What a year it's been!
The year began with me not even knowing if I should continue as a photographer. I felt so lost. To start my business from scratch again, seemed insurmountable. Where do you even begin? I was caught between feelings of sadness for what I had to give up and frustration to start all over again.
I lost the reason
I lost the reason as to why I even became a photographer in the first place. To have a successful business you need to have a product that you believe in, if you believe in your product/service you will have no problem advertising it to the world or finding clients. This was not the case for me anymore. I just saw all of the obstacles. How would I communicate? I am not Dutch. People here won't like me or my style. So much self-doubt, so much fear. I realised that photography speaks its own language, if your work resonates with people and it stirs something inside of them they don't care about things like which language you speak. If people feel something when they look at your images, you've made the connection that drives your business.
The first year
The first year after moving to the Netherlands from South Africa, all of my equipment stayed packed away in a container. All of my time and energy went into getting everyone settled, getting to know our area, making new friends and building relationships. We bought a house, my son broke his leg and we decided to move both of our children to a different school, all of this while my husband was constantly traveling for work. My dreams seemed unreachable.
Year two was much easier. We were more settled and less confused. I could finally unpack my equipment and gather the strength to start again. I still needed to get into the right head space though, I can't shoot if I'm sad or angry, the strength of my images are connected to my emotion. If I am not focused or emotionally in a good place, I find that my images are weak. I had work to do. I had to make peace and find the beauty around me.
I read this quote and knew that this was what I longed for: Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. - Camille Pissarro
Starting small is the key I guess, doing just a little bit everyday. Setting goals and celebrating when you've reached them!! It might seem like it's not something worthwhile celebrating at first, but if you stay committed and are consistent you will look back and find that you've built something. Knowing who you are and what you want to achieve is important. For me, it is showing people how beautiful they are, capturing them in their present moment, a month from today things might look completely different. I was once told that artists/photographers have a gift of capturing the beauty around them and showing it to the world, this is still my goal. Printing images so that they can look at them and remember how crazy life was at that time.
The goal for 2019
I am not sure yet. Maybe weddings or food photography. No clue. I'm just grateful to each and every person who worked with me this year, you are all beautiful in your own unique way and it was great to work with you! Thank you for trusting me and allowing me to express myself through my lens. I find it amazing how unique every photographer's view of the world is, we can shoot the exact same scene, through the exact same lens and the images will still look different. Don't be threatened by others, there is enough sun for everybody. Learn to cheer for people! Support each other, we are all in this together.