A red pencil skirt at the Jopenkerk in Haarlem

red pencil skirtRon and I went to the Jopenkerk in Haarlem which is a grand café / restaurant located in, what used to be, a church.  At this place they also brew a beer called Jopen, thus restoring the age-old Haarlem brewing tradition. It makes  a lovely background for pictures. Our goal for the morning was to learn how to take pictures indoors where it is dark. Seizing the opportunity to shoot outfit photos of my red pencil skirt for today’s post.

It was my intention to show you a new jeansblue/black dress but Ron rightly pointed out it was difficult enough to get good pictures indoors. Why complicate things by putting on something dark? He was right of course, so I switched to this bright ensemble.

Below: Our “teacher” Maarten of Ringfoto Haarlem on the left and husband Ron on the right. We started by discussing the problems Ron and I encounter photographing indoors. Maarten is a very patient man who can explain so well. As the photo below clearly demonstrates, I was focussing on the brochures…. Forgive me, we were just starting. Jopenkerk red skirt (46)_LRBelow: the photograper, husband Ron. My first try to make a decent, sharp picture.RonBelow: the outfit, against a red wall (so convenient). Red pencil skirt (brand Vince Camuto) thrifted during my trip to the bloggers meet-up in Vancouver. Funny story: I thought it was a long pencil skirt with strange bulges at the sides, near my knees. When I came home it suddenly dawned on me…. it was a strapless dress whahaha. My seamstress made it into a normal pencil skirt.

Sweater from a sale in Haarlem to which my friend Sabine tempted me. Tassle necklace made by Suzanne Carillo. She sells similar necklaces at her Etsy shop, but you can also order one in the colour(s) you want. As I did. I have shown this necklace before with my red cowboy boots. Boots are black suede by Panara.red pencil skirt with black and white sweaterBelow: the bar of the Jopenkerk with the brewery kettles. If you want to read a bit more about the history.. click here.JopenkerkBelow: me in front of the pipes leading up to the kettles (I probably have this all wrong, but that is what it looks to me. It is definitely part of the brewery machinery.) Teacher Maarten didn’t only taught us how to get better pictures, he also improved compositions (“put your arm on the table”). I really like this picture.red pencil skirt with red tassle necklace and black and white jumperBelow: leaded and stained glass everywhere. And see how beautiful the ceiling is? JopenkerkBelow: grabbing all our stuff and heading upstairs.Jopenkerk red skirt (9)_LRBelow: upstairs they completely covered walls, seats and floor with tapestry. So clever as these are good remedies against the cold and the resounding acoustics of such a place. It feels very oriental.red pencil skirt with black and cream sweater and red tassle necklaceBelow: Ron did a “Rembrandt” of me. As Rembrandt painted his wife Saskia often and of course painted with a play of light and dark. If you are wondering what that chair is doing on top of the table… the staff of the Jopenkerk were still busy preparing everything for the day and we didn’t take it off the table before shooting. I told Ron he would get the darned thing in the picture…red pencil skirt with black and cream sweater and red tassle necklaceBelow: arty photo by Ron of the different beer taps.beers (1 van 1)Below: Ron doesn’t like this photo (which I took…..) because the metal barrier is in the way of the window. But there was just no possibility to get that window without it.Jopenkerk red skirt (42)_LRBelow: I will leave you with this smiling face, wishing you a great day.Jopenkerk red skirt (72)_LR


No Fear of Fashion



  1. Marianne
    31 January 2016 / 18:01

    When I opened your post of today it brought a big smile on my face. Why, because of all the colors and the nice surroundings, but mostly because of your outfit. I hope you are not offended but this outfit makes you look 10 years younger than the long skirt of last week. You need color in your outfit and then the length of your skirt is perfect with the opaque tights. To me you look like a naughty girl, well done.

    • Greetje
      31 January 2016 / 20:10

      You have the same opinion as my mom. Perhaps I should have the seamstress take up the hem of that black skirt. But I am glad you like this outfit.

