Fuck – I can say that right? seeing how this is my blog? – well fuck:) My mind’s a mess. A distracted, unfocused, bordering on happy, mess. Everything I do, read or see makes me want to do something else. There is one overwhelming desire and in order to make that happen my mind is open to every thought, from every angle. If I can’t think of it myself, ideas handed to me by friends are just as interesting and appealing. Right now every thought, every conversation, every email makes want to check out something else. Desire, need, possibility.
I submitted my work to Foto Festival Naarden yesterday. I ended up choosing three images that I think are basically stand alone images yet work as a series as well, with the right explanation to go with it. The images are of Hendrik Vermeulen, Tshepo Moche and Tristan Waterkeyn. The theme of these photos is a sub theme of Swimming Upstream (I just made that up but it works) being “pressure to succeed”, be it professional, social or psychological pressure.
Tshepo. I should edit more images from the shoot we did. Same for Hendrik. Haven’t done a shoot in ages. I should set some up. Oh right, I still have to reply to that one email. And write those publishers, one in England, two in the NL. It reminds of that sailing trip. Should edit those as well.
Back to FFN. The other 3 images I had chosen were a different one of Hendrik Vermeulen, Monishia Schoeman and Donovan Copley. They looked quite good together and more cohesive in a way, but on the other hand I felt the images were more about their profession, location and inspiration than the more emotional charge the first three had. Plus, and that was the decisive argument for me, they were so obviously not taken in the NL and I didn’t want to be thrown out of the competition on first viewing. The theme of ‘Portraits’ was heavily influenced by the Dutch masters such as Vermeer, Rembrandt etc and I am not entirely sure how Dutch everything should be. The first three were taken in SA and my subjects are all (South) African yet there is something Dutch about the use of light. Dutch Light. Remember the documentary ‘Hollands Licht’ by Maarten en Pieter-Rim de Kroon?… hey, that could be the subject of my research paper “Dutch Light overseas”.
Wait. Research paper? Weren’t we talking about FFN? Yes, we were. And this is why I said fuck in the beginning…
A few friends sent through links to useful websites (thanks Katinka, Mathijs, Lieve and Femke. Please keep them coming:)) and I check each and everyone, excitedly. I flick through them fast, finding it hard to focus and distracted as always by the sub story, odd detail or story and how to make it work for me.
One of the links was for SIP (Sphilman Institute of Photography) who are putting out general calls for submission to research proposals for photography projects. Crap sentence… Point is, there are $5,000 and $10,000 grants to be won. All you have to do is write a research paper on anything “photography”. I could totally write about Dutch Light in contemporary photography. Or Dutch Light found abroad. Is it a cultural thing or a skill that we take with us as we travel ? Or is it a geographical thing? Then why is there a hint of Dutch Light in my portraits taken in SA?
South Africa. Swimming Upstream. I should re-write all the interviews into a more general and coherent article in order to make it more interesting for magazines here in the NL. Magazines. I should get back in touch with Andy from Mahala. It would be a waste to let a possibility die like that. Possibilities. I have to follow up on the phone conversations I had with photo agencies Infidels and Shine. (Done while blogging) Oh and I should check the Shapeshifters site again. Sites. Right. I should register on Randstad (Dutch temp agency) and find a job. And update my LinkedIn profile. Look for those groups people tell me about.
Images from my project flash across my mind’s eye in the mean time. Locations, atmosphere. Now that reminds me of the Bouw in Beeld prijs. This year’s theme is “Playground”. Can’t I find a way to fit the Donovan Copley, Monishia Schoeman, Hendrik Vermeulen pictures into their rules? And the Lauren Fowler one? Lauren Fowler. W.I.C. Word of Art. Berlin. Wasn’t there a call for artists on the transartists site in Berlin? I type in www.transartists.nl and flick through their site quickly. Wait… what? Cape Town.
As I read the words Cape Town my heart jumps to another beat straight away. I am seriously missing my Cape Town life & friends. I’m pretty much thinking non stop of all the cool people in CT I still want to photograph or chat to, stuff I want to do see and do there. I see myself doing it all. But it brings me right back to reality here as I need money to get me to CT. Money. Work. Ah. Remember to write to so and so. Send out quote. Keep logging hours. Make appointments. Register on Randstad. But what about re-writing your interviews? Anything to get me back where I want to be. Be where I want to be.
I am not a mess. I should just focus. Joy was right, lists are the way to. Put pen to paper and just work your way down that lists. Ah. Lists. Ass kicking last year. Joy. Capri. Makes me think of all sorts of things:) See my problem? How could I possibly fit in a 9-5 job? 🙂
I hate all the music they’re playing on Kink today… Fergie and Slash? *cringe*, makes my teeth fall out. Saybia? Yawn. Not my favorite video but a beautiful song by The Dears from a couple of years ago and awesome title… worth stealing:)
In an attempt to change my attitude and be a little bit happier, oh and because it actually may be fun, I decided to enter some images into a photo competition. Two competitions even… I have only done this once before and never even heard back. Oh well.. new days and all that. The theme of the one festival, Foto Festival Naarden, is ‘Portraits’ which, yay, is right up my alley. It is what I do after all. Should be easy enough to find something good enough to enter… I look for the Rules & Regulations.
