In ‘Photographers Exposed’ we will get to know the people behind some of the most amazing photos. In our 10th edition, we feature the photographer who was tagging along with Hardwell in 2014: Joep van Aert

First of all, thanks for featuring me on, feels awesome being in this list with all “the big boys (and girls)”. Let’s get on with it.
Who? Joep van Aert, 26 years old.
Job?  I’m a professional photographer who specializes in music and (other) performing arts.
Years of experience? I’ve been taking pictures for 5-6 years now but i’ve only fully dedicated my life to photography since one and a half year now. I actually finished acting school 2-3 years ago.
Hobbies? I used to be a BIG gamer, haha. But Photography really is my main hobby, I love wandering the streets in my free time, armed with a Fuji XE2 as my perfect kit for street photography. Besides that, I love to travel, meet new people. Oh! I also work festivals a lot, not as a photographer but for the organization of the bars and such, still love that.
Favorite Quote? It’s too bad quotes always tend to get a bit cliché, but one of my favorite photography quotes definitely is this one by (war photographer) Robert Capa: “If your picture is not good enough, you’re not close enough.”


What was your first gig as a photographer? Hmm, I guess my first kind of serious gig was for a website similar to, I got free tickets and some drink-vouchers to shoot Solar Music festival. Haha, I remember I loved the festival so much that I decided to party and drink all out for two days and just take loads of pictures the third day. I wouldn’t do that anymore now though 😉

What’s the most beautiful location you’ve visited for your work? Pff, that’s a tough one, i’ve visited so many awesome places for Hardwell in the last year already but i’m always quite skeptical because I get so caught up in work that I hardly get to see and enjoy the places where I go. There have been awesome spots like Miami Ultra, EDC-Vegas, Ibiza and Madison Square Garden New York. But one place that isn’t necessarily the most beautiful, but most memorable for me is Boston. During the two week North-America tour with Hardwell, Dannic and Dyro we we’re going from city-to-city by tourbus on a daily basis. The morning after a show in Boston we had a little time off before we went on with the bus. I went out of the hotel to grab a cup of coffee in a local coffee bar and I actually had the chance to walk through the city park and get a little view of the city. I loved it, that was a great experience.

Which gallery makes you proud the most? Ohh, thats my album i shot for Alda events with I am Hardwell in Antwerp. Everything came together there. The crowd was a blast, the place was packed, i’ve never seen Robbert so energetic and everyone was there. From his hometown to fans from far places. I captured it exactly as how I remember experiencing the night. It’s a mixed album, check it out here: Gallery


What is the craziest thing your lens has seen, but shouldn’t be visible for the outside world?
My work is boring, I really never get to see any crazy things in front of my lens. (0)(0)


What is the most memorable thing that happened during your work? Haha, i’m starting to think all of my answers should have been more epic, like crazy stuff happening all the time, but I guess it’s the times when i’m shooting a show and I get all hyped up and all in the vibe of the show and in between shots there’s these split moments that I suddenly get caught by the feeling of the show. I get this big grin on my face, start dancing a bit while shooting and I’m totally overwhelmed by everything thats happening. Actually I think that after those moments is when I take my best shots. But I guess another cool thing was in Vegas when I got a ride to the Airport in a Rolls Royce Phantom because all of the other (regular) cars were out driving around other people. Haha, felt like a true king then.


If you have to choose one favorite lens, which one would it be? For shooting shows it’s definitely the Tamron 70-200 f2.8, I used to use first party lenses only, but I tried this lens and was sold right away. Its so fast, sharp, well build and the price is half of what a Nikon or Canon equivalent would cost.  As a travel kit I choose the Fuji X-system above everything though. I use the XE2 with a 27mm fujinon, this camera and lens goe with me everywhere, this combo actually just fits right into my pocket and the quality easily holds up to all full frame cameras during daytime shooting.


Show us three of your favorite photos and tell us a little about it. Why are these photos so special for you?  I’ll start with this one. I can’t check the settings cause I’m on a job for a week without my hard drives but I do remember this was shot at 1/60, probably on iso200 with a 35mm1.8 lens. I actually shot this with my first (crop sensor) camera, a Nikon D60.  The reason why I chose this one is because it’s the pic that really got me into photography. I was traveling through Asia for three months and I shot this on one of my first days in Bangkok. It was really hot and humid, this bus drove by and the girl caught my eye. I took the shot and when I lowered my camera the bus and the girl were already gone, only to exist in my photo forever.. How romantic right? 😉

This one! Well this one! I was in Lissabon with Hardwell and the crowd was buzzing unlike anything i’d ever seen before, everyone was going NUTS before the show had even started. Robbert was setting up his decks during the intro and I thought, o-my-god if only the people would see that he’s sitting behind the booth doing this now, if they’d get a glimpse of him, they’d go crazy. This was that exact moment. I also get back from a lot of followers that this is their favorite picture. Im not sure about the settings but I think it was done on iso 6400 – 1/100 f2.8 shot with the Nikon D600 and the Tamron 24-70.

Another Black and White one? Ahh well, i figured you can already see loads of color/pyro/firework shots on my Facebook or website. Yeah, I love black and white, I think there’s to little of it in show photography. Of corse there’s lots of color, light, fireworks and pyro and its great to use color for that. But when shooting people or specific moments I tend to prefer black and white some times. It makes it more intimate and I personally get distracted less from the subject. I shot this on the North America tour with Hardwell, Dannic and Dyro.

I was shooting Dyro, he’s always into his own zone when he’s in the booth and I really wanted to get up close and personal with him. I kind of sneaked up on him holding my camera to my eye. The minute I thought I had a shot, he kind of looked back as if he’d already knew i was there all the time (he probably did). He gave me this look and it became one of my favorite shots from the tour. It looks like it was made in the studio, but this was during a full on gig with a couple of thousand people going crazy.