  2. 31 January 2016 / 18:52

    Stunning pictures. Great Outfit. I love your Shirt. I’ m a stripe Fan 😉
    Have a nice evening.

    • Greetje
      31 January 2016 / 20:10

      Thanks Tina. Lovely compliments. I am a stripe fan too.

  3. Wendra
    31 January 2016 / 19:25

    The red skirt is a great idea for Valentines Day ! Great photo you took of your husband, you two are a good looking and handsome couple 🙂 Very sweet to see and read.

    • Greetje
      31 January 2016 / 20:11

      Perhaps I should add a big red heart to the tassle necklace. He… is that an idea for your necklaces? Instead of a round case a heart shaped case?

      • Wendra
        31 January 2016 / 20:13

        fun idea !

    • Greetje
      31 January 2016 / 20:11

      Thanks Nicole. Glad you like it.

  4. 1 February 2016 / 00:42

    The skirt looks fantastic on you! And I love the top! I have sooo many striped tops; whenever I see one, I want to buy it!

    The location of your photo shoot is great. Gorgeous photos!

    • Greetje
      1 February 2016 / 05:55

      Much appreciated Andrea. I am a big stripe fan too.

  5. 1 February 2016 / 04:00

    Wow! Impressive! You are getting photo shoots that are magazine worthy. Lucky for you guys to have a personal photography instructor.

    You truly got some wonderful photos indoors which is amazing. The sign of a pro blogger!

    Of course I love seeing when someone wears a piece I made. It brings it to life : )

    That photo of you on the table is frame-worthy. You, the outfit, the background, everything.

    Looking very gorgeous lady!


    • Greetje
      1 February 2016 / 05:56

      Sometimes it just works. And sometimes it doesn’t. What I have learned is that if there is no light, the photos will never be good.

  6. 1 February 2016 / 04:12

    Great outfit. The pencil-skirt couldn’t be sharper. (Ha!) I love the necklace from Suzanne. That girl has style.

    • Greetje
      1 February 2016 / 05:57

      You should have seen that skirt when I tried it on as it was originally meant, as a strapless dress. That was so not me haha.

  7. nancy
    1 February 2016 / 08:10

    My sister in law lives in Haarlem, such a beautiful city. How cool is that, that you ve been in Vancouver for a bloggers meeting! I me gonna read that part later today. GreT place to take these vpictures. Beautiful colours.

    • Greetje
      1 February 2016 / 17:58

      Yes, it has become rather a bright and colourful post, hasn’t it? I also liked how it turned out. And you are right, Haarlem is beautiful.

  8. 1 February 2016 / 11:12

    The three of you did a very good job! Nice pics, your outfit matches wonderful in this beer-church!

    • Greetje
      1 February 2016 / 18:00

      I particularly like the photo of me sitting on the table. With a thank you to Maarten who instructed me to put my hand on the table.

      • 1 February 2016 / 19:08

        Yes, indeed a very good pose!

  9. Katrien
    1 February 2016 / 11:54

    You make a beautiful ‘Saskia’ and red looks good on you. Like the combo with the booties. Love your picture of Ron.

    • Greetje
      1 February 2016 / 18:02

      I had to take quite a few of Ron. There were sharper photos but on those he was either laughing so much you couldn’t see his eyes anymore. Or he was looking grim.

  10. 1 February 2016 / 11:59

    I am impressed by the sharpness of these photos! I find it difficult to take just so-so photos inside!!
    Another beautiful place with lovable warm atmoshpere…a red skirt and a matching handmade necklace… very nice ! Red turned out to be a perfect colour in the Rembrandt picture…

    • Greetje
      1 February 2016 / 18:05

      If you are ever here again I will take you to it.
      And I have learned from our photography lesson: if there isn’t enough light, there is only so much you can do. Which is not an aweful lot. I now bought a photography lamp to take with us for some extra light.

      • 1 February 2016 / 18:32

        I would love to come in the future… you are my best Dutch friend!!

        • Greetje
          2 February 2016 / 19:11

          I am your ONLY Dutch friend hahaha….

