ONE ARTICLE A DAY FOR A MONTH : what's next?

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This is a quick article to announce a GREAT FANTASTIC news! My challenge of writing (and publishing) one article a day for a full month is FINALLY OVER! 

I can tell you right away that I am glad it’s over because I am actually exhausted about it! It takes up SO MUCH energy from my brain that it seems not to be functioning anymore for anything else!

I already did an article when I was half way into the challenge to review what I had learnt so far. I don’t have anything else to say, and I still agree A LOT with what I have written two weeks ago! (it feels like AGES) So I will focus instead of what’s next, what are my goals and what is going to unfold into the next few months! 

What about the future? 

About photography 
I am back to my portrait studio and ready to welcome clients again! I have already photoshoots booked and I am looking forward to them :) Because the universe is a cool thing, the day I got back in Paris, I had 3 phone calls for jobs in the week! So no time to breathe, let’s get back on the horse!
I will of course organize creative shoots as soon as possible, and I still have a few images I would love to edit but that I am still digesting!  

About the blog
For the next ones, I will be publishing once, maybe twice a week : I am actually excited about wiring more 
behind the scenes, and to take the time to share with you all my secrets, DIY, and photoshoot tips. These tends to take me way longer to create so I could not do as many of them as I wanted during the challenge but I think they are the one who interested you the most! I also love the self-development ones, writing about the challenges and struggles of the creator’s life, but they also take a lot of time to think about. 
For the future, I also would like to take more care about my writing style, I want it to be more entertaining, as I feel I was a bit too down too earth for my taste! And also of course I want to spend more time correcting mistakes and even having an english speaker proofing them!

I will also take much more time on social medias to actually share what I am writing! The goal here was to write, but it did take all my time so I « failed » on spending the time to promote it! I look forward growing a community of creative minded people.

The next big project 
Of course as you probably guessed, the blog is just the start of something bigger! So in the next few months I will focus on creating courses and I am so happy about this! A few of you asked me to mentor them, and I feel I am ready and confident enough to take the leap. Portfolio reviews would be awesome as well! I would love to write a book about creativity and I will probably go back to Ubud to do it because it is the perfect place to do so! Also writing everyday loved to me that I actually love it enough to do it constantly! So many things, I have small dreams, I have big dreams, and I am happy to see them finally unfold little by little! 

I would like to thank these who were here almost everyday to read my posts! It went straight to my heart and I love having these conversations with you. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next for us :) 

LOTS OF LOVE <3 

5 books that made me a better human and a happier creator

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the truth is, in France we are not very into self -development! People are just happy the way they are, or happy to be unhappy maybe! But because this blog is in english, I am glad to share these with you. They help me a great deal at some moment of my existence to enlarge my vision over life and certainly made me a batter human being! 

There Is Nothing Wrong with You by Cheri Uber

This is the first self-development book I have ever read, and it was a great help : it is the perfect introduction to self-awareness and meditation. The author makes you aware of what it is to be caught into our own minds in a very simple way. I had to read it many times to apply her advices to my life and always found comfort each time.

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“This book reveals the origin of self-hate, how self-hate works, how to identify it, and how to go beyond it. It provides examples of some of the forms self-hate takes, including taking blame but not credit, holding grudges, and trying to be perfect, and explores the many facets of self-hate, including its role in addiction, the battering cycle, and the illusion of control. After addressing these factors, it illustrates how a meditation practice can be developed and practiced in efforts to free oneself from self-hating beliefs.”

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

This book is a go to for every creators : the author helps us identify the blocks and obstacles that occurs in our lives! The author particularly emphasizes on resistance. Though I find it interesting and enlightning, his solution to everything is basically “just do it anyway” and I don’t really like this approach of self-development which can bring a lot of guilt.

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“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome.” 
― Steven Pressfield

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin

This book made me realize one thing : the very best people in this world are the one who spent the most crazy amount of time mastering their crafts. There is no magic behind it, but a lot of work and sweat involved!

