My nose is full, literally. But oddly enough, this is also the perfect analogy for where I find myself in my photographic journey. I’ve spoken about the stages of grief and loss before, and now, anger has taken its turn at center stage.
I’m in my pyjamas. I have a cold and my nose is running and there’s nothing I can do about it but drink tea and hope that it will pass. I’m feeling very helpless in this. So it’s what you call the man flu. But I’m also in a crisis about my photography.
I feel like I have lost the sense of meaning and what I’m doing. So far what I did was working with models, shootinf beautifuly young women in different places. And I thought to myself, well, what’s the point of this? So far, the answer for me has been that I created moody and edgy images and that I was exploring a different concept of beauty, a kind of antidote to the images we see on social media. Do I make anybody’s life better with these images? I am not sure – to be honest these images were mostly for my pleasure and delight. But I want to evolve, I want to touch somebody in the heart with my inmgas. If I look back at the piuctures of the last five years there are probably only 10 photos that are worth making a print of it.
I force myself to go out and shoot, but at the same time I am unhappy with the results. It reminds me every time of the state I am in. This is maybe my high expectations of myself and of my work and it took away the joy I initially had in photography.
I tried to work with artists, creatives and coaches using my photography as a tool to tell their stories, to create their narratives. Because I I deeply believe that my photography can be a service. Bein of service could give me back a meaning in my work.
And there’s one more thing that I think is interesting for me: Because also I care a lot about mental health I wonder If I could use photography as a tool for mental health. It’s a vague idea now, I would like to dig into deeper. It means to put my emotions into the photography or find a way to express what I feel and photographic images. It’s kind of contradiction to my way of working. Because I’m an observer when I photograph so observing myself and then translate that or express that in an image.
Dealing with the demons I have inside, I usually turn to music. Music allows me to explore these rather dark emotions. The dark side within me – anger, sadness, loneliness and anxiety. And it grifts me some kind of safe space where I feel like it is ok to feel like this, that I’m not alone in this. I have a company. I’m accompanied by this music and with the music there’s someone behind that music who maybe went through the same emotions as I did, and she or found a way to get through that.
What if I could do the same with my images? Making my photography as a companion for somebody so that they can find themselves within these images and feel like, it is OK, I’m not alone in this and it gives them somehow a safe place and the courage to go through these dark moments and deal with their demons.
Here is the playlist I have created to navigate through the turmoil of my emotions in this creative journey: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6IV9UQwdvU7FamPmICYc3r?si=1361b21031294a6a