H. QUYNH NGUYEN

Saturday, 29 April 2017

365 Days Project | Part 26


221/365, Routine: My routine of the last few months was to worry about my future. A lot. I finished my last diary with these fears and spammed my new one (which is on a private online blog this time) with them too, so in case someone hacked the site, they'd only read about my anxieties basically. I applied for universities with many self-doubts. Will I be good enough? Is this what I'm supposed to do? Am I wasting my time? I underestimated time when I realized that there wasn't enough time left to create a portfolio and I ended up submitting work that I wasn't convinced of at all. After learning about that, I shut myself up from the online world and didn't see or messaged any friends for weeks since I wanted to have a portfolio that was really representing myself and my work. I worked at my internship on the day and on my portfolio at night. I barely slept. Didn't manage to post on here, Youtube or any social media like I usually did. I was really, really stressed out but my fears got me going. This was my routine until this month.


222/365, Deadline: So what has broken this routine? The deadline of my favourite university. Due to my persistence, I did have a portfolio to show - even though I wasn't fully pleased with every piece in it. But you know, that happens when you don't have enough time to start over or to try something different. I even ended up including work I did for this project or YouTube. Work I personally liked and work that meant something to me. I was so nervous and anxious because my whole portfolio was me (literally, because I chose the topic "self-portrait" since I spent my entire life figuring out who I am and expressing this journey through my arts) and a rejection would mean a rejection of me. I even worked on my last piece on the bus to the uni. A long bus ride meant a long time thinking and a long time overthinking.


224, 225/365, Doubts & Failures: I don't know how tense I was that night after submitting my portfolio and homework. It made me a bit sad when I saw the really long queue of applicants and especially when I saw how much I liked the uni and the profs that I had a short conversation about my name with when I submitted. Long story short: It was enough. It was really good enough and I was invited to the interview that would go terrible for me. Terrible because I was so nervous that my whole body was shaking (I wanted to get in so much) and because the two other applicants next to me during the interview were so so so experienced and extraverted and confident and really, just perfect while I told the profs how I didn't know anything about my future or that I'm just really lost and confused and don't really like to talk. The truth, but not really something one should say in an important interview.


223/365, The Advocate: I never had a good job interview in my life but somehow it always worked out in the end and I always got the spot. My dad told me that the reason for that is that when people listen to me, they see a humble, honest and authentic person but he might also be very bias. For me, I'm always just very anxious to the point that one time, someone adviced me to see a therapist - but that's just how my mind and body work. They overreact when I really care about something. I am a person that feels emotions in a too exaggerated way and that's just who I am.


226, 227/365, Srrlsm: You might see what I'm about to say here. Even though my interview was a real mess, I did get a spot in my favourite uni. I did get in and writing this is still so surreal. When I told my friends this, I was first so relieved and I was so surprised too because every one of them said that they already knew and already assumed that I'd get in. My dad said that when I told him about the interview, he knew that I'll get the spot. My coworkers were so sweet and so many people congratulated me and some reaaally exaggerated in saying I'll make it big someday - even the ones I barely knew. I realized how grateful I am to have so many people supporting me and my arts and knowing that made me so emotional (yes, I may have shed some tears because of this support and I'm not ashamed of it).


228/365, Change: So, what does this far too long post mean? To go by facts: I'm gonna move to one of my favourite cities this fall to study my first study choice at my favourite uni. Berlin + communication design (something I'd only hoped to be enough for in the first try and without professional help) and I couldn't be happier. The film festival we're working so hard for now is gonna be in two (!) weeks. I've been driving around my state these weeks to film for it. My internship is gonna end next month too and I'll spend my summer making art and meeting friends and travelling a lot with them. I'm so frickin' excited and I can't believe how lucky I am to have this life.

NOTES:
This post was basically just an update on what happened in my life and what still will happen in my life. I'm very happy to pick up this challenge again and to finish it this summer. A lot is planned, some trips are already booked, I'm definitely not ready to enter my new life stage but I'll try to be the best me I can be and maybe it's gonna work out somehow. Thank you for reading this and thank you for following my journey through this, I like you a lot and I hope you are happy where you are, I really do.

