Maurice Mikkers
Published in
6 min readJun 29, 2016


Are you interested in turning your unique tear and story into a unique work of art? Then this is your unique opportunity, from now on it’s posable to book your private session for Imaginarium of Tears. By doing this you will become part of the Imaginarium of Tears project, and therefore fulfilling the idea of Imaginarium of Tears.

This donating session costs 125 euro, and by doing this you will be supporting the project. Next to that it will give you the unique and exclusive opportunity, to turn your tear and your story in to an unique work of art.

Where: The Hague (The Netherlands)
Price: 125 euro’s
Duration: 1- 2 hours.

How do I book a session?
You can book your sessions by sending me an e-mail, and I will contact you with dates that are currently available, from these dates and times you can choose the most convenient option.

What will I get after the session?
After the session is ended I will process your image this proces takes up to two hours. So since this takes some time you will receive the finalised crystalised tear image later by e-mail.

This file is sufficient enough to make a high quality print yourself up to 20x20 cm. The file specs you will be receive by e-mail are: .JPG, 300DPI, 2000 x 2000 pixels.

You will receive your tear in a file format of 2.000 x 2.000 pixels at 300 dpi (for online viewing purposes I have made this image 16:9, the received files wil be square)

No responsibility is taken for any sizes printed above 20x20cm by 3rd party’s with the provided file. Larger prints are only available on request and are managed by Imaginarium of tears. You can find the prices and printing options below. For examples of the print or any questions or any other inquiries please contact me.

What steps will be conducted during a session?
Once you are at the “Micrograph Stories” Pilot Lab in The Hague we will go trough the following steps of the session;

  1. ) After the session is booked, a short and basic questionary will be send to you. This questionary will aks some basic information so I know a little bit more a bout you.

This questionary is also important to you, since this can maybe help in preparation of finding a way of crying. Since crying on command is difficult, and even more if you have to figure this out on the spot. Safe to say it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for this session. Next to that it will also give me an idea about the story you wan to share.

To keep te tears genuine and the stories interesting I will only accept emotional tears happy or sad, all tears of emotional value are welcome.

2.) A warm welcome and introduction of the proces, the office / lab and the exhibited works.

3.) After the introduction you will be given some personal time to get emotional, or time to tell your story. From experience differs from person to person, but since not everybody can cry so easy its good to take notice of the fact that it will often take some time. Some moments can be recalled genuinely but others are just more difficult.

While you are getting ready to share your stories and tears I will prepare the tools and materials to capture your tear when it rolls down your cheek.

4.) When your close to tearing up, I will ask you to notify me so I can assist you with collecting the tear drop with a micro pipet. Tears are collected as close as posable to the eye rolling down the cheek.

Please take in consideration that the different “fases of crying” are happening in small steps. First your eyes starte to tear up, then the area around the eyes get “wet”, you will often start to snivel. Often soon after you wil start tearing up and produce tears that will roll over the cheeks. For the project it’s important to at least have more then 2 good tear drops to create more small drops to examine.

5.) Between the collection period and the preparation of the tears to be imaged they are stored in a small 1.5 ml reaction tube (eppendorf cup).

6.) When there are enough tears collected in the reaction tube, its time to dispence them in to small drops of 1 to 5mm in diameter on a glas slide.

7.) The slide with the tear drops is now ready to be put underneath the microscope. Now we need to find one of the many drops on the slide to focus on. Once found we can focus and fine tune the microscope and camera settings, so we can start recording the crystallisation proces.

It’s time to wait until the tear drops start to crystallise, this proces can take up to 30 minutes depending on your physiology, the humidity and temperature. Below you can see one of my latest crystallisation of a tear drop in real time.

Movie showing the last part of the crystallisation proces where the crystals are formed.

8.) The crystalised tear is now ready to be imaged. But before we are going to image a “random” tear drop on the slide, we are going to find the most beautiful and statistically representative tear on the slide. This is done by scanning the slide though the microscope by eye, the best crystalised tears will be noted to later on select for imaging with the DIY microscope scanning stage.

10.) After the best tear drop is selected the imaging proces wil start. This proces can take up to 1h depending on the resolution and size of the tear drop. Which after the post proces will start that can also take up to 1h, to create its final form.

More information about the technical proces can be found back here.

11.) Once this imaging and post proces starts the session is almost ready. At this point I will ask you to pose, this so I can make a portrait of you as the volunteer / donator of the tear in the studio.

Sketch idea of the portrait studio session. (for online viewing purposes I have made this image 16:9, the received files wil be shot in portrait)

12.) The last step is to provide me with the needed details of your story, part of these questions are already answered with the questionary but some questions still need to be filled in at this moment since now you have shed / donated your tear.

The session is now ended, once the tear is fully processed and edited you will receive the digital file with its specs that are as described above.

Video impression:
Interested? Then please watch the small reportage / documentary of 5 minutes created by Euromaxx. This short explains the project, its process and the pilot lab itself.

German version can be found here:

What will be done with the data and images?
Tears and stories that are donated will be included into a possible future; exhibition, online “database” and book “Imaginarium of Tears — The beautiful secrets of tears, revealed by a microscope”. As for the portrait and questionary its still not sure in what way it wil be used or if and how it will be included in the project when it comes to the exhibition, online database or book.

Cover sketch of the book

Can I also send in my tears?
Unfortunately, its not posable at the moment to send in your tears. This is due the fact that tear fluids will degrade fast after you have shed your tears and are hard to preserve. At the moment I’m still figuring out ways to make this posable, till that time the only option is to donate at our pilot lab or during our exhibitions.



Maurice Mikkers

Independent Photography Professional from The Hague (The Netherlands) #Micrographs #Science #Tech #Art #Creative #Concepts