Beata Rydén Photography Blog

Beata Rydén Photography Blog


PersonalPosted by Beata Wed, February 06, 2013 12:17:06

I´m thinking about change. How we change over time, without even noticing the change. I´m thinking about myself 5 years ago.

I was 22 years old.

I lived in a tiny apartment with a view over the rooftops and the sea.

I hand´t met my boyfriend Tomas yet.

I took photos like this.

And this.

I had so many dreams that was piling up,

waiting for me to pick one of them up and look at them.

I had a swedish blog (that I still write in sometimes), where I wrote about hopes and dreams. I expressed my worries about the future. I used to talk with my friends about the future, how we thought our lives would be. I remember how I searched for myself. I called my name in the dark and hoped for someone to answer. I lay in my bed at night and painted my walls with fear. I had my emotions wrapped around my body, with no armour to protect me. I had wishes for my life, but I didn´t know exactly what I wanted to do, so I walked a windy road.

Not knowing what you want in life is a hard feeling. To me, it was hard because I had a strong feeling inside that something was wrong and that there was something I should be doing, something I didn´t do. But when you´ve lost yourself and don´t really know who you are, it´s not easy to take a step in the right direction. I think that the important thing is that you TAKE a step, no matter in what direction. That´s what I did. I just walked and walked. In the meantime, I wrote poetry and secret songs on the piano. I read books. I talked with friends. I studied Cultural Studies, Film, Photography, Art. I only studied short courses, because I didn´t know exactly what I wanted. I knew that I wanted to work with culture, and I actually "knew" that I wanted to work with photographic art, but I didn´t have the courage to accept my dream, and I certainly didn´t have the courage to try and fulfill it.

Me and my day. Summer 2008.

In 2008 I educated myself for two years to become a Cultural Project Manager. At this time, I had a small dream of doing photography, but in my reality it wasn´t possible to apply for a School of Photography. In my world, I saw other people who fulfilled their dreams and became artists and creatives, but I didn´t count myself as one of those people. No one stopped me from going after my dream, and no one forced me to do anything that I didn´t want to do. But I had decided what I could be and what I couldn´t be. It wasn´t a conscious choice, I just saw it that way. Somewhere along the road I had decided who I was and who I could be. And my decision meant in reality that I prevented myself from doing what I really wanted to do. I didn´t even see what possibilites I had or could have, because I had already decided.

Instead I did what I almost wanted to do. Becoming a Cultural Project Manager was what I almost wanted to do. I wanted to work with culture, and by being a project manager within the cultural field I could work in that world. What I really wanted to do was become a photographer and artist. This became clearer and clearer to me as the education went on.

At the end of the education, after two years, I had a much clearer vision of my life. I knew that I wanted to be a photographer, and I accepted that feeling. I saw my dream and I looked at it. A dream that I had been hiding away for so long, that I now looked close at. I took a photography course over the summer where we got to work on a photographic project that ended up in an exhibition. I applied for the School of Photography in Gothenburg for the first time in my life. This school had been my dream school for many years, but I had never been able to see myself in it. Now I applied and I was asked to come and do an interview. I was so excited! I was very close to get accepted to the school of my dreams, but I didn´t make it. I was devastated of course, but somehow this disappointment lead me to where I am today.

"What if?". One of the photos I used in my application for the School of Photography in Gothenburg, 2011. A photograph that I still like very much. It´s about the fear we can have in life. The fear of loosing everything. The title is inspired by Coldplays song "What if":

"Every step that you take

could be your biggest mistake

it could bend or it could break

but that´s the risk that you take"

/Coldplay, What if?

After getting the negative answer from the school, I went with my mother and my boyfriend to our house in the country. I started to feel angry instead of sad. And I suddenly realized that the school didn´t control me. They didn´t control whether or not I was going to do photography. They didn´t control whether or not I was going to develop my artistry and photography. I realized that I was the only one in charge, and I could do just what I wanted to do, with or without a school!

Before I realized this, I had a feeling that I needed to be accepted as a photographer in order to be able to do it. I thought that I needed someones approval. I waited for someone to say to me: Hey, your´re SO good and talented, you REALLY have to do photography for the rest of your life! But no one ever said that. People said that I was good and gave me compliments. But no one ever said EXACTLY what I wanted to hear.

So I said it to myself. Every day. Many times. And it worked!

"Selfportrait" 2013. One of my most recent photographs. I feel like I´m going in a new direction with this photograph, which feels very exciting!

Since 2011 my dream is crystal clear. I´m on the right road for the first time in my life. I know where I´m going and I never want to change direction.

I couldn´t have done this earlier in my life, because I didn´t know where I was going 5 years ago. Not knowing where you want to go can be so hard. But I walked anyway, and I think that my different roads lead me to where I stand now. By doing a lot of different things, I slowly realized what I didn´t want to do. To understand what you don´t want to do is just as important as understanding what you want to do. I tried many things from the list, and everything felt wrong. I had a constant feeling that something was wrong, some part of me was missing. I searched for the right road and I found it. But in order to find it, you have to search for it. In order to get where you want, you have to start walking. Moving in any direction is better than not moving at all.

"Looking at stars." 2011.

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