Photography: Latoya van der Meeren

Amsterdam-based Latoya van der Meeren is the latest photographer who’s beautifully raw images have got us swiping, saving and coming back for more. Her work is both personal and intimate - avoiding ‘typical’ subjects and instead focusing on tender moments, simplicity, nature and family. As a new mother, Latoya’s photography has been on a journey in the last year or so, from capturing life on the road to documenting her first pregnancy, her daughter and the mother muses around her. We love her honest snapshots of everyday life - whether that’s a crumpled linen bed sheet blowing in the breeze or her friend stretched out on the sofa breastfeeding her baby - Latoya has a knack of chronicling them in an effortless style that’s full of depth.

We grabbed a moment with the busy mum and photographer to chat pictures, pregnancy and life in Amsterdam.

When did you first develop an interest in photography?

I’ve had an interest in images for as long as I can remember. When I was 22, I started a blog that was part diary, part images I found. It wasn’t until I met my first muse Anna that I started photographing - I was 26 years old at the time. I bought this old analogue camera at Waterloo flea market and just started shooting and learning as I went. I’ve never stopped since and really felt like this was exactly what my heart had been missing.

As your series ‘Diaries’ implies, you have a very relaxed and uncontrived style. Documenting tender moments and snapshots of everyday life. Why do you choose to shoot in this way?

The writer Anaïs Nin wrote that “We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection”, for me it’s the same with photography. The pictures are my diary, I write in one too.

I shoot to remind myself of a story I don’t want to forget or I don’t want to let go of. In a way it’s holding onto things - whether that be a moment shared with someone, or the way the light hit the linen sheets. If you look carefully, you can see beauty in just about everything. My photography is quotidian: it’s spontaneous, yet also intentional. I know exactly what emotion I want to capture when I click. Even though it is often what is not in the picture that I remember and value the most.

Having worked with numerous brands and media titles from Dove to VICE, what has been your favourite project to date?

In 2015 and 2016 I worked on a series about scars, and how a person’s healing process happens mostly from within. I published these stories and photographs in a book named “Remainders”. Having these people open up and confide in me felt extraordinary and is something that has changed the way I work.

Also in 2015 I joined the band Death Alley on the road for a story on VICE which (seeing as I must have watched the movie Almost Famous at least 76 times) was a dream come true. We slept in squat houses and backstage bunkbeds and I loved every minute of it and the feeling of freedom it gave me. I still feel it when I look back at those photographs.

Amsterdam is often cited as one of the top places in Europe to live in with a good quality of life. What makes this city home to you?

Almost everybody I love is here, Amsterdam is my home. This city can get crowded and loud and hasty but there is nothing like coming back from a trip and cycling over the canals on a quiet night. Or any time really. Amsterdam has her own kind of magic.

How did you choose to document your pregnancy journey?

I didn’t think about documenting my pregnancy any more then I did my days before - it happened naturally. The first couple of months I didn’t feel that inspired to create anything, that was a weird and uncomfortable awareness because I feared it might never return, but after about 3 months I just picked up my camera, set it up on the table and used a self-timer. The feeling came back.

My pregnancy made me look at myself and my body in a much kinder way. Through my self-portraits I felt like I was getting to know this new person that I was becoming. Looking back, I see a clear change in my photographs. I shot most of my favourite images in those 9 months.

Now coming up to one year since becoming a mother, do you feel you have changed as a person?

It’s like being in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, everything is different and there is a lot of muchness. Overall I think becoming a mother gave my life more focus, more strength, more depth, more worries, more fears and more (an unmeasurable amount more) love. Somehow there seems to be less sleep though…

What’s your mantra for living well?

Be kind.

All images: Latoya van der Meeren

Share this:

More From The Journal

  1. Wellness in Winter: Three Women Share Their Tips

    ​As Winter gets into full swing and the festive season has us feeling more than a little worn out, we’ve gathered together three women in wellness to share their tips on how to keep our immune system in tact during the silly season. From nourishing meals to grounding rituals and supplements, these women know a thing or two about keep the body balanced.

