65 down, 300 more to go.
So far, so good. There should be plenty more location-variation in the next 300 days.
I’ve been trying to find some time to sit down and think. Think about what’s been and what’s ahead.
2012 was an eventful year. There was the start of it, with an amazing trip to the Dominican Republic. And there was June, with some 40 flights to Finland, Sweden, Scotland, Italy, Kenya, Italy again and France. And there was a whole lot of British Columbia. Ranches and incredible venues. And there was my brother’s wedding in Finland. And there was Bali, to finish off. And there was probably a bunch of stuff in between that I can’t remember right now.
In addition to the weddings, we also did plenty of two-on-one workshops with photographers in Canada, Sweden and Finland. And we did a larger, multiple people one in London.
We were mentioned one of the 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography by Rangefinder Magazine. And we built a new website.
And so on.
That’s just the professional side of things. Personally, some major things happened as well. Moving back to Sweden being one of them and restarting a relationship another.
We’re 11 days into 2013 now. A year that will definitely be as eventful as 2012, if not even more so. Right now, we have weddings booked in eleven countries on four continents. And we’re hosting workshops and speaking at conferences.
The first milestone – one that I’m very much looking forward – is personal, though. A trip to the Philippines in March. My first trip in a long time that’s not work related. Beaches and bungalows. Sun and ocean. Couldn’t be better.
After that, it’s go time. The day I return from Cebu Airport in the Philippines (the trip to Stockholm is a total of 30 hours), I’m leaving for Vancouver and an multiple day Indian wedding. That’s some 50 hours of flying in a couple of days. Not sure what kind of jet lag that’ll give me.
Anyways. Very excited about where things are going, both on the personal and professional level. Bring on twenty-thirteen.
Oh. And here’s the Nordica 2012 summary. It’s a long one.
As a photographer, I have the privilege of working with my hobby. That’s obviously pretty amazing, but there’s also a downside: what was once something I did just for fun is now full-time work.
Losing the fun in photography is something I fear and to avoid that from happening, I need to do photography outside of my profession. Shoot more outside of weddings. And that’s where personal photography projects come in.
A few years ago, I blogged a photo a day for quite a while. Random photos of everything and nothing, with the purpose of making myself take more photos. I thought about doing the same again, but since blogging is kinda old-school these days, I figured a social media project would make more sense.
So, I’ve decided to do a 365 project on Instagram. One photo per day for a year, starting today. Images of everyday life from Stockholm and wherever else in the world I go, all shot on my iPhone.
I might update the blog every now and then with a few photos from my #insta365, but follow me here for the full project: http://instagram.com/jakobg
A year from now – if everything goes as planned – the project will hopefully be turned into something printed as well.
Here we go. Number one.
I spent the past fifteen days in Sweden, Finland and Norway. And a few layover hours in Iceland and Seattle.
It was intense.
Cole and I held seven mentoring workshops with photographers from Stockholm, Gothenburg, Helsinki and London. We shot my brother’s wedding in Finland and went to Norway and Oslo to meet up with a couple whose wedding were shooting next June. And I made it up to Söderhamn, a couple of hours north of Stockholm for Cole and Therese’s kid’s christening.
Considering this was all done in just over two weeks…well, let’s just say there weren’t too many days off.
The trip did, however, confirm that my upcoming move back to Stockholm is the right decision. For Nordica and for myself on a personal level.
It’s getting close now. Less than a month away, and my Canadian adventure has come to an end (well, not really, since I’ll be back for work several times next year, but anyway). Moving here was one of the best decisions of my life, but I also feel like I’m done with Vancouver.
Vancouver is an incredible city in many ways and I’ve very much enjoyed living here. You know how you can be in a places for a long time, without ever really feeling like you belong, whereas other cities feel right from the start. For me, Vancouver definitely belongs to the latter category, but it isn’t – and will never really be – home to me. I look forward to coming back many times, but right now, I can’t wait to get back on that plane to Stockholm.
Just need to sell all my shit and book a flight.
Exciting times ahead.
I hate people who write blog posts about how bad they’ve been at blogging lately, and how they’ll be better bloggers soon. So I won’t do that.