  11. 1 February 2016 / 12:05

    I forgot! I did the same once:didn’t recognize a strapless dress and tryed it on like a skirt until the assistent … 🙂

    • Greetje
      1 February 2016 / 18:06

      Don’t you feel silly when you find out? I did haha. But I had a good laugh about it.

      • 1 February 2016 / 18:28

        I felt very silly! The assistant lied and said it looked nice all the same…of course I laughed
        ( then the assistant added that many ladies had already done the same with the dress ! )

  12. 1 February 2016 / 17:35

    Did you know the inside of the place was mostly red? It’s such a perfect backdrop for you….and the pictures turned out great!! So…are you going to let us in on the secrets of the inside photography???
    I love that you remade that dress into a skirt! That’s the best thing about clothing—you can change it up!!
    ps…I forgot to mention how great you look!!

    • Greetje
      1 February 2016 / 18:18

      You are always so sweet to me. Thank you. No I didn’t know the interior of the Jopenkerk was red. The outfit was chosen because a) I had just styled it, b) it had not appeared on the blog yet and c) it was a light coloured outfit which is what Ron suggested. So pure coincidence.
      The secret of the inside photography… OK I will tell you even though I feel like a lame leading the blind. Always use your smallest lense (usually the standard one). As lenses like a long lense or a wide angle lense let in less light (if I knew the English terms I could explain why.. Something like there are more lenses inside those lenses.)
      Then we put the camera on Shutter speed and choose 1/80 or 1/100. If you have a tripod or something else to rest the camera on, you can improve to go to 1/60. Choosing Shutter Speed (S) will instruct the camera automatically to calculate what diaphragm to pick. You don’t need to set that. Put ISO and White Balance on AUTO. You can ply a bit more with lighter or darker (that is an option). If you choose for diaphragm (D) as starting point you better make sure the camera is on a tripod as you cannot influence the shutter speed. Do I make sense? Any questions?

  13. 1 February 2016 / 18:31

    What a great location to do your shoot in. You always come up with such unusual venues! Your ‘Rembrandt’ pose made me smile! We’re going to have to call you Saskia from now on, if you’re not careful!
    Suzanne’s necklace has the perfect outfit and backdrop and what a pairing – the necklace and those fabulous booties. Just a little bit sexy with those thin heels and the pointy toes.


    • Greetje
      2 February 2016 / 18:31

      My dear husband comes up with the locations (bless him). And I can rell you it wasn’t easy to stand on those heels with a sprained ankle.

  14. 1 February 2016 / 20:11

    Your posts just keep getting better and better. Your dedication to blogging, with your choices of outfit, locations, and eye to photographic detail with Ron, is inspiring, and you wrap it all up with your priceless humour.

    I remember that red skirt. I thought it was a skirt too, with cool bulges. Hahaha.Your Rembrandt is a definite keeper and I like the chair: Mystery Woman with Chair on Table. Oh, in that one photo it looks like the clipboard behind you is a hat. Very nice touch even if you didn’t mean it.

    • Greetje
      2 February 2016 / 19:02

      I didn’t mean that “clipboard” to be coming out of my head. I even considered photoshopping it out. But that would spoil the picture. I don’t think it is a clipboard. It is a lamp or a part of the brewing machine or something like that. Thank you for all your compliments.?

  15. 2 February 2016 / 05:06

    I totally agree with Melanie, your posts just keep getting better and better. It’s becoming quite an outstanding hobby the two of you are doing together. I love this! I’m so impressed with your ability at taking these photos indoors, they turned out fabulous! Very professional looking. You couldn’t have chosen a better outfit for this location.
    And this outfit . . . Wow!!! The skirt turned out perfectly, (I am laughing at the dress) and you pairing it with those tights and heels gives it a nice (even a bit sexy) vibe.

