THE FIRST STEP
I’m happy to be taking a first step again.
If you think about it, how many times do you actually take a first step?
A school, a job, a relationship.
Pivotal moments in one’s life, signifying a closure of one and the beginning of another.
Although this is one probably not as rigours.
It simply is another step for me.
My entire life I’ve been taking pictures.
The way I describe it, exemplifies how I’ve seen it until now; taking pictures.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Everyone takes pictures. You just grab a camera and press that button.
However… something always did happen when I picked up a camera.
To start I was fascinated by the technology alone.
Such a beautiful process when you really think about it.
A small nifty device lets a small burst of light in via an ingeniously crafted array of glass,
to shape a concentrated beam of seemingly random photon particles, that hit a small frame of negative film.
And just like that, that bunch of random photons, magically transform into an actual captured moment in this created concept called time.
And this entire process happens as quick as you can say ‘click’.
It’s still a fucking miracle if you ask me.
This is even only about the camera itself…let alone the moment I start to look through that view-finder…
I simply feel like a little boy again, absolutely mesmerised by the things I see through it.
Your actual focus and perception completely changes and you simply start to see things you’ve even never paid any attention to.
The minute veins of a leave, a small bug that becomes a majestic being, a simple landscape that transforms into a timeless piece of art, a genuine smile on someones face that triggers the same smile on yours.
Seeing the real beauty of things. It’s a magic box.
Although not everyone could appreciate it as much as I do, as I would simply disappear and wander around for hours, whilst other were (im)patiently waiting for me. Getting the often heard comment “you look through that goddamn thing so much, you’re missing what’s actually happening in front of you. Why can’t you just enjoy, rather than constantly taking pictures of it.”
I could only smile and agree to disagree…
Taking pictures. That was it.
I was not a photographer, I could never see myself like that.
I would almost find it arrogant to even give myself that title.
I’m just a guy who likes to takes pictures.
This bubble of insecurity and dumb comfort simply kept me there for a long time.
However, this thing called photography always came back into my life…
Via my humbling work for thisMemento.
Where I would go out and dive into different youth cultures all across the world as a researcher.
To also visually document these cultures, which we would use to story-tell the insights we’ve gained.
Changing the guy who took pictures into the in-house photographer.
Via my dear ex, the most talented Gioia de Bruijn.
Who taught me the art of analog photography.
A skill I treasure deeply and became my preferred way of capturing moments.
Via my many travels across the globe.
Where the most amazing people and moments came into my presence
and I had the absolute pleasure to capture these.
Via all my deeply loved family & friends.
Who all supported me, and seemingly start convincing me that those little snaps I took were actually kinda nice.
So, maybe it’s not really a first step.
As many steps have already been taken to get to this given moment.
But I think it’s about time that I need to get out of that constraining bubble and start seeing myself as that thing I simply love do to.
That turns me into a boy and has given me moments I will never forget.
So… I’m happy, scared and proud to be able to show and share my work with you.
My work as a photographer.
Thank you and welcome to my little world :)