My 2018 Retrospective
Year in, year out, it has become a habit of mine to write a short retrospective about the passing year. Let me tell you about 2018’s biggest moments for me.
Want to catch up on previous years? Feel free to read my previous retrospectives.
2018: The year I became father of twins
While this blog post will mostly be about my photography, I have to start with the single most important moment of 2018:
On 17th August 2018 our family of three became a family of five within 7 minutes. Louis and Zoé joined Arthur, Annie and myself. From the moment they arrived the twins filled us with joy and, as it should be, they have also been given most of our attention and time. Some projects had to be put on hold and that is fine. There will always be time to head out and make pictures or create new videos or work on new exhibitions, but you only get to see your kids grow up once.
Last year’s predictions
In last year’s retrospective I made some predictions about my projects for 2018. Some of them have been accomplished, others had to be delayed.
The one project I had to delay was my defining project of 2017: my YouTube channel. In the months preceding the twins’ birth I still managed to create some new video content, but for most of 2018 my channel went silent and I have to apologise for that. I just couldn’t find the time to film and edit new videos. Between videos, workshops and exhibitions, I had to choose which projects I wanted to prioritise.
I will get back to making new videos though and you should definitely subscribe to my YouTube channel.
What did I do in 2018?
Well apart from enjoying the twins I did work on several projects. So let me tell you about what I have been doing this year.
As I told you in last’s year’s retrospective, 2017 was my sabbatical year concerning exhibitions. I needed to take a break and work on different things, such as my YouTube channel. But as I promised, 2018 was going to be different with at least a couple of exhibitions, which in the end turned out to be three exhibitions.
The year started out with my Seasons of Luxembourg exhibition at the Cercle Munster. Since the Cercle Munster lies in the very heart of Luxembourg City, it was such a great place to display my pictures made in Luxembourg.
I followed up with an exhibition at the European Court of Auditors which probably has one of the most beautiful galleries in all of Luxembourg!
Last but not least, I was very glad to having been selected for an exhibition at the Maison de la Culture d’Arlon. This was actually my first exhibition outside of Luxembourg and also my first exhibition featuring some completely different pictures made all over the world.
Workshops have been a very fun occupation for me this year. While I organised a few workshops in previous years, this year fellow photographer Alfonso Salgueiro Lora and I decided to join forces and hold regular workshops in Luxembourg and abroad. We started out with holding a fully-booked first landscape photography in Belgium’s gorgeous Hallerbos, followed by a summer workshop at the Upper-Sûre Lake and an autumn workshop in the Mullerthal region. Hey, we even made it into the Luxembourg Times as some of the best photography workshops in Luxembourg!
Want to join one of our workshops? Well, you are in luck. All our previous workshops will be back for a second round in 2019. Feel free to book your spot for any of the upcoming workshops. If you are getting a workshop as a gift, I’ll send you a neat gift voucher. And if you are quick you can even still benefit from early bird pricing.
Even if I haven’t travelled much since the twins have come into our lives last August (no worries, my first trip for 2019 is already booked), I still did travel to two new locations at the beginning of 2018.
The first trip of 2018 was a family vacation to escape the cold winter months. I did not expect much from Gran Canaria, but I was really surprised of the beauty of the island. I believe I managed to create some of my best pictures of this year in the Dunes of Maspalomas. You can watch all about my struggle to create compelling images of the dunes in my vlogs.
My second trip of 2018 had been planned by the end of 2017 already. Together with my friend and fellow globetrotter Frédéric David we visited the Faroe Islands.
I was struck by the raw natural beauty of these islands. The Faroe Islands low population and relatively remote location have allowed these islands to remain quite wild and are a real treat to explore. However, just as Iceland, I do expect the Faroe Islands to become one of these must-see locations in the near future, if it’s not already the case. While these grand landscapes are the perfect playground for landscape photographers, the Faroe Islands still lack the infrastructure and organisation to welcome mass tourism, which is obviously a good thing when you like to explore on your own. Unfortunately this lack of organisation has had some strange consequences, such as hikes that are only available with local guides and a tourism office that seems to refer tourists to dubious guides. While guided tours are a good thing in general, for landscape photographers they are a real pain. Guided visits currently only take place in the middle of the day, which is not the right time at all to make compelling pictures.
Before my trip I was actually planing on filming new vlogs in the Faroe Islands, but in the end I decided to concentrate on creating pictures instead. I did however film a lot of B-roll and I flew the drone in almost every location we visited, so you will probably get to see some of that footage in upcoming videos, but surely with a different formula than my previous landscape photography vlogs.