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“A study of figure skaters found that sub-elite skaters spent lots of time working on the jumps they could already do, while skaters at the highest levels spent more time on the jumps they couldn’t do, the kind that ultimately win Olympic medals and that involve lots of falling down before they’re mastered.” 
― Geoff Colvin

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

This is a must read when you start to get caught up into your problems! This book is your good friend saying all your truth, which you already knew inside of you, but never dared to put words into it.

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“Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.
Pain is an inextricable thread in the fabric of life, and to tear it out is not only impossible, but destructive: attempting to tear it out unravels everything else with it. To try to avoid pain is to give too many fucks about pain. In contrast, if you’re able to not give a fuck about the pain, you become unstoppable." ~~~~ Mark Manson” 
― Mark Manson

The surrender experiment by Michael Singer

This one is the ne that I am reading currently, I needed to hear this : this guy was a hippie who just wanted to live by himself in the wood but he finished somehow with a billion dollar company. He learnt to let go of his expectations and of resistance to trust that life was going to bring him whatever he needed.

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“If you want to be happy, you have to let go of the part of you that wants to create melodrama. This is the part that thinks there’s a reason not to be happy. You have to transcend the personal, and as you do, you will naturally awaken to the higher aspects of your being. In the end, enjoying life’s experiences is the only rational thing to do. You’re sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Go ahead, take a look at reality. You’re floating in empty space in a universe that goes on forever. If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience. You’re going to die anyway. Things are going to happen anyway. Why shouldn’t you be happy? You gain nothing by being bothered by life’s events. It doesn’t change the world; you just suffer. There’s always going to be something that can bother you, if you let it.” 
― Michael A. Singer

What are the self-development books that helps you grow in some way? Don’t hesitate to add to the list, I would love to hear about them!

The benefits of living in Ubud Bali for a month as a digital nomad

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I am freshly back in France after spending one month trying the digital nomad life in Bali, and I would like to talk about all the benefits of this way of living. The life being really cheap is of course an absolute benefits for us westerners, we can enjoy a quality of life that is incredible compared to what we can have for the same price in Paris or New York. You can see the details of the cost of a month in Bali in the previous article. Here are a few reasons more why I think this creative retreat was beneficial : 


- I could FOCUS on my project :

It was my main reason for leaving and it was an absolute success : I have never been this productive in my life. I was never interrupted by any phone call, or anything. My brain space was fully dedicated to build my new project. As a bonus I was also more motivated, I don’t really know why, I think the environment was way better for me. I never procrastinated, never got lost on Youtube or any social medias. I am back in Paris and I call already tell that I am not as focus and tend to check my feeds more often! Damn!

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- The lifestyle of self-care :

Ubud is a very spiritual town, and there are many places dedicated to well being : yoga courses are just everywhere, meditation, all of these in incredible places, and for very cheap. As a result everyone seem to be more connected to itself, more in phase with their life, and in their body. Also I could afford to go to the spa get a massage when I was feeling a bit down, it set me back on track really quickly! I also went to acupuncture, which I could not afford in France. As a matter of fact the word « Ubud » means « healing » and the energy of the place reflects this philosophy for sure.

Yoga class in an amazing place

Yoga class in an amazing place

Free access to this place was included in our Hubud coworking space membership

Free access to this place was included in our Hubud coworking space membership

- The social life with like-minded people :

Back in France, I can feel a bit lonely in my projects, dreams, aspiration and even hobbies. (My friends think I am a bit weird for meditating!). But all the people I have met during this month were passionate entrepreneur trying to make the world a better place. Self employment in Paris tends to feel very lonely, but thanks to the coworking space I was going to every day, the social life was amazing! I never had lunch or dinner by myself, and got inspired by a bunch of highly passionate independent successful people. I found my tribe, and I have made new friends for life! 


