Annual Assessment Review 2022-2023
2022, April 20
It’s that time of the year again ... time to talk to my inner boss ... 
It is important to assess yourself. It's easy to forget and just too simple to carry on as you are now.
You have to figure out what you're doing still makes sense. The metric that answers the question of whether it makes sense is for everybody different, mine is very simple. 
Do I enjoy what I do?
Or is it time to move my cheese again? 
Let's start with my experiences of the photo club NAFVA which I joined in 2020. 
Season 2022-2023
In all voluntary activities, whether at your children's school or at sports clubs or associations, it is important that members contribute.
At the photo club, I joined the Tech Team and helped preparing our annual yearbook last season. This season I continued with this.

My submission for the NAFVA Yearbook 2022-2023

Although the photo is all right, I just don't know why I submit these type of images. It's just not my style.
In this particular case we (my family) were visiting the Muiderslot Castle and I saw this lady with a slight disability wandering around a bit and striking poses as if she were a model.
When she sat down it was a pretty picture. And yes, it is a picture, that's it, no more, no less.
I wish I was able to give her the printed image. But the image itself is not an expression of me personally.

I’ve submitted my photographs for four different contests.
During the first competition my doubts started whether I want to participate in competitions at all. I have written more posts about this but the main reason is that I don't understand anymore why I have the urge to get it judged. And I find myself distracted by any feedback. Although I know I don't have to take it too closely, it's hard to get rid of it. It's common sense to let it go but not common practice.

Honorable Mention for Streetphotography Solo (Projection)

Honorable Mention for People Serie  (Projection)

Third place for Streetphotography Serie (Projection)

I've submitted also for print one time at the club. 
The second time I skipped because the photo club asked the same judge again. 
And the third time, this was the division "Afdeling 10" competition, I submitted one series, even though it was the same judge for the third time in a row.
The prints were not "good" enough for a price. 
As for our Wednesday club nights, I missed quite a few. Sometimes due to a tight schedule at home with sports and music from the children. But honestly often also due to no motivation.
Our photo club NAFVA - the Dutch Amateur Photographers Association Amsterdam - existed for 135 years in 2022!
This was celebrated with a photo exhibition in De Thomaskerk. Members showed their work from Friday 16 September to Friday 7 October: photography of the most diverse kind, from portraits to street scenes, from landscapes to cityscapes, from miniscule details to grand vistas.
I enjoyed seeing two of my photos this way for the first time.
Although they were not selected by me but by the competition committee of the club.

Opening by Tom Meerman.

He mentioned the work by Leonard Misonne. Thanks for the inspiration.

The making off during the group photo when it started to rain. 

The real group photo is on the site of the NAFVA.

On the left my image - "Selfie" and on the right "Simple Life". 

