In this series we feature the Sri Lanka travel photography of Gregor Servais. Gregor is a Dutch travel and portrait photographer, he gave an interview to Photophique to accompany this series:
Hi Gregor, could you tell us about your photographic background?
I studied photography at the Royal Art Academy in The Hague. Graduated in 1998 and have been working as a photographer since then. I mostly make portraits. Recent years mostly Dutch personalties, like actors, writers, politicians, singers and so on for the largest Dutch newspaper and also Esquire.
Can you tell us more about your trip to Sri Lanka?
I traveled for one month in Sri Lanka together with a travel buddy (now a good friend) that I met a couple of months before in the Philippines. On day two we wanted to leave Colombo and take a train north. When we arrived at the train station there was only a train south … so we went south.
It was a lucky coincidence because a couple days later we met a nice Sri Lanka family who had a tuk tuk and was willing to rent it out to us. So we traveled in the next weeks with our own tuk tuk. It broke down at least once a day, but still we had great fun driving it around.
We chose Sri Lanka quite randomly as a travel destination. There was not a lot of thought behind it. But it turned out a really nice place with very friendly people and really nice places to visit.
We received a very warm welcome by the local police in a small town north east, shook hands while they thanked us for coming. All our worries about driving around in a tuk tuk without any drivers licence with us vanished quickly. One time police on motorbikes even helped us with the tuk tuk when it had broken down again.
What photography equipment did you use on your trip?
Always when traveling I take my (t)rusty old Rolleiflex. It’s an old one. Serienummer indicates it dates back to 1954, way before I was born. It’s a great conversation starter. Often people come up and ask me about the camera.
The Rolleiflex makes that I always bow to my subject. Very humble. If possible I always ask if I can take a photo. That what happens when somebody knows he/she is being photographed is very interesting. It’s like receiving a gift.
Do you have any plans for more travel series in the near future?
An ongoing project next to my portrait assignments is a series of pinhole seascapes that I am making. The next longer travel unfortunately will not be untill 2014. Where it will be I am not sure yet but for sure my Rolleiflex will be there too!
Photophique has express permission to publish these images and Gregor Servais retains full copyright to all photographs featured in this showcase series.