When in lockdown… Make some zines!

With some extra time on my hands during the lockdown, I got the idea to try and make a few zines. I have made some books before but zines seemed like a fun yet nice way to put some smaller projects on display.

So I decided to go through my archive and soon enough I got some ideas for different zines.

There was this citytrip to Lisbon in 2015, where I got mesmerised by all the pretty textures of the city, and that time I went to the Moroccan blue city of Chefchaouen and got to see all the friendly cats living there. Not to mention the four times I went to Iceland and had lovely encounters with its rugged but sweet horses.

As mentioned in my previous blogpost, at the time I was also working on a self portrait project during the days of corona lockdown. I came up with the name ‘Quaranzine’ (a zine during quarantine ;p) and was pretty pleased with myself for finding this name, so even if just for the name, this project would also be made into a zine.

So, four projects, four zines. Days of selecting photos, trying to find long lost photos on old hard-drives (damn my old unorganised self!), deciding to re-edit photos, and lay-outing later, the zines were ready for a trial order. And when they arrived on my doorstep a bit over a week later, I was actually pretty pleased with the result. The zines looked very polished, so I decided to put them up for sale.

If you’re interested in supporting this mad photographer, you can find the zines and my previously published books on Blurb. Eternal sunshine and happiness will come your way if you do! ;)

I am definitely thinking about doing some more in the future, maybe I will do some every 3 or 4 months… It would also be a good way to push me a bit out of my comfort zone and try different types of photography. I remember for example having a lot of fun doing street photography way back in college…

See my zines see my zines oh please would you see my zines

What about you, have you ever made some zines? What was your experience? Or do you have some zine ideas for me for the future? Let me know in the comments! :)

A quarantine kind of life

With Belgium going into a lockdown for the COVID-19 virus, I decided to take up another self portrait project. Because why not and also, I cannot help myself. It’s nice to have a creative outlet and I found it a good way to distract myself from the overwhelming amount of news updates regarding the new virus.

I decided to make one self portrait each day of the Belgian lockdown. I started on March 17th and kept the project going for 55 days, until May 10th, as from that date we’re allowed to see (limited numbers of) family members again and all the stores are reopening. I’d like to share with you a small selection of my favourite photos. :)

How are things on your end? Is the lockdown still going strong where you live? Are you doing any creative projects in this strange time?

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

Bathing in the purple rain

If you know my photography a little bit, you might know I have a thing for flowers. It wasn’t always that way though. Back when I was a teenager, my parents had a flower shop and I, well, I wasn’t very fond of it. I remember sitting in our living room filled with flowers during holiday season and absolutely hating it. Now I think I would have loved it and would have spent all day photographing it. People change, I guess. Well, at least I have.

So after visiting Iceland three times (obsessive much?), my next mission was to get there during lupine season. Nature is fickle so you can never be sure of anything to be a certain way on a certain date… But I got lucky. When I went there with three friends a couple of weeks ago, everywhere we went we saw fields and fields of these purple flowers. I guess that’s another one to cross of the bucket list. :)