As the sun slowly gets out of our life to welcome the chilly weather, the need of something exciting is something we all seek. We’re craving for endless adventures, moments of peace, serene places and especially, lights. We’re looking for something new to the eyes to attract our attention and get us inspired, otherwise, we will be bored to death for the next few months.
That’s when Cleo Goossens comes into our life and save us all from our misery. She’s allowing us to see some light through her minimalist aesthetic and let us jump in an adventure with her because of her art. Freelance photographer and co-founder of Sun of Wolves, a refreshing dog & travel blog/webshop, Cleo is a photographer originally from a little village in the Brabant region in the Netherlands. She’s now living with her boyfriend and other co-founder of Sun of Wolves, Steven Janson, in Eindhoven. The two creative minds allow us daily to travel with them through their blog and their pictures, without forgetting the special place their dog, Wolf, also takes. That’s what you can call a couple goals, creative career perfect path or a nomad family sharing stories with us through timeless pictures. For us, it is simply inspiring and engage us into a beautiful, delicate narrative of their own life. It fills up our everyday life with a little touch of magic; something we all need, isn’t?
We contacted Cleo to get a sense of who she is and what inspires her while shooting. We are all aware that photographers are all unique in their own style and this hidden gem directly from the Netherlands captured our attention.
What’s your story, where are you from and how’d you get here?
I’m a photographer from the Netherlands, Eindhoven. I started photographing since I was 12.
Now I’m 25 and making a living out of it and doing what I love to do most. Shooting faces and places.
Your aesthetic is quite easy to recognize as your photos are minimalist and combined with peaceful colours. Do you have anything specific you want the viewer to feel when he sees your pictures?
I try to capture the silence of the moment. Everyone is seeing something different in my pictures and that’s fine. It’s all up to the viewer.
Like any creative career that exists in the world, photography isn’t an easy path - it requires a lot of patience and tons of hard work! Do you sometimes feel scared about heading into a hard job like that?
No, not really. It was a bit scary when I started to work as a freelance photographer. But I really wanted it to succeed. I’ve put a lot of work in it, especially to combine my own projects and freelance work for others.
What are the three things in life that influence your art style? Any favourite artists that help you get inspiration?
I can get really enthusiast by listening to music. I can already see in my head what kind of images would suit. Especially old 70’s psychedelic music is a big influence right now. Kourosh Yaghmaei is on repeat today!
Your photographs are everything we could ask for: moment of adventures, landscape, simple details, skateboarding, surfing, and portraits. Is there anything you like to shoot more particularly?
I would like to travel more and make more photos in different parts of the world. Especially the surf culture in different countries is something I really like. I’m not a wild action photographer. But I want to capture the vibes and feelings of the moment.
So if there any surfers / people on the coast reading this, message me!
With the boost of Instagram nowadays and other social media, it is hard to know who is a photographer, and who is not. What do you think defines if you are a talented photographer?
Hard work, Dedication, Unique vision.
You also have a really rad blog called “Sun of Wolves”, mainly about dogs and travel culture. I can understand sharing your travel stories and pictures, but dogs? This is really new to our eyes, but it’s cool!
Me and my boyfriend are having a dog named Wolf. He’s part of our little family, and he’s going everywhere with us. Except the flying destinations, then he stays with one of our parents.
What was your main purpose of developing your own blog? Do you have any future projects for it as well?
Well, I have my own work as a photographer. And my boyfriend (Steven Janson) has his own studio in Graphic Design/Illustration. And we really wanted to join forces, and do something together with our biggest passions. It felt natural to start a blog about our trips / Wolf / music / skating and more. We even make our own handmade goods for people and their dogs like hand-painted mugs and bowls for dogs that we sell on our webshop.
And my photo prints will hit the webshop this week!
It seems like you are travelling a lot, what is one of your most memorable memory while shooting something on the road?
Seeing the super blood moon eclipse in Joshua Tree Park (California) was amazing! But every trip has his own magical moments.
If you could give any tips to the newbies in the photography world, what would you say?
Stay true to yourself. And don’t pretend something that you’re not. Find your own uniqueness.
What’s the most important thing you learned in photography so far?
Do something you like.