January 10, 2018

In 2012 we lived in Oman. I think it was not long before our move to Moscow when I took this picture.

I remember talking to Lynne one day at the dressmaker about pregnancies. We were having dresses made probably for some kind of party. She had two girls and was pregnant with her third child or was thinking about it.

We have two girls and a boy and I remember talking about if you would like to know the sex before the birth. And if a boy after two girls was different than a third girl. We lived in the same street in Oman. But I think I took these photos while we lived already in our temporary home on Al Huwaisa and probably our container was packed or about to be packed.

That is what photos are doing to you. It brings up memories. This morning this photo showed up in my Facebook feed. I remember when I took it I wanted to make an image that would show protection, a family bond, parents who are there for their children, siblings close together, who are there for each other, the bond between husband and wife, you are in it together, you lend each other the helping hand, the beautiful beach in Oman, the love they have for each other. This is what family is about for me.

I hope you still treasure this image Lynne, I still do.


January 07, 2018

When I was young I modelled for Goldwell. We traveled to Germany and were models for the new hair colors and hair trends of that year. I was told they would make me blond. Ok. No problem. I always liked dying my hair different colors. Sometimes I colored just my fringe, sometimes I became a redhead. As my mother said, never a dull moment.

From a long, long time ago

But something has changed. The first grey hairs show themselves. So coloring my hair is becoming something else than just fun. And I feel I have to make a decision. Will I color my hair because of the grey hairs that are starting to show? Or will I leave it as is?

When we lived in Oman, our neighbor (about the same age) said she would embrace her gray hair from the beginning, and she did. And it suits her.

For now, I decided to dye them myself. But strolling over the internet I saw that the grey hair trend is a trend.

This trend unravels through a variety of dye jobs, such as solid grey, grey ombre, grey balayage etc. These hair color ideas are for young girls and brave guys. I read that the riskiest age for trying gray hair is around 35, because you may really look older than you are. If you are over 40 and you want to embrace your gray hair and enhance it, you can also rock the trend beautifully. Well, I am nearly 50, so maybe I can rock it too?


Grey is the new blonde!

pinterest (source not found)

In order to go grey you have to pre-lighten the hair to a clean white blonde and then tone with a personalised grey mix tone. So it is not so easy as I thought.

I also learned that the main problem with grey hair is dryness. And when you color it, it is going to be even drier. And another problem with grey hair is you can look washed out. So make-up (even just lipstick) and some color in your clothes become more important. And some say; Be aware of your jewelry, too: “Your metal color will definitely now be silver rather than yellow gold or rose gold.”

So the question remains: what will you do, go grey, keep colouring or go and embrace the new grey trend? To be continued as I was looking at images of these grey hair trends, my daughter said; very nice Mom, but not for you.

January 06, 2018

First of all, I want to wish everyone an amazing 2018. May your dreams & wishes come true.

Around 4.30 am I did not feel so well. To be completely honest, I had to throw up. Not the story you want to hear right. I know! It was not because of too much to drink. It was just a result of bad eating habits in December. I just love peppernoten and oliebollen (a Dutch treat). And it was then when I knew it was time to get back on track (well, I knew it for some time already, but anyways).

Back to the healthier days. In 2012 when we lived in Moscow I started a raw diet (fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds nothing heated above 42 degrees Celsius) and it was really good for me. I am diagnosed with Crohn’s disease so tummy pains were part of my life. But on the raw diet I was fine. I was able to maintain it in Dubai but when we moved back to the Netherlands it became harder. Maybe it was because of the Dutch food that was available again. Or maybe because of my husband still lived in Iraq and I took care for our children mostly by myself and on top I was moving my photography business to the Netherlands. The daily tasks like taking care of the house, the kids and everything else took over.

I did not plan to start this new regime of the first on January. In fact, everyone who knows me, know I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I think you can start something new every day.  But for some reason life chose the 1st of January.

Why is it so hard to give up sugar and white flour?

