Goodbye 2010 – Hello 2011

© Wendy Marijnissen

It’s the final day of 2010 and everyone is gearing up and getting ready to celebrate a new year and new decennium coming. The city lights are full on and shops are having the best time of the year making the final sales and cashing in on our consumption orientated mentalities.

I’m not much for forced celebrations and sadly most of our holidays have become just that. But at the same time, especially new years is a perfect time to stand still, think about the past year and reflect on what is coming in the next.  Thinking about your wishes, dreams and hope for the future.

For me personally it’s been a roller coaster ride decennium… A lot of ups and downs. Exhilarating and scary at the same time. After a long time, I finally decided to move to the city and leave the village I was born in. Something I always knew I had to do, but took a lot of time and might have been one of the best decisions I made in my life. I rediscovered what photography meant to me and slowly step by step moved up to the point of fully living my dream. So two years ago I finally took the step and became a full-time photographer. Again a big and scary step to take, but one I haven’t regretted for a second yet, even though the economic climate isn’t really that great and I haven’t really made any decent money yet up until now.

There is so much talk about the future of photojournalism, where to go next… is there a future at all for our work…, etc. I’ve become so tired of these discussions, because somehow nobody really knows the answers to these questions yet. Everyone is frantically looking for new ways of getting their work out there, learning new skills like video and audio to get into the multimedia game, finding new ways of getting the work funded. And the solutions up until now are not really that inventive yet. The internet is a great source and way of spreading the work, but no one is paying for the content yet. Ngo’s, grants and crowdfunding have been heralded as new partners in funding projects. And in some way they are and their value is to be counted for for sure, but how far can they go. Even the most experienced and most established photographers among us are trying these avenues and looking at the same options, making chances slim of getting your commission from an established Ngo or receiving a grant.

Even so, I’m looking at the future with hope and excitement. I do believe people are still waiting to see great work and willing to pay for great content. Newspapers might say the common people are not interested anymore and feed us more lifestyle and celebrity news we can handle, … But I strongly believe that there is room for our work. I see and feel it when I read and hear the reactions to my work from Pakistan. It’s moving so many people and that gives me the hope and courage to continue doing what I do and love most.

I’m sure we will find ways and new outlets to get the work to people who are interested. I truly feel hopeful and can’t wait for the new year to start. I prefer to see the glass half full instead of half empty. Wishing you all a wonderful final day of the year and hope the coming one will be a magical, happy and creative. Enjoy and Carpe Diem!

 

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