2016. What a perfect and awful year at the same time. Globally and politically I'm tempted to say that it is one of the worst in newer time. Personally a LOT of dreams came true and others were destroyed ruthlessly. It will be one of the years I'll remember as the happiest and saddest.
I will limit this post to a personal run through of year 2016's moments of pain and glory. Reflection fosters evolution. My one and realest wish not only for 2017 but for life.
On the 13th of January I turned 1/4 of a century and I published the first post on this site. It was with profound peace that I reflected over the process of aging. I remember defining my primary goal for 2016 as "to remove obstacles that make life emotionally complicated, the mind blurry or the heart heavy".
Therefore I said goodbye to relations and projects that felt wrong and I prioritized to rest and practice my balance. During first quarter of the year I finally managed fro a period to stop stressing over earning a lot of money (for savings). Instead I slept more at night and channelled my love and time to those who comfort me everyday with their support.
In 2017 I will still need to focus on this - and it will involve more excising, better eating habbits and quite moments of self development.
In February I joined a music video production for danish Rnb/pop artist Anya, where I worked as a production assistant and also did behind the scenes footage. I learned much in terms of photography and videoproduction by working on this set, but mostly the day served as a massive shedding of female power -
The positive focus on female empowerment is something I've felt rising in 2016. I've seen waves of female driven movements engaged in the mission of encouraging women to empower other women. I feel that the understanding of the term feminism has evolved a bit and changed for the better. Less alianation and more unifcation between women and women, and men and women in this cause. The feeling I get from this is so oddly soothering and purifying - things related to this topic is absolutely what I've spend the most time on studying through different media in 2016.
In 2017 I wish to meet and create more projects together with other beautiful and strong women in order to contribute to these waves!
portrait of Lucio Souza
March. The meeting with brazilian tattoist and idealist Lucio is one of the meetings that took me most by suprise and a moment I remember the clearest from 2016. We walked through Copenhagen and talked for 4 hours straight in portuguese about the political situation in Brazil, how he grew up, prejudices, EU vs Brazil, cultural differences in sexual behavior and love. People looked at us with confusion when passing them in the streets. Lucio became a good friend afterwards and this experience became a driving force for doing portraits, tell stories, and be conscious about my prejudices and always talk with people instead of remaining silent. All of us have so much to learn from each other. This is also one of the stories I've gotten the most positive feedback on from all you guys. Knowing that you enjoy these kind of posts and photos makes me excited and incredible happy.
first feature in photo campaign
.. happened in 2016 and also a couple more followed. If someone had asked my around New Years last year I would never have guessed that this would happen, but nevertheless it did and it taught me a lot about the creative process and art of photography as well more about the strategic and executive levels of advertisement.
adidas Originals NMD
On a really cold February day we shot the adidas NMD_ Copenhagen campaign pictures. Later in March the NMD_ Runner released in Copenhagen and as the incarnated Adidas girl that I am it was a great pleasure to be doing my very first campaign feature ever representing nothing less than Adidas. Professionally it's one of the biggest moments of 2016 and through the campaign I believe we managed to convey both the NMD and city identity with the photos shot by the great team of photographers. Thanks for the opportunity Abdellahn Ihadian who did the pictures of me and to Adidas Denmark for this collab as well as the many sponsored kicks this year!
Winberg Jewellery campaign
In March I did the second campaign shoot - this time with danish Winberg Jewellery. I remember being super nervous and excited at the same time for this challenge. It was mentally challenging to pose naturally with bling in front of my face I must admit. And to publish it afterwards was just as nerve-wrecking..
.. Which pissed me off a bit. The fear that friends and acquaintances would think something bad. Oh damn, we humans sometimes! It should be alright to show a piece of work that has something to do with looks or succes and in the same sentence express proudness.. This is something I want to change, I want it to feel alright. The fear of others thoughts is often what prevent us from acting on things we wish to happen, or we wish to share or simply attract in life. Beauty, being smart or having success is not something we should be offended or attacked by - for me it has become a constant flow of inspiration. All it took was the decision to see it that way. So a goal for 2017 is to feel alright about flaaaunting it and also supporting others when they do! Lets build up one another!
Working with Winberg was a very cool and proud 2016 moment. Thanks to the dreamteam Lea, Teis and Mie!
