During his early teens Jeffry could be found exploring the local woods around his hometown in the Netherlands or he was bended over different maps of the world, dreaming about journeys to the remote corners of our planet. Jef made 700-mile long solo hike in the endless fjalls of northern Scandinavia in 1990. Half a year later, in 1991 a dream came through, when he first set foot on African grounds, together with his girlfriend Marleen. Despite their tight budget they travelled for five months in east and southern Africa where they experienced the local life. The African seed was planted.
In 1998 Jeffry got his MS in behavior ecology for which he conducted a ten month field research on wild orangutans in the rain forests of Sumatra, Indonesia. The Sumatran forest was enchanting and Jef felt completely at ease being so close to nature.
After his study, wildlife photography became the way to explore the wild corners of our planet. He spend three months in the remote Ndoki National Park in P.R.Congo photographing western lowland gorillas and chimpanzees for the Wildlife Conservation Society. He liked being in the beautiful Tarangire National Park in Tanzania where he worked for Nature Conservation Films, a Dutch film company.
Jef entered the dark forests of D.R.Congo for three months to photograph the forgotten ape: the bonobo. He was the first Westerner to visit this area in 15 years. For this assignment he got different funds from the National Geographic Society and he was working in close cooperation with the Washington based Bonobo Conservation Initiative. An other highlight was a three month assignment to Inner Dolpo, a hidden corner in Nepal, where he followed the footsteps of Peter Matthiessen, a famous American writer.
Emotion, expression and empathy are Jef’s keywords in wildlife photography. Through the publication of his work he shows the public the intimate life of our closest relatives, the great apes, the animal life on the wide open African plains, and other fascinating natural wonders in the world. To optimize his efforts, Jef works closely with international organizations specialized in wildlife conservation.
In his photographic style Jef tries to capture the behavior and the atmosphere of the situation. For months he will submerge himself in to the world of wild animals, and with an animal-like patience and instinct, the scene will enfold before his eyes. His unassuming manner, knowledge of the animal kingdom and field research experience makes that many researchers and organizations appreciate working with Jef.