15 of my favorite photos I made 2019 and the stories behind them.
Updated: May 9
As an event photographer I love creating memories for people and telling visual stories through my photography. Looking back om 2019, I’ve had the privilege to attend some amazing places and be part of some awesome events where I was able to do what I love. For me the month December is not just a time to celebrate holidays with friends and family, but also a time to look back at the past year and be great-full for all the chances that where presented to me. In this blog post I would love to share with you some of the stories behind some of my favorite photos I made in 2019.
1. Tiesto at Tomorrowland: our story during ADE.
It was very crowded in the Ziggo Dome during Tiesto's performance. But luckily I made some friends so I could stand at the perfect spot for this shot. I always listen to the music and wait for the drop of the song when standing in the crowd. This moment, and a little bit of luck, made sure this photo turned out the way it did. I'm very happy for the fact that all the right elements for the perfect party picture came together: the DJ with his hands in the air, SFX, in this case the fireworks, the right lighting, and the crowd throwing hands in the air.
2. Japanese temple at night.
One of my most memorable trips in 2019 was my assignment in Japan. I had the privilege of joining a company for an outing to this amazing country. During this night out we all got dressed in Kimonos and had to walk to a restaurant. We spotted this temple during our walk and I couldn't resist taking this photo. I've also made a video about this experience which you can view here.
3. Dancing couple at sunset during Magic Break festival.
I love it when a photo works out perfectly. During Magic Break festival I saw a couple who clearly was having fun and had a good interaction with each other. I knew this couple would be probably be willing to help me with this photo idea. So I asked them to dance in between the sun and me. I had to keep positioning myself really well in order for the sun to shine through the silhouette of the couple. And with a bit of luck this worked out fine. They were really happy to see the result of the picture. One of the reasons I became a photographer is to make unforgettable memories for people. So their reaction really made my day. You can view their reaction in the video I've made during this assignment at 5:41 seconds.
4. Dramatic sunset at one of the great pyramids in Giza, Cairo Egypt.
During a trip in Egypt I booked a hotel with a nice view on the pyramids. During the sunset this amazing view occurred. Having been able to shoot one of the seven wonders of the world from this position with this background is something I feel really happy about.
5. Ersin Ali during Magic Break in April
I love the summery festival vibe that this photo brings. During the 2018 edition of Magic Break the background of the stage was dark, this year they choose for a white background which reflected the light perfectly on the back of the DJ.
6. Our king during the opening of the ROC Midden Nederland Tech Campus
One of my biggest blunders in 2019 was ripping my pants just 30 minutes before I had to start shooting an event where our king would attend. When I felt that there was a hole in my pants, my first reaction was to freak out a bit. It was pretty big, but luckily for me it was in a spot that was not really noticeable. But I know that freaking out wouldn't be productive for the shoot. So instead I said to myself, relax, just enjoy the shoot, this will probably be a funny story for you friends later to tell. This helped me get more control over the situation and after that everything turned out fine, nobody noticed, I was able to keep my focus on the shoot with this being one of the images as the result.
7. The skyline of Tel Aviv in Israel
I took this long exposure photo from a neighbouring building at a sky bar. The windows at this bar were a bit dirty so I picked the cleanest spot to shoot this photo. I love how this photo reflects the bustling city.
8. Blue Lagoon - Nusa Lemongang in Indonesia.
I got a tip from a friend to go and check out the Blue Lagoon on Nusa Lemongang. He said it was the bluest water he had ever seen. And he hadn’t lied. Lucky our hotel was very close to this spectacular lagoon. So it was very easy to time our arrival during sunset. This photo is actually composed out of 6 different photos. I shot 2 different compositions on bracketing mode. This is called a HDR panorama. Which resulted in the following image.
9. Egyptian people on the street
Another image from my trip to Egypt. I shot this image from a driving car when I went back to my hotel from a day trip. It was a lucky shot. I love the fact that everybody seems to be moving in a different direction which gives the photo a bit of a chaotic vibe. And the positioning of the people in the picture almost came out perfect.
10. Sumo wrestling in Tokyo.
Another photo from my trip to Japan. I was lucky enough that a big sumo wrestling event was happening during the 6 days I visited Japan. Because these kind of events don't happen very often. I'm very happy with the timing of this photo. The flash of my unknown colleague photographer gives the picture an extra effect. And also I love that you can really see both wrestlers struggling to become the winner of this match. In order to take this photo I had to sit in the aisle and wait for the right moment. Afterwards I read somewhere that Japanese people don't like tourists who go to sumo matches and don't sit in their own seats. This gave me a bit of an embarrassing feeling, but it was probably still worth it. :)
11. Summer vibes at Park Lepelenburg in Utrecht.
Shot during one of my favorite food truck festivals Lepeltje Lepeletje in my hometown Utrecht. I loved how the sun was coming through the tree and while taking the photo, I was fully focused on the right composition. I didn't really notice that the people in the foreground were watching me taking this photo until they started laughing. When I became aware of this, I quickly changed the composition to include them in the photo. And I'm glad I did, because it gives an extra warm feeling to this sunny park pick nick pic.
12. DenQon 1 festival.
It was my first time visiting DefQon 1 festival. A festival I really wanted to be because I heard great stories about it. I was booked by a live-streaming camera brand to shoot content for their website. This took place in a tent on the other side of the festival terrain. When I was done with this assignment, I couldn't help myself to visit the outdoor MainStage. I took some shots of the MainStage, but nothing really epic happened. When I decided to go back home I heard the MC saying "Get ready for the official DefQon 1 Anthem". This was a sign for me to know that there were probably going to be some SXF effects so I started walking to find the perfect spot in case this was going to happen. When I came there I saw Joey Timmer, another photographer who was shooting on behalf of DefQon 1 festival. He was probably thinking the same way, because he was already standing at the perfect spot. I still wanted to try and take the photo, but more important for me was not to disturb him from taking his picture. So I made sure I kept some distance. You can still see his camera strap in the left side of the picture.
13. Friends drinking a beer at a foodtruck festival.
One of the things I love most about photography is to be able to create visual stories of situations. A good photo tells a story without needing explanation. The following photo does that. It's a simple story, but it shows one of the life experiences I love doing most: drinking a beer with friends and having a laugh.
14. Mr Belt and Wezol at Mysteryland festival.
I joined my friends to Mysteryland festival where they performed on the camping stage. It wasn’t very crowded in the tent when we arrived. This was because it was a beautiful and sunny day. But when they started performing, more people started to join. Halfway, I noticed that the sun was setting more and more. During one of their drops the confetti and CO2 canons started blowing, this in combination with the sunset and the crowd going wild, made this moment perfect for me as an event photographer. In the video below you can view how this awesome assignment.
15. Girls laughing at festival.
During Duikboot festival I spotted a group of girls who were asking somebody to take their group photo. Taking photos of people who are going on a photo by somebody else can be a great way to take a (sort of) candid shot of people. I think this worked out perfectly for this picture. When the group picture was done somebody said something funny which made all the girls laugh. Which resulted into a photo with genuine laughter and happiness.
Info about the author
Hi, my name is Michiel Ton. I am a professional Business and event photographer from the Netherlands with loads of experience in covering business events and dance / music festivals. In addition to being a full time photographer, I am also a graduate as a teacher in social science. I have passion for creating unforgettable memories through my photography.
My social media channels for more of my photography stories.