It's has been quite a ride. This year we get along from time to time, do things together, and lose each other a lot. I have to confess I couldn't understand you completely. I know you couldn't understand me either.
After 12 months with you, I am not quite sure if it was good or don't. But, let's face it, you showed me how hard it will be, but also how awesome people are.
During this time, I met incredible people that wanted their voices to be heard. So I started volunteering for several projects in Amsterdam, which allowed me to keep social, tell stories, and have people doing things on my pictures. But, you know, what I love the most is capturing movement. I met a fantastic dancer in a park, business owners looking for branding images, and a total stranger who helped me lose my fear of asking for portraits on the go. And you know how that used to scare me. Still, I guess I posted less than half of the work made this year, but I know there is always time.
I enjoyed the times' tourists were allowed and could have pictures around Amsterdam, showing the city while capturing their experience. That girl whose husband couldn't get to the photo session due to closing borders, and we danced over a bridge under the golden light, and that family whose smiles and hugs made all Negen Straatjes melt. Oh, I also remember that girl that brought chocolate from her home country. That gesture surprised me a lot after the photo session.
How can I forget all the lovely cats I met this year: Henri, Brownie, Fanta, Edam, Mango, and more, kilometers cycled between their homes during the summer that kept me active. I would have never imagined that opportunity when I arrived two years ago. My shy soul didn't feel so scared during this year. You put the right people on my path. This was a year I enjoyed several parts of my life. Even when I curiously clicked on an Instagram ad that led me to take a part-time job due to the third incoming lockdown, I discovered I needed colleagues and office dynamics: structure. And you know I love it!
For all that, I want to thank you 2021. You have reminded me why I do what I do, and you also reminded me of an old 2014 dream.
I made a mistake, though, and some people noticed it and pointed it out on DMs. I stopped sharing. For that, I am sorry.
It's time to say goodbye to you in 2021 and to sum up, thank you for putting things into perspective, for giving me the tools for a plan, and for putting so many amazing people on my journey.
See you my dears in 2022!
Joanna in Amsterdam
Photographing your stories and experiences
DM me on Instagram for the fastest response: @joannapantigoso