Jan van der Hooft grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, playing piano, writing his own music and singing in choirs. After High School he chose to pursue a career in music, completing a Diploma and Bachelors in Music at the University of Winnipeg and a Masters in Music at the Schulich School in Montreal.
During his move to Montreal, Jan developed an interested in photography, and in 2014 was 'gifted' his first camera, his parents old 1984 Pentax Program Plus. Very soon after, when he wasn’t practicing his musical craft, Jan frequently found himself walking through the boroughs of Notre Damme du Grace, Westmount and downtown Montreal, looking for interesting landscapes or architecture to capture with his camera.
After graduation, Jan moved to Toronto in 2017 to pursue auditions and further his career as an opera singer. As luck would have it, he moved in with a room mate who happened to be selling a digital camera. He purchased the Canon T4i using some extra cash he made teaching a few private voice students and was able to further explore the genre, quickly adding portraiture to his list of interests.
Following his time in Toronto, Jan began an Internship with the Calgary Opera Young Artist Program, where he spent two years working for company as a singer and artistic ambassador. On the side, he began providing headshots for friends and family and took regular walks with his camera. When his contract in Calgary ended in mid 2019, Jan moved even further west, to Victoria. There he quickly garnered work with Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria, and married his lovely fiancee (now wife), Anna van der Hooft. In a rather fateful moment, his father-in-law gifted Jan with his old camera, lenses and gear, a gift which quickly became a pillar of Jan's burgeoning film camera collection.
In early 2020, Jan's singing career was picking up steam. He'd been on tour with a co-production of a children's opera called 'The Flight of the Hummingbird', with Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria, when the Pandemic hit. Due to sudden and complete shut-down of public events, concerts, and festivals due to the COVID 19, Jan found his career as an opera singer halted overnight. Because of the lockdown Jan soon found time for more camera walks with his wife, and contemplated future career moves. A year later, he purchased a Canon 6d Mark 2 and J.Abram Photography was born.
Since launching his photography business on Vancouver Island, Jan has shot a wide variety of contracts and continues to enjoy the challenge of different types of photography projects. For commercial and professional photography work, he now shoots with a Canon R6 Mark 2. He has had ongoing contracts for major local clients such as the Hotel Grand Pacific and their new restaurant, FATHOM, has photographed events and concerts for the Victoria Jazz Society and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and shot numerous local weddings, engagements and family photo sessions. His portrait work has recently been featured in magazines such as Rozea Magazine, 55+ Living Magazine and Roller Rag Magazine to name a few.
When not looking through a view finder, Jan continues to explore his hobby of collecting old film cameras and has recently begun volunteering as a photographer at The Victoria General Hospital. He can also be found on or near the concert stage, performing or teaching at one or both of the institutions where he is on faculty as an instructor; The Victoria Conservatory of Music and Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People.
“I honestly could not be happier with my experience with J. Abram Photography. From my first inquiry to the day of the shoot, Jan has been extremely kind, helpful, generous and professional throughout the entire process. I absolutely love my beautiful new headshots and am thrilled with the results! If you're looking for stunning photography at a great value, I highly recommend going with Jan.”