2017-2018: on Authenticity and Vulnerability
2017 has been an absolute turning point in my life. For a few years, I had been living with lots of open questions. But this year was different… This year it all came together and finally started to make sense to me. And here is why.
Let me give you a little background, first. In my 20s, I used to be so confident about what I wanted and what expected me, I thought I knew myself. That determination was helpful as it kept me ambitious and motivated. The drive made me push harder and harder. Sometimes though if you push too much, things break. Everyone knows that. And it did happen. I broke into thousands of pieces. My identity broke, my self-perception broke. Everything I had believed… My interpretation of it, all looked like a lie.
In 2009, I left my country and moved as far as possible to the other side of the world. I used to think that distance was not an issue and even good. I left to move to a city- Los Angeles – which is often considered incredibly lonely even by the same Angelenos.
Back then, I thought strength meant to be completely independent and self-sufficient. Today, I believe that strength is to admit you can be vulnerable. I had no awareness of what a violence it can be to pull yourself away from your own identity. A theme now I consider maybe the core one of my life.
Well, this year has finally shown me, that breaking was the best thing that has ever happened to me. It allowed me to become a better person and truly build the life I wanted. There is no day I am not thankful for what I have and for the pain that I went through in the past.
This year, I have dived into motherhood and came back with a much thicker skin. The selfless unmeasurable love I feel for this little creature has provided me with a renewed confidence in who I am and what I want to achieve. In a way, my son allowed me to truly look at myself for the first time.
This year I have significantly changed as a photographer too. I have stopped trying very different things and styles. I have finally learned what my priority is. I want to tell stories – YOUR stories – and in order to do so, I don’t have to be scared to tell you mine. There is no shame in showing vulnerability or weakness, there is no shame in authenticity. This year I finally left the last drops of poisonous perfectionism behind me.
2018’s word will be authenticity to me. The authenticity that I want my work reflects. Whether is a brand shoot or a wedding, I want the authentic you to shine through.
Here are a few personal favourites from 2017 in random order. Please feel free to comment, I always love to hear what you think.