Fotoacademie second year exam

Last week we had our final exam of the second year at the Fotoacademie. tl;dr; I can start the third year with no extra tasks. But if I keep this up I will not graduate Cum Laude in two years which is my goal. There are some issues with my performance at the Fotoacademie.

  1. I lack the ability to reflect and to develop (reflecterend vermogen en vermogen tot ontwikkeling), I got the lowest possible mark, a first for me and for the class. More on that later in this post.
  2. My photographs do not have a distinctive style, I am technically proficient (no doubt about that), but other than that my photographs could be swapped for those by someone else, they are not “me”.
  3. There is a lot of distance in my photography, which isn’t necessarily bad, but I am not using that to my advantage.
Martin Parr-like use of flash
Martin Parr-like use of flash

@3, I have been trying to get close since I think it yields better photography. I want to include my audience, not alienate them. But maybe by getting more distant I can get closer to something else, Columbus had to get really distant from the known world to discover a new one.
@2, to see and try a lot of different aspects of photography, with peers and with guidance, and in doing so develop my own style is one of the reasons I started studying at the Fotoacademie. I actually thought that my style would develop in and of itself over time, but so far nothing happened. Any tips on how to kickstart this? Beyond choice of subject or nurturing a gimmick?
@1, the worst thing that has happened to me as a student: to be told that I am a bad student. They essentially say I cannot learn.
I have rewritten this next part countless times, probably because the subject is not approachable with language for me at this point. Maybe the language-center in my brain is part of the problem.
Something is blocking me from seeing the giant obvious thing that is staring me in the face. The harder I try to see it, the more it is blocking my view. The mechanism is energy consuming and paralyzing.
Certainly I noticed myself that I have been unable to put the pointers I got, such as “take risks” and “be surprised by your own work”, into practice even though I really wanted to. It looks like I’m stubborn, but these instructions go right by me, nothing to grab onto. Lately I’ve even experienced a few mental shutdowns because perfectly normal (to other people apparently) instructions sounded quite incomprehensible or at least futile to me. I try to get to the bottom of it by asking the right questions but we, the instructor and me, keep talking past each other. This might be at the heart of why I was never able to finish an education before.
Looking to find out what is holding me back, preventing me from understanding. If you have experienced something like this, can you share your insights with me? Maybe you know what the giant blocking thing is here? Do I need a therapist or just a vacation?

2 thoughts on “Fotoacademie second year exam”

  1. Hi Joeri,
    Geeliciteerd dat je je jaar gehaald hebt!
    Het klinkt alsof je vast zit en je daardoor niet je eigen stijl kan ontdekken ofzo.. ga je er wel regelmatig op uit om creativiteit op te doen? En fotografeer je ook nog ‘voor de lol’ of alleen in opdracht? Daar kan je ook in vastgeroest raken. Ik weet dat je wel creatief bent en je foto’s spreken mij vaak aan. Dus er zit iets in de weg. Hoe je dat oplost..? Tja misschien meer leuken dinge doen waar je creativiteit de volle loop kan gaan? Of een workshop/training/coach die je kan helpen naar jezelf te kijken wat er in de weg zit en die je kan leren het obstakel weg te halen/ mee om te gaan 😉 Het komt vast helemaal goed hoor!
    Groetjes, Emy

    1. Thanx Emy 🙂 Ik ben inderdaad van plan om wat andere wegen te bewandelen dan alleen opdrachten. Dat zal mogelijk helpen inderdaad.

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