Catching Stars

Apr. 1, 2014

Catching Stars

LOS ANGELES, April 1, 2014 - Webster University alumnus Maarten de Boer majored in special education during his time in Webster Groves. But it was photography and the photo classes he took as electives that developed into a career as a sought-out photographer of the stars. 

“At that point, it still hadn’t occurred to me that photography could have been a viable career choice,” said de Boer. “I continued to take photo classes as electives, spending more time in the dark room. It wasn’t until my final year in school that I dabbled with the idea of pursuing photography.”

Not only has de Boer found a way to turn his love for photography into a career, he’s developed a successful business in Los Angeles with a strong portfolio of celebrity portraits.

“My first real job where I was shooting famous people was a music press junket I shot back in 2008,” said de Boer. “I remember Fall Out Boy stopping by and at that time they were the biggest names that I had shot.”

Since that day, de Boer has taken photos of a number of Hollywood’s “A list” including Ewan McGregor, Kevin Bacon, Zooey Deschanel, Bryan Cranston, Gary Oldman, Aaron Paul, Zach Galifianakis and many others.

“I’ve worked hard to create a strong portfolio of celebrity imagery,” he said. “Recently I had the opportunity to shoot Leonardo DiCaprio and I really enjoyed this opportunity and I’m really happy with the final image.”

Leonardo DiCaprio

While de Boer wasn’t a photo major at Webster University, he fondly remembers the classes he took.

“Ann Tolin was one professor who had a huge impact on me. She taught my Photo 101 class and was incredibly encouraging and giving and it meant so much to me that she was always there to give advice.”

He also credits photographer Arthur Meyerson with helping him make a career out of his love of photography.

“Working as a full-time first assistant for Arthur Meyerson was my actual start and beginning of my career in photography,” said de Boer. “A lot of my behavior today in this business was built off of what I learned from him.”

When de Boer first arrived in Los Angeles, he assisted other photographers and eventually was able to open his own small digital capture company, later transitioning to his current work. He said that working with different photographers doing a variety of jobs helped him fine-tune his focus.

You can pickle it

“If you’re a student wanting to be a photographer, enjoy your time in school and take every opportunity to learn and experiment and find your voice as a photographer,” he said. “Also, go out there and get some real set experience, find a photographer you admire and work for them as an assistant. Building upon the knowledge you gain in school is invaluable.”

When asked what is next for his career, de Boer admitted that there are a few stars on his career wish list, “I’ve said for years, that the one person I’d love to photograph is Christoper Walken. I’ve just always loved his work, and I think his face is super interesting. I would guess that it would be an amazing shoot.”

Otherwise, de Boer is happy that he’s found a way to be successful in career he feels passionately about.

“There’s nothing else like photography and I hope I’m lucky enough to get to do this for the rest of my life.”

His celebrity portraits can be seen in a number of publications such as People Magazine, Time Magazine, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly or on his professional website.