While others are looking at it as an unwanted necessity, you almost embrace the process of transformation. Why?
In the book, I look at how my body is changing but even more so, I look at the passage of time, and that’s something I’ve always been fascinated with in photography. Documenting the same things, the same people over long periods of time. I believe that a lot of things get better with age.
Maybe it’s just my own perspective and better experiences that helped me to content with change and to see the beauty in it.
A good deal of the pictures in the book were taken during the pandemic. How did lockdowns affect the way you saw yourself and the world around you?
I was already a little over a year into the project when the pandemic hit. Suddenly there was another layer to it. It wasn’t just about my story or my personal transition anymore, it was about something that everyone globally was going through.
I’m really grateful that – in a way – the pandemic fastened a lot of connections in my work life, because as you couldn’t leave the house, editors were suddenly looking for photographers documenting themselves or their lives. At that point this was already like second nature to me and this made it really easy to transition my work into the pandemic setting. I stopped being this artist documenting their transition and became this artist documenting their transition in the pandemic.
Aside from my photography career, emotionally it was a really tough period, obviously. And I talk about it in the book.
What was the biggest challenge in selecting images, editing material for this book?
It took a lot longer than I wanted. In the beginning I was editing the photos on the day I took them and sharing them with friends. I was getting quick feedback on what I was making and that was really helpful. But after a few months I didn’t have the energy to do that anymore.
What I did instead was to look back at the images later on. I put on some music and went through the photos to see which ones I resonate with. I got down to a selection of images, printed them out and laid them out on the ground.
First it was a bit overwhelming, but once I knew that I wanted them to be chronological, it was easier to figure out what images I was looking for. I wanted to make sure I have a mixture of portraits, images of my loved ones and pictures of nature changing around me. In the book, each chapter represents a season.
So I laid these photos out in order and then added captions to all of them. It took me almost a year.