What do you define yourself as?

My full name is Pip Elisa Maarschalk and I am 19 years old. I am currently studying at the Grafisch Lyceum in Rotterdam and I’m studying photography. I am currently building up my portfolio so that when I go into the wide world, I have a good basis to show what I’m capable of.

What is your work about?

 I would describe my work as docu processed in an editorial jacket. I always have a small concept before I take pictures. I hardly work with big concepts because I think that this will limit my vision at the moment itself. I like to work through my Intuition because it has not let me down yet. I also always work with people I have never met before the shoot. There is also a piece of me in every photo. In the beginning I made dark portraits because I was not feeling well at that time and a lot happened in my life at that moment. I can also express myself very well through photography and it is very healing for me. A kind of therapy. I also want to convey a certain feeling to the viewer. Not just to look at how beautiful the model looks. I think it's more interesting if you show more than just a beautiful portrait.

I also think it's super important that everyone accepts each other for the choices that people want to make. Even if it is not your choice. That's why, for example, I put down a portrait of a Muslim woman next to that of a girl who later wants to become a porn star. Two totally different worlds but both not necessarily right and wrong. It is also safe to think in boxes, but I think that's a shame. Because people are more than boxes and often you don't even know the story behind that person. You also limit yourself if you start thinking in boxes. I also want to show that both perfection and imperfection does not exist. It is just as it is and there is an image created by the media that is blindly followed by all teenagers / people. Which makes you think in boxes with people who fall outside of it.

How do you arrange models, and on what basis do you select them for a specific photo?

I find my models either through social media or through acquaintances of mine. On the street I have often asked people if they would like to stand in front of my camera sometime. I photograph as many different people as possible because I myself can learn something from everyone and I can photograph everyone differently.

Do you take control in your own hands?

I am very happy to take control of everything and to take matters into my own hands. I really love working together except when I’m photographing. I want to make it completely my own. The shot, styling, choosing models and editing. Something that comes entirely from myself.

Which projects have you always remembered and why?

Every project had something special and a different feeling. One project that stands out for me are the 20 'gingers' that I have photographed and arranged 2 days in advance. Even the models with vitiligo, burns, albinism or a certain 'deviation' were also quite an experience for me in the beginning. Also, my first nude shoot that I did was all very new and exciting. But you grow over certain things so quickly and you always want to go one step higher. You want to make it as challenging as possible for yourself.

How did you start photographing? Is it something you have done since your childhood or is there a special reason for it?

I started photographing on my 11th birthday. I bought my first camera after that. I started by photographing nature. I especially liked animals and colorful plants. I found myself in a new class in school and soon asked if a friend wanted to model for me. I liked this so much that I asked her to stand in front of my camera almost every week. I didn't know anything about aperture etc. yet. Just automatic mode on my camera and go. When I finished high school, I really wanted to do photography, but I was too late to register for the school where I wanted to study. I did a year CIOS {sports training} to see if that would be something for me. After the first few weeks I already knew that I was not in the right place and I immediately registered for the Grafisch Lyceum in Rotterdam. I am currently in my third year and will probably want to study even further in photography.

You work both analogue and digital, what is the difference in look and feel and is there also a difference in how it works?

I work a lot digitally, but I also enjoy analogue photography. Analogue requires more patience and it is exciting because you do not know how the photo will develop. I own an analog camera but actually use a lot of Hema disposable cameras. I also use my FujiXT2 for my digital shots.  I find the look of this camera very vintage / retro looking, and I can switch quickly during the shoot.

Do you mainly do 'free / autonomous' work or' work on assignment / for a client?

At the moment I am still a student and I have not received many projects for companies. Coincidentally 3 meetings next week to discuss a few upcoming shoots. But I mainly work for my portfolio at the moment. I also want to make creative work later on, not too commercial. I hope to see my work sometime later hanging in museums, posters or certain magazines.

I think I'll never stop taking pictures. I have the feeling that I just started, and many special subjects are coming my way.