- The time benefit :

One of the big advantage of living in such cheap places is that you get to afford services you couldn’t usually pay for anywhere else. I didn’t really have to go for grocery shopping, or cook anything because I could affort great healthy restaurants. I had my room cleaned, and getting the laundry done was very cheap. Also no traffic jam and no commuting for hours! Because you dont have to worry about these things, all your brain space is available to focus on what matters to you, and the days off were real holidays, not just another sunday cleaning my whole apartment before starting another week! I think this is especially important for entrepreneur who values their time a lot. 

Of course, you should not forget the not so positive sides of the tropical lifestyle including : diseases (dengue fever is very common and very NOT FUN!) diarrhea is almost mandatory at some point (I’ve met a guy who got typhoid AND dengue the same week, damn!) rabies still exist in this part of the world (a friend got a rabies shot after being attacked by a monkey) and also snakes, insects, and other lovely creatures! So don’t forget to subscribe to a good medical insurance and assistance because you might need it at some point! 


So those benefits can apply easily to anyone travelling in South Asia and working as a digital nomad. There is this story common among the people of Ubud saying you either love the place or you hate it very badly! There is no in between! (if you get dengue fever, typhoid, rabies and got bitten by a snake and a monkey the same week, I can imagine this is not really your definition of paradise!)  I have heard the same for Bangkok when I was in Thailand, I find this so interesting that some places are just so extremes that they are just not for everybody. But when you love them it is true passionate love! It is just like if they are having personalities of their own. I definitely love this place and I hope my experience will inspire you to try it out yourself! 

Let me know what do you think of this benefits, would you be ready to take the leap to enjoy this new life? 

Lots of love!

The costs of living in Ubud Bali for a month as a digital nomad

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This is my last day in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, so I want to take some time to review and share with you all the costs and also all the benefits of this month I spent here. This article is for those of you who would like to take the leap, or even for those who want to know more about this weird awesome lifestyle : 

So lets start with the cost : MONEY
What was the cost, how much did I spend? 


Indonesia is pretty cheap, but living in a place is not the same as travelling, and after an extended period of time, the cost can still add up quite quickly.

- FLIGHT
I booked my flight two weeks prior departure and got an amazing deal for 440 euros or a PARIS to DENPASAR with China Eastern. Indonesia is usually around 600 / 700 euros from paris so that motivated my decision to go there as well.

- ACCOMODATION
 I book the first 3 days via airbnb and then decided to extend my stay for the month. I didn’t want to get stuck in the place if I didn’t like it, and I negotiated a better price being there in person. It was clean and comfortable, not luxurious, but I had my own terrace and a pool big enough to swim! The breakfast was included as well, which was great because this kind of costs everyday can add up quickly! 
Via Airbnb 18 euros / night
13 euros / night for the rest of the month

That was my home!

That was my home!

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- FOOD 
I would say I spent 12 euros a day. You can do much cheaper but eating locally, or even cook, But I went to good hipster trendy healthy restaurants A LOT which was pricier. But still so much cheaper than in Paris!! 
You can eat really good local food for 2 or 3 euros a meal, and the trendier places were around 7 or 8 euros. 

- COWORKING SPACE
I went for the unlimited membership at HUBUD for a month at 190 euros and did not regret it AT ALL. This place is worth every cent. They have tons of social events, the place is amazing, the monkeys entertain you during your breaks, and I made friends for life. Best decision of my life EVER. This place was elected best coworking space in the world for a reason. 

- TAXI 
The taxi from the airport costs around 30/35 euros, make it two for the round trip. It takes more than one hour to get there. 

- SCOOTER RENTAL 
I personnel don’t drive but I figure it would be interesting to add it in the cost for your own previsions! 
So a scooter rental is around 3 euros a day, and people told me they put 1,5 euros worth of gas every week. 

- EXTRAS
Ubud is the place to heal, and take care of yourself : everything is available here to grow spiritually and improve your yoga skills! I went to acupuncture to deal with my stomach problem, which I could not have afford in France. So here a bit of everything :
- Yoga lessons : around 9/10 euros
- Massage : you can find cheap ones starting at 5 euros, and some ultra luxurious spa experiences as well : I went for a 12 euros one and it was amazing!
- Acupuncture : it cost me 35 euros each session, went 4 times, I will post an update later to tell you if my stomach is happier! 
- Trips around Bali : I did not take time to visit the island this time, but I will make sure to come back to explore some more!