In September I started a workshop (through the NAFVA) PERSONAL DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY - by Rob Moorees.
Every two weeks we sat with a few participants in Rob's studio to discuss the assignments he gave us.
I was really curious about his way of looking and teaching because he was the one who judged my images cliche during one of the competitions last season.
It's too much to write down all the assignments and my learnings. Maybe I will create a post about this. The reason why it's not here yet is the temporary pause that I took from writing at the end of 2022.
In general I can conclude that it was very useful to think about assignments and how you want to express your view in images. The word image instead of photo is something I started using since this workshop too. It's all about the creation of your final image instead of just taking and showing a nice photo.
An eye opener during this workshop was also the work from two other members, Onno and Wouter Scheen
There is so much emotion in both their images, you can literally feel it through the prints. I've never felt this way with an image before.
Wouter also uses words with his images.
It's not that I've to use words now but I need to describe things. I need to understand who I am and what I make. What I want to show. If that is not clear how can I make whatever it is what I want to make. Writing it down has resulted in this whole new website where I try to describe everything honestly. Certainly the bit "About" and my "What I feel" explains it all.
Onno triggered me to really finish a project. However small it is. You just need to close it. That resulted in my first book "Lost in Amsterdam".
The last thing I want to say for now about photo clubs in general is the personal contact with other members. In the end you share the same passion and if you are already in a club you probably want to share. I've shared my work and personal history in photography as a presentation one evening. I can recommend everyone to write down experiences and present them.
If you open up, other members generally will too. Many different people helped me last season, for example with printing, tips in Lightroom and sometimes very small things that you actually already knew but have not mentioned before. Like, for example, what you should or should not show in a series.
The downside is that you can also get annoyed at others. After all, they are not (yet?) your friends. Photographers are generally solo artists, doing things together is not for everyone.
In this review I just want to mention one more member, Petra Beackers, which gave me a lot of motivation. She joined the photo club last year and has a lot of energy, introduced some new activities in the program committee, provide good feedback in photographs and shares a lot of information.
Conclusion at the end of this season, although I am really positive about certain things, it is too often that I doubt whether I should continue. 
I want to do more and only street photography. And the club has all types of photography, which is great of course, but I'm just being honest that I'm not looking for that. I don't get excited about portraits or nature photography, no matter how good and beautiful the images are. That's why I'm not sure if this is still a good fit for me.
It's just time to get another boost. Don't be stuck!
BUT ...
You can always find plenty of reasons to quit.
My wife said it's too easy to just quit. Something I quickly do when I just don't feel like it anymore.
Maybe you should stay, you can change something with a different view. Perhaps for others who also want something different. Or maybe show others that something can be done differently too.
As always she has a fair point. Let me go ahead one more time and go into it positively. I shouldn't about what others say or think. Again, as so often, common sense but not always common practise.
Let's continue with my other stuff in 2022/2023.
Last year I did some contributions to the local Oost-Online news site. 
In the course of 2022 I no longer had any inspiration to hand in anything useful. Where I first thought to come up with nice items and make images of them turned out not to be the case afterwards.
I found it annoying not being able to deliver something that I first wanted to actively help with. I'm glad we agreed together to stop this.
As you can read in this review I was way more off topic then I expected to be.
With the change of my life, by quiting my full time job and to concentrate more on photography I realised I had to find my meaning first.
Shooting in the street for six months without any target seemed wasted. But there are still some images in that time that I can use. So the lesson here, just shoot, and don't think too much. Anyway, there's a reason why you shot that.
Submitting photos for the photo club discussions and competetions was completely wrong. I've selected photos where I thought others might like. Here  also the lesson, experience it, and realise that it is not about that. If you don't like it, why expect someone else might like it, stay true to your work.
Another thing that cost me a lot of time and energy was my switch in software and website.
I moved from Adobe Lightroom to Apple Photos to On1 to Luminar AI and back again to Lightroom.
I lost all the edits and had to organise all my photos again. It was a tedious job but it also helped me to find my own style back again. 
Same for my website. First I moved everything from Adobe myPortfolio to my own Wordpress. And at the beginning of 2023 I moved everything from my Wordpress to Google Sites. 
I started my initiative , which had many different layouts. First only photographs per district, later only the best ones from Amsterdam, and at the end just a selection of  my current type of streetphotography. Currently it's just a name which redirect to my website.
When I was once again busy selecting all images for Streets Amsterdam, I automatically found out that it is not actually Streets Amsterdam. All the images I selected are much more "Lost in Amsterdam". Which suddenly told me a lot more about how I feel and move in the city.
The reason for this selection was that I wanted to make a magazine or small book of my street photography 2020-2023. This again through the conversation with Onno who indicated that you need to complete a project.
Something totally different is shooting some photos for my old basketball teammate Guno at our time at Amsterdam Canadians.
Last year we met again after almost 25 years and he told me about his great iniative with Everybody Pickup
I'm happy to provide him the photographs that he is looking for. Although it's not streetphotography I'm fine to help where I can. One thing can lead to something else. You never know what it's good for. And if you stand behind something why not do it. You can always find enough reasons not to do something.
Something I also realized last month (March). Don't just focus on street photography. Also make more private personal photos.
In the first months of 2023 I made far too little at home. An awareness was when I made some images of my son during his first guitar and baseball game.
The last thing to mention in this review is social media.
I've deleted and put back instagram a dozen times, I keep fighting with this medium. But you can still use it positively. There really are plenty of like-minded people who would like to share and also have something to say. Just follow what you like. Take what is useful to you. Don't be fooled and stay true to your own images.
I've been off topic a lot this year. Lost and searching to the point of frustration.
But I don't see this as a bad thing.
You need to go through these type of changes to understand what you want to make. Who you are and where you need to go to.
During this year I have a few images I like but most off all I learned more about myself.
And now?
Yes, it's time to move my cheese.
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