I have a chequered resume and I like it that way. It keeps me sharp and assures that I am constantly evolving. I take pride in my versatility as a writer in many genres; whether it’s creating a catchy slogan for a company or writing a speech for a startup entrepreneur. I am an experienced lyricist and work with a variety of active and aspiring singer-songwriters to help them improve and elevate their texts. As a photographer who started out in the dynamic 1970s, I began making children’s portraits, then launched my career as a photojournalist, documenting a colorful cast of characters which included Muhammad Ali, the Rolling Stones, and the notorious dirty old men of literature, Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski. My images of Mr. Bukowski have become well-known icons and the portraits of the ‘man behind the myth’ have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world.

AUTHOR & POET

I am the author of three poetry chapbooks, as well as many travel books specializing in The Netherlands and the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, and the Baltic States. In 2007, I wrote my first children’s book, ‘Elusive Moose’, (Barefoot Books) which won the Oppenheim Prize for Best Picture Book in the USA. My second book, ‘Hidden Hippo’ was nominated for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Prize in the UK in 2011. In 2007, I wrote a book about Hester van Eeghen, esteemed Dutch designer of handbags and shoes, and I recently completed a memoir, One Way Ticket: On My Way To Here.

Some of the books are available through bol.com or amazon, while others, like my poetry chapbooks can be requested through my contact page. 

COPY WRITER

As a copy writer, I have developed projects for multi-national companies like KLM, KPMG, and Heineken, as well as for independent designers and entrepreneurs like Hester van Eeghen, Marianne Vanderwilt, and the International Writer’s Collective. My assignments ranged from press releases and promotional material, speeches, newsletters, and campaign themes. I also have a penchant for writing slogans and will take on any challenge with a smile.

LYRICIST & SONG DOCTOR

I never imagined I would be putting words in singer’s mouths. I wrote my first ´song´ in 2001 lying in a hospital bed in Amsterdam with a broken ankle after a bicycle crash. I called jazz singer Denise Jannah (who else can you call at 2am except a jazz musician?), sang her the words to the music I heard in my heart, and a few months later, she recorded it in NYC for her Blue Note album debut, ‘The Madness of our Love’, which was the title track. Blue Note invited me to write the liner notes, which was a dream come true. Since then I have written at least 150 more songs, with about 60 having been recorded by Dutch singers. 

PHOTOGRAPHY

I am an analogue woman in a digital world and still make portraits with my analogue (and one digital) cameras. My specialty is capturing the spirit of my subjects in their home and work environments. I use black and white film (and occasionally color) and available light. My portraits have been likened to “internal x-rays”.

CHARLES BUKOWSKI

I met Charles Bukowski after Glen Esterly, a colleague and friend, invited me to photograph the not-yet-legendary poet, for a profile he was going to do for Rolling Stone. Tempting as it was to finally grace the pages of the respected counter-culture music publication, I initially refused.

TEACHER & COACH

As a part-time teacher at the New School for Communication Services in Amsterdam, I like to think that I learn as much from my students as ideally, they do from me. It is a dynamic exchange of energy which relies on clear communication and trust. Outside the classroom, I work selectively as a tutor/coach, not only with students who need help enriching their language skills, but with a variety of non-English speakers: from the corporate to creative. CEO’s, actors, singer-songwriters, and much more.


E-mail: info@joangannij.com