At the beginning of 2016 I decided that one of my projects this year would be to create a Calendar. 12 beautiful, sensual images in a dreamy set-up…
This idea soon became less appealing, somehow it just seemed too easy… One afternoon of shooting with a great photographer and it would be a wrap. Selling it for 50bucks - Cha-ching!! (If a few thousand people would find it worth spending their money on of course;) )
I wanted a project that would take over my mind. Something that would inspire me. Something where my creativity could flow lavishly and where I’d have the opportunity to collaborate with different artists from all around the world. But most importantly, something for a good cause.
Since I’ve always been very drawn to the Ocean and the Ocean has been giving me so much life, love and energy, I decided I wanted to create awareness about what I’ve seen the last couple of years... The plastic-problem so called… A simple walk on any beach, anywhere, and the plastic waste spectacle is present. Even the most utopian places are not immune anymore.
We’ve been touching nature with reckless force and soon we have to pay the price. All sea animals, from the biggest to the microscopic organisms are breathing toxic seawater infused with chemicals from plastic decomposition. Since we, as humans, eat fish that have eaten other fish, which have eaten toxin-saturated plastics, we are eating our own waste… You’d ask yourself, how senseless could we be? Poisoning ourselves… Poisoning other animals… Poisoning the world… Things have got to change. Right now. By buying this Calendar you will save the Ocean a little bit. A fair amount goes to Mission Blue, an initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance (S.E.A.) to ignite public support for the protection of Hope Spots—special places that are vital to the health of the ocean, the blue heart of our planet. As I assumed people didn’t want to put a picture of a bleeding entangled sea lion, turtle or dolphin on their wall… I tried to show some of the issues in a ‘subtle’, sometimes surreal way. I hope I somehow succeeded in this :)…
THESE IMAGES ARE NOT THE ACTUAL CALENDAR-IMAGES These are outtakes, created throughout the last year by different photographers (caption).
Just before Summer started. Charleroi-Biarritz. Flo picked me up at the airport wearing fancy shades, as only a real chillinmaster would. It was the first time we met but we got a long straight away. Our minds were riding the same wave.
We only had a 15minute car-ride ahead before we would arrive. Flo explained me a little bit more about ‘the suite’ and his idea behind the whole concept. I was stoked, couldn’t wait to get there. There it was; Hidden somewhere in the forrest of La Douce Biarritz. A getaway, half shaded, half sunbathed, uphill surrounded by oaks and pinetrees. I had arrived, escaped for a week.
At that time I didn’t even know a bigger surprise was ahead.
Maybe I should tell you a little bit more about the chillinmaster-idea before I unpack the big surprise…
So, Somewhere in March I got an email from Flo with the proposal of spending some time at his family home. He was inviting all different kinds of artists during the Summer to live the chillinmaster-lifestyle. He wanted to offer a place for creation. A place without limitations and full of exploration. He wouldn’t tell me who was also going to stay at his place while I was there so I had no idea what to expect. His e-mail was quite point-on though, because straight away I said, yes!
Now back to my big surprise… Flo unlocked the door and gave me a little tour. It felt like home! Then I met Emily. Just as I didn’t know what to expect, she didn’t know either. Emily never really photographed nude, swimwear she had done a bunch but nude… Not really… We opened a bottle of rosé and decided we would just explore the city, have fun and shoot whenever we felt like it. No plan! Somehow I already know this isn’t going to sound like a big surprise anymore, so I’m just going to stop trying to build up to this climax. The baseline is, besides (in my opinion) creating some great images, in only 5 days a true friendship was made here. One that will last for a long long time…