YOUR CASTLE ON YOUR COFFEE TABLE

“It’s a pity people have nothing to show of all the beautiful homes they’ve lived in!” – evolved into a passion for curiosities, photography, and the preservation of precious memories. We speak to Tertius Xavier van Oosthuyzen, the Cape Town-raised and Amsterdam-based photographer behind My Home is My Castle, on taking photos of stunning homes and their beloved details and turning them into high-quality coffee table books.

What about homes intrigues you?

“When you have a feeling that you can see somebody’s soul in their home’s interior, when you can feel kind of what they’re like, then you know there’s a history in each object. That’s what’s so intriguing about it.

It’s something that you have to have in you. You have to like interiors in order to take nice pictures of them. It’s not only the technique. I try to use as much natural light as possible in the pictures. It gives that homey feeling. “

Tell us about the process of making one of your books.

“I start of by signing a privacy contract. No one but the owners will see the photos or the book. After that the owners  show me around, so I know what’s special to them. I prefer to do it with the lady of the house – the princess of the castle. Sometimes you can walk right past an object, but once they tell you its history, you look at it in a different way. It takes one to three days of photography to cover everything I need for the perfect book.

Afterwards I’ll make a selection and create the lay-out and consult with the owner about the technical details. Depending on which materials they choose, production could take about 4-6 weeks, because I have the books made in Italy. If you want crocodile binding, for example, I have to find the right leather, get the approved certificates for it… it’s a longer process. I have a client who wants a book of a metre by a metre, and so now I’m looking for somebody to make a table for the book that goes with the house, and I haven’t even taken the photos yet. “

So this isn’t just an average photobook we’re talking about?

“No, not at all. You can say it is the Rolls Royce amongst the photo books.”

 (Interview with Interior magazine)