    • Greetje
      2 February 2016 / 19:06

      Well Trina… In my heart I am still a high heeled pump girl. But one has got to go with the times haha. So if booties are modern, booties it is. The opaque tights is an idea I “stole” from catoinamsterdam. As for the photos, I now bought a little lamp to take with us to indoor photoshoots. As we learned: if there is not enough light, your photos will never be that good. The choice of the outfit was a coincidence. Ron said: no dark colours, it is dark enough inside. Thanks for the compliments. I will pass them on (though I am convinced Ron does it just for me and not because he likes doing it).

  16. Christine
    2 February 2016 / 05:07

    You look terrific in this outfit! And the brewery photos are lovely. Now I’m thirsty.

    • Greetje
      2 February 2016 / 19:07

      I say cheers and thank you.

  17. 2 February 2016 / 14:21

    You know how I fell about skirts, and you look sooooooooooooooo fantastic in this one.
    Love , love the whole post atmosphere. I feel as i am there.

    • Greetje
      2 February 2016 / 19:09

      That is the result I am aiming for. Because if you like it, you will return. As for the skirt outfit… I had no idea everybody would be so enthousiastic. See how little I know about styling?

  18. 2 February 2016 / 23:59

    Your Ron is an amazing man. So patient and very serious about his job as blog photograper. The pictures are beautiful, Greetje…the quality of the images and of course – you! The lighting gives such a gentleness to the shots, which plays nicely against the bright red. By the way, red looks really good on you. Funny story about it being a dress 🙂

    • Greetje
      3 February 2016 / 13:58

      Ron is even more of an amazing man as he is not at all interested in this photography business. He just wants to help me to improve my blog. Isn’t that sweet?
      And yes, red is my colour… more red to come at the end of this month.

  19. Happiness at Mid Life
    3 February 2016 / 07:12

    Love the location and the look Greetje! So I am curious, did you alter this strapless dress to a skirt or you’ve worn a top to go over the dress?


    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

    • Greetje
      3 February 2016 / 14:02

      The seamstress altered the dress and made it into a skirt. We left the top bit with the elastic band as it was. It sits a bit low, just under my waist, which is fine. She straightened out the bulges and tapered the skirt towards the knees. We decided how long (or short) we wanted the hemline, she powder marked it at the right height and just cut it. There was no need for stitching as the original was the same. The skirt is lined with a second layer which is very good for hiding tummies.

  20. 3 February 2016 / 16:06

    What a beautiful environment for a micro brewery! Your pictures are just gorgeous. Michael and I love going to micro breweries here in the Mid-West United States. Your skirt is just wonderful. I have never had a red skirt but just got some red pants in the mail yesterday and i can’t wait to wear them!

    • Greetje
      3 February 2016 / 16:46

      I love the colour red. It is such a happy colour. Well any shade of red really. Or yellow. Preferably bright. Even though I had been to the brewery/restaurant twice before, it surprised me too with its beauty. Have fun with your red pants.

  21. 5 February 2016 / 22:25

    I love the rich tapestry colours of this location. The whole place is very atmospheric and really offsets your beautiful red skirt so well. Ron is so good at choosing these backdrops for you – he’s clearly a very attentive and caring husband. That tabletop pose is great despite your red head dress! And I love the final shot of your lovely smiling face, the perfect end to an inspiring post.
    Anna’s Island Style

    • Greetje
      6 February 2016 / 09:49

      I passed your compliments on to Ron. And you are right. He is my jackpot. I hope you have had a lovely holiday. Will visit your blog this weekend.

  22. 6 February 2016 / 15:56

    Great pictures, Greetje and Ron! A lovely reportage.

    • Greetje
      6 February 2016 / 16:20

      The colours are very warm, aren’t they? Learning a little bit every day.

  23. 14 February 2016 / 14:25

    I’m so delayed in my response! GASP. :O

    But, Greetje, I love this Style Story!! And therefore, I recently just highlighted you on my most recent Style Story. I love your fashion but I love the stories you tell just as much. You and your husband have such fun. It’s quite admirable–as I write on Valentine’s Eve! Ha!

    You inspire me.

    Love, Ann

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