“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.”

The Struggle Within, is Jan his first portrait series. With this series he tried to express the fascination for the inside struggle we human beings are having from time to time. Every single one of us is fighting or experiencing his/her battle or joy in life. Some of us are showing masks of protection, anxious to express who we are, because of shame, psychological abuse, fear of not being good enough or fear of imposed beliefs from the past. These portraits are photographed with only natural light, no flashlight or daylight studio-lamps are used. Though sometimes the use of a reflection screen was needed to lighten up shadow parts. Photoshop is used to brush the photographed brackets into one detailed composition. Selfmade applied structures are giving the whole a technical analogue photography feel.

“Lets face it”, the theme form 2011 Fotofestival Naarden (The Netherlands) was the perfect opportunity to show the public a different view on portrait photography. “The Struggle Within” did rise many questions about photography techniques but also reactions about recognition of the expressions.

Jan Stel: website