Discover more from Process by Wesley Verhoeve
Process 100 ☼ Unlocking a Milestone, My Work in the New York Times
GIVEAWAY: Kodak Film, Digital Camera, Mentor Session
This week is a Two-Milestone week! First, we made it to Process issue 100! Secondly, my work was published in the New York Times for the first time.
In this week’s issue, we will look at a significant flaw in my early-career goal-setting, how it affected my work and growth, and how I learned to set smarter goals.
We’ll also revisit my 2023 goals since today is the exact halfway point of the year.
Also this week, a fantastic GIVEAWAY by way of the second annual Process Reader Survey! Shout out to Kodak and Cinestill for the support!
My Work in the New York Times: A Journey of Shifting Perspectives
Early on in my career as a photographer, I had my goals all mixed up. I believed that getting my work into the publications I most admire would be the ultimate stamp of greatness. As a long time New Yorker the New York Times was always at the top of this list for me. So, I poured my time and energy into networking and pitching, hoping to catch the attention of the editorial staff and get a meeting. But more often than not, my efforts went unanswered, leaving me feeling discouraged and overlooked.
Then, a stroke of luck came my way. In March of 2020, I had the opportunity to have a portfolio review with Kathy Ryan, the Director of Photography for the New York Times Magazine and one of the people I admire most in our industry.
Her feedback was enlightening, clear, and encouraging. She urged me to be more focused on creating coherent series, exploring different communities and lifestyles. Her words resonated with me, and I decided to shift my approach.
Not long after that portfolio review, the world was engulfed by the pandemic, and I found myself stranded in Vancouver with no opportunities for client work. Instead, I channeled my energy into a personal project that became my photo book, NOTICE.
I wandered the suburban streets for 123 days in a row, covering more than 1200 km while capturing the meditative essence of my surroundings. This solitary endeavor brought order to my life during those chaotic times and allowed me to further develop my visual voice as a photographer.
Three years passed since that portfolio meeting, and by then, my perspective had changed. In the mean time, my work had appeared in National Geographic Traveller, the Washington Post, Wired Magazine, and other publications I admire, as I continued to go all-in on growing as a photographer and developing my voice.
Instead of feeling a strong need for my work to be in the New York Times as the ultimate validation to tell me my work was worthy, I was able to just appreciate it as one of the best publications in the world and know that my day would come.
Well, last week that time was there. Above is the online version a wonderful article that ran in the Times this week. It’s about the Amsterdam-based improv comedy theater Boom Chicago and their thirtieth anniversary.
As you can imagine, I’m over the moon, but for the right reasons. It's not because my work has gained instant “greatness” by being published in the New York Times. What truly fills me with pride is the fact that my two years of dedicated documentation of the Amsterdam improv community, a subject dear to my heart, has resulted in these images being featured in the renowned publication. And I’m of course grateful to the editorial team at the Times and the team at Boom Chicago for the trust.
In the end, it’s good to realize that goal setting is an art in itself. There are healthy and unhealthy ways to approach it. Seeking recognition and approval from industry gatekeepers is an ineffective path, often leading to frustration and stagnation.
Instead, I discovered that the key lies in making great work and continuously improving as a photographer. It's a slow and arduous journey, but one that brings genuine growth and fulfillment. Recognition may follow, but it is the work itself that makes it truly great. It’s all about the…well…process, so lets focus on enjoying that part!
Speaking of setting goals…
2023 Goals, 6 months later
It’s hard to believe, but we’re already at the half-way point of 2023 and since this issue of Process is about goal-setting I wanted to examine my progress on a few of the goals I shared for myself and my work in Process 081.
Process Plans for 2023 (Progress Report)
Publish 45 issues of Process — I’ve published 19 issues so far, so a bit behind.
Launch Creatives In/AMS, my project about Amsterdam-based creatives and their spaces — I’ve already photographed 34 creatives for this project so far, working towards 100 and I’m applying for a grant for this project. It should launch in early fall.
Launch Project X — It’s a secret, but more about this by the end of July!
Publish a new piece of printed matter — As I recently shared I’m working on NOTICE Journal Volumes 1, 2, and 3 and more on that late July!
Photography Goals for 2023 (Progress Report)
Offer new in-person and online workshops — Much progress, coming this fall!
Professionalize my operation and work flow — I got a new accountant, a new tax system, designed a new file backup system, and got admin help for invoicing. I will write about these things separately sometime this year.
Better documenting my personal life — Going well, including a one-photo-a-day project I’m shooting on a set of Kodak Tri-X single use cameras.
Launch my online shop — Launching TODAY: my webshop featuring, for the first time ever, the second print of my photo book NOTICE! Ordering a copy is the best way to support my work on Process right now. More products coming soon.
That’s it for this week! I hope this inspires you to think through your own set of goals.
Next Week: The best way to develop a personal project.
Until then, I would love for you to help me spread the word about Process and grow this community and there’s now a way to get rewarded for doing so.
Check out the new Process Referral Program which lets you earn some exclusive things like a personal NOTICE postcard in the mail, a new Process eBook full of photo assignments, and a mini portfolio review. Thank you for your support, as always! <3
Keep shooting and take good care of yourselves and others. <3
PS Shout out to my friends at Carmencita Film Lab. They’re my favorite lab in the world and I’m grateful for our collaboration. Use code “PROCESS” at check out to get a free upgrade.
Digital — Both images that were published in the New York Times were shot on the Canon 5D Mark IV using the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM lens. These are links to my friends over at MPB.com, which has become my go-to place to buy, sell, and trade used cameras and lenses. MPB caters to over 625,000 visual storytellers and provides a 6-month warranty. Thanks for supporting the Process community, MPB! <3
Process Giveaway + Survey
This week’s giveaway is all about getting to know each other better, making Process bigger and better, and giving back to you. I am proud of the Process community and let’s just say that when I see a conversation happening in the comments is one of the reasons I keep writing.
A Two-Hour Mentor Session (Valued at €300)
To read more about how these sessions work, including testimonials and a link to book your own visit wesley.co/mentoring. Below is a picture from a recent session with Tokyo-based photographer Alvin Jurianto after a portfolio review.
A Canon Digital IXUS 95 IS camera (Valued at €180)
From my personal collection, a wonderful digital camera that’s so small it’ll fit into any pocket to make for the perfect daily carry. Comes with charger and two batteries.
Kodak Medium Format Film Pack (Valued at €140)
The good folks at Kodak Alaris have made available one 5-pack of Kodak Gold and one 5-pack of Kodak Portra 400, both in 120 format.
CineStill Film Sample Pack (Valued at €70)
The gang at CineStill Film are sharing a sample pack featuring all four of their films — 50D, 400D, 800T, and BwXX — in either 35mm or 120 (winner gets to choose).
How To Enter
To enter please fill out the second annual Process Reader Survey by clicking the link below. This survey will help me out a lot in terms of understanding our community, which will make Process the best it can be. It will take you maybe 5 minutes max.
I’m excited to read everyone’s answers!
ENTER THIS WEEK’S GIVEAWAY before 11 am EST on the 8th of July.
The winners will be randomly drawn and notified.
This giveaway is for Process subscribers only. Subscribe by clicking the button below:
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