Travel tips

Does it make sense to create more art?

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A few months ago I went through an existential creator crisis (just like every others couple of months to be honest ;D ) : it didn’t make any sense any more to create pictures. 


You know, there are already so many of them everywhere! Let’s face it, we are flooded with images and other stuff : more pictures are uploaded every day on instagram than ever before, at a point we almost start to regret the age of the scarcity of film photography. Why would I spend 12 hours to create something with my heart and soul for it to disappear almost instantly, lost into this sad ocean of selfies. And if you start comparing yourself and your work with others photographers, it’s over : so many of them already doing such beautiful pictures, it does not make any sense to do some more! It will never be as beautiful, and even if it’s not that bad, it will never set itself apart from the crowd. That’s it, we are doomed to stay in this magma, lost in the middle of millions other people. I should have listen to my parents/husband/sister/friend and get a real job!

I knew it, I will never be Beyoncé, we are all gonna die, the planet is fucked and the pandas are still not having sex DAMNIT!

Ok, it’s time for a bit of mindfulness, let’s get back on track before we get lost into dark sad parts our mind labyrinth

I want to give you my own most powerful reasons to keep going. This is personal, mostly from conversation with good friends, and this pieces of philosophy help me on a daily basis to keep the spark going!

The world desperately needs the dreamers 

I got this one from my beautiful dancer friend human Kevin : He thinks our mission is indeed vital to the society : We are the one able to see and share beauty, we have the power to move people, to make them feel, this is what’s matters the most. As long as we have the artists, the world will not give up. Don’t let anyone treat you inferior because you are just another creator who wants to live his dream. Everyone loves to go to movies, to watch TV shows, to listen to music : this industries are MASSIVE, they hire thousands of people, and they influence people’s life, who can gather around something great and positive. That’s why every dictature have an absolute control over art and creation : they either use it to promote their own values, or censor the creations that does not fit their views. They understand very well that it can influence people’s point of view. Even in our societies, we need the dreamers to give us hope in a world flooded by bad news ans sensationalism. Especially when medias are playing with our fears on a daily basis. 

The mission of the artist

The artist is a messenger : they are a voice of the society we live in. You might want it or not, but you are a part of this world. So even if you don’t consider yourself as a non-political person, you are still a product of the society you are living in. The creator can use his skills to share messages from people that does not have the voice or the power to do so. When I was still a student in graphic design school, a friend of mine was older and he was already a recognized art director in Paris. He mentored me for a bit and I remember a great lesson he taught me : He said to me « as a designer, you have a power to help others : for example, a charity that helps women victim of domestic violence wants to promote the work they are doing. If they do a poster themselves, and put them it the wall in the street, probably no one will read it. But if you create a great poster for them, with a strong message and an impactful visual, some people will see it and be interested in what they have to say. As a designer, you will have to decide what you want for this world, you can use your power to influence people to buy more useless craps, or you can help give a voice to some people who can’t speak ». I realized this day that if I had a power and a responsability that was beyond me and beyond creating just beautiful visuals. 

The creators are the voice of their time

I will go even farther and say that most of what we admire from the past are from creators : the artists have the power to transcend reality but also time. If a prehistoric guy, thousands of years ago asked himself too many questions about why he was doing this weird paintings on the cave wall and watched netflix instead (wait what?) we would not be able to admire them. And even more important, to understand a tiny bit more about the way they were living. Most of the things we value from our past is Art, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture : these creations reflect the beauty of a past time. We won’t remember the accountant, the banker nor the nurse. These jobs are vital to a society for sure, and sometimes, the artist even help them to be remembered in their own way : I love how Verweer saw beauty and poetry in the life of the domestics working in house : we have to remember it was a time when only rich people got to have their portraits painted. He gives us an insight into the 17th century daily life of workers, and showed us the beauty of it. There are as many different ways to see the world as people on this planet, and I think this is incredible to have access to a piece the mind of other artist, living in other societies, and different times than us. It’s like opening a window to a different world that does not exist anymore. 

Vermeer, milkmaid, around 1658-1661

Vermeer, milkmaid, around 1658-1661


Conclusion

I could give you 1000 reasons why creation will always be a part of my life, this is a highly complicated, deep subject and I have so many more ideas on it (for a change!!). But I love these ones because they are beyond my own personal struggles. They help me see a bigger picture, and as someone who get trapped into my mind labyrinth a lot, it really helps me take the necessary distance to understand that my work is indeed valuable in some way. 

And also, what a waste of a life not to walk your own path :) 
I KNOW IT’S NOT THAT EASY
well it’s another story!

Des bisous!

A quick guide to Tokyo night photography

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So while I was visiting Tokyo, my goal was of course to have a few photoshoots. I had some ideas, I knew I wanted to do cinematic portraits at night playing with the environment. Which is a massive step out of my comfort zone because I kinda love my studio! So here are a few tips from my experience there that I can share with you 


Locations
Tokyo is a HUGE HUUUUGE city, and it’s hard to start so I decided to talk about its more famous locations : 
– Shinjuku is THE place if you have in mind when you think about Tokyo : lights and signs and people everywhere!Fun fact : The station sees 2 millions of people EVERY DAY, so get ready, you will get lost there! 
– Shibuya is also great for the same reason, it’s probably the most famous place there, the buildings are not as big and as in Shinjuku, but that’s still a beautiful vibrant spot. 
Though I love to wander here, I have a few problem here concerning photography : – It’s constantly crowded : we went there at any time of the night, at 3 am on a monday night, and even then PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. Tokyo never sleeps, it’s up to you if it bothers you or not when you shoot. – Too much light!! My style is more dark and moody, and I quickly realized these streets are way too bright and colorful for my dark heart  So I went and looked for tiny dark alley alley with a Japanese / asian feel to them, so most of what I shot was there. 