I can’t let a year pass without creating new pictures in my home country. After living in Luxembourg for over 10 years now, I still have much to see, much to explore and much to photograph. During 2018 I discovered a few new places in the Grand-Duchy which I obviously captured with my camera.
I had already heard about the existence of this daffodil forest in previous years, but I never had the time to visit this location. Things aren’t made easier by the fact that Lellingen is situated in the far north of Luxembourg and that the daffodils only appear for a very short while every year. This year though, I managed to go at the right time and I was lucky enough that the weather was fairly nice too. You can see more images in my blog post about the daffodil forest of Lellingen.
Upper-Sûre Lake and Mullerthal
I made quite a few trips to Luxembourg’s Upper-Sûre Lake as well as to Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland this year. The main reason for this was that I organised several photography workshops in those two locations. To tell you the whole story, we initially only planned to do the workshop in the Mullerthal this year, but because of devastating floods that workshop had to be postponed. In order to not disappoint the participants who had booked a spot on the workshop we decided to take them to some of our favourite locations around the Upper-Sûre Lake instead. The Mullerthal workshop still took place, but only much later during early autumn.
Anyway, visiting these two locations on several occasions has proven to be worth the effort since it resulted in a few great pictures.
Photographing Bourscheid Castle was one of the very last things I did in 2017, which resulted in some fantastic winter images of one of my very favourite castles in the Grand-Duchy.
I returned later this year during autumn to capture the castle emerging from a sea of fog. I had been planning on creating these pictures for a long time and I finally got lucky this year! This was probably one of my favourite shootings this year where all elements came together nicely to create that perfect scene.
While I’m talking about my latest pictures made in Luxembourg, I can’t write a retrospective without talking about one of my personal favourite projects of the year: the latest Luxembourg Calendar!
This was the fourth year in a row that I made a calendar dedicated to my favourite and most popular photos from Luxembourg. For the first time I turned to social media to allow you to help me choose the various monthly pictures. This year’s calendar features Bourscheid Castle in the snow, Luxembourg City through all seasons, the Mullerthal’s lush green forests and much more…
While I turned to Kickstarter for the previous three calendars, this time around I wanted to go through my new website, which I also launched earlier this year. This way I could use the full potential of my new online shop, making this my most successful calendar to date!
I really have to thank all of you who have ordered the calendar, especially those of you who have bought the calendar every year since the first edition, but also all those of you who got the calendar for the very first time this year. You have made this project a success and I am very grateful for your support. My thanks also have to go out to the Luxembourg Times for adding the calendar to their list of uniquely Luxembourgish gift ideas!
I did plan a generous stock this year, so I hope to have a few calendars left after Christmas this year. Anyways, if you want one, better get it now rather than wait and miss out.
My new photo studio
While this is still relatively new and still a work in progress, I am extremely happy that renovations are finally underway on my new photography studio and art gallery. Once finished I intend to combine my office space as well as my photography atelier and art gallery in this new studio.
I can’t really tell you how many boxes, frames, fine art paper prints, acrylic glass prints, and so much other stuff I have accumulated in my current small office where space has become somewhat of an inexistent luxury. With the new studio I will finally be able to use a dedicated space to put on display my pictures in 14 meters of gallery, organise stuff in well thought-out and probably mostly home-made furniture, create a special workbench to frame new artworks as well as work on new projects, and best of all: welcome all those of you interested in my work... Hey, who knows, I might even add a coffee machine, how crazy would that be? haha
Having this dedicated space will also be essential for the upcoming year, since new projects are already piling up and new exhibitions are being planned as I write this blog post.
Want to visit me in my new studio once it’s finished? Subscribe to my newsletter and be among to first to get an invitation.
So with one year coming to an end, I’m already planning ahead for next year (and to tell you the whole truth, I already got plans for the year after that too!)
For 2019 I am planning three new exhibitions which I will be announcing soon in my Events Calendar. Each of these exhibitions will take place in some very different places and there will most probably be some guided visits, and, who knows, maybe even a surprise or two. Again, if you want to get updates about these types of events, subscribe to my newsletter.
Furthermore, as I already said above, you can expect more photography workshops in 2019. Alfonso and I love teaching photography and following this year’s positive feedback, we are extremely motivated to organise more workshops.
For 2019 I also intend to challenge myself to create more new pictures and new videos. Working on exhibitions and workshops takes so much time! So does maintaining a website, creating and shipping calendars and other merchandise, updating social media and so on. And I am not even talking about family life! I seriously lack time to concentrate on creating new images and I will be dedicating more time to this in upcoming months.
To reiterate last year’s words: my photographic adventure goes on and you are along for the ride.
Thank you so much for reading.