Tag Archives: Amsterdam

New Work: Instagram take over at the CX Company

I took over the Instagram page of the CX Company for the past 10 days or so. The idea was to show the Amsterdam office and what great place to work it is. It resulted in 11 posts, 14 new followers and 131 likes. Not massive, but a nice increase nonetheless. Plus it was fun to do. Win-win I reckon:)

instagram.com/cx_company

As can be read on their website, the CX Company “provides technology, services and support that make personal customer engagement possible across every digital channel and device. By doing so they are powering the ‘digital first’ customer engagement strategies that determine success in today’s connected world.” The company has offices in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Düsseldorf, London and New York to name a few.

If you’d like to learn more about the CX Company, please just check their website: www.cxcompany.com or, of course, their Instagram page, you can find them at instagram.com/cx_company

Listening to: Shocking Blue and the XX

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A house is not a home

It suddenly dawned on me while we were strolling through Amsterdam – I’ve been  “homeless” for two years solid now. I’ve stayed in nearly 40 places ever since I put most of my belongings in storage in ’09. A suitcase, a laptop and a camera is all take with me. I like traveling relatively light, I like moving and I don’t miss my stuff, however, I am starting to miss feeling at home.

 The reason why we went to Amsterdam was to pay a visit to the Marianne Breslauer exhibition at the Jewish Historical Museum. Marianne Breslauer (1909-2001) was a photographer during the Weimar Republic and only did so for about 10 years. Marianne worked in Paris for a while where she became a pupil of May Ray. She also worked for a German agency, Academia, who told Marianne to work under a pseudonym in order to hide the fact that she was Jewish. She refused and subsequently moved to Amsterdam and to Switzerland later on. Marianne left photography behind her as she became bored with the medium and more interested in her husband’s business as an art dealer.
The exhibition was ok. I wasn’t overly impressed, I must admit. It showed quite a lot of her work, even her graduation project and several publications but the work itself never quite touched me.  To me, the best thing was the historical perspective offered by her work. I really liked seeing how the women dressed in the 30’s, the very short hairdo’s, the masculine way of dressing yet remaining ever so feminine. I would love to look like that. The other thing I really liked about Marianne, was that she just walked away from the world of photography. She explained in an interview that she had done and photographed all she wanted to do, and had simply reached an end. I like that. Knowing when it’s over.
The real reason came later. While Arthur was browsing around one of Amsterdam’s best record stores, Concerto, I found a photo book by Jim Marshall (1936-2010). Just flicking through that book is impossible. One has to stand still and look at every picture carefully. Jim has photographed all of music’s biggest stars; Beatles, Stones, Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, Blondie, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, Howling Wolf, John Coltrane. The list is endless. Most of his images have become part of our collective visual memory. Who doesn’t know that image of Johnny Cash giving the finger towards the camera, Jimi Hendrik on stage or Little Richard deep in thought before he takes to the stage?
Ohhh, imagine being his assistant for a week. The things you would see, the things I would learn. It would be amazing. To build a portfolio like his is something I can only dream of.
Perhaps that can be home for a while, not a physical place but the determination to build a strong portfolio that will take me places. I think that sounds quite lovely:)
Watch Jim Marshall here:
All photos are copyrighted and belong to the photographers:
Top: Ruth Von Morgen by Marianne Breslauer. Berlin 1934
Middle: Lisa Von Cramm by Marianne Breslauer. Berlin 1934
Bottom: June Carter and Johnny Cash by Jim Marshall
Video: Sean Dana

The Fire That Never Happened

The last week of February is turning out to be a week of photography, uhm, decisions.  Artists Wanted announced the winners of their Year in Review competition this week. The big prize goes to artist duo Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw. Congratulations to them! They will be announcing about another dozen prizes later this week but I’m not holding my breath. If I remember correctly, Foto Festival Naarden will also be announcing the nominees. I am so keen to learn if I’ve been nominated… Fingers crossed y’all:)

The big thing for me though this week, was being able to show my portfolio to the picture editor of ELLE Magazine. I was very excited about it and quite nervous as well. The fact that the trains weren’t running on time at all didn’t help matters much. There had been a fire alarm earlier that morning for a fire that never happened. It sounds almost romantic, “the fire that never happened”.

Somehow, I managed to make it to Amsterdam 45 minutes early but that was cool. That way I could just walk through the city, get to where I had to be, get a coffee and relax in the winter sun.  After having been seriously and embarrassingly late for my first Swimming Upstream interview with photographer  Neil John Smith last year, I am determined to arrive to the scene early so I can wait for a bit and pitch up on time. And yes, I reported to the reception desk perfectly on time:) I was met by the editor in the hall way and we made our way, coffee in hand, to a little room just next to the staff room where we just chatted about the magazine and my photography. She asked me a bunch of questions, like what do I like to photograph etc.

And naturally, we went through my portfolio. I always feel a little awkward doing that, and probably either talk too much or too little. There was positive and negative criticism but it was always constructive and interesting. The photos of Strato and Hendrik Vermeulen that were taken for Swimming Upstream were clear favorites, together with a portrait of SA writer Catriona Ross and the father/daughter duo on the couch that I took in Muizies two years ago.

Another thing that was very interesting  was going through the new issue while looking at the photography specifically. There is a whole item about Dutch fashion photographers and ai, I need to brush up on my knowledge that’s for sure!

I can easily tell you all about Robert Capa and Robert Frank or about Stieglitz, Steichen, Avedon and Weston. Or about Anton Corbijn, Niels van Iperen, Stephan van Fleteren, Charles Peterson, Roger Ballen or Liam Lynch and Deborah Rossouw for that matter.  I can go on and on about what it is that  those photographers do that I admire and how they inspire me. Yet, I can hardly tell you anything about Dutch fashion photography. Sure, we’re good with light. And yes, naturally, there’s world-renowned and iconic photographer’s duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin… I know about  Wendelien Daan, Viviane Sassen and Paul Bellaart but that’s about it. I’m sure I can come up with some more if I think about it, but ja,  I sure need to catch up on my knowledge of Dutch fashion photography. Fast.

The meeting ended after about 40 minutes or so and will be continued, I’ve been told:)

Oh and I like the video for new Dutch band Happy Camper. Happy Camper is more of a project than a band, I think. Musician Job Roggeveen asked 11 Dutch singers to come into the studio and sing his songs. The video they made for Born With A Bothered Mind is quite cute I thought.