As you can see the lifestyle here is really cheap, though everything can add up quickly. Also, I have to remember that if I were living in Paris, I would have spent money for food and restaurants as well, I did not pay for electricity in my apartment for a whole month, and did not have to put gas in my car either! Also in Paris I would have spend money on clothes, or random stuff on amazon, which I did not do here. I have this weird feeling when I am living Paris that I never have enough things and I need to accumulate stuff to feel happy. Here I arrived with a bag full of clothes but managed to wear the same 5 t shirts for the whole month. I don’t need as much and am feeling much lighter and happier. I think the absolute best way to nail this life is to rent your flat while you are away (which I did not do!) because then you don’t have to double your costs! (or to not have a flat at all but this is another level! I met a lot of people who did not have a « home" for a few years and they are some of the most happy balanced people I have ever met. 

I will be back for part 2 of this article with the benefits of this month away! So you can decide for yourself if the costs are worth the gain :) (spoiler alert : they do) 

The story of a night in Shanghai

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This picture is the story of me being stuck in Shanghai for a night. I decided it would be a good moment to share this as I will be travelling from Bali to Paris, using the same company, transfering through Shanghai again! This is the story of what happened last year :


The first human contact I had with Shanghai was this angry Chinese guy yelling at us (by us I mean me and 5/6 other fools thinking they could get their transfer to Tokyo Narita) We were wrong, the Chinese guy didn’t want to let us through the gate. Too late. No exceptions, no negotiations, no nothing. So what, we stay here? Another angry Chinese guy gives us a fragile piece of paper for the next flight : tomorrow morning. We were officially stuck in China for at least 16 hours. Not officially yet as we needed to get a temporary visa. 


Quickly I realize that I can’t connect to any of my social medias. Oh yeah right, China. I can’t talk to any of my friend, I am officially out of touch with the western world. Fortunately these TV has propaganda playing, there is no way we can get bored! After another couple of hours, my passport has a cool new stamp. I stick with a nice french couple, and we head to the airline office. After another hour, a guy finally tells us to hop on a bus. Everyone is Chinese, everything is written in Chinese, and the bus is definitely crappy. I think we followed his order as a pure sense of adventure. Why not? we have plenty of time to get lost anyway. 


The air outside is dirty. I never felt this before. It’s so polluted it’s almost solid, you can touch it, and it’s disgusting. The sky is a depressing shade of grey, the sun is not even trying to make a way through the toxic cloud anymore. It looks like a depressing science-fi movie where the earth is dying from pollution. But it’s real and happening right now. We arrive at the hotel 25 minutes later, the lady at the reception has her bang around a hair curler and she doesn’t seem to give a fuck about what we think. I respect that more than I can admit. She gave us our rooms without asking questions, after all we are « China Eastern VIP guests ». 
My room is dirty but not as dirty as the one my friends got. Their smells like cold cigarettes. Mine has marks above my bed. Hand marks, from a girl. Plenty of them. I am not disgusted but I find it intriguing that some people got turned on in here. And when you stay in a crappy motel, you don’t really want to think about the number of people who had sex before in the bed you try to sleep in. 


We had cold rice for dinner and some other stuff I could not really recognize in a metal plate, just like prisoners. I think about my friends in Tokyo, I think about the lights, the food, the sounds, the craziness of Japan, while I am being stuck in this purgatory. I am not sad, nor pissed of, life is not often as you expect, especially when you are travelling. So I decide to live this moment as another unexpected adventure.
When we head back to our rooms from the restaurant, it’s finally night time, and the hotel got a new atmosphere. I find so much beauty in it that I came back to photograph it. Everything is a shot out of a Blade runner movie, and this picture is the perfect illustration of this night. 

