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October 1, 2018

Collectors: Richard’s selfie collection


Ever met your idol and couldn’t resist the urge to take a selfie with him or her? Richard Veen understands you. Or better yet: he takes his fandom to the next level. He’s been taking selfies with famous Dutchies for almost 25 years now, resulting in a selfie collection that would even make Kim Kardashian jealous. You can see his collection in Werkplaats now.

How did this collection start?

It was about 25 years ago, when my work organised a party and hired Gerard Joling (Dutch singer) to perform. I thought: ‘he’s standing right next to me, I might as well ask for a photo’. After I developed the photo I enjoyed looking at it so much, that I decided to have my picture taken with more celebrities. Now I have somewhere between 200 and 300 photos.

Which of the photos is your favorite?

I have to go for a recent one with Máxima, the queen of the Netherlands. She has been on my list for a long time and when I finally had the chance to take a picture with her, I was over the moon. Some celebrities are a lot harder to get than others, because they always have a lot of security around them. Máxima is one of them. Next up: the king! I’m also proud of the photos I’ve taken with singers Wolter Kroes and Frans Bauer, because they know who I am now and we have such a nice connection.

Ok, so you managed to get really close to so many of your idols. What’s your secret?

The internet is my friend. I check online to see if there are any album presentations or signing sessions planned in my area. Or I sit in the audience for talk shows and try to ask for a selfie after the show. Yes, it takes some effort but if I end up with a great photo, it’s all worth it. My secret is luck and lots of patience. Sometimes, you wait for a long time to take someone’s picture, but they end up walking by because they are busy. I get disappointed, but I understand. When that happens I just say: well if it was easy to collect these pictures, it would be a lot less fun!

When is your collection complete?

I keep selecting more people on my list, so not any time soon. I just love the feeling I get when I get another one, especially when it’s someone who is hard to get close to. It feels like scoring the winning goal in an important football match. Right now I would love to be photographed with King Willem-Alexander and Amsterdams new mayor Femke Halsema. I heard she’s been in Volkshotel before, so Femke if you are reading this: You are on my list!

Volkshotel is looking for collectors. Those with an untamable passion for quirky items. To show off their special collections and to tell the special stories behind it. Happen to know one? Let us know at

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