Now that it’s done

2012. What a year. To say it has had its ups and downs would be quite the understatement.

Started off the year by getting my dream job. Or better: it was supposed to be my dream job. Turned out it wasn’t, for many different reasons I will not bother you with. In the summer, my boyfriend Christophe and I had the opportunity to start renovations on our future apartment. But we weren’t able to finish because Christophe got sick. He was feeling tired a lot, had a bit of a cough… Then started to loose weight and after lots and lots of encouragement, he finally went to see the doctor who prescribed pills for his heart – which was beating way too fast – and ordered blood tests. These blood tests lead to much more blood tests, x-rays, scans, etc. all the way to him being sent to the hospital for more tests and after these all being inconclusive, a small surgery. In November they finally gave us a diagnosis: cancer. It hit like a cannonball. December came with more visits to the hospital, and Christophe getting his first series of chemo therapy. And with him asking me to marry him – which I of course said yes to.

Photography wise I feel like 2012 hasn’t been as satisfying as I had hoped. While 2011 was the year of discovering the beauty of film photography, and learning to understand it, 2012 was the year of … I cannot even put a word on it. It was like I was stuck, like that dream where you’re trying to run and you can’t  get any further if your life depended on it. This does not mean that I have not loved my shoots. It just seems like I wasn’t always getting what I wanted out of them. I made photos that people seemed to like, but the photos didn’t feel like me and because of that I could not fully take credit for them. Perhaps the fact that some of these photos seemed to be loved more than my work that does feel like me, actually hurt a little. This is also one of the reasons why I am taking up a ‘photo a day’ project (aka a ‘365’) in 2013, starting tomorrow.

Goodbye 2012. You won’t be forgotten.

now that its done

Credits
© Els Vanopstal

While you’re in the world

Sometimes I think about how other people see photography. For a lot of them, a photo is just a photo. It’s something you can look at, and like or dislike. It’s something you (I) do. And there’s plenty of people doing it. Nothing special about it.

This thought – it scares me. For me photography is not just something I do. It’s part of me. I breathe it. I don’t go a day without thinking about it. My whole life is wrapped around taking pictures. Because I am on a mission.

What do you want to do with your life? For me it is important to create things. To try and bring pieces of beauty in a world where things and people can get ugly. To give hope. Even if perhaps I am only giving hope to myself (although I hope it does extend beyond me – or will do so at some point).

Without photography, I wouldn’t know who I am. I’d be lost. Miserable.

And not everybody gets that.

But Laura does. She is one of the most passionate models I know. We understand each other.

And there’s comfort in knowing: you are not alone.

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Credits
Model: Laura Theys
© Els Vanopstal