Photo: © Marjolijn De Groot

Docu Interview: Marjolijn De Groot


1. What’s your favorite drink?

Haha… not sure… virgin mojito… white wine …cucumberwater… earl grey tea ….caipirinha it all depends on the mood and the time of day!

2. Who are you?

I am a freelance photographer.

3. Let's travel back in time... How did you get started with photography?

I started when I was fourteen, getting my best friend dressed up photographing her in all her favorite outfits. Shooting whole rolls of film which seemed very extravagant at the time!

4. Tell about your project/photo essay?

“Sororie” is an old french term for sisters, the masculin word “fratrie” is still used whereas the female version is not. This series is a chapter of my work exploring the relationship between sisters. I’m interested in the space each one takes within the family structure. This miniature society in which they evolve is intimate, complex and can be experienced as invasive. This territory they occupy and share is a fragile border that wavers between love and intrusion. The profound bond that has developed over time generates complicity and rivalry. I try to capture these emotions as I photograph them in situations that happen spontaniously as well as staged. A mixture of reportage and portraiture. My staging is always a beginning point to initiate interaction but never do I control what will happen next. That’s when I manage to seize the moments I’m interested in. I photographed the sisters in these series between 2015-2020. I chose their home, situated in the countryside, as the setting. They have lived here all their lives and thus it seemed very important to me to portray their environment. Time seems to stop and nothing changes except for them. It is an ongoing project in which I photograph different ‘sorories’

5. What is your advice for new young photographers?

Think about what you would like to say and keep that in mind when you shoot. Preparation is very important. Shoot often and SHOW your work. Feedback is a fantastic way to evolve and learn how to defend one’s point of view.

6. What is or has been your biggest struggle as a photographer?

The most difficult part is having the self discipline to work on personal stuff without a deadline. You always have an excuse to do something more urgent….

7. What is your opinion: who are currently the "thought leaders" in documentary photography/visual storytelling?

I don’t really have favorites among the photographers who’s work I love: Sebastiao Salgado, William Klein, Claudine Doury, Daïdo Moriyama, Oded Balilty, Stephan Gladieu and so many more…

8. How about the "next big names"? Name 1-3 up-and-coming photographers who are not very famous yet, but whose work everyone should check out.

9. Do you sell prints? If yes, where can people buy them?

Yes, they can! They can send me an e-mail via my website or an personal message on instagram.

10. Why did you submit your project/photo essay to Docu Magazine?

I have always navigated in a different area of photography and the documentary aspect is relatively new for me. I love a lot of the work that is posted and am thrilled to see my first longterm series among the series I admire.

BONUS: Anything else you would like to add?