The Drive for Perfection

This morning on Twitter I had a caffeine inducted twitter exchange with Rob Yeo, a talented designer. We talked about hobbies and work and the balance when your passion is your work. As you know, I’ve been shooting since 2004, and never stopped. And this year I’m celebrating my 5th anniversary of being a full-time professional photographer. Each year, I’m reaching new heights, goals and whatnot.

Campaign image for Agentschap Wegen & Verkeer

Starting with a Sony Mavica .. oh god, not this origin story again. What is this, Spider-Man? Who cares about your stupid floppy-disks. Agreed, lets put it different. Each step I took towards my goals of bringing bread on the table by creating, I always was already thinking about the next step. How can I ramp this up, and go bigger. Not just something like more megapixels, bigger sensors and more powerful lamps, but also how to optimise things. How to make things more efficient.

However, we can quote Gretzky’s famous quote about “skating where the puck is going to be” all we want, and frame up motivational speeches attributed to Walt Disney “If you can dream it, you can do it”. That speech was written by Tom Fitzgerald for Horizons at EPCOT. Great guy, met him once. Terrific. Great. Huge. Hm. I wonder how my ADHD and Autism reacts to my second Flat White of the day.

So, where am I going with this? Well, coffee. It’s the perfect example of how my brain works. Or Tea. Or whatever comes into my visor. If I learn something new, I want to know everything of it. I want to master the skills and get the most of what I have. My girlfriend has this espresso machine, which I adopted. In the meanwhile, I have asked coffee masters, observed them doing their craft, and even got some one-on-one sessions on how to get the best out of it.

In my opinion my cappuccinos are already better than most places they serve coffee. But, they are a far cry from the ones served by master baristas on their La Marzoccos.  It’s the same with photography. I have been improving both skills and gear over the years, and this way, I know I have reached a certain level of photography, and being able to create special things. But I know there also is a long way up to the top.

Shot for Stad Hasselt

I can do a headshot, but I’m no Peter Hurley yet. I know my way around lights, but I still have a lot to go until I can get the amazing quality Joe McNally delivers each and every time. I feather my light and try to create a cinematic theatrical quality to my photos, but I’m not Annie Leibovitz yet.

But I aspire to be. 

Portrait in the Scottish Highlands.

I talked about this before, but the moment in 2012 when I went to Shanghai on a press trip and met Chase Jarvis changed my life. He told me to dive in, and use my fears as energy, which I not only did, I managed to use the momentum from the contacts to launch a career based on being different. I don’t do your typical photography, I’m my own category and type. Being different, and seeing things different make that I create different things.

Paul Smith for Modemuseum Hasselt

In these past years I have been in amazing places, worked for the companies that influenced my youth, but most of all, met so many brilliant people that just like me will never settle with the status quo.

I’m not Peter, Joe, Annie or Chase. I’m Kris, and I will always keep being Kris, and Kris will never stop learning, improving and creating. 

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