Isabell Janssen Photographer Press Photo

Isabell Janssen: The Outsider.i Bringing Inclusivity into Focus

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Isabell Janssen Photographer Press Photo

Isabell Janssen, the talent behind the alias Outsider.i, consistently sets her lens on the diversity of humanity. The Amsterdam-based artist has a keen dedication to capturing authentic images, centering on the varying beauty of humans in their authentic form. A reflection of life’s rich tapestry, her work pulses with an earnest desire to explore human connection, to dive into the very essence of what it means to be a part of this vast, complex network of individuals.

With her passionate engagement with non-dominant communities, Janssen seeks to narrate their stories and connect people, a manifestation of her desire for knowledge and understanding. There is an undeniable power in her photography, an element of honesty, of rawness, that results in intimate storytelling images that incite wonder and provoke thought.

“Photography for me is about honesty,” she muses. “It’s about capturing people as they truly are, in all their diversity and beauty. I strive to create images that feel authentic, that make the viewer stop and think. I want my work to be a reflection of the world as I see it – diverse, complex, and beautiful.”

Janssen’s work, both personal and commercial, is a testament to the potency of her creative vision. She emphasizes the representation of LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC individuals, aiming to contribute to a broad and diverse depiction of humanity. The impact of such representation cannot be underestimated; to see oneself mirrored in the media is to recognize one’s potential, to visualize one’s opportunities and possibilities. It’s a feeling of empowerment that Janssen wholeheartedly wishes to bestow upon all, in collaboration with her clients.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is knowing that it has the potential to make a difference,” Janssen remarks. “I strongly believe in the power of representation, and it’s an honor to be able to contribute to that through my photography.”

In the upcoming Q&A, we delve further into the inspirations and influences behind Janssen’s work. We explore how she uses her lens to both question and reshape societal expectations, creating a space where all feel seen, all feel heard, and all feel recognized.


This is a recent image I shot during Paris Fashion Week at the Dior show. Around seven years ago, I began my photography career in fine art and fashion. One of my first shoots was behind-the-scenes at Amsterdam Fashion Week for a small brand.

It’s been satisfying to see the growth of my images, style, and ability to capture people in their natural essence. At its core, my photography remains the same. I strive to highlight people’s natural beauty, focus on their authentic emotions, and tell compelling stories through my work.

Not only was I in awe of having Winnie Harlow in front of my lens, but as a person, she stands for much of what I aim to capture in my work: strengths, diversity, and power. This image captures a moment I’ll never forget.


Personal work is very important to me. While working with brands is always exciting and a great way to challenge my work and style, personal work gives me the freedom to try out new things, explore different styles, and tell stories that are dear to my heart.

This photo was taken in 2020 during a very fun shoot with over 20 people whom I met through social media. I wanted to create a shoot where the models had fun, and I was able to capture the authentic emotions that were at the core of the day. This image, in particular, really captures what this shoot was all about – the range of people, emotions, and different stories that were all captured in one photo.

In my work, I prioritize bringing BIPOC people and LGBTQIAP+ people to the forefront. This focus is evident not only in my personal work but also in the commercial work that I do. I believe it is essential to create more spaces where people can see themselves represented in diverse media.


Both of my parents loved traveling and exploring the world with a camera in hand. I received my first children’s camera at the age of four and have been taking travel photography ever since.

Capturing different cultures, people, and countries is one of my favorite things to do. It allows me to explore new places and make memories. While I never let getting the perfect shot stand in the way of fully experiencing a place in the moment, photography is also a way to make other people curious about different places and hopefully inspire them to explore themselves.

I recognize the privilege of being able to travel to so many different places and am grateful for it. This year, I took this shot in Mexico. The colors, sunlight, and warmth of the image really capture what I want my photography to be. I used a small Fujifilm camera while traveling so I wouldn’t feel weighed down and could get closer to people without being intimidated with a big camera.


The image is part of a personal project about the lesbian community in The Netherlands. I took this photo this year, and for me, it represents a rekindling of my passion for photography and using the medium to tell stories that matter to me. After working in photography for about seven years, you sometimes need a little push to get your creative juices flowing. This project really helped me with that, and this image demonstrates the way of looking at the world that I want to portray in my work.

Although this image is abstract and not the type of portrait I normally love to shoot, the way the sunlight sets the mood for the image and the object that tells the story of a person without showing that person is a technique I want to incorporate into my portraits.


As a photographer, I find the process of capturing the perfect shot during performances to be incredibly exhilarating. There’s something about the energy of the artist, the set, the crowd, and the adrenaline-fueled hustle of getting the right shot that makes your heart race.

In particular, this shot stands out to me as a personal favorite. It was taken for Highsnobiety during WooHah in the Netherlands in 2018, and to this day, it still excites me. Everything about this shot just seems to capture the essence of what that show was all about – the high energy of Asap, the passion of the crowd, and the unmistakable feeling of being right in the middle of something truly special.

From the moment I snapped the shutter, I knew that I had captured something that really captures the show. Looking back on it now, I still feel that same rush of excitement that I felt in that moment – the sense of joy and satisfaction that comes from knowing that I was able to freeze that one perfect moment in time, preserving it forever for others to enjoy.


Queer love brings me happiness, which is why I decided to dedicate a project to it last year. This project brought me so much joy and opened up new opportunities. When you do what you love, amazing things can happen. We even turned the images we used in an Amazon series into a video. It was gratifying to see the work I created out of passion appreciated through a commercial lens as well.

Often, photographers shy away from commercial work. However, what message can you convey with your work if almost nobody sees it? This is not to say that I don’t believe it’s important to create work purely for personal enjoyment. But I do believe in the power of creating work that is seen by thousands of people, as this is where impact can be made on a large scale.

This project achieved both. It had a small, simple concept that brought me a lot of joy, and commercial outcomes that reached thousands of people.