“I can't imagine doing anything other than photography,” says fashion photographer Jan Welters. His earnest passion for photography manifests through his high-profile works that are relevant to the culture of our own time. Remember the June issue of Elle featuring Miley Cyrus as Rapunzel with a mohawk? Or the critically acclaimed Blue Jasmine star Cate Blanchett’s cover for Elle that just came out this October? All these über famous and accomplished beauties - captured in effortless delicacy by Welters.
Born and raised in Holland, Welters has traveled to wherever that called for his talent: Amsterdam, New York, Milan, Paris and now residing in California. Throughout his vibrant career, he has worked for a wide range of publications like Vogue, Elle, InStyle, and GQ and collaborated with global fashion houses like Dior, Balenciaga, Victoria’s Secret and Bloomingdales. Also, he is involved with the visual production of Superfine, a London based denim brand that his wife Lucy Pinter founded.
Here, Welters tells Playing Fashion about his twenty years in the most dynamic and vivid industry, his opinion about Instagram and a surprising life-changing event that led him to discover his love for yoga.
MY DAD WAS TAKING PICTURES WITH A ROLLEICORD. He gave me that same camera to use when I started to show interest at the age of 15. I sold my 10 speed bike to buy darkroom equipment. I started to take pictures of the girls at school. One day I saw Peter Lindbergh's images in a magazine and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. From then there was no way back.
I WENT TO ART SCHOOL IN BREDA, The Netherlands and was asked to leave after two years. 'No talent..'. I then went to Amsterdam to get a job as an assistant photographer. Frans van der Heyden, a well known photographer in Holland at that time took me on and asked me after a few months if I wanted to come with him to NY.