But, in my defence for the recent painfully slow blogging pace, I’m really busy. As in, we’re shooting weddings every other day – it feels like – and when there’s no wedding, there’s something else. I haven’t shot a single personal photo since I came back from Europe almost three months ago (not counting iPhone snaps). That says quite a bit.
I do want to keep this site alive, although it may be in a slightly different format in the future (since this is obviously not working out too well for me anymore). I have some ideas that I’d like to explore, so we’ll see.
I also want to do a personal photography project (that I’ve mentioned before) sooner rather than later, so when the slower months come (they should come at some point, right?), I’m hoping to get on that too. More street photography and more film work is what I want to do.
So, what I basically just did was blog about how bad I’ve been at blogging, and that I’ll get better soon. I hate myself.
(Also, less than three months until I move back to Stockholm. Wild.)
I was planning on updating the blog throughout the five weeks that I was travelling around Europe and Africa.
I failed miserably.
I’ll blame it on the fact that I got on average 4 hours of sleep a night and when I had some time and internet, there was always something to edit, or something more ‘important’ to do than blogging.
Oh, well. At least I took some photos. I posted a few that I shot here and there in between jobs, over on the Nordica blog. Here’s that post.
I have a bunch more that I might post later, but here’s one from where we had one of the more delicious things I’ve ever tasted. While travelling back from Lipari – where I spent a few days with Jonas Peterson and his lovely family – I had a little bit of time in Rome, before heading to the next wedding in France. And when in Rome, you know…you obviously eat pizza. And for desert you obviously eat more pizza. Sweet pizza. Nutella Pizza.
Mitra – wedding planner at the Lipari wedding and all around awesome gal – lives in Rome with her husband Fabio and they were kind enough not only to get us safe and sound by car from Sicily to Rome and let me crash on their couch, but also to give us a quick tour of Rome and take us to Dar Poeta, one of the better pizzerias in Rome. And man was that nutella pizza ever tasty…
Thanks Mitra and Fabio, you’re awesome.
More photos to come, but in the meantime, feel free to check out the ones on the Nordica blog.
Developed a couple of rolls of film that I shot on a recent trip to Finland. And there happened to be a few of shots from the Dominican and from around Vancouver that I forgot about in there as well. I did open the back of my camera body with the roll inside of it though, so some of the photos were a bit damaged, but who cares – it’s all part of the art anyway, right. :)
Canon AE-1, Fujicolor Superia 200.
Over the last few years, I’ve gotten quite used to long flights. Frequent trips from Vancouver to Europe, and down to the states and Mexico with Cole every now and then. I actually quite enjoy them these days, especially when my laptop’s battery life has run out and there’s no way I can do any work. It’s pretty peaceful to know that you have hours ahead where all you can do is relax (and have a Bloody Mary or two).
However, I’ve never had a period of time like the one I’m heading into right now. Writing this, I’m pretty badly jet lagged from flying across the Atlantic Ocean, and I’ll be taking, roughly, another 20-25 flights over the next 5-6 weeks.
With Cole at home taking care of baby Embla (and doing local weddings in Vancouver), I’ll be shooting weddings across Europe and Africa in June, some by myself and others with amazing photographer friends from different parts of the world.
I’m incredibly excited about what’s ahead, and with weddings in Italy (twice), France, Sweden, Vancouver and Kenya, it’s pretty much is a given that it’ll be quite the experience.
I’ll try to blog some stories and photos from the places I go, if I can find the time (and wifi), but mostly I’ll be tweeting, facebooking and instagramming (@jakobg), so join me there if you want to follow along.
Arlanda airport. iPhone.
Got a few rolls of film developed from a recent trip to Portland. Here’s one frame.
Spent a day this weekend in a very sunny and beautiful Whistler. I wasn’t alone up there.
Got another roll of film developed today. This (among other things) came out.
Canon AE-1. Portra 160.
My couch has been occupied by a “Mexican monkey” (his words) the last couple of nights. Cole and I have done quite a few of our two-on-one wedding workshops lately, but since it’s always good to get inspiration from elsewhere as well, we decided to help our Mexican friend Fer Juaristi organize one of his famous Fershops in Vancouver.
