Bien Schols is a Dutch freelance photographer based in central Amsterdam. Bien (rhymes with ‘seen’, as in: @SeenByBien), when not working on commercial fashion shoots or industrial and architectural interiors/exteriors, specialises in candid street photography in her city. Born in rural Noord-Holland, the country girl adapted and thrives in this beautiful and vibrant metropolis.
With an extraordinarily keen eye, her daily excursions into the frantic melange of hustle-and-bustle have produced an unprecedented pictorial record of the place. In her work made in the city, you will of course see the signature backdrops of canals, bridges and determined cyclists peddling with reckless swagger, but you will also recognise a painterly eye for perspective and light and shadow (Bien’s father is an accomplished artist). In a recent project to record the city during pandemic lockdown, her central location enabled her to capture views of Amsterdam and its inhabitants free of tourist crowds.
Her street photography has, until recently, been mainly shot in black and white, but her colour fashion work has now overflowed into all her photography and, interestingly, the distinction between the two genres of fashion and street is often imperceptible. On the street, Bien shoots the female form as if on a catwalk or in a studio; with sensual sensitivity and a less-is-more philosophy. And, whilst respectful of her subjects, a wicked sense of humour, intelligence and joy de vivre are abundantly evident.
Bien has achieved global recognition for her work and there are published interviews in the photographic press. She exhibits mainly in small venues in The Netherlands.