Portrait of an artist at a price determined by the subject

ABOVE: Portrait of an artist- Raimond De Weerdt’s self portrait.

Susanna Freymark

When visual artist Raimond De Weerdt offered to take portrait photos of creative people at a price determined by the subject, there was an enthusiastic response.

He posted this on Facebook:

‘If you are an artist/writer/poet/performer/creative/designer residing in the NSW Northern Rivers and you need a new head shot or professional portrait, I am doing studio portraits by donation, no set price just a donation. Interested? Send me a message.’

The photos are taken in Raimond’s studio in Magellan St in Lismore. The portraits usually have a black background and there is no other prop in the photo. Just the person. It makes for an honest and strong image. There is nowhere to hide in Raimond’s portraits.

Artist Rebecca Tapscott from Kyogle. Photo: Raimond De Weerdt

Seven weeks ago, Raimond shared an artist friend’s portrait that he had taken. Raimond was keen to take more photos but he knew artists and other creatives were doing it tough coming out of lockdown.

He was unsure what to charge, so he decided to leave it up to the people he photographed.

“It’s an exchange – a collaboration. I’ve been paid from $1 to $250,” Raimond said.

Raimond is from Holland and he studied at the Sydney College of Arts in 1988.

He later taught photography at Southern Cross University in Lismore for eight years. Lecturing became tedious because of the university structure and Raimond needed to continue his own creative pursuits.

Musician Dave Stephenson from Casino. Photo: Raimond De Weerdt

One of his projects is called Facing Australia. He has been working with colleagues for 20 years on this project which involves taking headshots of thousands of people and merging them into one image.

He is also working on a film about entertainers in the first World War.

He will continue taking portraits of creatives and plans to turn the project into a book, Portraits of Northern Rivers Creatives.

The book will answer the question- what does an artist look like?

His photos and the book will shine the light on artists, he said.

We’ve included photos Raimond has taken of artists from Kyogle and Richmond Valley. There are many more to see on Raimond’s Facebook Page

The Spangles featuring Josh Powell Fussell and Max Powell from Casino. Photo: Raimond De Weerdt
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