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Gear is nothing : VISION IS EVERYTHING

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I was surprise to talk with other photographers who had a beautiful career, some people recognized in the industry. They all agree to say that at our time, no one cares if you are great with lighting, if you are a really good technical photographer. Everyone can be good technically and all the resources are here for you to learn. Basically everyone can do pretty pictures now : the digital era changed our world, and the technology to take pictures, film a movie, or record an album is accessible to anyone now. Plus we have access to all the knowledge of human mankind online to master this tools! I am certainly no exception to this because I learnt photography thanks to all the online ressources! 

If you really want to stand out, the vision is what matters. Having your own way of seing things, go further than just knowing how to make a good picture. Not everyone can create something with meaning, something that is going beyond what is expected of a photographer. And I realized all the great photographers I admire have something unique, they are not just another commercial or fashion photographer doing clean images. They excel in being themselves. they have their own vision, and they are hired for their vision, their style, their authenticity, not because they are good with gear. You have to be good with gear, it’s not the point here, you have to know your equipment, be in control of your light, and to know how to retouch your work. But if you want to really stand out, you have to go further than this. I think the mistake of many people is to stop growing when they think know how to take a good picture. It is just starting actually! I find this really exciting! Because there is no magical recipe to apply to everyone, and we are all so unique, and with different passions and stories to tell. 

I invite you to find your own voice. It’s tempting to follow our mentors, they have so much convictions! And seing their success is definitely attracting. But sometimes, it drives us away from our own values and uniqueness. My pictures are my story and the story of the person I photographed. They are the result of everything that I lived. I know the exact meaning behind all of them. I would be startled to see someone reproduce something alike after seing my portfolio. I was talking with someone this week and told him I was surprise that the more I am doing really weird dark pictures, with which I feel deeply connected to, the less people say to me that my work is creepy or weird. They just accept it and find it pretty cool! His answer was : « You know It takes so much courage to do what you are doing, to allow yourself be vulnerable, and to show it to the face of the world. I think people respect that very much ». 

Do you think other successful people have a big influence on the way you are working? Do you think you are ready to express who you are deep inside? Are you afraid to be yourself sometimes? 

Lots of love :) 
 

Overcome the creative mental breakdown

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I am 25 days into writing and article every day, and I have to admit something : I am exhausted, I feel empty and today my energy is not there. But I promised this blog would be an honest reflection of the creator’s life, and the truth is some days, we are just not into it. The life is a succession of ups and downs, and if there is something I don’t like about social medias and self development, it’s the over positive mindset. It usually make  me feel worst and guilty. The creator’s life is a balance between joy (there is nothing like the feeling of achieving something awesome!) and FRUSTRATION aaaaarg (and there is nothing more frustrating that not being able to achieve anything!!) 

Sometimes I feel just overwhelmed by the massive task and goals I set to myself, and it paralyses me. I have to remember to set one brick after the other, to walk just one step after the other, and that even if today it’s going to be one small step, it is still something; 

Sometimes you can feel blank, empty not inspired. Sometimes it is the opposite : You have too many ideas coming at you at the same time and you are not able to organize them and to understand which one deserves your attention. Everything is an unfinished draft, and it’s really hard to focus to finish something.

And sometimes I just don’t have the strength : you know when you start creating and you can see while doing it that this is BAD :  usually you have enough distance to just understand it takes times, and after 24 more layers in Photoshop, you just finally make it perfect. But in the kind of mood, I just see that this is shitty, and I want to give up right away, I don’t have the strength to fail for two more hours and I am giving up before ti even start looking good : I am just stuck in the pit! 

And the worst days, I think I don’t even find the point of doing anything. 

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So what to do when you feel like you are in this downward spiral of not having the resources or enough inspiration left to do anything :

- Try to understand what is you block : why is it here in the first place? Are you just tired? Are feeling unwell, a bit sick and putting to much pressure on yourself when you should rest? Are you blocked by this task because you don’t want to do it? Are you pushing your limits and this is scary? 

