Martijn Roos / Fotograaf

Geef alles wat je hebt en probeer iedere dag een klein stapje dichterbij je droom te komen. Niets gaat vanzelf en niet alles komt je ineens aanwaaien.
— Martijn Roos

Martijn Roos, 26.
Ik hou van surfen, of eigenlijk alles wat met zee en strand te maken heeft. Je kunt me vaak doordeweeks op het strand vinden. Daarnaast fotografeer ik ca. 20 bruiloften per jaar in de weekenden. Verder probeer ik veel tijd vrij te maken voor ontspanning en sta ik graag in de keuken. Wat ik ook doe, het is voor mij belangrijk dat ik ’s avonds met een glimlach terug kan kijken op de dag; wat er ook is gebeurd, ik wil altijd dankbaar blijven voor het feit dat ik mag leven. 

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Wat wilde je vroeger worden? 
Ik ben hier eigenlijk nooit echt mee bezig geweest. Ik had nooit gedacht dat ik een eigen onderneming zou hebben op deze leeftijd, en toch is het zo gelopen. 

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Heb je een levensmantra? En wanneer pas je die toe? 
‘Work hard, play hard’. Iedere dag probeer ik werk en ontspanning in balans te houden, maar ook op bijvoorbeeld jaarbasis, door enkele maanden niet of nauwelijks te werken, omdat de zomermaanden best druk kunnen zijn. 

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Wat zou je jonge mensen mee willen geven die een eigen bedrijf willen starten?
Geef alles wat je hebt en probeer iedere dag een klein stapje dichterbij je droom te komen. Niets gaat vanzelf en niet alles komt je ineens aanwaaien. Door iedere dag een kleine stap te zetten is je vooruitgang veel stabieler en zekerder. Als je alles gegeven hebt en het resultaat is nog niet naar tevredenheid, dan kun je hier een les van leren, zonder zelf spijt te hebben. 

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Hoe ervaar je het vele reizen voor je werk? Wat is je favoriete bestemming en waarom? 
Ik hou ervan om mijzelf in nieuwe, soms moeilijke situaties te brengen, omdat ik op die manier mijzelf veel beter kan leren kennen, en heb leren kennen. Daarnaast kom ik door mijn werk op plekken waar ik anders nooit terecht zou zijn gekomen. Het fotograferen van bruiloften in het buitenland is voor mij mooie combinatie tussen werk en ontspanning. Ik boek altijd een paar dagen extra vakantie rondom een bruiloft in het buitenland, en gebruik die dagen om van de omgeving te genieten en de locatie(s) te verkennen. Het is niet makkelijk om een favoriete bestemming aan te geven, maar ik ben het meest te vinden in Schotland, Marokko en Zuid Afrika. 

Waar ben je het meest trots op als het op werkgebied aankomt? 
Toen ik vorig jaar werd uitgeroepen tot één van de dertig Rising Stars door Rangefinder Magazine voelde ik me voor het eerst echt trots, ook al vind ik het nog steeds een bizar idee dat ik op die lijst mocht staan. Vooral ben ik gewoon heel blij en dankbaar dat ik zo’n gelukkig leven heb op dit moment, mede doordat ik mezelf in de laatste jaren ontwikkeld heb als fotograaf. 

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Waarom is het je gelukt om fulltime fotograaf te worden? 
Vroeger heb ik veel natuurfoto’s gemaakt, en daardoor heb ik mijn camera beter onder de knie gekregen. Ik ben tijdens mijn studie Psychologie begonnen met betaalde opdrachten, en tijdens mijn Master was ik al bijna fulltime fotograaf. Toen ik mijn master afrondde kon ik eigenlijk direct doorwerken als fotograaf, en dat heb ik toen ook gedaan. Ik moet wel zeggen dat ik dit werk eerder als seizoenswerk zie, dan als een fulltime baan. Van november tot begin juni ben ik vooral op reis, meestal op zoek naar mooie plekken om te surfen. In de zomermaanden is vervolgens wel heel druk, en werk ik zowel doordeweeks als in de weekenden. 

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Waar droom je nog van? (op werkgebied)
Ik ben steeds meer bezig met het fotograferen van kleine, meer intieme bruiloften, soms zelfs helemaal zonder gasten. Ik zou dit in de toekomst steeds meer willen doen. Ook ben ik bezig om te ontdekken of ik meer workshops wil gaan doen, en ook zelf te organiseren. Een andere droom is het fotograferen van een bruiloft in een volledig andere, niet Westerse cultuur.

