Doors Wide Open


I still have four weeks until I have to hand in my portfolio for my photography studies application, but I’m already freaking out. My head feels clouded, anxiety runs through my body and mind and I have to pull myself together so I don’t resort to food in order to feel in control of something, anything.

At the end, I give in. Loads of salted crackers fill my belly. While I used to hate myself because of that, I let it go. It’s fine, I haven’t been so nervous for a while and have to relearn how to deal with those feelings. I’ll figure it out, hating myself won’t get me anywhere.

Zermatt mountains

The next morning, I wake up and the ugly little patch of stone floor outside my window is covered with an unexpected blanket of white and looks beautiful. Soft bright flakes, angels’ tears, slowly make their way down onto Earth. Looking at them tenderly falling onto the ground soothes my mind. Funny how such a detail can make me feel better. Winter’s return surprised me. He wasn’t really there this year and we already had a taste of spring, but here he is again with his ethereal companions.

In the evening, on my way back home through the pitch black night, icy little raindrops turn my fingers that firmly grip the handlebar cold and red, my face is flushed and I feel light-headed. A tiny difference of temperature decides whether you’re sprinkled by beautiful snowflakes or spiked by icy raindrops. Just like so many things in life, the line between beauty and ugliness and pain is very thin, sometimes blurred.


Tomorrow morning I’ll get the assignment I have to hand in with my portfolio. I have no idea what it could be, but I feel calmer. A reassuring feeling has disentangled the knot that my stomach has become during the last few weeks. I’ll be okay. Even if I’m not going to get admitted.

There’s this seed of thought Andrea, one of the beautiful people I got to meet during the last few weeks, planted into my mind: When one door closes, there are still so many doors wide open, so many possibilities waiting for me. If something doesn’t work out, it’s not meant to be. Life will have something better in store for me.


Currently I’m in the process of making my blog more personal. As I’ve written before, I want to find my voice again. This includes writing about the mundane, regularly. I know that it’s disappointing when you expect to see exciting travel photography and the like, but luckily, there are enough other pages in the internet that are fully committed to that topic – unfortunately, my life doesn’t only consist of travels and adventures.

I feel like having to apologize for boring you, but I shouldn’t, since my blog is my own little place in the internet. So if you feel like leaving, it’s okay. I was glad you stuck around for a while and wish you all the best.

My goal is to be able to use words and photography to capture the beauty that can be found in everyday life, in those moments and gestures that slip by unnoticed if we don’t pay attention, in the routine. I have yet to start with the documentary photography part, I guess that’s a challenge I’ll take up once I hand in the portfolio. For now, I’ll settle with writing.

Models: Tatjana, Elena and Dominique

Dearest reader, how do you deal with anxiety? Do you have any big challenges coming up? I’d love to hear from you.

      1. Thank you so much, Michael :) but unfortunately (and luckily, I guess) it’s not just about how “beautiful” the photos look but also their meaning in a social context .. definitely much more difficult but I’m working on it :) have a great week! :)

        1. You need to speak about your photos’ meanings in a social context? The pictures in this post have loads of meaning. They speak about the awe and beauty of nature, combined with the beauty of the models in nature. At a time when humanity is more emotionally disconnected from the earth than ever before, what else could be more meaningful?

          Even more significant is the fact that although your models are in the midst of a winter wonderland, they are paying zero attention to it. This fits perfectly with humanity’s current situation: we are undeniably embedded in the natural world; and yet we pay it no heed.

          Your models’ ages add even more meaning to these photos. They appear to be in their 20s, and that age group may be more disconnected from nature than any other. But our generation is largely responsible for deciding what sort of future humanity will have. So for me these pictures are full of social meaning.

          1. Oh my god, thank you, Josh. I know it sounds silly but I had to cry after reading your comment because you pointed out something I didn’t notice about my photography – I knew I liked to take “photos in nature”, but I couldn’t explain why. And you just wrote it. It’s about connecting with nature again, spending more time outside, away from the pressure society imposes on us, on me.
            I feel incredibly discouraged because of the assignment I have to hand in for the application (that unfortunately has nothing to do with my usual photography) but this just lightened everything up. It doesn’t matter if I get in or not, I can pursue what I love anyways, nature will (hopefully) always be there.
            Again, thank you so much for taking your time and commenting and showing me the meaning of my work. You’ve shown me what I want my photography to be about, what I truly care for. You’re a great connoisseur of human nature and I wish you all the best on your quest! (I hope my reply makes sense, I’m a bit emotional right now..)
            Hugs, Monika

            1. Wow, I’m truly happy that my comment meant so much to you! And I don’t find it the least bit silly that you had to cry. Discovering what we care most about (AKA finding ourselves) is an intensely emotional experience, and I’m honored that I was able to help you on your journey.

              I wish you all the best on your application. It’s remarkable that we were able to connect in this way :)

              1. :) I’m going to write a post about it when the stress with the assignment is over. I feel so enlightened now haha thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! I’m glad we met in this vast bloggerworld :)

    1. You have some lovely photos here, Monika. Isn’t it odd how a change in weather can make such a difference. I think you are right about new doors open. I certainly hope you are given that I’m in something of a transitional phase of life. I don’t always deal with anxiety well…but always do my best. Cheers =)

      1. I’m always happy about hearing from you, Christopher – thank you for taking your time! I wish you all the best for the upcoming changes and hope that everything will turn out well. Kind regards from Switzerland :)

    1. For any daunting task that scares me, I split it up in a tasklist. I keep whittling it down until all subtasks are easy and manageable and the structure calms my mind.

