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A long time ago when I was twelve I received my first camera ...a Kodak Instamatic 104. It even had automatic flash cubes, "imagine" (so you can guess how old I am). The only remaining prints from that time, kept in an old photo album, are some modest family shots and some decent pictures of the pigeons we owned back then..
Much later at the age of 18, together with a good schoolfriend of mine I started developing my own pictures. In a small darkroom we printed the photos that I shot with the East German Exakta RTL1000, a fun camera to use, that produced very nice results. I wanted to capture ordinary, everyday life: People wondering around on antique markets, streets filled with cars and pedestrians, the polluting industry just outside our hometown.
Things change as we get older and the focus of life just started to shift. Raising kids, and especially four of them, obviously necessitates some sort of stable income. Although never entirely extinguished, for over 3 decades I had to put aside my passion for photography.
I got older and as time flies, the world evolved into our digital age. Despite the fact that those new trends in technology fascinated me greatly, I still felt sceptic about digital photography. Maybe it was nostalgia, or maybe I wanted to keep honouring the mechanical art of the analogue world, but it took me more then a few years before I finally jumped the digital train.
Today while having some more time, I'm regularly asked for designing posters and cd-covers, shooting concerts and communions, photos as illustration for a scientific book and illustration for a method book. And of course I like to photograph on my travels being Spain my favorite.
As for the future I will continue shooting untill I make that one picture (that is worth a thousand words) and if I quote Cartier (keep in mind this was written in a the analog era),with "your first 10000 pictures are the worst" I still have a long way to go.
People know me as a man of few words. Maybe that is why I like to express myself through my photo's. To show others how I'm experiencing and feeling the world around me. I translate this through my images in a way that they should create an added value amongst the oversupply of images in our present visual culture. And being not much of a talker you won't find any text or guidelines to understand some pictures, I let the viewer interpret his own way. Enjoy ...
daniel françois willems
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