Top 10 Best Selling Prints of 2021 | The Story Behind the Black and White Image
Updated: Nov 29, 2022
My 7 year old son always asks why I only take ‘boring’ black and white photographs. To that I say (darling), they are simply timeless and will last a lot longer than any fashionable Instagram filter. So there!
Black and white photography has always been a passion of mine. It has a classical elegance to it that stands the test of time, bowing to the nostalgia of times gone by.
The minimalistic simplicity of black and white has fascinated me ever since I developed my first image at university in the campus dark room. Seeing the image magically appear through the watery chemicals, is ever so satisfying and makes you thoroughly appreciate the process.
I love looking through my grandmothers old black and white photographs and being transported into that monochromatic era of glamour and splendor. Photographs were taken with far less abandon then, and were therefore seemingly more treasured and unique.
Nowadays we can hold down the shutter and get hundreds of images in one blast to make absolutely sure we get that perfect shot. Even though we have come a long way from the precious 24 chances to capture a two-week holiday on one roll of film, the single black and white image remains a classic for all time.
Don’t get me wrong however - I’m super happy to be able to take a million photos at any one time and get lost for hours editing them (preferably with a glass of wine in hand). It takes a good while to select each image to go on my site - and of course it’s all subjective to what will appeal to whom. The following are the best selling favourites from 2021 - many thanks to all who have supported my little passion here.
1. Dutch Reflective Houses, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
This photo was taken on a still day in Amsterdam just as the first covid lockdown was easing a little bit. I decided to get out and walk around the city of canals and was rewarded with incredibly still water where the tourist boats were no longer allowed. The result was a mirror image of these iconic Dutch canal houses - which has proved to be the most popular of all so far.
2. Dutch Trooper, The Netherlands
This 1977 original Star Wars stormtrooper goes everywhere with me. He can always be found in the bottom of my bag, ready for his next photoshoot. My husband is a (nerd) die-hard Star Wars fan and has taught me to appreciate the (cult) artistry surrounding the institution. The image of the stormtrooper is (ok I admit it!) iconic and does speak to a childhood nostalgia for so many. It’s become a fun project and this guy will continue to travel with us wherever we go. Stay tuned.
3. Love Clogs, The Netherlands
In real life, these clogs are full of colour and look quite different to my black and white version. If I’m honest, I wasn’t even going to bother taking this picture as I thought it a little cheesy. The old windmills surrounding the clogs were calling to me, but my husband said to just take it anyway. I’m glad I did as everyone (including me) loves it. The moral of the story might be to listen to your husband occasionally - who knew!
4. Windlust Windmill, Wassenaar, The Netherlands
The local windmill is an icon of Wassenaar. I must say, it’s lovely to have one and be delighted by its presence when at that end of town. Rather than take the standard photograph, I went for a different angle making the most of negative space - which is present in all my personal favorite images. The section of the image with ‘nothing’ in it is equally as important to me as the subject. The simpler the better - that’s a motto that works with more than just windmill art too.
5. I Fell, Paris, France
After living in Paris for five and a half years, this is a site I never took for granted. In fact, I used to pinch myself everyday that I was lucky enough to actually get to live in the city of lights. Wandering under the tower itself is a pleasure that is no longer possible due to the huge glass wall encasing it - so I’m even more glad that I took a million pictures of it back then. Read my Non-Tourist Guide to Paris with Kids.
6. Beach Bird, Wassenaar Beach, The Netherlands
Whilst laying in the dunes of Wassenaar Beach watching the sky, I spent a rather long time trying to capture the birds swooping down from the sky. It’s addictive (and I am competitive!). This was my favorite shot that day and actually sparked the initial idea for kpm photo art. This image is the one I chose for my business card as well. My landscape art collection continues this theme as well - with a similar minimal aesthetic.
7. Angels in Disguise, Paris, France
Shakespeare Book Company in Paris is perhaps the coolest bookstore in the world. It has been located near Notre Dame cathedral since 1951. The shop supports writers and artists in exchange for helping out, housing them in the many little beds tucked between the shelves - hence their motto ‘Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise’. I urge absolutely everyone to visit this spot when in Paris - it’s wonderfully unique.
8. Dutch Bike, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The bicycle; the iconic symbol of The Netherlands. In a country where cycling routes are more abundant than roads, your bike really is a necessity. I love the feeling of riding that takes you back to the freedom of being twelve years old again. I’m not quite properly Dutch yet though, as I’m a more of a fair weather biker!
9. Nella Luce, Venice, Italy
If there’s a more beautiful country in the world, let me know. For me, Italy is the crown jewel and I’ve absolute loved every visit. I was lucky to see Venice without crazy crowds, off-season with unexpected glorious weather. 'Nella luce' or 'into the light' evokes the memory of that stunning experience. Take me back!
10. Binnenhof Bike, The Hague, The Netherlands
The Hague is an unexpected charmer of a city. When I first visited from Paris, I remember thinking, ‘oooh I could definitely live here’. It offers warm cosy, hygge worthy, candle-lit spots in contrast to the brash, well-lit brasseries of Paris. There’s a slow casual vibe that makes it homely and inviting. Add the armada of bikes and an unbelievable quiet that is non-existent in most major cities, I’m super glad to be living here now.
Many thanks to everyone who took a peek at my website in 2021, or even (to my constant surprise) actually bought a limited edition print. It’s been magical condensing all of my past and present creativity to realize all that you see here. I'm loving sharing travel memories - and my 7 year old may be coming round to appreciating black and white (maybe!).