Louise te Poele’s photography is grounded in her fascination with people. She looks for special characteristics, peculiarities that make each person an individual. The well-known, the lesser-known, family, passers-by: in each one she searches for the eccentric, the extraordinary. This is where each person’s beauty is hidden. For Farmers, she made portraits of the inhabitants of her native village in the Achterhoek, a region in the eastern Netherlands. ‘When I started this series I began with people from my own native village. Taking their pictures for the first time really touched me. This took place at the fiftieth birthday party of my former neighbour. It made me so happy to see how they celebrated together and how much they all resemble each other, and I decided to follow them to various parties and weddings. That’s how the series was born. I did not have them pose for me, which brings the work closer to documentary photography. Making the background black gives the images a dramatic feel. I did this to remove all context from the heads. The series is about people, after all, not about their environment. ‘In this way, I was able to offer a personal interpretation of reality. The heads are characters. They loom up out of the dark background and make you think of images or memories from the distant past. The dates show that the photos are very recent. None are from the time they refer to.