The break’s over. Process is back! Today’s letter is about a new photo journalism project for which I am documenting creatives in their spaces. It’s early days but I’m fired up about it and I want to share my process with you from the very beginning.
Before we get into that let me to say a loud and joyful THANK YOU for all of your incredible support the past few months with the release of my photo book NOTICE.
It’s meant the world to see you share pictures of the book everywhere from cabins in Patagonia, to breakfast nooks in Berlin, and even farms in Japan. So far we’ve shipped the book to more than forty (40?!) countries and that just blows my mind. It’s an honor to have a little piece of myself (and Dan) in your homes. THANK YOU <3.
The first print of NOTICE is nearly sold out (just a few copies left) and we’re planning a second print release for this winter. In next week’s issue of Process I’ll share some observations and lessons learned during the book launch and release campaign.
This week’s PROCESS GIVEAWAY is a little different. Instead of winning a camera or a photo book, three Process readers will win a feature spot on Shoot Film Magazine’s beautiful Instagram account. More about how this works below.
A New Portrait Project in Amsterdam
For the past few weeks I’ve been working for a new yet-to-be-titled personal project that I’m very excited about. Today I’ll share a preview of the first few weeks as this project takes shape and tells me what it wants to be.
When starting a new project I prefer to not plan out too much beforehand. The best way for me to avoid overthinking is to start making work as soon as I have a kernel of an idea. In this case the kernel is simply to document Amsterdam-based creatives and the spaces they work in. My kind of people!
In many ways this project is a spiritual sequel to One of Many, my first ever personal project for which I photographed and interviewed more than 600 creatives across twelve cities in the United States between 2013 and 2015.
One of Many changed my life. It allowed me to meet people who inspired me and threw me in the deep end of the photo documentary craft. I learned how to research communities, do effective outreach, and create an environment in which someone I’d never met before was comfortable to share their story and allow me to truly see them.
One of Many also effectively kickstarted my career as a photographer. I’ve learned so much about the craft of photography since completing that project and I’m excited to apply all those lessons to these new shoots as I document these inspiring Amsterdam creatives and their story in most authentic and personal way possible.
One of the main differences is that this time around I am digging much deeper. One of Many was published as longform photo essays about each city with one editorial portrait per creative. In Amsterdam I’m spending more time with each person. I push past only a portrait and also document their work process, tools, and the space in which they work. The spaces range from big studios to a small table in an apartment.
In terms of gear, I’m using my three go-to cameras for each shoot: Pentax LX for small format, Pentax 67ii for medium format, and the Fuji X100F for digital. I am using tight lenses for portraits (50mm equivalent) and wide lenses to place each person in their space (24mm and 35mm equivalent) so I can tell a more complete story.
My film stocks of choice for this project are Kodak Tri-X for black and white and Portra 400/800 for color. I’m throwing in Cinestill BwXX and Kodak Color Plus as alternates when there is sufficient light for 200 ISO film.
I’m using only natural light with the exception of spaces in which artificial light is used to aid the creative person in their work process. One such example can be seen above. Master art restorer Huyb Kelder uses a powerful light that mimics daylight so he can see exactly the right colors and contrast while doing his work.
I have a few dozen shoots already lined up and I’m actively searching for more people to include as this will be an ongoing long-term project. If you know (or are!) an Amsterdam-based creative person with a space to work in, hit that reply button and let me know! All genders, ages, and creative disciplines are welcome.
To see some more preview images and video clips check out the saved “AMS Creatives” story highlight on my Instagram profile.
Alright that’s it for this week! Next Sunday I will share some exciting plans for the future of Process, dig into the lessons learned from the release of NOTICE, and host another Process Giveaway.
Keep shooting and take good care of yourselves and others.
PS Back in issue 037 I asked the Process community to share their favorite YouTube channels and newsletters about photography and sometime in the next two weeks I will share a special web-only Process bonus issue that lists them all. So many!
Shoot Film Magazine recently launched their new website and to celebrate we’re coming together to feature three photographers from the Process community whose work will be featured on their popular and beautiful Instagram account.
Process Giveaways are usually randomly drawn but this time I’ll put on my curatorial hat, pick three photographers, and work with each to make a selection of images.
To enter send an email to email@example.com with the subject line “Process 039 Giveaway”, before 11pm EST on November 10th and include the following:
A link to exactly five images from a single project or portfolio. Do NOT attach images, but please provide a link to your website, dropbox, google drive, etc. If you attach images your email will automatically be deleted unopened. Please do not send more than 5 images.
A short description of your project or portfolio (no more than 2-3 sentences).
Which camera(s) and film stock(s) you used.
I will get in touch with the three winners and work with them to make a final selection of images to be featured on Shoot Film Mag in the coming weeks.
The projects or portfolios must be shot on film because that’s what Shoot Film Magazine is about. Keep in mind that Instagram has rules around nudity so please don’t send photos that we would not be able to share.
This giveaway is for Process subscribers only. Subscribe by clicking the button below:
Would you like to support Process? Great! Tell your friends about it. Just click below:
If you’re a new reader, browse the Process archives here.
Process is a weekly letter from Wesley Verhoeve. If you’d like to support what I do here click the button below to order my new book NOTICE.
Follow along at @wesley.