Rejection Letter

Dear Michael,

first of all, let me tell you that it was tough decision, and I really mean it. Usually, it is easy to me when it comes to hard choices. I struggle a little, walk up and down, scratch my head, maybe make some phone calls. In the end, I deal with it easily.

They told me it would have been like choosing between mum and dad. They told me it wouldn’t have been as simple as a walk in the park.

I thought, and I overthought, day and night. Imagine, at work a colleague asked me if I actually read all the books that I buy. Your books were three out of four of my last purchases.

You took care on my downs as a few could do. You were always there, even when I didn’t ask for it. And you will always be there, with either Harry or Mickey, to keep company.

Nevertheless, this is true also for Norman. He did a great job since 1998. In my darkest hours, it took just six minutes and twenty-seven seconds to save the life of a stormy, troubled kid. From that moment later on, nothing was the same as before. The same happened when you introduced me to Harry, and later when you showed me what a badass is his half-brother Mickey.

On the scale of my values, you two are even. I always daydreamed about movies having Harry as a main character, being scored by Norman. I know, Harry wouldn’t like it. Norman is not Al Green, but believe me: he’s the best way a human being can be reborn from his or her ashes. Harry wouldn’t mind some use of it.

So when it came to decide who to pick, I let my rational side speak. And I asked myself a single question: who’s more real to you?

We’re not friends, we never had dinner together, we never spent a day watching tv or talking politics at a bar table. And same goes with Norman. We have nothing to share but the figment of your imagination, the result of your art.

We’ve never met, and I don’t know if I will ever do. You’re far across the ocean, and you’re based in Los Angeles, whilst it takes forty-five minutes to cross the English Channel to reach Brighton.

Well, in this sense, Norman did something even better. He will come closer. I’m gonna meet him on the next March 31st, in Rotterdam. A dream lasted for nineteen years is finally becoming reality.

Honestly, I don’t know what I will do, what I will say, how I will act or react if he happens to even talk to me. I’ll be a teenage dirtbag again, with my forehead sweating shame and shyness all over.

Sorry again if I disappointed you. I hope you won’t take it too personally. Who knows, perhaps we will meet one day. And I hope we will, because I have tons of questions about Harry that I need to ask you.

Keep inspiring, Michael.

Yours sincerely,


This is the execution of the “Rejection Letter” exercise by Yannick Bouillis and Colette Olof, published at page 29 of The Photographer’s Playbook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.