      1. Thank you for your valuable advice! That’s exactly what I’m doing now since I’d totally freak out if I focused on the final result. One step after another. :) Have a great week!

      1. Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate your photos a lot! :) and I’ll certainly need the luck haha thanks! :)

    1. jeeze o-wow, man, gosh … what a gorgeous couple .. it’s so obvious you love each other so … as long as you’ve got that …. i mean THAT … oh … ! sorry … ! (didn’t mean to yell .. ) wull …. anyway, as long as you have that, your love for each other is all that matters …

      you do your best. Since you got the love no matter what happens you’ll get through … but you’ll probably get what you want BECAUSE you got the Love. It’s a win win situation!

      take care and thanks for reading my words and thoughts … and don’t take that poem i wrote too seriously …. ‘i didn’t have what you have …. ks

      1. thank you very much for your kind words, Kurt :) thanks for stopping by and have a nice evening!

      1. Thank you! :) the studies aren’t really about ‘beautiful photos’, but more about the social/political/etc. context the photos come from so it’s a bit tougher, but yeah :) have a nice evening!

    1. Amazing photos! I’m sure you’ll do fine on your application:) Your blogs inspired me to get back into photography again. I’ve been really putting that behind but anyways thank you:) Oh and what camera are you using to take this photos?

      1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Steve, it’s great to hear from you again! I’m so glad about the inspiration part – does that mean you’re going to blog again soon? :) that would be awesome. Unfortunately, one part of the application is about something complicated (a visualization of a position in the conflict freedom of speech/press/art vs human dignity) but I’ll figure something out :P
        I got a used Canon 5D Mark II last December but all the photos before (including the ones shot in Manila) were taken with the Canon EOS M. Which camera do you use, the M3? :)

        1. Yeah, I’m going to start blogging again and work on my photography:) Reading your blogs made me want that again. I really do hope you’ll figure your application out:) and I’m sure you’ll do just fine haha Well sadly.. I lost my M3 :( So I got a used Canon EOS 500D:)

          1. I’m so glad to hear that! :) I’m excited to see more of your photography. oh, how did you manage to lose a camera? haha but the 500D sounds great! what lens(es) are you using? :)

            1. I forgot to grab my most precious belonging before leaving the bus just to see it go by right in front of me :( But I’m not mad haha I’m just glad to have another camera :) I’m currently just using a standard zoom lens EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II but I’ll save up for a better one.

              1. oh no, that must be very frustrating! :( I’m curious, so there’s no system in South Korea where you can call to see whether someone has found the things you lost in the bus? okay, cool! :) which lens are you planning to get?

                1. We do have a lost and found system but when I called them they had no sighting of it. Most likely, someone took my camera :( I’m planning on getting the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM :) I want that depth of field plus the f-stop being at 1.8 allows me to shoot more low light photos:)

                  1. what a pity.. :( but good that you’ve found a good replacement!
                    interesting choice, I didn’t expect a wide-angle lens – did you choose it for your films?
                    In the photos above (and all but the most recent ones) I used the Canon EF50mm f1.4, then I treated myself with the Canon EF35mm f1.4 :D

    1. You’ll be amazed at how you will be more at peace and able to find yourself easily the more you get out in nature. There is just something settling (on the inside) when you stand in front of a waterfall, look out over a vast array of mountains or sit listening to the tide roll in. It does something amazing to your soul…it brings healing. ;) Happy finding (yourself), and hope your assignments go well.

      1. Oh yes, I’ve been taking a lot of photos in nature during the last few months and it’s a great experience. Unfortunately we don’t have any waterfalls near here, but I love green hills that are partly covered with forests. Awesome that you also appreciate nature so much! :) have a lovely day!

    1. Great photos!

      You never have to apologize for being yourself, for writing about things that matter to you. You will not bore us. I for one would love to see you capture the beauty of the mundane in both words and photographs!

      1. Thank you very much for your kind words, Dan! It’s good to know that at least someone is interested in seeing my attempts :D your blog looks awesome, I’m definitely going to take a proper look at it after handing in my application :)

    1. I especially love the mountain scene. And thanks for stopping by!

    1. Hi Monika! Love these photos. Thanks for visiting my blog. Love yours! Looking forward to more :) – Faye

      1. Thank you very much for your kind comment! <3 I hope you'll like my future content as well :))

    1. Monika, I know you are working hard – probably right now – while I write this. Go for it! I wish you the best of luck!!! Tobias

      1. Thank you so much, Tobias! :) I read your comment when I was taking a break from my work and it was soo encouraging. I’m gonna answer your thoughtful email very soon :) I hope you’re doing well!

      1. thank you very much! :) haha I’m glad that spring is finally here, I hope you get to have lots of snow next winter! :)

          1. but at least New Zealand with its snowy mountains is quite near (if you live in the East Coast) and you have wonderful nature all around you! :)

Let me know what you think!

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