Friday, 7 April 2017

365 Days Project | Part 25


211-214/365, Expired Trip to the Beach: I started talking to L (I know she's a bit secretive about her name online) on a pink topmodel website (that I signed up for when I was thirteen years old because of a classmate and still, I'm active on that account for nostalgia reasons) last year or so. Nothing ordinary considering I was talking to a lot of people on there at that time. But when I went offline for a longer period of time last year (thanks to my final exams/graduation from school), L sent me an email asking to continue messaging on our phones and long story short: We ended up sending a lot of voice messages regulary, having skype calls and she decided to take a flight (!) to come visit me in my hometown for a weekend in the first week of January. These photos were taken on the day we spent at the ice cold (it was more than just freezing) beach. I also know she's one of the few people that read my blog, so heyyy to you, my dear! (That's also Paul on the photo above. I introduced him to L on a Skype call and he happened to be in town when she visited.)



215-218/365, Expired Trip to Greifswald: These were taken on the last day of 2016 in Greifswald while a friend showed me around. As you can tell, it's a really small town, but it has a flair to it. These were also the last film photos that turned out okay to show. But: I bought a disposable camera and am planning to make a small project out of portraits (+ writings about the people) with it. Film photography is definitely something I'm curious to explore in.


219/365, Playground: Memory of my last time in Vietnam. Missing it - the country, the people. Even the weather (it's still freezing here and the constant grey sky makes me sad). I don't want to grow up, but I'm afraid that it's happening now. Adulthood is scary.


220/365, Clarity: You wouldn't know but a felt eternity passed by since I uploaded the last photo for this project. Things happened, things changed. And huge things are about to hit the surface. I'm still currently trying to realize what is going on right now but for the first time in forever I have a path. It feels like this part has to end in order for me to tell you about the things that are currently changing my life, so I'll end this part here. Just wanted to quickly tell you that the next parts will be me trying to actually pick up this challenge again to create pictures on an almost daily level, so be prepared. I can focus on my arts again and I'm so excited.

NOTES
So when I got my film photos, I noticed three things. 1. I did use an expired film roll. When I got the camera from my dad, he still had unused film rolls with him from a decade ago and because I didn't know that before, I bought a new roll. Then I got them switched up and thought I ended up using the expired roll in my first try with that camera. Looks like I haven't, so yeah, these pictures were taken on expired film. 2. Most of the pictures are underexposed again (even if not that much as last time). 3. I forgot to ask for professional scans, so these were taken with my really crappy scanner. I'm very sorry for the shitty quality. Things to remember for the next time.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Saal Digital / A Product Test

Before I'll start: As you can tell, this is not a 365 photo project post. That's because I'm currently very busy with my uni applications (and also very anxious), so I hope you'll understand that I need to put all my creativity into that. I'm most likely to continue the photo project in a month, I guess (even thinking about bringing back my short extracts of my diary that I used to include on my old blog). And before I don't post anything at all, I wanted to do this product test. What I have to say at this point is that I was not told to say anything in favour of this company, so this is my raw opinion on them. Pinky promise.

Now to the actual product test and a short explanation of the what and why: Saal Digital claims to be one of the leading photo services in Europe. At this moment, they are looking for testers who are supposed to have a closer look at their photobooks and it seemed perfect for me since I haven't printed my annual photo book yet. If you're a blogger who's interested in testing, you can also apply here.


















Information on what I ordered: 21x28 Format. Matte cover and inside. Without wadding. 26 Pages. No barcode placement (very positive thing you can do!). That would make 34,95€ in total. That's the average price you usually have to pay for the most photobook services too (at least the ones that were designed for non-professionals).


The ordering process: Like other photo services, you had to download a software to design your book. The program is very simple and even provides you layout templates. For me, those templates were too cheesy (the typical sticker/clipart templates that you thought were super cool at the age of 10). But luckily you're also able to design your own layout, so that's what I did. And I (that's typical for me now) went for the minimalistic look. Designing was pretty easy therefore. What I missed from the standard fonts was my beloved Courier (but nostalgia hit me that they indeed had Comic Sans which was our all beloved font when we were - you guessed it - 10). But that's just me being petty here, layouting was fun y'all and I literally spent a night doing it (don't forget to always save after a while!).


The result: It took four days for the package to come and the first thing I recognized was it being not plastered with any advertisements which is super positive for me since I don't really like it when everybody knows what I ordered. But aside from that: I usually don't get that much excited about my year books but when I went through the pages of this one, I got so hyped. Again, I was not sponsored to say this stuff, but 1. the quality of the photos were surprisingly good (especially for that price) considering colour and resolution. 2. The pages are very thick, so it feels like it couldn't be ripped so easily. 3. No advertisement to be found anywhere, so I can actually use this as a portfolio.



































So: I am super super super happy with this book and will definitely keep using the Saal Digital service. Like I already said, I really didn't expect a huge difference to the usual photo books but I was proved otherwise. The only thing that could be improved is the layouting software - it seemed a tad outdated in relation to templates.