- Be connected with this feeling : Just like I am doing right now. I am not trying to change it, I am just aware of how I am feeling, but I do not let the emotion take over. I think I am going to write it in every damn article here : MEDITATE GUYS! Self awareness is helping, and it is not about changing the emotions, but allowing them to be here and take some distance from them. 

- Look for inspiration : take some distance with what you are doing or what you have to do. I spent some time reading some other blog posts about creativity ad that helped me find the necessary distance to find something I could share with you to help you. 

- Talk to a friend : when I am feeling down, I usually have tunnel vision, my mind is all smokey (I don’t know if we can say this is english but you see what I mean!) and sometimes the answer is right in front of me. You know some days you are so pissed of or lost in your problems that you look for your glasses for 20 minutes and realize you are actually wearing them? Having a friend around telling you they are on your nose right away can save you a lot of time! 

- Go for a walk, if you have nature not far from you  this is extra bonus! There is nothing like fresh air to just open your mind and clean your thoughts. The trees are our friends!

- Loosen up, do something else just for pleasure : We set crazy goals for ourselves, and sometimes it is good to just take a detour, do something for just no other reason that it is fun. Release pressure, and give yourself permission to suck. 


Is this a feeling you experience yourself sometimes? What do you do to overcome it? (I feel we will never have enough advices to survive this shitty moments!!) 

Lots of love to all! 

How to find models?

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This is a question I got asked a lot so here some ways to find models : 

Before you ever start your quest I have two advices I would like to share with you :

The first one is a BIG one to me. You are not shopping for models just like going into a supermarket pick your desert : you are looking for human beings with who you are going to share some time creating pictures together. I am  not shopping for an Asian guy or a ginger girl with blue eyes : I am looking for people who connect with my work, and who are going to embody my visions. I also spend some time with them to connect with their stories so it is relevant for them to be in the picture. This requires a bit more than just a pretty face, and my work is not exactly just pretty. When I am brainstorming and drafting new ideas, 95% of the time I have an exact person in mind that I want to photograph for this, not just because of their appearance, but because the picture will tell their story.

The second MASSIVE one, I even hate that I have to write about this, but this is not obvious to everyone so : PLEASE DON’T BE CREEPY. Come on guys this is not the 90’s anymore, and we try to make the world a better place so don’t be this photographer using their power over models. WE ARE TRYING TO WORK IN HERE. « oh yeah baby I am going to make you a superstar, can you show me a bit more boobs? come on yeah I will give you some cocaine, it’s alright to be naked, look I can be naked too, how old are you by the way? You know if you sleep with me I can get you in Vogue for sure! » I wish it was just a bad funny joke from me, unfortunately no. 
https://www.marieclaire.com.au/terry-richardson-every-sexual-harassment-and-assault-allegation  
https://petapixel.com/2017/10/28/amazon-book-seduce-women-photography/

It is alright to photograph people naked (you know I do it all the time) But you have to be extra careful and extra respectful and ask for consent. 

So now we agreed that models are human beings, who you should respect as such, here are a few methods to find amazing people to create amazing art :

- Photograph your friends, and friends of friends
When I started I did not felt comfortable enough to photograph strangers : so my closed ones were my go to when I needed to experiment something. I know they wouldn’t judge me if all the pictures sucked and in the end it was always a good afternoon having fun! It was especially crucial when I started to learn studio lights and had no idea what I was doing! « wait what happens if I pressed this button AND this one at the same time and add the purple gel? WOW AWESOME, oh no not you, you are totally blurry SORRY!) 
Though it was great to start, I don’t photograph my friends anymore

- Use an online platform like Model Mayhem (or book.fr if your are in France) 
You can shop profiles that you find interesting here, you can filter your research with various options.
I let a casting call when I just moved to Sydney. I didn’t know anyone here so that was a good way to find creative people. I met the most amazing stylist, and I am still good friend with a model I photographed there! 

