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  • Writer's pictureJohan Visschedijk

Breaking the bread

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

Hengevelde, a very small town in the eastern part of the Netherlands is blessed having their own bakery firm. It is the second biggest bakery in the Netherlands when it comes to hand made products. They not only deliver products to supermarkets but also to sixteen self owned stores in the region. Their name? NOLLEN.

It started exactly 100 years ago when Theo and Johanna Nollen opened their doors in Hengevelde. This first store is still up and running on the same spot but has been uplifted a few times during the years. The look and feel is how you expect it in a bakery store, lots of brown, corn, weed and wood.

When the family started the business they also did a lot of peddling along the doors as well, which was very common in these days. Nowadays they have a fleet of trucks supplying all their shops every day.

In our first meeting in order to set up a shoot, the new marketing manager Bandi Vaczi asks me to make a mood board. Bandi has been for more then a decade the leading marketeer for Apollo Vredestein Tires and just started working at Nollen. I always appreciate it very much when clients ask me to think along with them. Although I am not an art-director I am a experienced food photographer who has been for 30 years in the business.


Brown, brown and brown is going though my mind all time long, but I would like to make it more modern. So I decide to go for revolution and put it all in blue with some red and yellow accents and lots of white as well. Lets see how they feel up to it.

Bandi replies on the spot and tells me that this is way to much. Maybe more suitable for an ice-cream company then for a bakery. He fully understands my idea of giving them a brand new and a much more modern look but not blue. So I will make another one and this one will not be revolution but more evolution. One step at the time as we say.

So I start searching for images which have as a base brown but also white in them. In the meanwhile as I collect them I straight away have the feeling that a tiny bit of red in it will not be too bad either. Probably their will be red in some products. In the styling could be a touch red as wel.

Brown, dark grey or even black in combination with nice shades of brown, but also shots who are more white based could fit very good in this mood board.

Together with the earlier ment touch of red this should do well.

WHITE the new BROWN!

Bandi likes it and he will show it the next day to the rest of the team. They like it as well so it is a go.



Fortunately I could work with Jan Willem van Riel from De Stijlbrouwerij. He is one of my favorite stylists when it comes to food shots and we have been working for many years together. Although we received an excel list with all the product shots in it, it isn't for 100% clear what we need to shoot. So Jan Willem decides to bring as much as he can. On the spot we can and will decide what props to use. For a food-photographer it is as a gift to have a guy like Jan Willem along with you. Always well prepared and an excellent taste. You should visit his website at

The startup takes some time as usual but once the first shot is a fact the next one is almost ready as well. A good team can get in a sort of flow where you produce a lot of shots in a day, of course depending on the type of shots. On a large table in the bakery Jan Willem displayed all his styling and aside I built my set. We are standing in the middle of this bakery and we will make a lot images these two days I can say.

For two long days we have been working in the bakery, supported by bakers and marketing specialists at Nollen bakery. We generated more then 125 shots in these two days. A bit too much in order to get the best out of it. For smaller firms these out of pocket costs are pretty high so they try to get the most out of it. This is the first step in the right direction. We were not able to match the mood board exactly. Anyway we made a big move in the wright direction. In the upcoming shoots we will try to match the mood-board more precisely now we know what to expect and knowing the client a bit better. Investing in a cooperation always works out and it has been FUN!!


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