Surf foto’s door: Thomas Roos
Overige fotografie: Martijn Roos


Travel, Interview

Navigate on Trust: On the Road

FENJA SEPERS
Design Researcher, Adventurer & Founder PERK Amsterdam

Living in the moment, following the road into the unknown, letting their intuition be their guide and using their hearts as a compass.


Our meeting in Amsterdam…

I had been intrigued by Fenja’s instagram account ‘Navigate on Trust’. It’s one of those cases that I don’t remember how I can came across it. The images were stunning and I checked out the accompanying blog and it really spoke to me. Their way of life centred on trying to create a free life with greater meaning, with more depth, intensity and focus. Love, growth, purpose, friendship and giving are key themes.

It was about, not making change too complicated but just beginning. She wrote of adventures in South America with El Verde, a lime-green ’71 VW bus, with Navigate on Trust as the motto, and the plan was to have no plan.

I really wanted to hear more from Fenja. A while back I met her at the trendy Volkshotel in Amsterdam (when she back in town for a short while). While in the Netherlands she missed the sun, the ocean, the vast spaces and being barefoot in the sand. As a New Zealander I can really relate.

We chatted away with Bob Marley in the background. A conversation all about her philosophy, mindset and her new concept of home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where the journey began…

A little over four years ago, Fenja fell in love with Roberto on the shore of the blue Ecuadorian ocean. A year after they met, they decided to start a new journey together, a life experiment. She explains that it was not only love at first sight, but that a cross-pollination arose that changed their lives forever. It fortified their longing to lead a different life than what most modern societies demand.

“We had no real savings and no particular destination in mind – only the intention and desire to be together, connect and share with people, encounter new ideas, insights, and worldviews. It meant detaching from physical and material things as much as possible, and embracing uncertainty to the fullest – giving up our attachment to specific results and letting the universe handle the details.”

They travelled 8,000 km’s along the ecuadorian coast and the atlantic seaside of Uruguay. The slow-living philosophy was adopted as el verde’s has a maximum speed of 80 km/h. The beautiful thing that Fenja explained to me, they learned that every problem turns out to be an opportunity—a gift in disguise. They met new people when their car broke down and when they had empty wallets they did many different things to earn money: graphic and interior design, work for a production company, surf training (Roberto), working in a small shop and so forth. When they lost their route they discovered amazing new places. They explored the art of living and worked on creating true connections and with a growing knowledge of their inner selves they felt more at ease. The legacy their journey changed course as Roberto, Fenja’s biggest love passed away in december of last year, after battling an illness for a number of months. He was not only her greatest teacher, but a teacher to many. Someone that never gave unrequested advice, a wise man beyond his years, someone that touched many people. Fenja met him when he was sleeping by the ocean in a tent with just his surfboard. A man that truly embraced life.

Fenja explains to me, that his passing will be the ultimate challenge of the philosophy they lived together. The idea of letting go and having trust in the things to come. She will continue to navigate on trust, and try to understand, investigate, and live it in an even more profound way, whilst dedicating all the good things to him.

Interview

From Frustration to Entrepreneurial Beginnings

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MARIETTE RUGGENBERG (28)
Social Entrepreneur | De Upstarter
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Our Meeting in the Amsterdam
At the end of December I took the ferry from Amsterdam Central Station to De Upstarter office where I met with co-founder Mariette. Together with a core team of three women she works to minimize unemployment under university graduates. De Upstarter offers special programs with a focus on personal development and work experience, to help kick-start great careers. To help young people get ahead, they teach the important things that universities don’t.

I came in contact with her after having followed her business online for a while. Nina, the young author I interviewed for my ‘30 Cups of Tea – The Job Hunt Project’ mentioned Mariette’s business in one of her Facebook updates once and I have been happily following their progress for the past months.

After reading another one of Mariette’s great newsletter blogs, I replied with a request for a coffee date to chat about her business and a possible collaboration. In 2016 I will be investing more time in Camp Bluff and what we aim to achieve as a platform aligns so well with De Upstarter’s mission.

In their cosy co-working space in Amsterdam, we chatted about the current education system, her international dreams, our Creative Director ambitions and our shared love for brainstorm sessions, creation and networking. It was like talking to an older me, and this young woman jumps out of bed (nearly) every morning to go to work… so I listened very closely to what she had to say.

