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About Grietje

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Grietje van der Heide (Grace)

"Every person is beautiful"


I've always had a passion for photography and a strong sense of helping people, but I didn't have a clear direction in my photography. Then my mother, Mem, was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia. The disease progressed and with it the realization that I was going to lose her. I felt a lot of sadness and powerlessness, but my mother inspired me to look at the beautiful moments. I grabbed my camera and captured these precious moments. What happened then was beyond my feeling, I felt so much gratitude that I was allowed to experience so many beautiful moments with my mother. The magical combination of my passion with the strong feeling to help others was born. I grant these beautiful and precious moments to everyone who struggles with the slow loss of a loved one to dementia.

People are emotions, expressions in all variety. It is important to me that people are valued. Those are the best pictures.  Everyone is unique and that is what makes photographing people so much fun.

This was not enough for me, I wanted to give even more happiness. I wrote the book 13 Beautiful People and Their Lost Words for people with dementia. This is an interactive book to discover the world of dementia together. Nothing is right or wrong, but making beautiful stories and moments together....... is priceless!

Driven by my passion, the MEM-bear for love & connection with your own voice was created. What this bear does to people was beyond my wildest dreams. Each story gave me a lump in my throat. Families who told with tears that their father or mother was moved by the bear with their sweet message. This is what I do it for, someone is heard and seen. People with dementia also want appreciation, respect, love and attention. They want to be treated as human beings and not as that disease.


  • 2019 Diploma obtained as a professional photographer from the photography training at the School of Photography in Utrecht.

  • 2021 Robbins Madanes Trained Coach. 


Recent photo awards and nominations:


  • 2018 - 1st prize in the Essence category of Fix Photoaward London with the photo “Rechazo”.

  • 2019 - Finalist in Siena International Photoaward with the photo “Rechazo”. 2019

  • 2019- Short listed in Pink Lady food Photographer of the year 2019 and Finalist (in the first 13) in the category Student food photographer of the year 2019 with the photo “food from all over the World”.  

  • 2020- Nominated for the Golden Plume 2019 Nieuwe Ooststellingwerver

  • 2020- Nominated for  Arno's Golden Clown Nose

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