Ted x copenhagen
In April I did the pictures for the official poster and general visual identity for the main event 'Reconsider this' in Copenhagen 2016. First time seeing my photography hanging around the city in a printed version! Yay! Thanks to Isak for modelling!
The first day of what felt like summer I art-directed and shot my first full lookbook for GEIT COPENHAGEN together with 5 cool ladies. Working with gorgeous model and artist Fie Fenneberg from Unique gave me new perspectives on instructing as a photographer, but also modelling techniques that I've been using ever since - the trick is movement. A 2016 moment were I felt very humble - knowing that this work would play an important role in the realisation of a fellow woman's dream - launching GEIT Copenhagen. Thanks Cecilie Pram! Find the full post here.
VICE in Lisbon
Early June I went to Portugal on an exclusive media production assignment for VICE Denmark together with the coolest crew! It was a gift to be working alongside this crew of professionals and I took a lot of knowledge with me home from this work trip. Also It was the first time that I got a specific job because of my Portuguese language skills and that was a huge moment for me - something I've dreamt of since for ever.
A special kind of Wedding
Mid June. Weddings are always intense and hard work. It's many hours of shooting, many important moments to capture and a very long editing process afterwards. But it is equally amazing and maybe the greatest honor to perpetuate two souls' tying their love together. I'm highligtning this specific wedding and yet un-published series because it was special for me to capture two ladies' marriage ritual. Maria & Malene, known for their unrelenting smiles and professionalism in everything they do. It made me proud to live in Denmark, a country were this type of marriage is allowed and aware that it is not like that everywhere in the world. I hope that the message love is love and love knows no gender or race are messages that once and for all will get through in 2017.
July. Malene is as close as I can get to having a sister. We've known each other all our life. Her having her first child is one of the biggest personal moments of 2016. Without a doubt. Can't wait to see him grow and be an awesome bonus auntie!
My girl Anso and I needed a break from Denmark and decided to go to Italy to eat us half to death in pizza and gelato and unwind the sun. It didn't go exactly as we planned, but looking back at it I'm very happy to have spent this summer break with her. Thanks AS!
Trailerpark Festival with Ibyen
July. 2016 was the year of the 10th and last Trailerpark Festival. I had the pleasure of covering the festival for Politikens Ibyen account on Instagram and the team behind, Art Rebels and Space10. I was so close to not do this job due to a heavy work load, but it ended up being a really great experience that later on led to a couple of more jobs in 2016. Thanks to the people at Rebel United for having me!
Moons and Junes Portrait.
In the end of July I did a reportage and portrait of Agnete founder of Moons and Junes. A woman with a fired up personality and drive that has brought her straight to her goals. Agnete just got back home from a semester at Columbia University so I predict that 2017 will bring more coffee meet ups between the two of us! I got an amazing response on this series - in terms of editing and shooting it's a result I look back at with pride. I especially like the use of light and colors. Definitely a wish to create more visual stories like this one in 2017.
Days down south
A couple of days in August were spent with long time soul friend Emilie. We hung out at my parents house, painted in the orangery, had french press coffee, talked in the realm of the night, and took the loveliest summer pictures against colored walls. Those days are a very happy memory of 2016. I try to use as much time with my family and friends as possible. But on the friends account there is room for improvement. So a big wish for 2017 is to spent more time in summerhouses, taking long walks or having simple dinner nights with friends!
BRAZIL & THE OLYMPIC GAMES
Mid August an other peak point of 2016 happened as I travelled to Rio de Janeiro for two weeks to cover the Olympics 2016 together with Kenneth Nguyen. It was a really big thing for me to be a part of and contribute to with my language skills, read the full post by following the link. We went there with many concerns in regards to security, but the whole experience was extraordinary and the Brazilians did an amazing job hosting this massive event! We worked for Danske Spil which is a main sponsor of Team Denmark. They did a work pitch that gave us almost total freedom to do this job. It's amazing to work with a client that trust the 'expert' that they have hired instead of trying to constrain or control the creative process. My experience is that the outcome is better when taking this approach. Thanks to Danske Spil for this opportunity and the trust!
