The world is my colouring book

When I was young I wanted to be a travel photographer for National Geographic magazine. I wanted to be one of those adventurers who would capture mind-blowing images in remote and undiscovered corners of the world. (yes the world has no corners… you smart-ass)

However I also discovered that I don’t like to be alone and photography is a lonely profession. And I realized I’m a ‘reluctant traveller’ and a hermit… that might seem paradoxical, but it is true nevertheless. I am just like you… complicated.

So I didn’t pursue this dream and did not become this travelling photographer… or so it seemed. (Dramatic pause)

What did I do? I started a company helping people be more creative and empathic in their problem solving. And as it turns out this job takes me right to these illusive corners… and it occurred to me that I was a idiot for not taking a camera and spend time documenting what I observed.

And lo and behold I started taking a camera (mostly a Sony A9 for obvious reasons.)

And what an amazing trip I am on… my work takes me to so many unexpected places, meeting so many unexpected people.

Serendipity rules! Seriously.

Now don’t get me wrong I still have a love/hate relationship with travelling. I am still that hermit that wants to be home, painting a bit, playing some piano and hanging with my family.

I am the reluctant traveller. I will say yes to a speaking engagement or project abroad while sighing and moping, not a pleasant attitude I’m sure. (Sorry colleagues and family. You suffer. I know).

Travelling will always cause me stress and create negative energy. I hate airports, airplanes and hotels. According to the travel industry I’m simply too tall to fit in their flying contraptions and beds. I also hate walking through cities alone and having breakfasts alone (yes I AM a hermit… it’s complicated) and I hate jetlags. So there…

However…. However, I never ever regret having been in a new country or city. The world is my wonderful colouring book and I’m colouring it in one country, one city, one person and one experience at a time.

I’m typing this while in Tallinn, Estonia. This part of the Baltic’s is now getting filled with images. I love Tallinn and I love the people. There is nothing more impactful than travelling. You learn about other cultures, but even more about your own. Returning is not same thing as staying.

And now I am a travelling photographer…. Awesome!

Photography, a journey full of Insecurity

I can't remember not wanting to be a photographer.

On my 10th birthday my parents gave me a Pentax camera. From that moment on photography has been part of my life. Although having said that I realize that, since my father was a very enthusiastic amateur photographer, photography has been a part of my life since birth. It was also my father who thought me how to develop film and photographs in the dark-room. In fact he converted our bathroom into a darkroom and I kept doing this until I move out. In hindsight this must have driven my mother mad. I never heard her complain though. I only remember my parents supporting me.

There hasn't been one moment in my life that I did not dream of being a photographer. Travel the world and shoot pictures for National Geographic. There also has not been a moment in my life that I allowed myself to believe I could actually be good enough. And.. to be honest, I also wanted to be a painter and a musician. I still do...

But photography is the one thing I wanted the most. Therefore it made me the most vulnerable and consequently it became the one thing I shied away from. Pretended not to care about. I'd rather be bad at something I don't care that about that much. What has changed? Nothing really. I'm still dreaming and still insecure.

But I've failed so many times at so many things by now that I know that falling down and getting up is the only way to learn.