I decided to do it (again) not as a diet but as a life style;

  • Stop drinking alcohol (till the end of January)
  • No white sugar (fruit sugar from fruits, maple syrup, dates are fine for me)
  • To stop eating bread and other white carbs like rice or pasta (oats are fine for me)
  • And to focus on fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.


My go to recipe is:

2 bananas smashed
1 cup of oats
pinch of salt
1 table spoon of all spices/ speculaaskruiden/koekkruiden
a splash of vanilla extract
and then I vary:

a few walnuts
2 parts of 70% chocolate cut in small pieces
some raisins

or anything on this spectrum that I like

The temperature of the oven is between 150 and 175 degrees Celsius for 20 min (so it is not raw as it is heated above the 42 degrees.)

It gets me through the day easily. It is my breakfast, lunch, and my in-between.

Another one is a nice smoothie like:

1 banana
handful of (frozen) blue berries
a scoop of maca
1 cup or so of oats milk or almond milk

Mix it and I drink it with a glass straw (let’s spare our environment). You can buy them here

And I must say, on day 2 I had a bit of a headache. I am sure it was the withdraw (detox)  of the sugar. But I don’t have a lot of cravings.

By the way another inspiration for recipes are the books by: Amber Alberda and Rens Kroes. And if you have any tips or questions, please let me know! 



December 28, 2017

As you can see I did not a good job at keeping this blog updated. For some reason it was so much easier to ‘just’ post to facebook. But I have plans to change that ;-). For now I leave you with a quick run through 2017.

July 09, 2017










I studied Art History at the University of Leiden. So when Maundy (one of our Fireball photographers) suggesting to take the Painter John Singer Sargent as an inspiration for our next project I was excited.

John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American artist, considered the “leading portrait painter of his generation”. His parents were American, but he was trained in Paris prior to moving to London. Sargent enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter, although not without controversy and some critical reservation; an early submission to the Paris Salon, his Portrait of Madame X, was intended to consolidate his position as a society painter, but it resulted in scandal instead. From the beginning his work was characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality.

The idea was to create 3 images. I used his Madame X painting as my main inspiration. And then I created 2 images inspired on his paintings in general. Take a look at www.firiballphotographers.com so see other fireballers work.

Singrid contacted me as she was in the process of updating her website. We talked about how the new website will look and what kind of images were needed for which pages. We talked about background colour, what to wear etc.

Singrid is a creative, kind, cheerful, energetic, lot’s of ideas business woman. So we wanted to show that in the images too. And as she designs all kind of things it would be nice if some were in the images (like the lamp). We had lot’s of fun during the shoot, bouncing off ideas, trying things out. And….tadaa they are on her website now.

hildevandersterrenphotography hildevandersterrenphotography

June 17, 2017

Let’s face it… in 2017 everyone is visible online. With facebook/Instagram/Snapchat etc. there is not escape… well, almost not escape. If you add a job (& LinkedIn) to that, and you need to have online presence.

And there personal branding/Headshots steps in. How do you want to be visible online? Especially if you have your own company. We will talk about what are your colours. What background colour would work best? Light colour or dark? How does your website look? What mood? What combines it all?

Jorinde is a coach. She is in the early stages of making her website. We talked about how she wanted to come across. What will attract clients to book with her. We looked at some images together to determine the look she wants. We studied some websites to see what her colleagues have and what she liked and do not like.

These are some of the images of our session she chose.

Hilde van der Sterren photography

Hilde van der Sterren photography

Hair & Make-up: Hilde van der Sterren 


April 13, 2017

To all the Mothers out there….

April 12, 2017

It was so cold in this old beautiful mansion. Picture, a group of international photographers friends working on a collaboration. It was magical. Creativity beats the cold. Meet Wendy. She is the girl with super power. She has a very successful studio in Belgium. A creative soul. Wendy is very enthusiastic and knows how to make you feel special. She has a very supportive husband and three lovely children. Oh and don’t forget Miss Diva….eehhh Stella 😉