FocusOn 1.64: Max Sluiters aka @houtenboom on Instagram


Instagram is a great creative field for talented people. helps you to discover, sometimes unkown, surprising users. People addicted to Instagram, telling about their lives, revealing their passions and sharing Instagram tips.


Today we feature Max aka @houtenboom on Instagram who lives in the Netherlands!88bb29d247c611e2b12d22000a9e295b_7


“I can’t imagine a day without photography. It’s definitely my way of expressing myself.”


His name is Max Sluiters…


“I grew up in Medemblik, a small town in the northern parts of the Netherlands. A few months ago, I celebrated my 22nd birthday, which was around the time Instagram featured me on a list of ‘Suggested Users’. That changed a lot for me, because my work got a lot of new attention from different corners and I met a lot of new people that I otherwise wouldn’t have met.

I can’t imagine a day without photography. It’s definitely my way of expressing myself. I try to take at least three good pictures a day, mostly with my iPhone, or else I get cranky. My favorite ones to do are compositions. I get the most joy out of making those; adding and removing objects until the image as a whole feels just about right.

Houtenboom started kind of as a joke. It literally means ‘wooden tree’, which I thought was funny; because you know, trees are made out of wood. Although, there are some old trees that have turned into stone. I saw a few of those, two years ago, when I travelled through California.

I get my inspiration from everyday things; typical Dutch landscapes, food and music, flowers or just shapes. Sometimes I also like to put in small messages, but nothing too serious. For me, Instagram is all about having fun.”


Thank you very much Max, for your contribution to this website!


You can follow Max on Instagram or have a look at his TUMBLR website. You can also buy his pictures at Society6!


The Shed



Here we go!

You are:  Hobbyist Photographer

You would like to be: Professional Photographer or an Interior Stylist, or both. I haven’t decided yet.

3 items to take to a desert island: A tent, my iPhone, and some guacamole dip. Guacamole tastes great on almost anything.

What has been your most bizarre life experience: I once solved a clue from one of my mom’s crossword puzzles in just one guess. The answer was ‘baby phone’, and I was only 8 at the time.

A super power you would like to have: The ability to make choices really fast. Also immortality.

If you ruled the world: Then what?





In ‘real’ life

Happy alone (with Instagram), in love, married or it’s complicated: Happy alone.

You love: Watch as many different movies as I can. Some like to devour books, I have that with movies.

You can’t stand: On Instagram, and outside of that, I can’t stand it when people steal the work of others. There is a big difference between being inspired by someone and downright stealing their creations.

A song that best describes you: What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes

Your hobbies: Photography, movies, music and exercising every day; almost every day.

A trip you dream of: I would love to travel through Asia. There are so many countries and cultures there to explore. Even though I feel very privileged to already have travelled as many times as I did, I’ve seen only a fragment of the earth.

A quote: “As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler

A wish: To work in the creative branch as an independent artist, hopefully as a photographer.

Some-one you admire: Sarah Silverman

What more must we know about you in one phrase: I am stubborn.





Your life on Instagram

Your Instagram birthday: I posted my first picture on Instagram almost a year ago, on October 28th, 2012.

iPhone or Android: iPhone 5 and my Nikon D500

Did Instagram change your life:  It has changed the way I look at photography. I now see it as a very accessible art form; open for anyone to join and participate. You can keep it light and simple or make it complex, and it’s never wrong.

Instagram for professional or personal use: Personal

Define your style in one word: Personal

Daily time spent on Instagram: 1-2 hours

Favorite hashtag: I like it when people create a series of pictures and then come up with their own hashtag. A fun one is #strideby by @jillshomer.

A filter: Amaro

An App: Afterlight and Snapseed

A gadget: For self-portraits I use a tripod that comes with a rubber grip pad to hold my iPhone.

Pictures that make you like on Instagram: Funny pictures of cats.

Pictures that must be forbidden on Instagram: Sad pictures of cats.

An improvement for Instagram: I’d love to be able to have more freedom in how I decorate my personal feed. For instance, why does my most recent post have to be all the way above in my gallery? Maybe implement some sort of system with photo albums?

Life without Instagram would be: Life with Facebook? I think I otherwise would have discovered photography eventually, but maybe much later. And my style wouldn’t be the same as it is today, and that has a lot to do with all the people I’ve been influenced by on Instagram.

An Instagram user we can’t miss: Jelito de Leon. A very talented photographer and an all round great guy. You can find him as @jelitodeleon.




Describe your favorite picture: 

This one I made for a Weekend Hashtag Project. The theme was ‘Flower power’.


Techniques used:

I’m not a very technical photographer, so instead I take as many shots of my subject and then afterwards I choose the best looking one. That is also the only one I keep, out of all the other shots.

With the editing, I always use the ‘Snapseed’ app first and change the amount of lighting, among others. After that, I choose a filter that I like with ‘Afterlight’ and make some small changes, until I’m happy about the result. That last part can take a while.



Anything else? 

Nope, I think this covers it for now.


Thank you very much Max, you have a lovely refreshing style!




Why so serious?



The (Little) Lady by the Window






Day 25



Strawberry dinner



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