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.