My name is Marjolein Martinot, and I’m a Dutch photographer, based in France. The prime focus of my photography is on everyday life: my immediate surroundings - family and friends, and the places & things that touch me. My work consists of personal (longterm) photo-projects, as well as commissions (portraiture, family, lifestyle and documentary).

Black and white photo of a white horse zoomed in

'White Horses, 2020'.

Girl sat on a slide

'Girl on Slide', from Riverland.

My Photographic Approach

I’m quite sensitive to moods, with a tendency towards occasional melancholy. My photography touches on the poetic, while I strive to remain authentic and true at the same time. I aim to evoke sentiments by using and mixing different photographic approaches (portraits and life’s moments) in both color and monochrome, and I use different (analogue) cameras. Most of my photos have been taken with a Mamiya 7II & Mamiya C330, a Rolleiflex, a Nikon F6, and a Leica M6.


My preferred go-to film is Ilford HP5, as I love the variations and tonal range of the greys within black and white. It’s perfect for both landscapes and portraiture. I have to admit that I have very limited darkroom skills, and unfortunately lack the time to improve those at this moment. However, I do believe that printing is an altogether different profession, and I am very fortunate to have found an extraordinary craftsman and printer (Diamantino Quintas) within the Paris vicinity. He truly does an amazing job printing my photos!

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Darkroom print

Darkroom print of Marjolein’s photo by Diamantino Quintas.

Portrait Photographer

Being very much an intuitive photographer, I basically shoot whatever moves me in the moment. Family (life’s moments), luminosity amid darkness, the essence of water, and the passage of time are recurrent themes in my photos. In addition to that, I also love taking portraits. When taking a portrait, the exchange/interaction with someone (often a stranger) is so intimate and special - hard to describe really. That tiny instance of someone’s personality coming through - managing to capture that, is truly an amazing experience. Those moments are always swift and evanish almost instantly though. Being a naturally shy person, these one-on-one encounters give me a real boost, a particular energy and a sense of confidence that I very much enjoy.

Inspirations and Influences

Everyday life continues to be a source of inspiration, so the prime focus of my work is on my day-to-day life: friends, family, and the places & things that touch me. The way the old masters used light in Dutch 17th century paintings is a technical source of inspiration. Vermeer(NL) and Hammershøi(DK) are probably some of my favorite painters and that probably explains my (slight) obsession with photographing people’s backs. In addition, I admire the works of photographers such as Emmet Gowin, Vanessa Winship, Matthew Genitempo or Anders Petersen, to name just a few. I also find that listening to music is great for getting into a certain mood when photographing and/or when editing photos later.

My Photo Projects

"Of Fall and Fireflies" is a personal narrative and an introspective body of work.  I worked on this project for many years (2010 - 2020). It evokes my reflections, visions and emotions as a mother of six children. I was also traversing a somewhat somber phase in my life. Its focus is on seeking sparks of luminosity in my everyday world.

Black and white photo of two girls holding hands and dancing

Two Sisters, from “Of Fall and Fireflies”.

Black and white photo of outdoor chairs with a table in a garden

Chairs in the early morning, Berskhires.


"Riverland", is a photo-series that I started about 2 years ago. I was attending a workshop with Vanessa Winship and George Georgiou in the Indre region in France. It's a series (80+ photos) depicting various scenes - portraits, stills and landscapes. All taken in and around rivers/waters in the Indre region, and in southern France. With the series, I attempt to portray the way a meandering river compares to the always  unexpected and unknown course life takes, and flows...

Black and white portrait of two people hugging

‘Lovely Couple, 2021’, from “Riverland”.

La Classe de Josephine

“ La Classe de Josephine”: is a project which I worked on in 2021, during the intense Covid lockdown period. Here in France, I photographed the friends and classmates of my youngest daughter, Josephine. The project took about 5 months to complete.