Curiosity about, and openness to others was part of his education as a post WWII child from a Jewish family, with a mother that survived the concentration camp where Anne Frank was murdered. "I know from my family's experience what it means to be looked at as an outsider. In the arts if you want to create expressive portraits, you need to connect to your subject on a creative level; it is no good to be an “outsider”. When you want your subjects to accept you as an artist, you need to open yourself actively to them as a person, only then will a subject open up and show you his or her true identity. I don’t want pictures with faces and eyes that are without expression or emotion. The challenge is how to accomplish that. Sincere curiosity is crucial. It enables me to express myself through my color photography to capture the fullness of life."
René-Frank Granaada (1947) Dutch photographer, in an interview: "In my photography people play a central role, in the way they manifest themselves and show their emotions. People's appearance may depend on how they dress and decorate their bodies, but feelings and emotions are universal. My camera and wide angle lens look at all these things... my pictures are photos of people, and when they are not present, as in my pictures of the outdoors, it is as if their absence creates an extra dimension."
As a photographer René-Frank Granaada is self taught, and started out as a freelance documentary photographer in the early 1980's. Working on subjects that carried a strong personal interest to him he would then find an audience for those projects. For several years he worked on a photo report on present day American Indian grandmothers and their cultural heritage "Native American Grandmothers in a Changing World". He visited monasteries in Tibet and photographed the harsh life of the monks there. In 2005 and 2006 he worked on a series of women's portraits, ®"Wildflowers", whereby, using different photographic techniques, he pays homage to the flexibility and versatility that symbolizes women as opposed to their male counterparts: "In 2009 I started a series on musicians and artists, where I try and show both the essence of their work and how the artist relates to his or her own work. If the picture is good, you can see that connection in their faces. "