The year 2013 comes to an end – a good time to look back and reflect, and also to look forward to what 2014 will bring. You are probably doing some kind of reflection for yourself, as well. If not, I encourage you to do so: Sometimes you’ll discover something quite surprising.
Personally, this year has been a very exciting one for me, and I’m very satisfied.
Most recently – as you have noticed for sure – I launched my monthly-or-so newsletter, THE LETTER. It is one step towards a more direct and human connection to all the great people out there who care, and I already love the fact that so many of my subscribers wrote me an email after I sent out the first LETTER a week ago. It’s exactly the kind of personal contact I cherish and it is what I feel is sometimes missing in the fast-paced social media world. The more the merrier, so if you’re interested just sign up unconditionally at holgerferoudj.com/newsletter – I’ll send you the latest issue and – only if you want – a handwritten postcard until end of January (I have about 25 left so be quick, haha).
Other than the newsletter, a lot has happened, like the launch of this website itself, which was only this year. Seems much longer ago, I agree. Now that I’ve had some time settling in I got to know the weak spots and strong spots of this website, but what do you think? If there’s something about the website that confuses you or that you don’t like, don’t hesitate to let me know.
Then, there was the Tokyo exhibition in collaboration with rina song in the beginning of 2013. A combination of her wonderful painting and my photography, and thanks to her talent the result was quite stunning. I’ll upload some photos soon, or send them out through THE LETTER, so you can see for herself.
And then I started working part-time for the Magnum Photos Tokyo office and won’t even start to tell how many amazing encounters and experiences I have made there so far. Super grateful. A dream come true.
The last big change I want to mention is my effectively complete switch to the Fujifilm X-Series and more specifically the Fujifilm X-Pro1. It’s no exaggeration to say I fell in love with this camera. Sure, we have a fight every once in a while, especially when it takes its time focusing in dark situations, but overall I’m still head over heels months after laying my hands on it for the first time. And the reason I love it so much is not even the stunning image quality so much as how it changed the way I approach photography. More raw, more straight out of camera, closer connection to my sujet (and also to the camera, I used to be an aperture priority guy, but am shooting now almost exclusively manual). My friends are rolling their eyes whenever I talk about Fujifilm again, “Dude, stop it already!” – I know I know, sorry, but it’s so good.
2014, what bringest thee?
I asked the stars, and they told me that next year is going to rock big time. Right now I’m taking advantage of being out of Japan in blissful isolation and am in the shooting process for a new small, slow and quiet project, that I hope to finish editing and publishing by February.
The book I’m working on is making good progress, as well, and I’m grateful to learn a lot about the craft from Germans who know what they are doing. Germany, after all, seems to have deep roots in bookmaking history. I still have mixed feelings, though, to tell you the truth, because I can be quite rebellious at the core and this recent bookmaking craze is turning me off a bit – but worry not, I’ll make it unique.
And lastly, you can look forward to an updated portfolio soon. My work has shifted focus a bit and there’s the one or other thing I don’t want to put out there yet, but I’m working hard to narrow down on a good representation. I’m trying not to sweat this one. It’s hard, really really hard… and painful. Basically, I have hundreds of small prints of a pre-selection of photographs from 2013 that found a way into my heart for totally subjective reasons, and now I’m eliminating prints one by one, a ruthless selection process that is cruel and hard and exhausting. To be frank, I’m starting to hate all of my photographs, there’s still such a long way to go. There are moments I just want to throw the towel… but I won’t, it’s necessary to stick to it. I give myself two more days. Two more days. Then it’s time to close the door for a while.
Yes, you. How was your year 2013? What are your plans for next year? I’m really curious, so if you feel like it write me a mail or a comment 🙂
Wherever you are, thank you so much for stopping by my blog and reading my newsletter. Happy New Year and be careful with those fireworks!