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Places that I wish I tried : 

-Temples and shrines : most stay open at night, and you can get fantastic shots. (you will probably need to bring a few artificial lights though) Of course, be respectful of the place!-Rooftops : Rooftoping is big in Tokyo, and if you meet creative people/ photographers, you will certainly get caught in a conversation with them talking about their last adventures. I don’t perosnnaly recommend it, as it’s illegal and dangerous (especially if you have to climb), but it’s up to you to make the wise decision about trying or not! Be ready to face the consequences!
Contact someone there : find someone you love on instagram, an expat, a local, and they will take you to the best spots Ask them some advices, and you never know, they can show you in person, it can end up into a great night and you win a new friend! 


Gear / lighting
It depends on what looks you want to achieve and what type of photographer you are : I prefer to have my concept before, so it is more preparation, so I brought artificial lighting. My friend benjamin went travelling to tokyo at the same time as me with the idea of doing street photography, so he brought his 85 lens and that was it.That’s up to you! Keep your goal in mind when you pack  (I will write an article dedicated to travelling an packing as a photographer, very soon!) 
Whatever you decide on, don’t forget your tripod for night shots! 
In term of lighting, I personally brought my Yongnuo speed lights, a small Aputure led panel, and some gels to match the colors with the ambiant (or go crazy). 

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Models
If you want to shoot street photography, you will find your models on the spot. But if you want to plan for the shoots, here are some options :-There are plenty of group on Facebook where you can just leave a message if you are looking for anyone, – Model mayhem is a great resource anywhere in the world to find models : they are a lot of different profiles, from paid professional to paid for prints only 


Stay safe, be respectful

Tokyo is probably the safest place in the world, but use your common sense. We went shooting in a tiny alley and a Yakuza came and talked to us, OF COURSE i didn’t even tried to negotiate, just LEAVE You are the foreigner here, respect the usages and everything will be fine
Stay polite, we ve been kicked out the alley, I tried to insist with please and a smile, but they were obviously pissed off we were there. stay polite, it’s their place, even if it’s frustrating for us

30 seconds to shoot in this alley as we got kicked out immediately arg!

30 seconds to shoot in this alley as we got kicked out immediately arg!

I would love to se your Tokyo photographs, and don’t hesitate to add any more advices or locations you loved there! 

The power of change

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I am writing this because I got challenged by a friend to write and publish one article everyday for the whole month! This is absolutely TERRIFYING ahah but also super exciting because it does push me to let go, and to share even if it’s not perfect! Today is my first day, my website is not online (and it is DEFINITELY NOT READY!) but I figured a post on Facebook would do the job! It’s better than nothing for sure :) (Update : I HAVE A WEBSITE YAY!)

And I will start by opening a conversation around CHANGE (I could write a book on the matter :D) 

Long story short, I just arrived in Bali, and I am jet lagged, currently writing this in my room, which is (a bit) lost in the middle of rice fields, and I already have a cute gecko roommate (I didn’t decide how to name him, I am open to your suggestions!!) Also the tropical climate is a bitch and I already gave up on having straight hair for the next 28 days :D But I am peaceful and confident that was the right decision. 

So a few weeks ago I was not really happy with my life, had some health issues due to stress, and a few other stuff added on top. I was stuck on « tunnel vision mode », not finding any solutions to get better. Suddenly I had a bit of clarity, my brain went « HEY but you have absolutely NO REASON to stay if you don’t like it here! Change what you don’t like with your life! » The day after I booked my tickets, I called my clients who had photoshoots booked in march, hoping they would accept to wait april for their pictures (a bit worry they wouldn’t agree but they all said yes #tearsofgratitudel) And that’s pretty much it! Like every trip that I have, I decided not to plan, so I could make space for anything that can happen. I’d rather be free than to be stuck somewhere I don’t like :) 

Why am I here? So the truth is I am working on a new blog for photographers, to help them be more creative, and to deal with the struggles of a creative life (because this is a thing I definitely have experience in :D) I could not find the time nor the energy back home to make it happen. I believe we have the power to have the life we want, we can choose so much more than we think. So here I am, trying the digital nomad life I have always dreamt of :) One of the idea of buddhism philosophy is « accept it or change it » I am constantly keeping this idea on the back of my mind that if I am unhappy with something, and I can change it, I will work to change it. But if I can’t change it , then I have to remember that I can’t be loosing my energy to fight against it. Resistance toward the things we have no control upon is exhausting us, and we don’t have any good vibes left for the important things we can actually fight for! I hated having an 9-18h job and a boss so I changed it, I dreaded having to commute in Paris everyday for 2hours, so I changed it, and the winter is the season that is putting me back into depression every damn year, so why not leave? Don’t misunderstand me, I make it sound easy but it is not, it was not, it took me years to quit my job, and it took me years to live as a photographer, this is not a cool success story, but hey, change is hard, but living a life you don’t really want is even harder :) 

I would love to know what you think about this. For me, this advice was super powerful and this helped me let go of all my insecurities related to my body for example (I mean this is my face/ legs/ feet/ anything, I’d better accept it because we are kinda stuck living together anyway!) And now it helps me to grow spiritually and to understand that I am not stuck being the low confidence shy blond girl I once was :)  What are things would you like to change in you life but you feel you are resisting? What are the thing you would like to accept but are still fighting? What’s your biggest block when it comes to live the life you truly want? I had SO MANY (still have some for sure) but I know that if I am doing just a step in the right direction everyday that’s already something :) 

Love to all! 
(des bisous tout moites!)