s being posted, and I was like “I want to do this too!” So I asked my grandmother how these photo’s where taken and together with my grandmother I tried to create those cool photo’s.
Once I knew how to capture them perfectly, I began to meet up with sneaker collectors to shoot their best sneakers.
Any tips for taking better portraits?
What helps for me to make better portraits is to make sure your subject is detached from the background, focus on the eyes and try out diﬀerent poses and angles instead of getting stuck into one setting.
Where can our community find more of your work?