INTERVIEW: Quinten Jacobs

Quinten Jacobs is a young and super talented Dutch creative who recently made the decision to chase his dream and become a professional photographer. His photos are breathtaking, his adventurous, entrepreneurial spirit is inspirational, and his honesty is incredibly refreshing.

Don’t just take my words for it. Read his story and take a look at his work.

DREAM CHASER is a series of interviews with women (and now also men!) who are working hard to turn their dreams into reality. Rebels who choose their own path, who follow their heart, run their own business, and do what they love no matter what.

Tell us about how it all started. When did you know what you wanted and when did you decide to go for it?

Quinten Jacobs
© Quinten Jacobs

For me, it has been a really long journey to where I am today. Not only in terms of geographical distance, but also in terms of the time I’ve spent looking for the things I love to do most.

Being creative has always been a big part of my life. I was always looking for fun things to do and make.

Some people said I wasn’t dedicated enough to maintain a hobby. I look at it now from a different perspective: I try out everything in life and I am interested in many things. That’s the only way to learn what you want to do.

A couple of years ago I went on a holiday to Australia with friends. And that holiday changed my life. It was the first time I went to a strange country (other than Italy), and I saw what this world has to offer.

Straight after that holiday, I started saving up money to go traveling again. I went on a 14-month adventure around the world, discovered new hobbies, and I even mastered my photography skills just by doing it every day.

However, after more than a year full of adventure, fun, and doing the things I love, I found myself back in my parents’ house, living in my old room. I was stuck there, during a code yellow blizzard storm.

Which was, of course, mildly depressing – to say the least. But it did make me think about ways how to go back to the life I was living earlier that year.

I’ve always been passionate about photography, and luckily enough that’s one perfect job that you can do from anywhere.

My decision was made. I registered as an official freelance photographer, bought some extra gear and I left home again in less than two months.

That blizzard storm turned out to be exactly what I needed.

What were/are the biggest obstacles?

The biggest challenge for me was learning that I can follow my own path. I used to work for my dad. He has a demolition/asbestos removal company and runs it with full commitment and dedication 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I owe him a lot of respect and look at him as a great example of doing things in life successfully. However, it’s a family business since my dad took his dad’s place about 15 years ago. So I’ve always felt the pressure that my dad expected me to take over the business.

And I did work there for 3 years, 6 days a week. I learned a lot, made a lot of progress, and above all had a great time. But I knew I was passionate about other things. And to bring that up to the conversation with my dad was very difficult for me.

Luckily enough, my dad told me to follow my own dreams and not even think that the company was more important.

That’s when I learned that communication is key in life. I could have been silent and live somebody else’s dream and be less happy than I am today.

I’m very thankful for how things turned out and for the support I get from the most important people in my life.

Show us a day in the life of…

Quinten Jacobs Photo
© Quinten Jacobs

At the moment I am living my dream life in Bali. I get up early every morning and do a surf check. I either go surfing myself or I take photographs of the surfers.

Next on I enjoy a good breakfast with exotic fruit I don’t know the name of. After a cup of pitch-black Balinese coffee, of which you can’t drink the last sip, my productive part of the day starts.

Today, for example, I had a photoshoot. I teamed up with a model to take photos for one of my clients. After that, we went to the beach to get some surf shots for personal use.

Every day I put on my flippers and swim far out in the sea where the waves break, through the strong current. Which is exhausting, but I love doing it.

Normally after a photoshoot, I drive my bike over to the beach and practice my wheelies. At night I edit my images.

My life here in Bali is filled with fun stuff. I love it! 🙂

What do you do to relax?

I’m not really a guy that knows how to relax. I’m always outdoors: surfing, driving on my dirt bike or going on little adventures. I do have my lazy days where I just lay in my bed all day.

But relaxing at a swimming pool with a coconut in my hand? No, that’s not me!

How do you define happiness?

My happiness comes from simple things. Like eating street food or eating at a warung. I honestly think that’s the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted and will taste.

Besides that, I just want to have time for my hobbies. Otherwise, I’ll go nuts! Oh, and I need a motorbike with an extremely loud engine. That just gives me goosebumps! There’s this cool saying I know:

“Love is the feeling you get when you like something as much as your motorcycle”

I couldn’t agree more.

What are your biggest fears and how do you deal with them?

I wouldn’t say I’m fearless, but I am pretty blind to the risks in life. I just focus on the possibilities and think of how things can turn out great!

What are the best lessons that you’ve learned so far?

That the lifestyle I want is a professional lifestyle and I can’t continue partying as I used to as a backpacker!!!

What keeps you motivated and believing in yourself/your business?

Friends & family having faith in me. Telling me that I’m doing the right thing and they see me becoming a success.

Are there any dreams left that you plan to chase in the future?

I would love to own a business besides my photography in the future. I have some ideas, but nothing specific yet.

And I want to be able to perform an infinite wheelie. That would be so cool!

Any advice for people out there dreaming but not yet chasing?

Think of the all things you love to do. Then:

  1. Make a plan A, B, C.
  2. Pick plan A.
  3. Never think about plan B or C again because plan A will be a success.
  4. Do write down plan B or C on paper in case you forget. But never talk about them.
  5. Focus on A.

Want to know more about Quinten and his stunning work? Follow him on Facebook.

(Featured photo of this post taken by Carmelits).