Today marks the end of an era for me.
When I took up photography classes at the arts academy in Leuven a quarter century ago, all I dreamed of was to become a professional photographer.
A few years later I enrolled at Peninsula Technicon (now Cape Peninsula University of Technology) in South Africa for a National Diploma in Photography. Whenever my photography teachers told our class that only a handful of us would eventually practice professional photography, all I could think of was that I would be one of those handful., pursuing my initial dream.
And for the last 20 years I have indeed been living that dream.
My professional career started back in 2003, when the industry switched from analogue to digital – turning everyone with a digital camera into a photographer. Nevertheless, my freelance business grew year after year, even through the financial crisis in 2007/2008.
Clients have entrusted me with fantastic photography projects:
- This resulted in being involved in an extreme wide variety of photography projects: from events, over reportages, through advertising, architecture and portraiture to name but a few.
- I have covered many weddings, shot products in pop-up studios or industrial projects with clients nationwide and internationally.
- Meeting with people from all walks of life has enriched my life: from photographing our King (when he was still a Prince), members of parliament or CEO’s of multinationals over academics, writers, artists and professionals through laborer’s, welders, painters, truck-drivers, sex workers, models, etc.
- Companies gave me an insight in their production processes or activities long before products or processes became readily available for the public.
- I have been asked to not only contribute images but also write journalistic texts for articles in magazines.
- For the last ten years video and sound became gradually more important, resulting in a few fine collaborations with interesting partners in health care, education, law, entertainment, construction etc.
Apart from photographing, I enjoyed meeting and spending time with people before, during or after the assignment. Collaborating with people in order to create compelling visuals has always been key to my approach to photography.
But today, that part of my professional life comes to an end. Due to a few health concerns and the extreme pressure of combining different jobs, I had to make the decision to not just scale down, but end my professional services all together.
Today marks the end of my 20 year journey as I lay down all my activities as freelancer.
As I turn the page on my professional activities as a photographer, I can only call myself extremely lucky for all the chances I have been offered. I will always look back at these 2 decades with extreme gratitude.
Above all, I would like to thank every single person who has supported me as a freelance photographer. Thank you, many many many clients, for supporting me. Thank you, family and friends, for being there for me. Thank you, teachers and mentors for sharing your knowledge with me.