Fer flew in about 40 hours ago, we showed him around town a little, had some Sushi, he did his workshop all day yesterday at the Vogue Theatre, we had beers with bunch of awesome fellow Vancouver wedding photographers last night, before sending Fer back to Mexico this morning. His stay lasted a whopping 36 hours, as he had to get back for a wedding in Texas this weekend.
Fer and I shot a wedding in Xcaret, Mexico together last summer and we’ve stayed in touch since. He’s an awesome guy and a brilliant photographer, and if you get a chance to go to his workshops one day, I highly recommend you do so. If you can take all his (rather funny Mexican accented) profanities, that is. The F-bombs were flying all day.
Here’s a Fer styled portrait of Hannah and Mike. We shot Hannah and Mike’s wedding in Vancouver last year, and since they too are awesome people who we don’t see nearly often enough, we asked them to be models for Fer’s workshop. Which they gladly accepted. And it just so happened to be their 1 year wedding anniversary as well.
Most days you’ll find me working in one of Vancouver’s seven million coffee shops. The same goes for Cole (I think), but we’re usually in different ones because we live in different parts of the city and parking/public transportation is a bitch.
I like working in coffee shops. Not only because they’re cozy, there’s a constant smell of cinnamon buns and they have an unlimited supply of coffee/tea, but also because there’s always a constant flow of people. I find myself working really well with a lot of people around. The flow of people is a source of inspiration, and I can sit with headphones on in my own little work bubble. (I also like airports, for the very same reason.)
When you’re in the same coffee shop more or less daily, you make friends. Or acquaintances may be a better word for it. The staff recognize you, you share the daily ‘good-to-see-you-again’ look and you chat about this and that. Almost like the Cheers’ where-everybody-knows-your-name kinda thing (less the beer).
Which is nice. Almost like having work colleagues.
The problem, however, is that every place where it’s free to hang around (as long as you spend a dollar or two) seem to have ‘the regulars’. And with regulars, I mean weirdos. The ones who are there every day, doing nothing. Sometimes with a newspaper, sometimes just sitting there, sometimes bragging to each other about their day/week/life.
At first you don’t notice them. Since they look and act normal(ish), they blend in with everyone else. But after a week or so, you see them. And after that, they’re always there.
And after going to the same coffee shop for a while, without even knowing it, you somehow become a part of that group. You become one of the weirdos.
At least that’s how it feels.
I really like this place I’m at right now – they’ve got comfy chairs and the music isn’t too loud – but I’m sitting next to a group of regulars, indulging in a conversation about how awesome their iPhones/Blackberries are. And how there are video cameras in their building elevators.
I’ve become one of the weirdos.
Time to find a new coffee shop.
So, I recently picked up a Canon AE-1 and a few lenses (28mm, 50mm, 135mm) for just over 100 bucks at the flea market. I got the cheapest film I could find too, shot a roll (after killing another roll trying to load the damn thing) and developed it at the local drugstore.
And I’m actually pretty impressed with the results (the ones below are straight from the lab, just resized in Photoshop), considering the camera was built in the mid 70′s and costs less than any digital point-and-shoot.
Who needs digital.
(Well, I do. Couldn’t shoot all film for work, but still…)
I’ll be shooting a lot more film in the near future, that’s for sure.
Got a couple rolls of film developed today. Here’s one, shot with the Holga 135.
Have to say it’s pretty nice to get ready-to-go files from the lab. No editing, no nothing…
“If you’re paralyzed with fear, it’s a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.”
“So you’re taking a few blows. That’s the price for being in the arena and not on the sidelines. Stop complaining and be grateful.”
“Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”
“There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work.”
“A hack [...] is a writer who second-guesses his audience. When the hack sits down to work, he doesn’t ask himself what’s in his own heart. He asks what the market is looking for.”
“Of any activity you do, ask yourself: If I were the last person on earth, would I still do it?”
All quotes above are from Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art“. It’s a very well-written piece about working in a creative field, about fulfilling your potential and about getting your work done.
Every creative should read it.
With the DSLRs at Nikon for service and with Cole borrowing the X100 over the weekend, I got bored and went to the flea market.
Came home with these new friends.
I’ve haven’t played with film much at all, so it’s more or less like a new world to me. Looking forward to shooting a few rolls this week.
(Shot with the iPhone 4, since that was my only camera left…)