Although LinkedIn is a social network in which you engage with people by talking about business, sometimes your path crosses with someone special. When Emily and I found each other on this very network, we felt an instant connection. When we found out that we basically live in the same neighbourhood, we promptly decided to meet. She has already interviewed me for her podcast ‘PassiePraat’ (Passion Talk) about my photography-storytelling project in Amsterdam and she will in turn be featured in my project. We also have a photo shoot scheduled together with her boyfriend and son to which I very much look forward too.
Love is a central topic in her life as a mother and a copywriter as well, so when I looked at the expression in her eyes on this picture (shot with my Olympus OM2-n), it resulted in the following poem:
Love is what you are
Love is what you are,
Love is what I feel.
Once a bundle of consciousness,
Now a bundle of joy.
I have never felt this kind of love before
but you decided
to be my son
my true love
Our daughter (although divorced, I prefer to say ‘our’ instead of ‘my’) turns 20 this month. That makes her no longer a teenager which, on itself, is something I have to digest…as I come to think about it.
I strongly, besides being overwhelmed with love, recall realizing moving a generation up when I held her for the very first time.
If you have read other posts of mine, you know I have a sweet spot for children, for many reasons. Not in the least they are a joy to take photographs of. When friends of mine asked to take pictures of her being heavily pregnant, I did not hesitate to propose to take pictures of their child when it is born as well.
The love and care for their new-born child was beautiful and touching. It took me back to the time our daughter was that small as well.
By the way, did you count the little toes and fingers of your child too when it was born?
One adorable little baby
Two eyes looking at me with wonder
Three human beings connected with another for ever
Four frowns, sneezes and smiles
Five fingers on your little hand
You make your parents
feel so much more
than what they already were
before you decided to join them in life.
I have a daily routine in which I read a passage of Sonia Choquette’s book Grace, Guidance and Gifts. It’s a book you never finish and in that way is a companion on your life’s journey. There a some profound wisdom in it, for example about listening:
To listen to others is…
to learn from their experience
to draw from their gifts
to bask in their victories
to grieve with their losses
Listening is expanding your own life experience.
I caught these wonderful children lying flat on their belly. Their plan? Let’s find out what the doves will do if we make ourselves even smaller and keep quiet….
When was the last time you let you inner child take the decision?
I can shine it all on and still be amazed.
If I want it I pay
My true love
Well she threw it away
Mark E Everett-Eels
Shine it all on
When I got to play in my first band, the band members used to call me ‘Flying Vinny’ because I often close my eyes and drop my head backwards when playing a solo on the guitar. I like this nickname and see other guitarists doing just the same 🙂
If quantum physics resonates with you, you’ll like this post. Richard Gordon developed a method called Quantum Touch. This exercise is based around imaging a vortex of energy in the region of your heart. By concentrating on positive, nurturing thoughts, you can actually influence your surroundings in a positive, healing way. This can be your own body or the people around you or even the universe as everything is energy. This concept is also described by Bruce Lipton, a great scientist who combines his background and way of thinking as a stem-cell biologist with spiritual concepts wich cannot be explained with conventional science. His book Biology Of Belief has been a real eye opener for me.
As a photographer, I am fully aware of the energy field in and around me and how it affects the photoshoot. I experienced a prime example this week as I was doing a shoot with Joa. Both our energy were totally synchronised and that resulted in a great photo shoot with a lot of keepers.
Everyday is an opportunity to have a blissful moment. An encounter with someone who sticks in your mind or is a start of something meaningful, being a witness of something beautiful or just having something ‘click’.
Last week I added a new lens to my camera gear. It’s the Voigtlander 35mm 1,4 MC lens. It’s a tiny almost pancake-like lens and has a classic, vintage lens and aperture blade design. It’s a match made in heaven with my now vintage Leica M8.
I often use the pont across the Amsterdam IJ, to sit across the water with a cup of coffee, a book and my thoughts. On the photo you can see the buildings on the left side of the futuristic Eye Theater which is on the right. That’s my place of stillness.
It was last week when I spotted this man, looking across the water as we waited on the pont to start the little trip to the other side of the water. I decided to grab my camera and take this shot.
Due to the ancient metering system of the M8 this shot was under exposed. Correcting in post production it brings out the wonderful ‘grain’ of the Kodak CCD sensor. Combined with the nice bokeh of the lens, it produces a wonderful film-like look.
When I was shooting for a storytelling project I am conducting these days for the city of Amsterdam, my path crossed that of Sjuul. Sjuul is, besides an awesome guy, a personal trainer and movement/mobility/Capoeira specialist. We had a chat and decided to have an impromptu photo shoot which turned out quite well. Jules knows every bit about your body’s alignement but the title of this blog has an other meaning. When things are aligned and well, beautiful things can happen, even if they are not planned like the photo shoot with Sjuul.
Although I am a huge fan of Mark E Everett and his band Eels, due to some personal little earthquakes last year I had a difficult time listening to his music that has often a melodramatic character. He is a master in expressing the struggle he has with romance and love:
What I Have To Offer
What I have to offer
Well, there’s a lot
Now I’m a modest man
But look at all I got
For all the wear and tear
I look OK
I got good manners
And I make good pay
And you know I’m all full of love
What I have to offer
Well, there’s so much
I care and nurture and a
I got a pleasin’ disposition
And I don’t care about
Football or fishin’
And you know that I’m all full of love
What I have to offer
Well, check it out
I’ve learned some things
And I know what it’s about
I’m quite discerning and
I’m pretty smart
It takes an awful lot to
Win my heart
But you know that I’m so full of love
So when this amazing artist recently visited The Netherlands, I hesitated for a moment to go but just for a brief moment. I took my beloved Leica M8 with me and being signed by Anton Corbijn it resulted in this photograph which reminds me of the Rattle and Hum period of U2.
Thanks Mark and Anton for your art and inspiration.