- Use Instagram wisely : 
Just like Model Mayhem, you can shop on Instagram for models though locations and hashtags. I knew a photographer who would cast his model only like this. He offered to photograph people with quite a bit amount of followers so he could grow his online presence thanks to them. I never used this like this but I think it is quite clever if you want to grow your Instagram account organically! 

- Do a model call on your social medias :
From times to times, when I need to find new profiles, I post a message on Facebook or a story on Instagram. The cool thing about this is that I know that in my community, there are models and people who are following me who really want a shoot with me. So they are the first one to jump on the opportunity when it occurs! These people are usually really motivated and already love my work and my vision. This is how I met the beautiful Mathilde who already tried to connect with me before, but that I finally met I posted a call. 

- Ask for recommandations from others photographers or models
I probably know all the photographers in my area doing fine art and dark portraits. And they all have their models and favorites faces who loves to work for this kind of photoshoot! So if I was looking for someone new now, I would definitely ask the people I already know to put me in contact who who be a good fit for me. When you start putting your work more and more out there and meet like minded people like you in the area, you realize it is quite a small world. If I am adding another french photographer on Facebook, the probability is high that we already have 10 friends in common. So use this network at your advantage to find interesting profiles! 

Florence Rivières is a french alternative model, and she has probably work with ALL fine art photographers around! She is also and authour and wrote a book about modeling and posing, check her out!

Florence Rivières is a french alternative model, and she has probably work with ALL fine art photographers around! She is also and authour and wrote a book about modeling and posing, check her out!

I can tell you that most of the models I have been working with are now my friends, and I am glad we have this special bond of creating something together. I know not everyone work like this, but I find it gives a depth to my work that is different from just doing fashion photographs for the sake of pretty pictures. I specialize in photographing human beings and am telling their stories, and that’s why my clients decide to hire me instead of someone else.

Tell me how you usually work with model? Do you have a special relationship with them or do you keep it just professional? Do you have other way to find them? 

Thanks for reading and lots of love!! 

How to create and multiply weird creepy hands

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Sometimes, when you want a picture, you need to get your hands dirty. And I mean, for real! 

This picture has a really basic setup (that I use all the time with my self-portraits) 
-One diffused light
-A white wall that I used as a background
-A tripod, (but you could use anything, like a stool, so the camera does not move)
-A remote to trigger the camera
 
-A very patient model (crucial point)
 
So there is NOTHING fancy in here, I like the clean and simple look that gives plenty of space to get creative! 

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For the black hands : 

I had this idea in my mind for a while, and I thought of many different ways to create a mixture that could be used on the skin, without being « too messy ». For example, China ink is A VERY BAD IDEA, unless you want to have black stains on your skin for ten days (trust me on this one, I went to art school  ). Acrylic paint is not really good for the skin and dries very fast so I can’t have this « vinyl » look I’m looking for. I know there are many options in the professional make-up industry, but I want to keep it cheap (and free is even better!). So I used charcoal, which is actually pretty good for the skin, it absorbs all the toxins and I do use it myself as a purifying mask on my face once in a while YES (free beauty tips, you’re welcome), and I mixed it with oil! Like basic oil that I had in my kitchen for cooking! 
 
The mixture was pretty good, not perfect, but I liked the oily look better than water, it’s not as liquid and doesn’t dry at all. It doesn’t stain the skin, and is not toxic for the model, so this was perfect! 
Careful though, IT DOES STAIN EVERYTHING ELSE : we protected the floor, our clothes, but the rags we used after to get rid of the mess are now black forever!
 
(and if by chance, you have a better idea/recipe for that black oil idea, I would love to hear it!)

Once the setting is ready the shooting is EASY :  

We first checked the lighting and the posing, to find something that I loved. Once we were happy, Camille dropped her hand into the black mixture : the hand in front of her is her own! 
Then, I dropped my hand into the mixture as well (and in just a minute, Camille was oiling my entire forearm, we had just unlocked a whole new world in our relationship! OUHW YEAH) 
 
I went behind her and I triggered the camera with my remote (with my not-too-dirty hand), just like any other self-portrait.

