How I made “The Handshake”

Last year I made a serie of images for the website of Gebr. Sluyter B.V. The main hero image of this website is called “The Handshake”. In this blog I will show you how I made this image.


As always, first thing to do is making a sketch of the idea. I usually do this on paper, but this time I used Photoshop.

Gebr. Sluyter is situated in the Beurs WTC building in the city centre of Rotterdam.

A handshake picture is not a new idea, but Sluyter wanted their own. That is why I used the Beurs WTC as a background. Gebr. Sluyter is situated on the 17th floor of that building.

Photographing the elements

After approvement of the sketch, I started planning the different photoshoots for all the elements in the image.

The background

First of all I needed to photograph the Beurs WTC building. As you can see in the sketch, the photo had to be taken from a high standing point. There is a building in the opposite direction above “De Bijenkorf” (a wharehouse). In that building is located a hotel called Urban Residences. I asked them if I could borrow a room for a few hours. And so I went up to the 16th floor.

Me photographing the Beurs WTC building ๐Ÿ™‚
On the left in the middle you can see me standing on the balcony photographing. This shot was taken from the WTC building.

The handshake

Now I needed 2 models for the handshake. I thought it would be fun to ask 2 collegues of Gebr. Sluyter to help me out with this.

Packed my camerabag and took it to the office of Sluyter. Tom and Paul where pleased to help me out with this project ๐Ÿ˜‰

The cybershake

When shooting the handshake I also already had a second idea in mind for their cyberinsurances. A cyber handshake. So I made multiple images that day. Also I made a sketch first of course.

The Matrix ๐Ÿ˜‰


Now it was time blend both images together in Photoshop. For editing my images I use a wacom tablet, one of which you can edit directly on the screen.

My editing setup. With messy sleepy hair ๐Ÿ˜‰

I carefully made a cutout of the handshake and pasted it in the background. Then I blurred the background so that the handshake was more in focus. Last thing I had to do was drawing a window, so it looked as if they shaked hands in the office.

Corporate imaginery
Editing this image, was pretty simple compared to other projects that I have done.

The second image took a bit more time, because I needed to edit both hands and make a surreal cyberlooking background.

I actually used a image of bushes to create the cyber background.

The final image

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