Even firemen book
This book is about my daughter Lora (8). Or perhaps more about how she, unwittingly, accompanied me through a dark and wonderful episode of anxiety and depression. Where she sometimes simultaneously was the cause and the cure.
Read more about the background story behind the series here...
ORDER YOUR COPY
After a successful crowdfunding campaign, this book is now printed, binded and ready for ordering. You can order your exclusive copy by sending me an email at email@example.com, stating the number of books you would like to order, and to which address I should send it. I will then email you the payment details and, after your payment, send you your numbered and signed book(s). Payment via PayPal is also possible.
The book costs €25, excl. shipping.
But if you happen to be in Amsterdam, we could simply meet up and save you the postage...
Even Firemen (numbered but unsigned) is also available from the webshop at PhotoQ Bookshop, or at the actual store in the centre of Amsterdam. And also at The American Book Centre (in the store, not in the webshop).
For €75 incl. shipping I will send you a signed and numbered copy of Even Firemen plus a 30x20cm c-print of any photo of your choice from the book, to any location in the world.
Here's a preview of the first 30 pages of the book:
ABOUT THE PUBLICATION
The book is a carefully designed and crafted hardcover, as this project deserves no less. The cover is made of Imperial 4500 – a beautiful linen material, and the photos are printed on 150 grams Arctic Volume Cream paper. The offset printing is done by renowned Amsterdam printer drukkerij robstolk. Even Firemen is 80 pages and features 39 photographs. The first edition is an exclusive 250 numbered copies.
I am proud that Even Firemen is published by Plague Press Publishing – the publishing house of Magnum photographer Matt Stuart.
And, to give you an even better idea, here are some of the photos and quotes from the book:
“Papa, I’ll tell you a secret. And if we can keep this a secret until I am seven, the secret will become a diamond.”
“If you’re old, you’re either ugly or dead.”
“There. I threw you into the Lost Machine. Now you are lost.”
"Papa, does everyone die?"
"Yes, sweetheart. Everyone."
“Outside is very, very big.”
In the fall of 2013 I suddenly panicked. Just like that. And then it multiplied. Into thousands of fears, thousands of horrible things that could possibly happen. And a lot of those scenarios involved Lora, my then 4 year old daughter. I, or more specifically: my brain, would vividly project detailed shorter or longer horror movies of things that could happen to her. From traffic accidents to random terrorism to her simply falling fatally on her head at the playground.
Now I knew this was something most parents have. But not all day long, and not with such vivid imagery and the extreme emotions that came with that. I felt like I was living those horrors without them ever happening. Without being able to convince myself: hang on, relax, that won’t happen, you’re overreacting. Logic had no effect.
So I became that father who kept calling “Be careful!” after his daughter with every thing she was doing. Which I understood was ridiculous. Even more so because Lora was, and is, a cautious and mindful child by nature – also, she’s strong, smart and not clumsy or careless at all. She’s never fallen out of trees although she climbed many. She’s never fallen of her bike, ran foolishly into traffic or set the house on fire. Conclusion: it was me, not her. And I needed help.
Meanwhile, I was working, or trying to, as a photographer and a freelance visual designer. But I also was with Lora a lot of the time. Which to me was great... but exhausting. I suffered from immense headaches, dizziness and tiredness. I avoided friends and family and crowds, while at the same time feeling isolated, lonely and depressed. I was not the fun and friendly and active dad I wanted to be. Which gave me more stress. I felt sorry for Lora, for my wife, for my family, and for my friends who I didn’t call anymore.
At the same time, I did spent a lot of time with my wonderful, happy, funny, smart and lovely daughter. We did go places. We had fun. We went on holidays. At the same I felt horrible and not even half the person I used to be. But, still being a photographer, I brought my camera with me most of the time. And I photographed Lora. In a way that wasn’t about her. It was, of course, about me. About what I imagined being her could be like. About how I was afraid she would remember her childhood. About how lonely and dystopian being her would feel.
So photographing her was therapeutic. Necessary. And beautiful too! Slowly, and not without setbacks, I got better. I learned – an obvious lesson, as are most life lessons – that you become what you repeat. That being afraid for me had become second nature. And that confronting those fears, and repeatedly experiencing that they didn’t come true, helped. So in a way I was, perhaps, confronting my own fears by photographing Lora. By simply spending time with her. Having fun, or at least trying to have fun, and sometimes pretending to have fun. But it helped. I actually started believing the numerous people who told me, again and again, who had always told me, that I was doing fine. That Lora was doing fine. And always has been.
Go back up...