My name is Ilsoo van Dijk, I’m a 34 year old photographer living in Amsterdam. I was born in Seoul, South Korea but I grew up in the Netherlands. Until I was 20 years old, I lived in picturesque Anna Paulowna but then moved to the capital (taking detours through Haarlem and Heiloo), where I currently enjoy living in Amsterdam West.
I always had an interest in photography. Do you ever walk down the street and you think, “Ooh, that would be a nice shot,” of “This was a perfect moment.” I often had that, but I never had a really good camera. Until in 2009 I took a road trip in a camper with my best friend Sam through Scandinavia. We bought an SLR camera for the first time and took beautiful pictures of nature and Urbanex scenery.
Our mobile housing for a month. (Photo editing also on point in 2008 haha)
Photography wise, things really started to roll when during my internship, for my study Media, Information and Communication at the HvA, I started working at an events agency called Enter Dexter. The agency owned by the brothers Andras and Tom Caron, was known for it’s coolness, obstinacy and progressive style. With popular events from their pipeline such as: Girls Love DJs, HushHush and Amsterdam Open Air.
In addition to Marketing PR and Production, I was asked to photograph the events. I did this together with the same Sam. Of course at first, the pictures looked like shit haha. But after a few events we got the hang of it. Also great that the Caron brothers gave us time to learn.
By taking the photos “in the moment”, they came across spontaneously and not posed. This, coupled with a raw processing, really caught on. Soon we were asked by many clubs, organizations and festivals including: Trouw, Air, Studio80, and “pop temple” Paradiso.
After a couple of years of working as a duo, I decided to continue on my own. I reached my peak in nightlife photography from 2012 to 2014. At the time, photography in the club scene was not so self-evident, and certainly not my “spontaneous” style of photography. Over the years, I had developed my own signature and this was reflected after the opening of the Chicago Social Club. I was asked by booker Rogor Diapari, whom I knew from my time at GirlsLoveDJs, to photograph a new club night called “Super Social”. Funny to say, Later our paths would cross more often, even at breakfast of the then in-laws the Braas family;) During this time and with the arrival of Social media, the photos of Super Social and Rewind Amsterdam became a hit. These were parties where I was hired to do the photography work and where attendees came to promote their social media by taking spontaneous photos of themselves.
Super Social trough the years
Fat Kids Cake
In 2013, Sam, Jamie and I started the concept Fat Kids Cake. An online magazine, but also an event Fashion and nightlife have always attracted me and in 2013 Sam, Jamie and I started the concept Fat Kids Cake. An online magazine, but also an event organizer, brand activation agency and clothing label. By combining these facets with both photography and film, it caught on and quickly grew into an important player in nightlife and fashion. The precursor to the influencer! 😉
We have had many awesome experiences. We have been able to give parties abroad, we have been able to create content around the world, worked with the coolest brands and have received thousands of attendees at our events.
Photos Fat Kids Cake Archive, Hanover / Mokum Halloween.
Throughout my career, I have always continued taking pictures. Through the contacts that I gained at Fat Kids Cake but also as I grew older, I had less energy to photograph parties at night. I started working for brands to create content in the form of photo shoots and brand events.
My pictures have never lost their spontaneous element. This is reflected in the photos that I take and it allows me to bring out that “little something special” in the people that I photograph. I get a lot of energy from my work. For example working on a set or different locations with children and looking for the right moment to snap a picture. Of course I also enjoy the social aspect. The interaction with people and getting the opportunity to meet new people every day. There is not one specific thing but everything in this profession that makes it so rewarding.