Going to Ukraine, Nepal, South Korea... creating human interest stories for organisations, foundations or as autonomous work, it's what I do, what I like and what I feel comfortable with.
But I also love to get out of that comfort zone. I'm not necessarily looking for those opportunities, but when they present themselves,I like the idea and I feel that little unease in my tummy, I often say yes.
This week I had two assignments that I knew I could deliver, but I didn't expect. I just don't look for these opportunities because... well I'm out of the country to often.
One of them was a commercial gig, including a different camera (tethered shooting with a Leica M is a bitch and besides, I needed a full 200 mm zoom) and studio lighting. So I rented the whole lot and had a blast for two days. Models, set dressing, the works. Can't show you any end results (yet), but I can show you some behind the scenes.
The other shoot was a festival shoot. Something that comes by a bit more often, but still isn't my core business. And this time it was at the beach... A place called Ajuma. It was great and I love the results. Easy enough as the music, food and atmosphere were all great and even the weather (except for the wind) didn't let us down. With the VSCO analog Kodak 400 filter it even got a bit more summer vibes if you ask me.
If you like to see the whole selection, please check them here.
Next "out of the comfort zone" challenge will be in September when I do a wedding. Last time I did that is already a year ago. I'm looking very much forward to that one as well.
The rest of July and all of August, over 120 photos are exhibited at the Leica store in Amsterdam. 12 stories, the oldest dating back to 2012 give an impression of what I have been doing the last couple of years.
The past week I have been working on creating a story for KIOCH: The Kathmandu Institute of Child Health. This initiative is the vision - the dream - of one of the most famous heart surgeons in the country; Prof Dr Bhagawan Koirala.
From the 25th of May, bureaucracy has found a new high. We now have to state and document that we are actually nice people who are doing the best they can to use the data they gather - which comes automatically when working with other people - will be used with care and respect.
Two young Korean men were students of the same master in Sibpalki, a Korean martial art, when they became friends. Thirty years later, each having their own different life, they are still best friends.
This month I'm joining Jacqueline Govaert on her brief tour of 7 sold out gigs all over the country. Something totally different from what I'm used to, though it's not the regular stage photography for which I've joined the tour.
For the Breath foundation, I will be traveling to the Ukraine several times in 2018, visiting some of the families that are benefiting of the work this foundation does. It is my aim, to capture their lives, their struggles, their hope and their pleasure.
After some time off - after coming back from a long journey - I'm planning some new projects. One of the things I strongly believe in is storytelling and therefor I'm experimenting with new ways of doing just that.
Three foundations - War Child Holland, Unicef and Safe the children - are working together on a project called Team Up in which they provide regular, structured and fun activities for refugee children.
During this week I'm following 3 families up close and personal. Today moved me deeply. I had the privilege to follow Soenita and her father for the day. Soenita is a five year old girl who is raised solely by her sixty-one year old father....
Later on this same week, our team of the dopper foundation travels away from Kathmandu to 'cleaner' areas up in the mountains. We have to walk quite a bit before we reach the small community that will host us for the night.
For a project of the Dopper Foundation, I'm working in Nepal with three other storytellers: Sander - a documentary maker, Marieke - a writer and Sef - a musician. We're capturing stories - each in our own way - about water and garbage.
One of the most colourful festivals in the world. A wet dream and at the same time a nightmare for photographers. It's not that hard to shoot interesting photos during this festival, but it's very hard to keep your equipment safe for all the dust and water.