Week in the Project Life: INK361’S CEO Carel

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This week, Carel our CEO had the pleasure of being featured in the “Week in the Project Life” blog by our friends at Project Life 365 – a team of creatives inspiring photographers on the daily.

Here are some of the highlights along with some exclusive photography by Carel himself!

PL365: Tell us a little bit about yourself

Carel: My name is Carel van Apeldoorn. A 41 year old Dutchman living in China, married to my American wife Liz and daddy to golden retriever puppies Caya and Bella. I am the co-founder of INK361.com, passionate about photography, Internet and exploring the world.

PL365: What is Ink361 and who’s the team behind it?

Carel: INK361 is a platform for people to print, buy and sell photos.

Our focus is on the ability to print photos while being social and explore great photography at the same time. We started out in March 2011 to help Instagram users manage and view their Instagrams via the web, but that was just the beginning and helped us to create awareness for our platform. The advantage of INK361 is that social networking and commerce are beautifully and seamlessly combined into 1 product. We recently launched a waiting list for people to register and open their own shop to sell their own photo products. Registration can be done here.

Another way we stand out is that we use the best printing service providers that normally only work with professional photographers. This allows our customers to benefit from the same great product quality you normally find only at professional printing houses, but at the best possible price. In the last 2 years, we built a fantastic team of 8 that work from Hong Kong, Rotterdam and New York. I run the company together with my co-founder Jurg Benders. Check out the superheroes in our team: Tina, Eric, Philip, Mandy, Ernest, Bas.

PL365: What’s your creative process?

Carel: I am very straightforward in my process. I love street photography and submerge myself in old parts of Guangzhou where I live. Guangzhou is a very old city in the South of China and currently inhabiting over 10 million people. In the old part of the city, time stands still and creates beautiful backdrops with opportunities to capture great street life scenes. Once a photo is taken, I make minor tweaks with Snapseed and that’s it! Besides my iPhone 5, I shoot with a Canon 6D.

PL365: What did our Week in the Project Life challenge reveal about your creativity or style?

Carel: You guys made me question again – “what is it about a photo that can make me perfectly happy?” What my own internal compass and sense tell me about photos is ultimately all that matters to me. It feels great if people share my point of view and/or acknowledge a capture that excites me, but that doesn’t change my personal opinion about my work. My style is plain and pure. I experimented with filters in the early Instagram days but quickly moved away again. I believe that what excites me about photography is that it’s a medium to connect with people without words. Shooting street life and portraits allows me to do this. People being aware of my presence and interacting with the opportunity to get captured is just a fun and great process that never gets boring to me.

PL365: What elements/muses inspire your creativity? (music, person, food, exercise, anything)?

Carel: My inspiration comes from spotting the odd things in seemingly normal everyday situations. As a photographer I like to highlight the beauty in things by framing them in ways images touch me. Inspiration often comes easy as part of an exploration process. Traveling to unknown parts of the world with new customs, colors and culture inspires me time after time. I’ve had the privilege to travel extensively and photography helps me to remember those places and moments that ultimately altogether made me into the person I am today.



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