Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

The First Picture I Ever Took Of You

Dec 06, 2018 - Isolde Woudstra

As my last post here I’d like to share my zine “The First Picture I Ever Took Of You”, published in 2016. It’s a scrapbook-like photo zine including the first picture I took of musicians like Grimes, Chelsea Wolfe, The War On Drugs, Lebanon Hanover, The Soft Moon, TR/ST and others….


Limited edition of 100 hand-numbered copies
Full color, 32 pages, A5
€5,- + shipping
please order here!

The first picture I ever took of you was probably never published. You can see it on the left page. I scanned the negative on my old dusty scanner, no colour correction, no retouching. On the right side is the rest of the filmstrip as well as another photo we took that day, the one that became my personal favorite. We’re told to only ever show our best work but while scrolling online through an endless stream of great work – perfect work that was carefully orchestrated, selected and processed – I sometimes long for something simpler, something more honest. I think this first picture I took of you might give away more about both of us than any other picture will ever do.

Whenever I take my camera out in front of a musician, I feel like a tormentor preparing her instruments. Using a camera is a violent act. I feel guilty about having to put you through this whole ordeal. I imagine you’d rather be someplace else. I’m always taking up those minutes when you’d rather be sleeping, preparing for the show that starts in an hour or simply staring at the wall in front of you because you’ve been constantly surrounded by people for the past week. I feel like a burden. Or an intruder. I’m a necessary evil. You don’t know me, so you probably don’t realize I feel this way. Still, we spend the next 30 minutes together and I work with whatever you can give me.


Hi, I’m Isolde. I really enjoyed seeing you play. How has the tour been so far? Is it ok if I open this curtain? Yes, I still shoot on film, I always have. It’s a Contax. Yeah, I know, no one likes having their picture taken but, trust me, you’ll be fine. That’s alright, you can stay where you are. Could you turn slightly to the left though? Yes, that’s perfect, thanks…”


I know you are vulnerable right now, and at this very moment I too wish we were just having a drink instead. The first picture is somehow always the hardest one to take. Before I push the button, it’s as if I’m still on your doorstep, afterwards, I’m transported into your bedroom. Though I’m not sure you had meant to be showing me around.

x isolde”


Ok that’s it!
Thanks for having me and feel free to follow me on Instagram @isoldewoudstra