Friday, May 19, 2017

I got my photography pre-course certificate! + final assignment



I gave these series two names, a long one and a short one.

"Workaholic"
and
"The suffering of a practice holder in mental healthcare"

These six photographs make my final assignment for a photography course that I took at Fotoacademie Amsterdam for the past six weeks. One day every week I was taught about photography and Adobe Photoshop, and after passing all the tests and assignments, I received a certificate that gives me direct access to the actual photography major that Fotoacademie Amsterdam offers. Even though the course is a preparation course that enables you to start the photography major without going through the application procedure (you're automatically accepted), many people take the course to get a steady base from where they can continue their photography hobby and develop their skills on their own from there on. The latter is why I took the pre-course - it seems awesome to study photography at Fotoacademie, but as I do not intend to become (solely) a photographer, it is not worth my time and money (it's a private institution, so quite expensive) to major in photography.

The pre-course taught me a lot in only six weeks. There were two classes that discussed the technical part of photography, many photoshop classes, a practical class and for the greatest amount of time, the group's assignments were being discussed. Feedback (especially by a professional), either on your own or someone else's work, is a great way of learning how to improve your photography skills. It was also fascinating to see the progress everyone made in such a short time! There were three assignments we had to complete: a creative one ("show your living space" - multiple interpretations possible), a technical one (the hardest!) and a final assignment, which could be anything, as long as it was a series of 6 to 12 photographs (and in series photographs somehow relate to each other). I decided to photography my father for my final assignment. Ever since I can remember, my father works a lot, and even though I wish he would not, I find it fascinating that he does, to the point where I sometimes wonder how he's still alive, considering how much and hard he works everyday. I tried to capture this in my pictures. At first I was a bit unsure about the final result, but my teacher was pretty excited about it - he even told me these pictures could be professional magazine pictures! He was just wondering - could I receive the same level of result if my subject would be a stranger instead of my dad?


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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Breaking the silence: an update on my life



These past few months were pretty rough on a personal level and what I learned most about it is that your body may know your better than your mind does. It may notice first when you're not feeling alright and attempt to warn you in a very early stage. As I always considered the mind as way superior of the body, I never truly cared for listening to what my body had to tell me. The result? It took my mind months to realize I wasn't on the right track in my life.

Almost on a daily base, for half a year long, I was suffering from a type of headache commonly known as tension headache, even though the pressing pain does not necessary have anything to do with tension. I was also experiencing extreme fatigue and, later on, depressive symptoms. I had multiple doctor appointments and medical examinations, but no physical explanation could be found. Soon I started to realize there might be some psychological cause at work here. It turned out that the main problem was that I was finding myself in a situation and in an environment that I didn't want to be in and I honestly just wasn't happy at all with the way my life was going. This was unconsciously giving me so much stress that my body was actually responding to it. 

Even though it was good to know what was up, the real problems had only just started: my life had to change, drastically. And I wasn't ready for that yet. But it was the only way that I would not feel so miserable anymore and could pick up my life again (it had come to the point that my life was terribly stagnant). I worried a lot about tons of things until my thoughts would simply go like: "What's the whole point of living anyways?" The worrying itself was stressful as well, as I was not used to it. For all my life there wasn't much to worry about, and now I had to reconsider things that would have a huge impact on the rest of my life! Obviously, it was driving me crazy.

Finally I made some major decisions that were far from easy to make, but in the end, it made me feel better. I finally started to enjoy things again, like writing blog posts, which had always been one of my favorite things to do, but for weeks I couldn't pull it off anymore as I wasn't feeling it. Even though things are going a lot better now, I still got a long way to go before I'll be my good old self again. Most importantly, I need to start listening to my own body more closely and avoid to ignore important signals that it may try to give me about myself.