Interview for Docu-Magazine
2023, April 12
DocuLabs Magazine has send me an email that they wanted to publish my interview and 2 photos in the upcoming Docu Book Vol 21 – Best of Documentary & Street Photography.
They are based in Finland and they are an independent publisher that specializes in producing high-quality photography publications. 
It's a very great initiative where they are looking for interesting photographers, both amateurs and professionals. I clicked on their link on Instagram to see if we were a good match. Two days later I received the email for doing the interview (you can read the interview below this post).
The only flaw, but I get it, I have to buy the ebook library if I want to see my own interview and photos.
This feels a bit strange at first. But I do understand this model. 
It's a fair price and it's a one-off and gives you unlimited lifetime access to all ebooks – new ebooks every month for free.
A price that you easily pay once for a book. And now you have 21 books (so far, which keeps growing), albeit digital, with images and interviews specifically on the street and documentary photography.
My only question is the reach of viewer. Will it only be the photographers who have submitted  photos themselves? How many outsiders are interested in buying it? But is that bad? A street photography book will also be bought by someone who is interested in streetphotography too.
Am I going to buy the library?
Well there is also a piece of self-glorification to see your own interview and photos. 
If that would be my only reason, I shouldn't buy it.
It feels a bit like buying my own interview.

But the reason you perhaps should buy it anyway is the huge collection of street photography and the street photographers themselves. It's the people who have the same passion. And I like to see work by not only the established order.
Often there are more hidden gems to be found with unknown photographers.

I always investigate who or what is behind an initiative and the person who represents Docu Magazine appeals to me. Someone with the same passion.
And as mentioned a couple of times, the price is really fair.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure if I'm going to buy this yet. Vol 21 has just been released. I wonder if I will get any reactions to my interview.

** Update **
Two months later ... I've decided not to buy it.
I think that in the huge amount of photos and photographers makes you will be absorbed in the whole. You will be promoted by Docu Magazine on Instagram (if you have paid).

My interview in Vol 21:
Tell about yourself a little bit... How did you become a photographer?
When my smartphone camera broke down in 2020 and I went looking for a small camera, I accidentally came into contact with street photography for the first time. And I was immediately sold. The work of Eric Kim and Daidō Moriyama appealed to me so much that I also had wanted to document my hometown Amsterdam.
But it wasn't just their work, it was even more the eye-opener to confirm that it was okay to shoot in my own quick, simple, childish and raw candid lomography "Wabi-Sabi" snapshot style. And not what the masses expect. You make the final image for yourself and if others like it, that's a bonus. 
These days I have the annoying urge to capture everything in the city.
However, for me the streets are a dangerous, fearful and chaotic place. I don't like confrontations. I don't like people in general. And I'm even afraid to shoot out there.
I'd rather be safe at home and not go out.
That's probably why the streets are calling me. I need to fight my demons. 
Maybe capturing the streets will help me find some order in my chaos. 
Although I'm feeling lost in the city. I need urban life in order to live, to feel, to function. Nothing worse than silence. Most of the time I'm rushing aimlessly around in Amsterdam, shooting from my bike while riding. 
My daily work mainly focuses on this personal conflict of feeling lost in this world. I’m looking for both the quiet and busy moments, unnoticed corners and rushed life in Amsterdam. Well, maybe I’m just trying to connect?
Therefore street photography is my rehabilitation wonderland trying to understand my meaning in the making.
I'm not sure what the ultimate goal is ... maybe to stop making images and erase everything.

What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as a photographer?
Making images teaches me to really look. Trying to connect. And truly appreciate everything around us. It is just pure magic to capture moments and to be able to watch, relive or make a new truth from it over and over again. It's the closest I'll ever get to become Alice in Wonderland and to time travel.
My life motto also applies to photography and making images, if I'm not happy with my images from yesterday, I try something else today. Don’t be stuck, everyday is cart blanche!

What advice would you give to a young amateur photographer, who wants to take their photography to the next level?
Start writing … 
If you can't define who you are, how you work, what you like, how do you then know what to make?
First describe who you are. What makes you you.
What do you love, what do you hate.
Then absorb as much work from others and write down what you like and don’t like in those images.
Quickly you will notice a pattern in the style you prefer.
That outcome is your starting point to fine tune it to your own style.  
Think about making images not taking photographs.
Don't be guided too much by others' opinions. Take in what is useful, filter the rubbish and don't lose yourself.
Give your photos the respect they deserve, print them out!
Photos on paper are different then viewing these on (small) screens.  
Print helps you also in your editing and selecting process, you probably only going to print the ones that mean the most to you. 

In your opinion... What is a good photograph?
The only benchmark is you.
It’s easy to get led into the established order who insists that something is really good work.
If you don't feel anything about it, and even if the work is supposedly a master piece. It's not a good photo and therefore worth nothing to you.
If you feel something about an image. It works for you.
This also applies to your own work when you publish it. If you don't feel anything about it yourself how can you expect someone else to feel something about it.

How do you feel about social media today? Is it good for photographers, bad for photographers...?
I don’t like social media, I love it … well I hate it too.
When you create something. Usually you want to share this. The world must see your work, it would be a shame if your great work is only on your own hard drive or in your bookcase. You want recognition. You want to be seen. You want to be an artist. You are an artist! 
The most convenient and obvious way to do that is Social Media.
But how real is Social Media? Are you a good artist if you have a lot of followers and likes? 
Does it affect your work?  Do you post a certain photo only to get likes? 
Social Media can serve you in three ways:
1) It keeps you motivated and active to create and post your work
2) You have your online gallery, you are in contact with like ones and fans 
3) You are lived by it and you are influenced by what others say 
My advise on posting your work on social media: Yes, go for it, do it, post it, and especially experience it BUT then make sure to adjust again. You need to experience the feeds, following, comments and likes before you can make a good judgement if you like, love or hate it! 
If you can deal with social media, use it, it’s an extra channel to showcase your work. Just be out there! But don’t let social media take control of you. You are more than a swipe or quick like on social media. 
Two photos which Docu Magazine selected (from my Instagram account):
Three extra photos I submitted:
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