From Frustration to Entrepreneurial Beginnings 
Mariette started out as a teacher. She finished her degree at a young age and was able to get work straight out of university. She worked in education for seven years when she decided she wanted to change things up. Mariette disagreed strongly with the current form of traditional education and saw a great need to improve the ‘product’ that universities deliver.

Handing in her resignation came with a three months notice, as she had a fixed contract. This gave her the time to start applying for jobs before her steady income would disappear. The money she had initially put outside for a deposit on a first home got a new purpose, the financial buffer to create her own business within six months. During the summer months she experimented with workshops to test her material. Below she explains what her motives were to start her own social enterprise. 

“Many graduates are ill-prepared for the current workforce! I see three reasons for this: there is not enough room for gaining practical experience and working in teams, the learning methods are ineffective and lastly there is too much focus on just knowledge.”

“I felt limited as a traditional teacher, I couldn’t design my lessons in alignment with my beliefs. I don’t necessarily think the Dutch educational system is all bad, but there is a great room for improvement and innovation.”

“With De Upstarter I designed an innovative educational programme. My method certainly won’t work for everyone because some students benefit from traditional forms of teaching. And that is fine! I do this work, to help people like me, who feel like there wasn’t enough room for talent discovery and personal development.” 

Practical Experience & Teamwork
Mariette is a big advocate for experiential learning and group work. She sees a great value in learning by doing, taking ownership, making mistakes, exchanging perspectives as well as feedback with team members. “Within some university programmes, ‘group work’ often consists of little real collaboration. Students work on separate tasks alongside each other but they are not stimulated to exchange points of view and really work together. It’s more like toddlers playing next to each other in a sandpit, making their own sandcastles. The benefits of group work are not fully experienced.”

Ineffective Learning Methods
She expresses her frustration about the ‘one-size fits all’ model that is still prevalent in many educational institutions. According to her, there is also little time spent on self-discovery and personal development. Mariette sees a strong need to help students discover what their learning styles are because everyone learns in a different way. “When you know what works for you, what your strengths are, with which assignments you excel and how you deal with setbacks, you can start to activate your talents and make effective use of them!”

Too Much Focus on Knowledge
Mariette sees knowledge as a means to reach a goal but not as a goal in itself. She explains that Google has more knowledge than any teacher but that teachers are very valuable as they can help students apply their newly gained insights in a practical sense. 

Getting Connected 
During her last two years as a teacher, she worked part-time as a job coach. Several people had recommended she get to know Jorinde, a marketeer, who had similar ideas on education and talent development. Jorinde and Mariette bonded like their colleagues had suggested, one lunch date led to another and De Upstarter was born…after a bold phone call from Mariette to Jorinde, convincing her to give this venture a go.

In the start-up phase Mariette lived off her savings while Jorinde worked 60-70 hour weeks, combing two jobs. They got things off the ground within three months, organizing their first program for newly grads with success.

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De Upstarter 1st birthday party

“In the beginning it is obviously difficult as you don’t yet have a name for yourself, you have to work to get good references from participants as well as from companies that offer work placements for the newly grads.

“But now, 15 months down the track, we are really getting a foot in the door. On the 11th of January, one hundred newly grads will start with an innovative nine month educational programme. It’s called the B. Startup School Amsterdam, a school where you learn relevant skills for today’s job market. This initiative is a collaboration between us, the Amsterdam Economic Board, B. Amsterdam and Man Power. Being able to take work on a project like this, shows that our hard work has really paid off!”

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Italy | The Summer edition of the biannual training programme trip

 Dreams for the Future
“I would love for De Upstarter to become an internationally renowned institute, so we could help even more people. Having offices in Berlin and New York for example, would be fantastic! But first, my focus lies in gaining more ground within the Dutch market. Part of that is, making sure the B. Startup School Amsterdam is a success as well as our very own Content Academy that will launch on the 11th of April.”

“Besides this, I have the ambition to gain a Creative Director position within the B. Startup School Amsterdam, to be able to increase the collaborations between the students of the various programs.”

What did I take away from this meeting?

  1. That it is so wonderful to meet with someone that radiates, exudes energy and that has so much passion for her job

  2. If you can’t find your dream job, create it

  3. Put in the work but sometimes you also need to be patient, like with surfing, paddle out but wait till the right wave comes along

  4. Put money aside because you never know what you’ll want to invest in

  5. Coffee or lunch dates can lead to exciting new business ventures

Want to know more about what De Upstarter does? Visit their website (Dutch only but they have international ambitions)

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Upstarter training | Discovering what your place is within the employment market.
(Mariette in blue)