Amsterdam, London, Paris, Photography, Rotterdam, Trends
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Reflections to welcome a new year.

I’m not the only one who feels the urge to reflect on what’s ahead, when starting a new year.
If you look at it, the start of a new year is just another day in the always faster rushing world around you. But it is also the perfect ‘forced’ moment to think things trough. What are my goals in life? What plans do I make this year? What do I stand for and can I stay true to myself in this marketing & perfect image ruled world I work in?

It’s not easy.

Off course I know the drill. I know what needs to be done.
Making compromise is needed, and even moderation has never been my strongest asset,
I’m getting better at it….

But I also know what is important in life. We want relevance, we want more transparency and honesty from others, we do not believe in empty stories anymore, we worry about time passing by and we know we need to focus on long, fundamental issues instead of our non stop quest for ‘fun &  enjoyment’ in gated communities.

All this has not always been a match with what we do and preach in work life.
I also help brands and companies to develop the perfect picture and the matching perfect story. There is nothing wrong with it as long as it starts with the truth as a basis.
And that is not always the easiest way.

Thinking about that, that is how I try to communicate too: honest and personal with reality in it’s core.

Take this blog.

It started in 2009, as a diary for a trip to Thailand. I did not make it to the end of the journey, as my family and friends who traveled with me, got fed up with me, trying to log in over and over again, selecting pictures day after day, looking for the right words to express what we felt…

A few months later I picked it up again, and started telling about my life, the things I loved,
the food I enjoyed, the artists I admired, the places that I wanted to share with people with
the same spirit, the changing mentalities and my humble personal view on the world that catches my mind. It became the Squid Stories as it is today.
An honest, very personal view on what I see, feel and experience on contemporary culture. People who know me, know I never blogged for gifts, I never write anyone other’s opinion….
I do not follow a schedule, I post when I feel like it, even if I know that a bit more regularity would boost my rates. It’s not me and it never will.

I call it freedom.

I see others blogs and social publishing channels like Instagram and Pintrest filled with picture perfect worlds. Never a living soul on the beach or in the restaurant, always food photographed like in a studio, never a bed that’s been slept in… That’s not the world I live in.
If I’m sharing stuff, it’s because I think you should know about it, as it is, as I lived it,
not like in a magazine. Don’t get me wrong, I adore magazines (print & online),
but I’m convinced that they also need to rely on their personal filter and vision, in order to bring different, memorable, worth reading content.

And yes I know, I studied photography. I know thus what a beautiful image can do and when to wait for a good moment, a good light or that exact movement. It helps to make a good picture. But I want my pictures to feel like you could be there too, like you were with me that moment.
A photo, not shopped, not styled, not arranged. Like the magic of photography still is for me: capture the moment, to take the moment with you and relive it later again and again.

Things are changing. No, I’m not talking about the media and the fashion industry who uses the so called ‘imperfection trend’ as another excuse to fool people.
Imperfection is just a word to give the movement of reflection a name.

And yes, it’s nice to see that &Other stories features models with armpit hair (what’s the big deal anyway?) or H&M casting gender neutral icons to make a statement. It’s still advertising,
still presenting an aspirational ideal in another less conventional package.

But, there are signs that we start thinking about what is real, what is human and how far we should go faking images that suppose to show reality. I see and hear people around me, reflecting on their perfect world pictures, thinking about if they want to be part of this ‘Instagramed world’ in the future. It’s a start. And it’s a choice to make.

So what about ? I can tell you, The Squid stories will keep on bringing my personal stories on contemporary culture, but maybe in the future we’ll also cover the stories of others.
By people, just like me, who look at the world with openness, curiosity, admiration,
love and worry.  A critical view and an honest opinion.
Some first meetings are set up, way’s of working are discussed…

We’ll keep you informed and please let us know what you think. Honestly.

The pictures published on this post are random pics I took last year.
Sync them together and get a glimpse of the fab year 2015 was.


All images courtesy of The Squid Stories

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