Again, a year has passed, so it’s time to do my annual review. And what a year it was again! And where I said in my last review that it wasn’t bad, I can’t say this one was worse. I think it even got better! 2021, a review.
So what have I been up to in this year, photography-wise?
In June of this year, my dear friend Sven and good pal Andy and I went on a road trip to Italy again. Of course the main part would be the usual Urban Exploring, but we talked about mixing it up a little. A bit more nature, a bit more landscape, but also, some cities and cool concrete structures I could use for my new type of photography. It was a wild trip, with police, some disappointment, deep talks which cleared up these disappointments, and a bunch of great photos and new ideas for cool series.
I actually got to take another trip this year. I visited Munich to deliver a photograph that Werner won in an auction I’ve set up this year in support of ALS research. We made a cool week-end out of this, and it’s proven to be the longest Promenade Days instance yet. I decided to split up the post into two parts because there were too many impressions, good food and great times to process them into one post. The first one is up already. Read it here!
I did some portrait shoots as well this year. I found Luna and her mom willing to model for me on two occasions. One was a mobile studio set-up and one was a nice walk in nature. Some nice photos came out! The idea was to do this on a regular basis, and test light settings, but it didn’t happen as often as we’d wanted. You know, work, Covid, other circumstances. But we’ll probably work together again in the future.
I even blogged quite a deal more than ever. In general, I held my intention to blog once a month, with some months of writing two posts even. Only in October and November, I haven’t been as active as I wanted to. But a total of 15 posts is more than I’d expected.
So what did 2021 have in store for me, apart from photography? Well of course we live in a world now where Covid-19 plays a large part. There’s a lot of restrictions, there’s a shift in society where people can’t see eye to eye because of difference in opinions, people don’t feel free anymore. But how has that impacted me?
I did great!
Well, it may sound strange, but I’ve had one of the best years in a long time. Of course, I’ve had my struggles with living alone, working at home, not having any social contacts through the weeks. Feeling lonely, actually. But it taught me, I’m more resilient than I thought I’d be. It taught me to enjoy being with myself even more than I thought I could. It also taught me the value of family and friends even more. I have a great family, my family by blood as well as the one by choice!
I started walking with my dad on a regular basis, training for a 42,195 KM walk we’re going to do in 2022. Of course, it’s a great healthy thing to do for your body. But it’s also a great thing for the mind and soul! My dad and I have connected on a deeper level through our walks and all the conversations we have. And my mom, dad, and I started having dinner together at least once a week. I think we’ve never been closer.
During the weekends, a couple of friends and me would meet up and enjoy ourselves. Listen to music, drink a couple of beers, eat good food and just have a good time. During lockdowns, we’d do it at home, between lockdowns where bars were open, we’d be at a bar. Or have a couple of days in Amsterdam. Eat, drink, get tattooed together, what else can a man want! And of course, the road trip with Sven and Andy was one other highlight!
I started a new job inside the company I work at, and have been able to shape my future a bit more the way I would like it. I work in two teams with great colleagues, and enjoy every day I work with them. And of course, between lockdowns, I started working at Inkmen Tattoos again, too, which is always good times.
Freedom looking forward
In my last year review, I wrote that I’d keep living life with an open heart and mind and that I’d make the best of it, no matter what comes. I think I succeeded. With an even more open heart and mind than ever before. And I’ll keep doing that. I’m looking forward to a new year, and all it will bring. Caring, loving, working and also being bummed out at times. Because that’s life. But especially, feeling free. I’ll end this blog with a quote from a song from Samsara Blues Experiment. It’s fitting.
Freedom is overrated, unless it’s freedom in your mind!Samsara Blues Experiment
Thank you, to all of you who make life beautiful:
Mom, Dad, my beautiful strong sister Maartje,
My photography buddies Sven and Andy,
the Inkmen crew, Richard, Stan, Bas, Mitch, Pascal, Shirley
My weekend friends who enjoyed the freedom with me, Richard, Jos Tassos
My weekly online photo buddies Jörg, Matthias, Michael, Guido, Thomas, Jürgen and Werner (the latter also for your hospitality in Munich)
The Gonzo Bar people, both behind and in front of the bar.
And everyone else, you know who you are!