Zooming In, the story of a young photographer

Gavin de Boer was only 7 years old when his grandmother gave him a disposable camera as a Christmas present. The connection was immediate, and Gavin began to test his ability to take pictures. For a 7 years old, his results were definitely impressive: not only he showed a particular ability to take proper pictures in focus, but he was also experimenting perspectives and different shots which are quite uncommon for a boy of such age.

Eventually his journey with photography kept ongoing. Gavin moved to Arizona when he was 12 and, at the same age, he was given his first digital camera from his parents. The picturesque landscapes of the area surrounding the city of Phoenix allowed Gavin to deeply experiment Nature photography: for four years Gavin kept on improving his ability to portray landscapes and animals.

At the age of 16 he moved back to Holland with his family. At this age Gavin started to cultivate his interest within High School as well: he began to take art classes in order to further exercise and improve his photography skills. A drastic shift also occurred to Gavin’s photography style: it became more portrait focused and natural landscapes and animals were substituted by an urban environment and its inhabitants.

During his Junior year of High School in Holland though, Gavin took part of a school trip that would have become probably the most important moment (and eventually even the beginning) of his career as a photographer: Gavin joined Most of his High School in a school trip to India.

The incredible environment of the country revealed itself to be the biggest source of inspiration which Gavin had ever encountered (even now, after 4 years, he still considers the trip to India the most important moment of his experience as a photographer).

During his trip he was noticed by one of his teachers while constantly taking pictures. the teacher appreciated Gavin’s work and asked him to give him the pictures so that he could publish them immediately as a reportage of the trip. However, Gavin refused the offer.

According to Gavin de Boer, photography is a process: the camera initially absorbs what is there to be seen and then, through the process of editing the photographer finalizes the piece, adding its own personal filter to it. Therefore, Gavin refused such offer simply telling the teacher that the photographs could be passed only after he would be done editing them. The teacher was initially skeptical, but once he saw Gavin’s final pieces he was so impressed that he heavily encouraged Gavin to participate in competitions in which he would have been able to test his skills.

He eventually joined a competition given by Olympus, the photographic brand. Despite his low expectations Gavin’s “Indian  picture” made it to the second place and Gavin won a workshop with the Olympus photographers. Once again, he was noticed by the other professional photographers of Olympus, which kept on inviting him to more and more workshops. After awhile Gavin finally felt confident enough to ask to the management to let him join the Olympus crew. Initially his request was denied, since the management argued that he was too young and inexperienced. However, the rest of the photographers of Olympus decided to support Gavin’s request arguing that they had had multiple chances to witness his growing talent and skills. Therefore, Gavin became an Olympus ambassador, gaining a sponsorship from Olympus consisting in paid material, free workshops and the opportunity to represent the brand in different jobs and events. Joining Olympus also gave Gavin an important push for his CV, allowing him to find more and more jobs and opportunities on his own. He started dedicating more and more of his time to artistic photography and conceptual portraits, while still working most of his time for Olympus.

He was also able to make contacts in the world of fashion modeling: Becoming each photo shoot more and more required from different modeling agencies to shoot their models. In Amsterdam Gavin has been working for the modeling agencies of  Alpha Male   and Elite.

After High School, Gavin was first undecided on whether he wanted to make photography his full time profession. Due to his indecision, he decided to first attend a business school. However, after one year of such studies he realized that the only thing he wanted to be his full time occupation was photography.

In 2014 then, he decided to start his studies at the Fotovak school of Amsterdam, which he is currently attending. Gavin hopes that through focusing on photography as his study he shall be able to improve and polish his skills more and more.

When asked about what his dream would be Gavin’s reply knew no hesitation, he immediately answered:” wherever my career will take me I hope that one day I will be able to be a source of inspiration for young photographers like me”.


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