Danielle van Zadelhoff was born in Amsterdam, Holland. Now she lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium.
In 2013 she purchased her first camera and from that moment she became obsessed with photography, the means to express herself. Starting from youth together with her father, a businessman, who also painted and sculptured, she has been engaged in painting and modeling. She spent a lot of time in the family home library filled with books about history and art. A couple of years after the death of her father, she got acquainted with the photographer Leopold Beels van Heemstede, who introduced photography into her life and became her mentor. To learn technical aspects she followed almost a yearlong daily professional training in Antwerp.
The combination of photography and her education and fascination with the human psyche gives her photos a tension that leaves no one untouched. On this subject Danielle says: “I am inspired by the big themes in life, loneliness, vulnerability, the raw pure emotions in daily life. I want to capture this in the image, something that is almost invisible, but always present.” There are also a couple of images where religion comes to the surface. “I was raised in a Protestant school with a Catholic grandmother and a humanistic father. Religion is so integrated in our society and it is also a big theme in the seventeenth century painting.” It brings us to her background of restoring historical atmosphere. In her images this becomes visible through the sophisticated touch and finesse of her work and the attention to detail and proportions.
Characteristic for Danielle’s work is the frequent use of Claire-obscure (combination of the dark background and the light foreground, the light source is not determinable, might be from sun or candle). This technique was popular among the painters in the Renaissance period such are Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Murillo and others. “When I am working in my studio I always become fascinated by the light, which makes the models transcend above themselves and head to something universal”.