A day at sea

The past few months, and August in particular, have been massively eye-opening for me.

What is this whole photography thing? Why have I been fairly obsessed with it for over eleven years now? What do I want it to be? But most of all, what do i need it to be?

Photography has been many things for me. It has been a search for beauty and knowledge, going over finding love and unexpected connection, to ending up what it has actually always been: a way to express myself in a way that I fail to do so in real life, as I assume is the case since people keep insisting on calling me ‘mysterious’… There is just something comforting about pouring myself into a picture, fragile and imperfect, and finding that people are interested in seeing that. And that I am not afraid.

I am generally so afraid.

I want my photography to be emotional, personal, physical. I am less interested in capturing perfect looking models in their most attractive ways. It is nice, I admit. There are some unbelievably beautiful people out there and yes – if you pair them with an interesting location and some good hair and makeup, some proper styling, then boom – you’ve got yourself a picture. But does that picture make you feel anything?

What is it that makes a photo truly unforgettable?

What is the world you want to create?

I want a world where this crazy, introverted (one doesn’t exclude the other) 34-year old female can express herself. A world filled with color, emotion, intimacy, simplicity and flaws. Or as Shannon L. Alder said: “There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness.”

a-day-at-sea-by-els-vanopstal

Paint it black

Earlier this year I made some self portraits featuring a white background and black paint, and since then I’ve had the idea stuck in my head of making a portrait like this. It’s always interesting to see how an idea in your head transforms when you try to turn it into reality. Victim of choice was Charlotte, who I’ve basically been shooting with since my early photography days (and her early modelling days). Of course Kathleen Van Walle, the only makeup artist who can read my mind, had to be there for the party as well. Another Sunday well spent!

Paint it black

Credits
Model: Charlotte Goyvaerts
MUA: Kathleen Van Walle
© Els Vanopstal