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In Focus: Shining a spotlight on yacht photographer Tom Van Oossanen

23 April 2020 • Written by Miranda Blazeby

BOAT shines a spotlight on the work of Tom Van Oossanen, one of the leading photographers of the superyacht industry. 

Planet Nine in Monaco All photography courtesy of Tom van Oossanen

How did you get into yacht photography?

I remember seeing the Amels yacht Boadicea in my hometown Den Helder when I was nine and I was interested from that point on. My dad being in the Navy also meant I was always around boats and took my cameras everywhere. After a trip to Formentera, I saw Motor Yacht A and I knew that this was the industry I wanted to go for!

The Feadship superyacht Moonrise

What do you love most about your job?

I love to be able to be creative everyday and make every work my very best. The helicopter shoots are fun too!

The Feadship superyacht Arrow on the move

What are the difficulties of yacht photography?

To coordinate shoots and make sure everyone does what is expected, especially during exterior helicopter shoots. I always make a cruising plan based on how and where the light comes from so I can find all the right angles I have in mind.

The Abeking & Rasmussen superyacht Excellence

What is your favourite yacht? Why?

My all time favourite is Black Pearl. I was lucky to shoot her on a beautiful day in March 2019 and seeing a 106 metre sailing yacht cruising towards you from the helicopter - yes that is a cool sight.

The Feadship superyacht Najiba in Norway

What is your favourite yacht photograph you have taken? Why?

It is probably one I can’t share... but there are some very cool second places to show.

Launch of the Amels 80 metre custom superyacht

How has photography technology changed since you started?

I have my camera and believe it does the job very well so for me, it hasn’t changed much. My first camera had four megapixels and now I have 40 so that makes a bit of a difference...

Black Pearl

Any tips for budding yacht photographers?

Just make sure you use your camera every day, not only for yachts and expand your horizon. I have done a lot of nature photography and this sort of thing helps develop your own style. That is when people recognise you.

The launch of the Lurssen Hawaii