Beginning of January, I decided 2020 will be my year. The year before, I found myself in a creative hole, sort of. Meaning, I was creating and wanted to move on, but something inside me, slowed me down. The explanation for this is that I published my book Sublime the year before. And promoting and selling the book took up so much of my energy that I simply didn't have a clear head for new projects.
It took some strength to re-motivate myself and in January 2020, time was ripe. I had many exciting projects planned, flights and locations booked. It felt good that I had arranged several shoots with new models, too.
I decided not to follow the daily news anymore. They were all about Trump and war, anyways. Only negative reports. This can't be good, I figured. So, I made myself a mantra or a claim. It went like this:
With adventure in my eyes and laughter in my smile, I will travel places and take pictures, so I can show you what it means to be alive.
This all went well until one day in March when I met with my trainer at the gym and he looked very anxious. He's the most positive person in the world. Someone who only knows sunshine. This got me really confused. And he told me, in Italy they don't have enough beds in the hospital and all of the sudden, Corona news were back in my life. Schools were closed. Shops locked down.
And with all of this, my planning went down the drain, too. I had eight wonderful shoots planned. With me, basically just being home in Frankfurt for a few weeks, until I would depart into the sunshine again. As you know, none of these trips were happening.
I am not the type of person who can sit on the couch and do nothing. So, I began improving my retouching skills. I watched a lot of tutorials on YouTube and tried out many things. I also renovated things in our apartment, mastered window cleaning after several unsatisfying trials, baked bread for the first time and fermented vegetables.
Inbetween, I did not feel like a photographer any longer.
Basically, because I hardly used my camera. I happened to load the batteries for my cameras every few months, so they don't go to 0% without the camera being used. This feels very weird.
I only photographed five models naked in 2020. As I am counting this with my fingers, I cannot believe this actually is true. Usually, I have this amount of shoots in only one month.
But at the same time, 2020 has been my most successful year with Playboy. I was lucky enough to do several productions for them (and not everything is published yet) and even had pictorials in the German and Dutch edition at the same time.
I am also very thankful to my gallerist Atilla at art42 who supported me, e.g. by offering a special edition of 3 pieces with this photo of Chiara. It's 180 x 60 cm. What an amazing size!
In October I usually begin with planning trips for the following year. I search locations, then book models and flights. But this year, this is impossible. Everything is so unrealiable, you don't have a perspective. Not even for one month.
I might drive to Ibiza by car in 2021. But maybe not. It totally depends on how things go on. And I simply don't know how this all will continue and when Corona will be over. How long will vaccination take? Half a year? A full year?
In the end, it is hard to imagine things to get worse. I am so full of energy and I really want to create new visuals. For a couple of months now, I do a bit of sports every day to get rid of my Corona Speck (fat belly).
I really hope 2021 will be a better year and my annual review will be a nicer read next year. I'm trying my best.
Simon Bolz, Frankfurt
Tel.: +49 (69) 95 82 02 12
Mob.: +49 (172) 620 55 18