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

© Els Vanopstal

6 Thoughts on “Now that it’s done

  1. Wat een jaar… Ik wens je heel veel succes in 2013, op alle vlakken (a wedding, wiieee), maar nog het meest aan jullie beide om dat gemene beest aan te pakken!

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that your fiancé is sick, Els. Wishing him a speedy recovery and congrats to you both on your engagement. Best of luck for 2013, I look forward to your 365 project :)

  3. Jonathan on January 26, 2013 at 19:44 said:

    Hoi Els,
    net gelezen van je vriend (verloofde) en je jaar. Alle sterkte gewenst. Ik blijf je blog met plezier volgen en wens je een mooi 2013 op persoonlijk en professioneel vlak.

  4. Edward Dasso on February 19, 2013 at 19:43 said:

    Thank you SO much for being open and honest with your 2012 year of photography. I feel like I can relate with you a bit in not wanting to claim the work you did as “yours”. I have only a handful of images I can say are “mine”, and the rest are the search of finding out who I am in photography. I completely relate with your statement that ” the fact that some of these photos seemed to be loved more than my work that does feel like me, actually hurt a little”. I feel this way continually. I will show someone 2 similar photos to choose from, and the one I like doesn’t get picked! I am encouraged by your pursuit to do your own work, despite these feelings. I think your work is wonderful, and can relate with it quite well.

    I picked up my first camera EVER at the beginning of 2011 and immediately fell in love with photography. I suddenly realized that I had a huge interest in it my entire life and just never understood it. This past year has been a roller coaster of learning and failing with a few successes mixed in. I started with a digital camera (canon 60D), and soon realized that I wasn’t getting the quality I wanted! I started looking for inspiration on Flickr of photos that had exif data that I could observe in order to research what equipment was needed to make these amazingly beautiful images I was seeing. I soon found “micmojo” (Jan Shultz) and immediately realized that THIS is what I like! I looked for exif data and found none… which spurred me on to look deeper, soon realizing that he was shooting purely film! I tried mimicking his look digitally (what a joke), and was unhappy to say the least. I started researching some of the cameras he used and found that they were all in the 1-5k range, and eventually ended up buying a Mamiya RZ67 Pro II with the 110mm f2.8 lens, a polaroid back and a 120 back for a whopping $430 on ebay. I say all this to say thank you for inspiring me. The gift of your post here, has spurred me on toward my goal! I JUST found your work last night and am impressed to say the least. I have FINALLY found out what I want to achieve with photography, and you are ahead of me by a few years toward that goal. I am going to continue reading, and observing your blog as I feel like we have VERY similar taste in our photography (although I have not achieved the look yet). My deepest sympathies go out to you and your fiance in your time of tribulation.

    I can’t wait to see more of what “you” have to offer the world,


    • Thank you Ed for the longest ever comment on my blog (Which is a good thing, of course)! For me photography is a true journey and perhaps I will never arrive exactly where I want to be, but I know I’ll never stop trying. :) I wish you the best of luck and happiness with your journey, I’m sure it will be a good one. :)

      Oh and glad to hear you’re also a film lover! I tried copying it with digital as well once, but it didn’t work either. So I just started shooting film. ;) Oh and since we’re talking about similarities, you might be interested to know I’m shooting with an RZ67 also since the beginning of this year. ;)

      • Edward Dasso on February 21, 2013 at 19:07 said:

        I saw that you were shooting some polaroids on it! You shot one of my favorites (the simple portrait against a black background)with it as well. How do you like it compared to other cameras? I just got done shooting a wedding with it at night. It was really difficult to say the least. I’m excited and apprehensive to say the least! The quality seems amazing, but it definitely takes me a ling time to set up a shot. Thanks for your response and again, I’m super excited to see more of your work!


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