Meet the Photographer: Ariel Van Straten

Photo: Courtesy of Ariel Van Straten

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I was born in New Jersey, USA, the son of a French mother and Dutch father. I moved to Israel at the age of 7. I started photographing for the newspaper “Maariv” from the age of 15. In 1989 I moved to London to pursue my career in photography. In 2006 I moved back to Israel.

I started my career as an assistant working for David Bailey for 2 years, Barry Lategan for 2 years & Corinne Day for a year, all of whom were a great influence on my work, before going out on my own in 1996. Since then I have worked extensively for Fashion and Style Magazines, Music and advertising agencies around the world. I have always had a very strong connection to my Jewish heritage and religion and during the past year I have been photographing elements of the religion that inspire him.

International Awards:

Campaign for Sony PlayStation commissioned by TBWA gained 2 golds at Creative Circle including gold for best photography, a nomination at Campaign Press and D&AD. Levi’s was nominated at Cannes and my shot for Lynx was awarded a Silver at Campaign Press, both commissioned by BBH.

In 2018 I won a silver lion at Cannes for the advertisement I shot for Gillette commissioned by Adler Chomsky Grey Tel Aviv.

How did you develop an interest in photography?

At the age of 12 I was introduced to photography by a family friend and fell in love with the format.

What was the first camera you used and what equipment do you prefer to use today?

I started with a twin reflex Yashica and today I use a Nikon Z7 mirrorless.

What do you enjoy most about photography?
Meeting people and being able to capture the things that inspire me in life. One of my greatest joys is seeing my work hanging in peoples houses.

What is your speciality?
Photographing people.

How would you describe your style?

Semi reportage, loose and natural.

Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?
One of the greatest honours I had was photographing the 70th year of Independence campaign for the Israeli government.
Coming from a home of Holocaust survivors, I felt that this was a huge victory for my parents.

Do you work with an assistant photographer?
Yes, sometimes more than one.

What advice would you give an aspiring photographer?
Follow your truth and photograph from your heart.

What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?
I am very excited about my Judaica project and hope that those images will bring the energy I felt while taking them into peoples houses. I hope that these images will help people connect and be proud of their Jewish roots and heritage.

How can our readers book you and where can they find out more about your work?

I can booked directly via my website, email, phone or social media.


Photos: Courtesy of Ariel Van Straten

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