    More +
  2. Glasshouse Christmas Gift Guide

    To help ease the busy Christmas shopping period, we’ve put together our top picks from Glasshouse Shop that prioritise artisan crafts, natural and organic ingredients, sustainability and design.

    More +
  3. Hair Trend: Chocolate Brown

    Leaving summer balayages behind, we’re all about moody, glossy chocolate brown shades - simple yet big on impact and the perfect match for a rich winter colour palette.

    More +
  4. Bug x Glasshouse: Anti-Waste Accessories

    Working with our East London neighbours Bug Clothing, we are launching a collection of handmade hair accessories, including Scrunchies, Hair Ribbons and Head Wraps made from leftover fabrics.

    More +
  5. Masterclass: Toners

    ​With the help of our Senior Stylist Ashleigh, we’ve put together a guide on toners to help you understand the basics of the service; what they do, why they are used and how they can help you achieve your perfect colour.

    More +
  6. Q&A: Shereen Jupp of Mother Muse

    Celebrating motherhood in all forms, Mother Muse is a bi-annual coffee table book focusing on slow living and both the beauty and vulnerability of becoming a mother. ​In conversation with Glasshouse founder Olivia Crighton, model Shereen Jupp shares the story behind the publication and the experiences that drove her to create it.

    More +
  7. Meet The Founder: Laura Rudoe of Evolve Beauty

    ​On Monday 19th November we are hosting a Q&A and skincare session with Evolve beauty founder Laura Rudoe and Glasshouse founder Olivia Crighton, covering everything from ingredient sourcing to sustainability and the story behind the independent British brand, plus the chance to try out some of our favourite products from the range.

    More +
  8. Beauty: Boyish Brows

    ​Defined yet wearable with a touch of boyish charm, the latest eyebrow trend makes the most of the brows you’ve got. Here are our top tips on giving your natural brows some extra character to make just enough of a statement.

    More +
  9. Photography: Ilsa Wynne-Hoelscher Kidd

    Ilsa Wynne-Hoelscher Kidd is an Australian photographer who’s sensitive style lends itself to capturing the subject she resonates with most: motherhood. We catch up her to find out more.

    More +
  10. Guy Morgan: Flower Of The Five Wounds

    Verified Organic, suitable for pregnancy and ideal for those with sensitive skin, we explore the new Flower of The Five Wounds range from Guy Morgan Apothecary with imagery from photographer Thea Lovstad.

    More +
  11. Rituals: Elizabeth Bennett

    To kickstart our new Rituals series on Glasshouse Journal, we speak to freelance Journalist Elizabeth Bennet to find out what a balanced lifestyle means to her and what how she stays motivated, energised and calm in modern life.

    More +
  12. Work with us at Glasshouse Salon

    Fancy being a part of our close-knit Glasshouse team? We are looking for a talented Hair Stylist to come onboard.

    More +
  13. Rule Of Three

    Celebrating the diversity and freedom of colour on different skin tones, Glasshouse’s resident makeup artist Emily and photography duo Al and K collaborate for a shoot that bends the rules of colour theory.

    More +
  14. Period Matters

    As more and more topics are placed under the sustainability spotlight, we have turned our attention to an interesting one: periods. As menstrual products start to modernise and with attitudes towards our monthly cycle becoming more open, we are delving into the subject and taking a look at some of the consciously-created menstrual products that we’ve introduced in the salon and online.

    More +
  15. Fashion Month: Round-Up

    As the curtain falls on the Spring/Summer 2019 catwalks, we have gathered together some of our favourite hair and beauty looks from all four cities.

    More +
  16. Reads: 11 by Jasmine Deporta

    Jasmine Deporta has been a favourite photographer of ours since her series Sofa Safari, where she matched her models outfits with the furniture they were sitting on. Now she’s back with the release of her first ever book, 11 - a personal journey through her last 4 years of work. We caught up with her to find out more.

    More +
Load more posts