WELCOME TO THE UNKNOWN PHOTOGRAPHER
The Unknown Photographer started out as a blog on tumblr where I could post in anonymity about my preparations as too becoming a war photographer. It started out with photographing riots through out Europe to find out how I respond to dangerous and stressful situations. Something I needed to know if I was cut out for this job. I developed an heightened sense of responding to and knowing what was happening around me during intense situations. Athens, Greece, proved to be an important training ground to get to know my performance during stressful situations.
August, 2012. News channels reporting 100+ people died everyday in Syria and the total deathtoll figures kept rising and rising. Syrians crying and pleading, begging, for the world to help them. Intervene, anyway possible.
Yet, the world remained still. As if the world had turned their backs towards the Syrian people, towards humans. It devastated me and it made me feel ashamed to be a part of it. As fighting intensified and the casualties increased in numbers, something snapped in me. I choose to no longer be a spectator who was able to change the channel and block out the horrible stories with the push of a button. I decided to go to Syria, hoping I could raise awareness through photography.
In Aleppo I uploaded my photo’s straight to my blog, something I still do when i’m in Syria. Offering these images via tumblr I hoped people would share it and share it. Creating a new kind of free media available to everyone on the internet. This mainly has become my way of working and I will keep posting my photography on tumblr.
I don’t care much for materialistic needs, I never wanted to make money off of these images. After returning home I realized I need to get some funding in order to keep doing what I do. Asking for donations is something I don’t like to do, so I started with crowdfunding. Offering professional developed prints for sale, delivered to your home, allowing me to keep trying to raise awareness. Offering something in return for your support is only the most decent thing to do. All prints are limited edition, 10 prints. Pay with PayPal for fast and secure transactions, by bank transfer takes longer for the order to process. Shipping time can take up 2 weeks, depending of where I am in Syria and if there is internet. International shipment might take a bit longer.
Some print sales are supporting the initiative ‘Dont Forget Syria’. Founded by a brave young man who ventures into Syria to distribute blankets and, now, food packages to the poor displaced humans in Syria. Making sure even those forgotten get the help and supplies they need, supervising and distributing it himself so that it gets where its needed.
Photography is my passion and my goal is to raise awareness and make a difference through it. Since the summer of 2012 I engaged myself in war photography because I need to do something that, hopefully, eventually can make a difference.
I also have the opportunity to send my photo’s to a dutch news agency, Novum News. I send them my photography but too be honest the prices of newspaper publications are ridiculous. I don’t see how any freelance photographer can make a living out of this, except for being at the most frontest of front lines to capture the ‘latest action’. However, this is not the way I want to report and nor will it able me to capture the images that I think don’t get enough attention. I feel it is important to keep focussing on the humanitarian aspect, like daily life, and the places I end up in during my travels in Syria. So after uploading it to my tumblr, I send it to the news agency. Maybe I can double the amount of viewers this way, maybe not.
I will keep doing this and your support can help me with this. Instead of asking for donations people have the option on buying prints. Order online and Photolab Kiekie, Amsterdam, prints them carefully on Fine Art paper and sends them to you.
Check out the prints I currently offer right here.
In Aleppo I met a very special human being, a fellow dutch guy, who feels he needs to help the people. Now that poverty is growing in camps and cities, because of refugees returning to Aleppo as the fighting and violences lessens. One guy, Wijbe Abma, started an initiative: Bringing goods to where it’s needed. Blankets at first, now food supplies. I found a good friend in him and witnessed a beautiful human being bringing aid on his own. Something larger aid organisations can’t do at this moment.
This is why 50% of the profit from specific prints go to his project: Don’t Forget Syria.
This website now offers the ability to purchase prints online. Prints might take up to 2 weeks to be delivered, depending of my situation and if I have internet. Orders will only be sent when the payment has been received.
Check out ‘The Blog’ section to either be forwarded to my tumblr blog or choose to only see the latest image uploads to my tumblr directly from this website. Under ‘Photography’ I posted about every photo I uploaded to the internet, soon this page will be expanded with older works such as portraits and riot photography.
If something seems broken, doesn’t appear to function correctly or you simply want to send feedback then send me message via the contact page.