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Kaat

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If you’ve known me a bit longer, then you’ll know that I occasionally draw and paint. It’s something that comes and goes, but it always comes back again. I’ll spend a few weeks immersing myself in watercoloring or portrait drawing, and then it goes on the backburner for a while. Despite it not being a part of my daily life – for many artists, it’s second nature – I do feel that it’s a part of who I am. My preferred methods have always been traditional. I started with pencil drawings, moved on to acryllic paint in my teens / early twenties, went back to pencil drawings and then finally found a love for ink, watercolor and gouache. But I live and work very digitally as well, as a photographer. And a lot of what I wanted to achieve, didn’t quite fit with the supplies and tools I had at…

Our house looks like a toystore exploded and all of its toys landed on our floors and in our closets and shelves. Feet bruised from stepping on Legos (I KID YOU NOT, THEY ARE THE DEVIL’S TOYS) right before sitting on cars and pencils that my daughter has strewn all over the sofa. Having kids is messy. So, so frustratingly, joyfully messy. Our house is rarely orderly. But oh, it is a happy house. Toys. Books. Fairy lights everywhere, because my daughter loves them (it was one of the first things that she responded to and pointed at when she was little…r). Boldly colored playmats, because they’re safe. Drawings, mine and hers (I have a wall in the kitchen that’s dedicated fully to her art; it’s Her Gallery and I regularly curate it with newer paintings). And rainbows, of course. Always rainbows. On her bed, their clothes, her boots, her…

With her mom being photographer, my daughter is used to constantly having her photo taken. She’ll see me snap a moment in time, documenting something she or her little brother is doing, and will run up to me, telling me “draai eens om” (turn it around) so she can see herself through the selfiecam. Or she’ll ask me to see the photos I’ve just taken. Recently, she’s taken it upon herself to take her OWN photos (at 3 years old), using her dad’s iPhone. And she’s pretty good at it, too. But until now, I haven’t had the pleasure yet of having her really pose for photos (I do have those portraits from when she was 13 months old, but those were her captured in a magical moment), for a Real Photoshoot. So that was a happy moment for me, because I’ve been DYING to get recent portraits of her…

I’m not an impulse buyer, especially not when it comes to expensive items such as equipment. I actually feel anxious about a big purchase. I’ll decide to order something, right? And then at the last minute I’ll cancel the order procedure, because I need to think about it just a little while longer. Or maybe read some more reviews, just in case. And the next day, this cycle will repeat itself until finally at some point – yes, I will buy what I want. I don’t know what it is. I’m not particularly frugal. You should see me when I buy clothes for my kids. I’ll go nuts. What even is a budget? But with bigger purchases, perhaps there’s a bigger risk of it being a bad purchase. And it feels like more of an indulgence to spend hundreds of euros on something for myself. Now – as a mom…

Just a few more of my son to share today. He turned one on March 25th, when we’d already been in social isolation for a few weeks. It was a bit strange to not have his other loved ones there to celebrate the milestone, but they were with us in spirit, and Luuk is at an age where he doesn’t realize anything yet. We shower him (and our daughter) with extra love and affection in the meantime, to make up for lost hugs over the past few months. It’ll be an interesting story to tell them when they’re older. We don’t dwell on it too much anymore because everyone is going through. In a way because of that, I feel more connected to humanity than ever before. From a distance.

My house and heart are full. These photos, especially put next to each other, mean the world to me. When my daughter Rosalie was about 13 months old, I snapped some photos of her as it was snowing outside. I stood outside the window, capturing her in awe of the white world surrounding us that day. To this day it’s one of my most beloved, favorite photos ever taken. Cut to 2,5 years later, when her little brother Lucas was also around 13 months old (a few weeks ago). My husband Wil had taken him outside, and I from inside saw the beautiful golden glow of the setting sun falling on their blond hair. I quickly grabbed my camera (which still had a 100mm lens on it – but it was perfect), realizing that it wasn’t just the moment that was special but the timing too. Portraits of my boy…

What day is it? What week is it? Is it April 29- No, it’s May already. I’m in my 8th? 9th? week of isolation and social distancing. I’m doing OK, so are the kids. I’ve taken up baking the past few weeks. I mean, I used to bake muffins and cookies all the time, but now I actually really find it very therapeutic. I’m trying to enthuse my daughter into helping me. Seems to be working, although she’s learning from her dad that his version of “helping” is licking out the bowl. But I digress. I’m just glad it’s something we can do together during what-used-to-be-her-nap-time. As soon as I’m able to work out how, I’ll try and snap some decent photos of what we’re doing together there. My little covert Disney Princess has been posing for some photos for me last week, and she’s LOVING it. I’ll be sharing…

While I’m still navigating this strange, new, smaller world of ours, I’m trying my best to also keep my creative juices flowing. I can’t say I’m working on profound photographs at the moment. I’m very limited in what I can do in that respect. Having 2 kids under 4 is definitely making actively shooting new work challenging. And my studio space is non-existent. Before Covid-19, we started re-doing the entire house. My former studio space – the attic – is now the master bedroom. We were in the middle of working out a solution for me to have a different studio space in our house to work when shit happened. So my equipment is for the most part still boxed up, and I don’t have much room or time to really shoot conceptual work. But for one of my more important yet still untitled projects (the one where I shoot…

Welcome to the new normal. #Anderhalvemetersamenleving I started this blog with the idea that I’d use it several times a week, maybe at some point even daily – as a photo journal, a place to gather ideas, notes, sketches, thoughts. And then Covid-19, or Corona, hit. And society grinded to a halt. I haven’t been able to do much of anything, creatively. My days haven’t even changed much. I’ve been a work at home mom for 3,5 years now. I’m used to so much of this. But the meaning of it all has changed. It was a choice, first. Now it’s a necessity. Everything has more weight and feels heavier. And the pressure has been getting to me. To try and have everything as normal as possible for my kids who are too young to grasp what is going on. To accept that some plans are on hold for now.…

Every morning I wake up with the sun lighting up the bedroom. Earlier every morning until we set the clock forward again at end of the month. Spring is around the corner, finally, after a winter that was so rainy, our grass patch in the garden is a moss patch now. And every morning I feel momentarily blissful and excited about what the day could bring. And then I remember. Oh. Right. Corona. The day will bring continued climbing numbers and more people to mourn. 24hr news cycles, speeches from world leaders. Staying the FUCK home and being glad I know HOW to work from home with kids. Worrying about loved ones that can’t stay home and feeling overall very humbled. Batch cooking and doing inventory like a fucking restaurant. And putting up a brave face for two tiny but secretly highly intuitive little children. I am scared. I’m not…