Pieter ten Hoopen at DMJX

Yesterday, Pieter ten Hoopen gave a lecture for all DMJX photojournalism students. Pieter teaches at DMJX every term and this week he teaches our final year students.

Pieter ten Hoopen portrayed in front of one of the images from his prize winning series The Migrant Caravan. Photo: Søren Pagter.

Pieter ten Hoopen gave a very honest and educational lecture at DMJX yesterday afternoon.

Pieter admitted that he was actually a really bad photographer when he went to Nordens Fotoskole. But he continued making stories in Sweden to gain experience and through hard work he became better. Although, he was still reluctant to show his work.

After his education, Pieter worked as a staff photographer at two Swedish newspapers before he started his freelance career, where he now mixes his time between own projects, TV production and teaching.

Over the years, Pieter has worked on several short and long term projects – from five days to ten years’ project time. He encouraged the students to give themselves assignments and create their own working processes. For instance like he did with his Tokyo 7 project, where he shoot a full project by telling about seven people in seven days in Tokyo. Pieter’s motto is to “dig where you stand” meaning that you don’t have to make a project too complicated.

This year, Pieter won two prizes at World Press Photo with his project The Migrant Caravan. This project was made over five days in the south of Mexico. “I worked when the light was good – from before the sun rose till noon, then I slept and worked again in the afternoon and evening. So I worked ten days in five days”, Pieter told the students.

When the jury saw the pictures at World Press Photo, they hadn’t seen Pieter’s work from Mexico anywhere and they tried to search for it, but couldn’t find anything. “I don’t put my images out there before I’m finished with a project”, Pieter said. “I don’t want to spend my time on Instagram while I’m working on a story”.