This serie is about well dressed kids who seem to live in an decade some time before ours.
Mostly they are emotionless with hint of melancholy, put into a scenery that often feels different. Out there. Those kids could look happy, the way they are dressed… they are not unhealthy, not poor. But they feel differently and moody. I havent had the chance to ask them, because they live in another dimension than we do.
For all shots we start with location and then use color-scheme to determine styling. The styling always has a retro vibe to make this images feel like they are really from some other time.I mostly cast girls who have experience with modeling, because of their knowledge it makes it easier to direct them. Also developing & scanning I do myself. So I really control these shoots from A to Z.
At this point the series Happy Kids is on-going. But I am preparing a second series which will take place in that same dimension but with 40-45+years women; project-titled A Mother like no-other.
About De Westelinck Smith
On March 3 – 1983 I was born at Antwerpen, Belgium. During my childhood and education I never really got in touch with any form of art. But I definitely was a kid with a great sense of imagination and fantasy. And I think I never really lost that feeling. It was much later during my life I discovered photography. I really enjoy movies and especially those with beautiful and interesting cinematography and narrative. Inspiration can come from music, movies, photography but just a location alone can be so inspiring, I immediately can visualize an entire scene happening.
Photography at first was very commercial for me. I started out in nightlife scene as a photographer in clubs. Weddings, concerts, festivals, events,… I did it all. It was only since the last two or three years that I felt I really needed to change my style. So it was then when I was thinking about portraits using narrative build with composition, styling, location, color schemes and so on. And it really took form when I decided to start shooting with a 4X5 large format analog camera. Using a large format camera really has learned me to take my time with each shot to make sure each detail is right there where it should be. [Official Website]