Creativity in action !

Creativity in action !

When it was over, I just had to stitch all the photos together into one, in Photoshop, aaaand that’s it ! 
 
Here is a video of the Photoshop process. Real time I would say around 3 hours, skin took half of this and I took a while deciding which element to include or not. I’ll probably do a post (or more!) very soon about retouching, as it is such an important part of the process! 

I hope you enjoyed it, and don’t hesitate to leave me any comment or ask any questions! See you very soon for more experimental/oily/weird projects! 

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A creative photoshoot through the eye of my model

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This full story was written by Benoit, the model for this picture.  I think it would be interesting for you to have another point of view on my work, and I hope you enjoy this story!

With Pauline and her camera, you’ll always end-up naked somewhere. In an attic, in a flower tray or somewhere else.


This time, it’s during a walk in the middle of the forest, that we came across something that led us to a new creative project. A lost pond, a few ducks and grandmas feeding them with bread. That’s all Miss Big Nostrils needed to picture me in the middle of it. The idea was simple. Trudging in the pond, naked (again) in front of her camera’s watchful eye. Fate led us to this watering place in autumn, and after thinking about it and taking the time to go for it, it was already December, « Yay, Hello freezing temperatures! ». Dawn’s light and morning fog should bring more inspiration to the atmosphere. So let’s set the alarm clock at 5am, though it’s seems unbearable for the unemployed person that I am. So as we noticed when we arrived, the mist on the lake in the morning, is a big joke!


A lively red car, a flapping wing mirror and old duct tape holding it, that’s her good old Ford Ka. After a kiss on the cheek and a hot coffee, here we are, parked on the D284 road, in the middle of St-Germain en Laye’s forest, small city of the Yvelines département, 30 min away from the Capital. It now seems obvious, that in a few minutes, I’ll be freezing my ass off in an 8°C water. The sun is far from rising and we’re walking in pitch black quietly, as two (almost) normal employees would do. When we get to the pond, we need about 10 seconds to understand that we got here way too early. Though it’s very very dark, the place is really quiet, and we can only hear the distant humming of the road.

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90 minutes fly away, just the time to catch sight of a bold jogger, equipped with a headlamp (I’ll tell you there are weird people) and to notice that the ducks are asleep in the trees and not on the pond. The day begins and the mallards land on the pond, one by one, on a slightly unclear water. Time’s up! We’re about to start the shooting session. We need to hurry-up since the particular dawn light does not last for long. After running 3 times all around the pond and a few push-ups as a warm-up later, it’s time to go into the water. What the hell am I doing here? It’s easier to get in than I thought. I’m moving carefully in the pond. It’s not that deep. The water is a bit oily and stinks of gasoline, but lucky me! I get to keep my pants on this time.


The first pictures are essential to « get  » the moment and to adjust the light, set the right angle, and it’s only after deciding to dive into the water that it becomes interesting. I’m all wet now. There’s always this idea of a non-idea. What can I do? How should I act? What is she waiting from me? What’s coming out of these? I’m following her advice with caution. The walkers are a simple curiosity when the cold starts to pierce my body. There’s nothing I can find in this pool. Yet I try to find something. I’m searching. I’m observing. The ducks look more comfortable than me. They even act like gentlemen and do not look at me. After all, it’s everyone’s pool. I look at Pauline. I look up. I look down. I look at my hands. I look at me. I’m shaking. Fuck it’s cold. Very cold. It’s been 30 min in the water, and 10 min freezing my ass off, while I keep delaying the time to go out of the water. We never know, maybe the next picture will be the right one. 400 clicks later, it’s time to go out. I’m confident. I intimately know that Pauline will get the image she wants. And it doesn’t matter if that’s not the case. Because I’m here for this talented and enthusiastic blondie. Her projects are stories. So that’s a pleasure to dive into this pond, in the middle of the forest, at 8am, during winter.

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With Pauline and her camera, you’ll always end-up naked somewhere. In an attic, in a flower tray or somewhere else.