On a personal note I got to see my very dear friend Paulo del Valle again (yay buddy 3 years in a row!) and also got to visit my beloved extended family the Fabres. Kenneth did a bunch of vlogs which can all be found on his youtube channel (here, here or here) - I love those videos. This way I will always be able to look back at this extremely cool work experience along side him.
Master at IT University of Copenhagen
Meet my nerdy part of life! In September I started the master program Digital Innovation and Management at the University of IT in Copenhagen. A study that combines media, technology and society. The geeky side of me has never been more happy - the university is mad cool and there are a lot of resources and freedom to pursue dream projects. Of course I’ve been annoyed about deadlines, no doubt about that, but it has been with an underlying feeling of having begun the right specialization in terms of education.
Since October a lot of incidents occurred on the personal front that made me down prioritize the studies. Sometimes the only thing you can do when life is taking over your plans is to follow along - and therefore I also decided to not hand in one of my exams for the first time ever in life. Not exactly how I want it to be, so the plan for 2017 is to stop having a tight schedule with no buffer if accidents should happen. Not only because I want to perform better, but because I don’t want to be the edge of a mental break down and be able to breath, and in terms of my studies be able take full advantage of the gift it is to study for free with support from the state!
January will be kicked off by being a finalist in Venture Cup Challenge 2017 with a research project that I will be doing together with my study colleague. Hopefully many more exciting nerd projects will occur during this new year!
2016 offered a lot of great photojobs, some are mentioned already others will end up in the portfolio. It's been everything from book portrait, events, products, food and the list goes on. A place I've enjoyed to get to know better is Space 10. They are a bunch of nerds and really good at what they do working in the field of tech and design to improve life just to mention a few. Thanks for all the great work moments in 2016 to all my work clients!
Loss of family members
In August 2016 took away my dear grandmother. My dad and his 3 siblings handled so well. She was a beautiful, powerfull lady I thought we would have for longer, but she was also fulfilled with days in life. She passed away peacefully.
In October my closest family experienced the hardest and most surreal experience ever in life. My big brother and his fiancee lost their unborn son, Bowie, in a very late stage of the pregnancy. He was perfectly created, but somehow not ready for the life on earth. On the 26th of October Bowie was burried at the most tragic and beautiful funeral I've ever been to. I am in awe of the strength that my brother and his fiancée had when they carried the little coffin down the aisle in the church - as well as the strength in the following process of maintaining a relationship that needs to carry the sorrow of this terrible loss. Mathias I wish you to get better very very soon too. You two are my idols and biggest inspirations and you will get through this. 2017 is your year and I can't wait to celebrate your journey in the culmination of your marriage this summer.
The most important lesson learned is that being a friend or relative of a human that has lost a relative is a very poorly guided act. We don't know how to approach the grief. But I now know that the only thing you can do wrong, is not to do anything. I understand the fear of saying something 'wrong', but rather an awkward comment or a joke than the relative feels like it has become a ghost in the aisle. Rather a call or a text message too much than one too little. Grief is a project that needs to be handled collectively in the circle of friends, family and at work.
Thanks to all who supported and still does in this ongoing process.
ICELAND with 66NORTH
Start November I spent 8 incredible and also incredible needed days on Iceland with my babe Kenneth. In the realm of the loss of my brothers son I really needed to be under open air with Kenenth by my side. So the timing couldn't have been more perfect. We went in collaboration with the Icelandic brand 66North. Both the brand and the country won my heart totally. It's been a while since I've truly missed a travel destination but Iceland is bugging me. I really want and need to go back again - there is still so much to explore and the feeling of a life unplugged from tech and society is rare to find somewhere else. A huge thanks to Fannar, 66North for making this trip possible, providing us with clothing and 4wheelers and to K to show me your favorite place. I'm so happy to have created this memory with you and for having put a title on the relation between the two of us. An absolute 2016 peak point.
For 2017(or further in the future) I hope to visit New York, Japan, Indonesia, a bit closer Norway, Stockholm, Berlin and Morocco.
End of the year
Christmas was warm and spent with the family and New Year's eve with a bunch of friends and later on with K.
This post took forever to make and probably also to read through. But making these recaps are of great value for the soul.
Thanks fam, friends, workclients, colleagues, precious people, loves for all the special moments in 2016. Also the ones that weren't perpetuated in pictures and not posted in here. Lets meet for many more in 2017.
Peace and light. Alona.