From Istanbul to Namibia and from the Canadian Rockies to Zanzibar, the pleasure to travel and to shoot together is not only an exhilarating experience, it is also a powerful motivation when it's time to set the alarm clock for 4h00 a.m.
Traveling with a partner usually involves compromises and adjustments, but when sharing the same passion for adventure and photography, concessions come easier. No other partner could possibly agree to leave for months at a time, with lesser clothes and no make-up, in order to transport all the camera equipment.
And no one could possibly be willing to explore the most remote and dodgy areas, and to constantly push our luck and taking risks, for the sake of photography.
We once drove into an isolated African National Park in the middle of the night, when our wheels got stuck deep in the mud, in pitch dark conditions and no rangers around, fearing to come face to face with abalone poachers, that has the reputation to get rid of undesirable witnesses. We have faced a ferocious baboons attack, where they even tried to drag off my backpack full of lenses and camera equipment. We have been on secluded areas where foreigners were not the most welcomed and where villagers would rapidly gathered around us as a way to indicate their discontent, to say the least.
But no matter what the mess we got into, we always came back without too much damages and these adventures and anecdotes became part of our own stories, only meaningful to us, in an almost romantic way.
Wanda has studied photography at the National School of Arts in Johannesburg. Through her life, she has traveled extensively across Asia, Australia, America, Africa and Europe. They say that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and that might be true, as her father, left his native country of the Netherlands at the age of 19, traveling through 17 countries, including India, Morocco, Turkey, Australia for years and never returning home, before finally landing in South Africa, where he decided to established himself, after having fallen in love with its amazing natural beauty, endless landscapes and perfect weather.
After our first encountering in India, where we have spent weeks together, we had to cement our relation and to move into a common country, as we didn't want to be separated for too long ever again. She first visited in Canada and we took advantage of her presence here to drive from one ocean to the next, exploring and discovering my own country for the first time (beyond Toronto and Vancouver). A couple of months later, I was visiting stunning South africa and immediately fell in love for this place and its people.
After her second visit to Canada a couple of months later, we decided that I would be the one who would move over, for what I thought would be only a couple of years, but I ended up living there for more than 6 years, except for a couple of months where I went to work in London and Singapore. While being there, Wanda returned to the University to complete her Bachelors degree in Industrial Psychology and Media studies.
Since 2017, we have decided to establish ourselves in Montreal, my hometown, a land of contrasts with four distinct seasons that, to my surprise, are fully appreciated by someone who is used to a perfect sunny weather, 10 months a year.
From the day we have landed in Montreal, there is not a single subway station, or a single neighborhood that we haven't explored. We have been inside all accessible churches, universities, landmarks, parks, festivals and so on, to make sure that she really absorbs everything that defines Montreal, but also for her to appropriate this awesome city.
Her French level impresses most people, although we tend to communicate in English. But she is reading a humongous amount of French books, and watch RDI and Radio-Canada (French news channels) all the time, so it's only a matter of time before she will integrate our slang words and expressions... but that can wait. She enjoys our foodie scene, the vibe of the city in general, the numerous activities, and the nice people that are part of the fabric and distinctive personality of Montreal, easy going and warm hearted.
You can visit Wanda's website at: http://wandavdh.wixsite.com/wandasworldwonders