“All photos must be taken between January 2009 and January 2011.” No problem. One can submit 1-5 images. Also not a problem. When submitting a series, the photos must form an “unbreakable unit”. Oh. I don’t do series that well. Stand alone images are more my forte than series but then again Swimming Upstream is my attempt at a series so I should be able to find something. I read on… Sub Themes… Oh #2… there are 8 of them but ai, there isn’t that much choice at all for me as I hardly fit any of the themes. In fact, I only fit one.
The sub themes are Bare Essence (nudes), Famous Heads (your own visual interpretation of someone famous), Just Me (selfies), Second Skin (people in uniforms), Photoshop Mania (go PS wild), Polaroid vs SmartPhone, Studentenwerk (whatever you are working on at Art School) or On Going Project.
That only leaves one category for me, as I don’t have any nudes, I have famous people or well-known people but they aren’t Dutch, I don’t like doing self portraits and therefore have non, I use Photoshop but don’t go wild which could be a reason to enter into this category as I could be part of the low-end of the Photoshop spectrum but I am assuming there are looking for all out photoshopped images. Then there is the Polaroid vs Smartphone one well ugh… I like the idea of an established photo festival trying to incorporate smartphones etc but well… I don’t have a smart phone or a Polaroid so that possibility is out as well. I am not at the Academy of Art nor have I ever been at the Academy of Art which leaves On Going project as the only possible category.
Cool. On Going Project it is then. It’s what Swimming Upstream is and hey, maybe it’s not a bad thing to only fit into one category. Kinda how things are for me anyway. I want this, not that etc…
Back to Rules & Regulations. Besides fitting into any of the categories one must either be a student at an established School of Art, belong to a professional photographer’s association (I don’t but could join one today and enter the competition tomorrow), belong to a photo agency (aaah Duncan? Help:-) uhmmm ok I belong to World Portraits and will be included in The Imaginarium’s database), be able to name a professional reference (wtf.. what does that even mean? I’m sure I can?), won stipends or grants etc (nope) and/or have exhibited one’s work… phiew… finally YES. Cool.
What’s next? Ah… 35 euros entrance fee. For someone as broke as I am 35 euros may as well be 3,500 euros as zero money is zero money but oh well it can’t be that I can’t do this over some silly entrance fee so I’ll make it work. Somehow.
Now this turns out to be a really nice bridge to my next uhm… “dilemma”. The friend’s mother I mentioned in September Girls sent me an email looking for some images and is willing to pay for them, however, she is not looking to buy a printed and framed photo but a high res image and wonders what would it cost. Good question and great, except that it feels very wrong to ask her for money. It feels wrong for a couple of reasons. If she was buying a physical product where there are actual costs involved it is easier to charge money. Let’s say she does want to buy a framed image, then I’d have something to hand over to her and that she could put on the wall. Now it is simply sending an email on my side and she still has to drive to town to get something printed and framed and all costs are on her side. The other thing is, that my friend has been a huge help in my project and well, a friend. Charging his mother just feels wrong. And my final thing is, seeing how I don’t have an SA bank account but a Dutch one most of the money would get lost in international transfer fees. Guess the answer would be to charge her 35 euros… but the transfer fees are more than that… Ugh.
Any suggestions, ass kickings or any comments of the “stop whining” or “get your butt into gear” are welcome:-)
I am now going to come up with a selection to send in…Have a vague idea of which ones but not sure at all yet. It’s going to be a “kill your darlings kind of day” I’m sure…
Listening to Suarez (easy French folk pop), Dazzled Kid and White Lies. And still backing up files of the last 6 months. Have cleared out 38 gigs so far… Also have to go to a temp agency today…
Oh and the photos: top is Tristan Waterkeyn, then Tshepo Moche and bottom one S.A. Partridge and Timothy Lester. About time to do some new shoots:-)
Why don’t we try the big knife? It seemed like a good idea. Oranges, pineapples, a blender, a pan. Not just any pan, an orange frying pan. The knife was only because the dog didn’t like to be held.
We are in a gorgeous house in the Bo-Kaap and I am doing a shoot with Tshepo Moche, a young AFDA student who will graduate this November. I really wanted someone at the beginning of their career as well just to show the whole process. And I hadn’t photographed anyone in the city yet so this was a wonderful opportunity to do so. You can’t really tell by the photos that it is in the city but I know and that’s enough for now.
No, we did not need the knife because the dog didn’t want to be held. The idea was for Tshepo to be this bored house wife holding smokes and a cute blond doggie. The doggie didn’t like it and the house was smoke free so we nixed the idea.
I struggled a little bit with the light. I like using just natural light and I have been doing so throughout this project and didn’t want to change that. I managed though. We shot in the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen and back to the living room again.
The awesome news is that we have also started working on a video for this project. Cait Pansegrouw and Pierre de Villiers are shooting it and I am so lucky to have them on board. It will be so cool and can’t wait to see what the final product will look like:-)
I haven’t done much all morning. Just emailed a bit, sent through interviews from last week and edited one photo. Ai. Time to go out for a run.
The rest of the week will see me editing the photos from yesterday and a couple still more to do from Lauren’s shoot as well. I may do a shoot on Thursday but that’s still up in the air. I will pay a visit to the Museum Gallery once again to go over the press release and set things up properly tomorrow. I will likely meet up with Tshepo after that so we can do the Swimming Upstream interview. We never got round to it yesterday. Too many knives, oranges, coffees, baths and playing dress up to distract us. It was a cool day.
The photo above is just an outtake from yesterday’s shoot. The title comes from Antony & the Johnsons new album. I don’t really like them but I like the title:-)