Let it be clear from the start: I hate business. Strategies, planning, negotiations, transactions, only saying what you should say in order to keep an image… I even find the business attire repulsing: the suits, the bags, the shoes, the expensive pullover tied around the neck… Business travel is another thing for which I have no interest at all, to the point I might have some sympathy for those who have to do it on a regular basis.
You see, I wouldn’t know so well what business looks like if I were not working in the business world for the last seven years. Maybe this is another reason why I dislike it so much. Everything that is confined, regulated, controlled, money-oriented, and artificial causes me distress. It makes me feel trapped, my personality diminished, it leaves me with no sense of value and humanity. Business to me is nothing but the tiring attempt of wearing the mask of perfection at all costs. And to smile. To smile even if there is nothing to smile about.
Now that it’s clear where I’m standing regarding business, let me tell you what it is with the title of this post and the reason why I am writing this in the first place.
In parallel with working in an office fulltime, I have been spending the last seven years – that is, the time that followed my move from Bucharest to Amsterdam – taking photos on an almost daily basis. When I travelled, I took even more photos. That is how I ended up making this blog, which fuelled my passion for photography even further.
When cleaning up my hard drive and making a back-up of all my files, I realized I managed to collect hundreds of thousands of photos, 10.000 being the average quantity I would shoot in a year. To organize and make a back-up of all these has been a tremendous effort, to say the least. Most importantly, it made me think of the huge amount of time I have been spending not only taking the photos but especially editing and making all kinds of “projects:” blog posts, photo books, collages… Selection after selection, theme after theme, edit after edit.
Those who know me well are often telling me I have two jobs: one at the office, during the day, and one at home – with my photos – during the evening. Readers of Amsterdamming are sometimes leaving a comment to ask what exactly my job is since I have so much time to dedicate to writing and taking photos all around the city. Truth is when most people come back home from work and space out in front of the television, watching shows and series on Netflix – “binge-watching Netflix”, as they call it – I take my laptop and do something with my photos: select, edit, upload, organize, arrange them in a certain order in a blog post, then write the blog post itself, read it, change the wording, re-write etc. My boyfriends goes to bed at around 11 pm and I promise to follow him soon. Most of the times, soon means 1 am.
I’ve spent this winter holiday, when I did not have to go to my other job, trying to figure out what to do with my photos. Should I let them rot on the two hard drives I copied them to or should I use them as much as they have been using me? I decided to go for the second option. And so I built up a portfolio to use for my future photo projects and put some photos on sale in my newly open Etsy shop. I am not expecting to get rich from my photography, but I would like to see if it has an impact at all. Would people like it as much as to have it hung on their walls? Would you like it beyond a “like” on social media? This is something I would like to find out.
This is as far as I will take the word business when related to my passions. I am curious to see if my work is appreciated or not. If it is needed or not. And then I will see.
As I feel completely exhausted at the end of this process (building up e-shops etc.) and also because I have been dedicating so much time to photography when I could have been reading or writing or going to exhibitions or watching a movie with my boyfriend or sleeping those recommended 8 hours per night, I have decided to slow down. I will still be taking photos for my blog, but not as much as before. If I manage to add 5 photos to a post, I’ll be more than satisfied. This way I will be thriving for quality over quantity. Since I am interested in picking up film photography, I am also hoping for a change of mood in my creations. We’ll experience this together here, on Amsterdamming.
The only times when I’ll resume mass photo production – digital photography, that is – will be those when I work on assignments and collaborations, in other words, for commercial purposes. I am not planning to take a break from any of these – I am as passionate about photography as I have always been – instead I am thinking to change the way I work so that I feel happier about it, less tired, and more motivated.
Besides switching to film photography, I am interested in switching to people, too. To go out with the “model,” walk the streets, have a cup of coffee, talk, and take photos of that person all along the way. Unstaged, natural, pleasant. Pretty much like in the series A Day in the Life of… – my absolute favourite on the blog – just that with people I don’t necessarily know very well.
One of the things I am really, really passionate about and I would like to get more of in the future is taking photos of people in their homes. I like to see how their personality extends to the place they live in. If this is not visible, then I am not interested in taking any photos there. Who likes a boring home? 🙂
That would be all about photography and the directions I’d like to follow. I hope it makes sense. I also hope to have more time for writing – not on the blog, I don’t seem to have a problem with this yet – and when I make any progress about that, you will know.
In the meantime, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, Amsterdamming is open for business! Let’s see what this means…