Discover more from Process by Wesley Verhoeve
118 ☼ Documenting A Neighborhood Institution
Self-Assignment: The Last Day of the Best Bakery in Amsterdam
In this week's letter, I talk about one of my favorite recent example of taking my cameras out for a self-assigned shoot to document my neighborhood and community.
☀️ Shout out to my friends at Squarespace for helping make this issue possible ☀️
Gathering: The second Amsterdam Substack Meetup will take place on November 22nd and it requires an RSVP here. We will share our experiences, learn together, and enjoy a beverage in the company of fellow writers. Max 20 spots, 11 spots already taken.
More Pictures: I have started sharing new images, interesting links, and more over at the Notes section of Substack. It’s kind of like Twitter when it was fun.
Mentor Sessions: I am opening up last two mentor slots of 2023. Book one here. Below is a note from Alvin about his mentorship session with me earlier this year:
The mentoring session was a wonderful experience! I’m working on my first narrative-oriented project and Wesley really helped by providing a framework and direction. His approach and communication style ensured that fruitful ideas were generated and it was very creatively fulfilling!
Closing Down My Neighborhood Bakery
This is the story of the last day, for now, at Brood Bakkerij Ex, a woman-owned bakery nestled in the heart of Amsterdam-Noord.
For the past year, I've become a regular at Brood Bakkerij Ex. It hasn't just been a place to grab a loaf of bread; it was a cherished "third place" where the community gathered, laughed, and shared moments. It was a lovely and very alive place for young parents, creatives, and anyone who wandered in. But, as they say, all good things must come to a temporary pause. I guess they don’t say it exactly like that, but you know…
A few weeks ago, Brood Bakkerij Ex closed its doors for a year, until after its historic building undergoes some necessary renovations. Instead of moving to a new location, the team is taking a break to recharge, research, and prepare for a new chapter.
The bakery's spirit is a special one. Such warmth emanating not only from the oven, but also the staff. Picture it: the scent of freshly baked sourdough bread, delightful and unique pastries, and the camaraderie of baker Eline and her staff.
I decided to document this final day, and fortunately, a sunny day with clear blue skies interrupted the otherwise gray week. This perfect timing allowed me to capture the joy of the community coming together to celebrate, young and old alike.
To see their customers come out in such numbers, forming queues, and even bidding on the last few items, was wonderful. Ex only opened their doors just five years ago, but it didn’t take long before they became an integral part of the community, learning about their customers and watching them grow – from singles to expectant mothers to parents with children in tow.
A quick look at the menu makes it clear they truly bake for the neighborhood, with requests from customers leading to regular offerings, including my personal favorite: a vegan kimchi pastry like I have never seen before.
The bakery’s community relations have grown beyond just their clientele as they started offering produce and vegetables from local farms, and pantry products from local producers.
I couldn't help but be moved by the outpouring of love. The excitement was obvious, and everyone was thrilled to be photographed as part of the story. As you can see, the photographs are filled with smiles, a sense of belonging, and an instant nostalgia for a place that has become part of people’s routine.
It was a special experience, and the bread that day tasted even more delicious, as it was infused with the collective memories and love of the community. I can't wait for the day when Brood Bakkerij Ex reopens its doors, bringing back the same warmth and camaraderie that we all cherish.
I hope this story motivates you to explore the gems in your own neighborhood, to celebrate the places that foster a sense of belonging, and to document the special moments that bring communities together.
This is the power of finding your voice in your own backyard. So, go out there, explore, and discover the stories in your own neighborhood. You never know what you might find, who you might meet, and what work you might make that moves others.
Shout out to Guido de Bruin for assisting.
There are many more pictures! To see the full photo essay visit my website here.
Speaking of my website, big shout out to my friends at Squarespace, which is the platform I have built and hosted my website on for over 10 years. They are supporting this issue of Process and you can use the code PROCESS10 for 10% off your first order.
Process 054 ☼ The Best Advice I Ever Received: Self-Assignment Work
That’s it for this week! If you enjoyed this issue I’d love for you to share it with friends.
Next Week: The most romantic picture I have ever taken. And the return of the Process Giveaway with a $150 gift certificate for film, cameras, etc. Subscribe below.
Keep shooting and take good care of yourselves and others. <3
PS A great way to support Process and enjoy a body of work I’m very proud of, consider buying my photo book NOTICE. Second print out now.
Gear & Tools Used
Camera: Hasselblad 500cm and the Contax G2.
Film Stocks: Kodak Portra 400, Kodak Portra 160, Retocolor Glow 400, Atlanta Film Co. Euphoria, Fujicolor Pro400H.
Lab: All my analog work is developed and scanned by my friends at Carmencita Film Lab. They’re my favorite lab in the world. Use code “PROCESS” to get a free upgrade.
Website: You already know. Squarespace is what’s up.