A lot of people say that I’ve become a better photographer since starting Fools With Dreams.

While that may be true (I’m closing in on my Malcolm Gladwell 10.000 hours), I think what they’re seeing is something else.

They’re seeing real connections.

They’re seeing that I live with these people I photograph, that I get to be part of their life for a few days and sit at their table, eat with them, party with them, discuss life with them, make jokes with them,.. The critical part being the “with them” part.

I get to witness their moments of joy as well as their struggles and uncertainties. Some people even tell me their life stories.

For example, when I photographed the wedding of Julie & Olivier I wasn’t shooting 2 strangers I didn’t care about. They already won me over long before that in between playing frisbee and bike rides to the arts & craft store, and even mentioned me in their speech.

Or when I photographed Kirsten her family her children didn’t see me as a stranger with a lens. I got their trust the day before when we were playing a game of “what would you choose if..?”.

The list goes on and on.

That’s why I always find it hard to leave for the next trade. It’s not just goodbye after a “job” and sending a cold invoice the next day. No, it’s hope to see you soon, and I really mean that.

Photography has stopped becoming about the photos I take but more about the relationships I make.

There’s a saying in photography that goes like this:

If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.

Most people interpret this as getting physically closer with a wide angle lens. And while that certainly makes your images better, it’s doesn’t make them great.

Want to take the best photos of your life? (Those with emotion).

Get closer.

Emotionally.