I was looking to put together a portfolio to use as marketing, to show my work and try to generate interest. I feel that an iPad or screen is too virtual, a piece needs to be felt as well as seen, so a book seemed appropriate. So I started.
It became more of a journey about my photography than a portfolio in the end. I really enjoyed spending time with the images and trying to convey what I felt about each piece. I was surprised about some of my own thoughts and how that connected with the time and place I took the images. Also, as I have been told it is a 'thing', I needed to write a little about my photography and what sort of photographer I was. I am not sure there are types, but I tried to put my thoughts down. It was hard. Too hard. I gave up many times and at some point, thought, instead of trying to write the piece I need, I will just write down anything that comes up and use what I can from the out pouring. Here is what emerged onto the page that night (accompanied by a glass of red or two):
"I have been a photographer for quite some time now. And I use the word photographer loosely, as its not my profession, I have not been trained, I have no certifications in photography, I stand naked and unknowlegded in this particular world. But, I have a camera (several by now) and importantly, I have a passion. A need to capture that something. It gets me up before dawn, it compels me to bring my camera everywhere I travel, to observe and to 'make'. I am English but speak Dutch and in that language you don't take a picture, you make it. Perhaps then, I should have started with "I have been a maker for quite some time now".
There is conflict between the pieces I create, some are simple, clean and tranquil, a reflection on who I’d like to be. The “this is the best side” feeling of the world. These pieces depict a calm I rarely manage to achieve in my own timeline but long to find. They show the depth and breadth of the beauty in the world, of the people and of the plethora of lifeforms that surround us all. Full of hope and respect and form and grace. There really is something amazing in everything. Then there is the other side. Pieces dark and grubby. These show my lack of trust in humanity. They highlight the depths we are slowly sinking into. Nature struggling in our cities, the refuse of our society, the disrespect we show each other, the lack of acknowledgment of the other life we live with and the others we share our time with.
There is no absolute. An image of a still and pure mountain can be corrupted with a simple soda can, discarded on its flanks. That represents disrespect, laziness, unawareness, contempt, a contamination of something that has taken millennia to mature, a total disregard for the weight of time the mountain represents.
I see this everywhere. Its so hard to ignore. But, and thats the aim, there are times and places where our species hasn’t disrespected this planet, where mother earth still shines and has the love of those around it. Those are the pieces, pure, calming and simple, I am trying to find. We can find them here, between us all, we just have to watch and be patient.
Welcome to my conflict .. "