Every picture I shoot, I create with my hart and soul…emotions that emerge form a vision. Each person looking at that picture can come up with his or hers own story… Feel his or hers own emotions. To me, that is the power of photography.

- Matthijs Smilde


My name is Matthijs Smilde and I am a self taught photographer from Groningen, The Netherlands. I was born in "84 and besides doing professional photography, I am head chef of a restaurant. For me photography started somewhere around 5 years ago. At first is was mainly nature and landscape photography but I realised I was missing something, human emotions. Nowadays my work is mainly a combination of nature and human.

I would discribe my style as Conceptual / Storytelling photography. With every image I make I want to tell a story, mine, someone else’s or just fictional. For me it is important that the viewer can interpret it. Most of the time it is about venting personal feelings and emotions, that is why I shoot mostly self portraits. When I struggle with things the thinking process starts, sketches and location scouting. The challenge is to make and tell a story in one image. For me, this is the hardest part. It has to be simplistic and there has to be a question as for me, this is the trigger when people
start thinking.


Smilde’s art blurs the lines between nightmarish and dreamy visions, combining haunting and frightening details with tender and magical attributes, creating a hypnotic and wild setting in which the viewers mind can loose itself and explore its own inner tales. 

In his compositions, the artist expertly uses and creates tension between opposing medians, big and small, light and dark, soft and hard, making his imagery incredible powerful, eery and foreboding all the while never revealing the true meaning and message of his art works and thus forcing the viewer to engage and personally make sense of what seems at last hard to grasp. 

A true master of visual storytelling, Smilde utilises the viewers own and personal refections in creating all encompassing fairy tails that relate to anything and everything, making them applicable to almost any situation and circumstance. Its graceful and magical imagery, full of life and excitingly far away from it.