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! :)

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. :)

Looking back on 2016

2016. What a year, right? The year Brussels was attacked by terrorists, we lost several musical heroes, and a mysogynist/ racist bully was elected president of the USA. Just to name a few things. But to me personally, the past year has been rather kind. Actually, in comparison to 2015 – where I was basically just trying to stay alive – and the absolutely excruciating 2014, twenty sixteen was a walk in the park.

One of the biggest things to influence my year was actually a new year’s resolution: to enter my photos into a photo competition. I did enter a few photo contests years ago but never got anywhere so I kind of got discouraged and gave up. Then in January, I was reading Focus Magazine, a Dutch magazine on photography, and I noticed a big ad showing the Northern lights. It was an ad announcing the Canon Grand Prix, a photo competition where four finalists would be selected to go to Iceland to battle for the final prize. I admit, it was the Iceland part that drew me in. Ever since I visited the island in 2015, and felt a second of joy for the first time after the passing of my fiancé Christophe a year and a half earlier, Iceland has had a hold on me. I feel an emotional connection to the place like I do with almost no other place on earth (only the cherry trees in my street in full bloom). It was a sign I could not ignore and sure enough I entered some photos to then not think about it anymore, presuming I sure wouldn’t be picked, as per usual.

Behind the scenes in Iceland © Mich Buschman

But then I got a call. A publication in Focus Magazine followed. And then I got to go to Iceland with three other lovely and talented finalists. Once there, I gave it my all. I froze my butt off as I had the genius idea to make self portraits wearing summer dresses. But Iceland always makes me feel like I belong. And perhaps that was what people saw in the photos I sent in for the final. Then in late August, I was declared the winner (who with the what now?) and had a spread and even a cover on Focus Magazine. It was a strange thing to suddenly feel people ‘got’ me and my photos. I didn’t feel like I had to hide or defend it anymore. After that I also got my first exhibition in my birth town. I decided photography should be more than just a ‘hobby’. I want more. And in the past I have always ignored that voice inside telling me that, out of fear that I couldn’t do it, out of fear that I would fail at my biggest dream and end up with nothing.

Behind the scenes in Iceland © Rick Van Dorst
Behind the scenes in Iceland © Marcel Kerkhof

So one of my biggest resolutions for this year will be to try and get professional with my photography (even if it’s just as a side-job). I want to move people. I want to tell stories. I want to see my photos displayed on walls. I get overwhelmed by the practical and administrative things I need to get in order for this to happen, but I know I should just take a deep breath and do it one step at a time. I still get scared. I still sometimes wonder if I should really go for this. What if I fail? But then that little voice comes back again, whispering. What if you never try? Then you will always wonder if perhaps you could have lived your dream.

I love this quote by Mother Theresa: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

So here’s to doing what you love. I hope you have a wonderful 2017.