Finding inspiration

I found a gap during a three-day Ferrari gig to browse the Yas Hotel library. When it comes to hotels, there’s one side of the scale that serves lousy coffee and caters to the masses, determined to pile their buffet plates sky high and wolfing it down accompanied by crap music and useless tabloid media (you can tell I just checked out of one…)

Wouter Kingma Blog for Yas Hotel Inspiration Post

And then there’s the other side, the side where the Yas Viceroy sits. Hovering over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix circuit, the iconic Yas Viceroy embodies 5 star luxury with class, sophistication and a great selection of books in their lobby.

I love it when my trusty Landy get valet-parked outside amongst the Rolls Royces, Ferrari’s and Maybachs. I suppose they all have a statement to make and my crusty four-wheeler gets the same amount of photos taken, if not more.

Wouter Kingma Blog for Linda McCartney

So back to the Yas library, where I picked up a couple of books to browse over my coffee. Both were about iconic female photographers, Linda McCartney and Annie Leibovitz, who also started their photography career in the music scene. The content was more of a summary of their personal work and a reflection of who they truly are.  I love books like this. They always have a different outtake and get me thinking creatively.

Wouter Kingma Blog for Annie Leibovitz

“Write your own obituary” is one of the things Steve Covey asks you to do in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People course. This odd process is purely to induce thinking about how you wish to be remembered. It’s an awkward thought process but it certainly proves a point. When browsing through the books, Linda McCartney’s in particular, I thought that surely we don’t need to die viagra no perscription uk before seeing our own book come alive?


So fellow creatives … what would your life in photographs look like? In fact, lets take this to the next level. Its an odd thought process remember? What follows are a few questions to start work on your book. Today.

– When did your love for photography start?

– How has it evolved over time?

– What where the experiments? What worked and what didn’t? Surely in the early days, you encountered your fair share of the latter.

– What were the turnaround points in your career … the key assignments, the people you met, the happy accidents, the discovery of great gear?

– How has your style evolved?

– Who are the people that have helped you along the way?

– Add a chapter. NOW. Where do you stand today? Pick your top 10. Yes only 10. And write down why …

– Perhaps most importantly, add a chapter called 2018. That’s only 5 years from now. What would you like to shoot? Who would you like to work for? Who would you love to photograph? Add it. Find inspiring images online or in magazines and create a collage. Design you own moodboard to help you craft your vision. I do this.  I need it. As do you. It’s really the only way to keep evolving. Stay dynamic, never static.

By the end, you’ll have a stunning piece. An artwork. Your story! It’s so easy nowadays to even turn it into a digitally printed book.


Thinking about it now. In Spring 2010, we printed 500 books called ‘Image Box & Story Tales’, a portfolio book with photography work and stories. In the introduction, I refer to it as press pause … drawing a line of achievements and sharing with friends, clients and prospects. An ebook version will be coming online soon.