Love goals

When Kate got in touch with me in early January, I knew we were going to get along well. And because she was fresh & positive, I was very much willing to work for her & her husband. 

[Oh, by the way, if you want to discover the 7 tips for finding & booking the perfect wedding photographer, click here & write your email in the pop-up! You'll receive this very useful document within a few minutes. And spread the work!]

We managed to meet & then spend a few hours chatting, speaking openly about hundreds of things. Included her wedding day, of course. 
They were official married at the city hall already, but no party over there. So before going to the States to have an American-style wedding party, they wanted to have a Turkish-style one!

I insisted to have to chance to photograph her bridal preparations. I understand it's not easy to welcome someone you don't know during this moment . Because it's intimate, because you might be stressed, because the room can be crowded already. But it is also a very special & unique moment and this is the reason why it is so important to capture it. 

I'm very happy to meet Kate & Eren and my heart melt thank to the way they look at each other. 
I'm very thankful for their trust in my capacity of capturing this special day. Their feedback is here.

Looking forward to meeting them again & to welcome this kind of love in my life :D! 

Happily ever after! 

My Beautiful Mistake

Yesterday, as every year, at the beginning of April, I went to Gülhane park, to photograph the tulips. They are absolutely gorgeous, so colourful, so intense, so delicate. 

But this year, I felt a bit bored. Not because of the flowers, but because it's my 5th festival and I felt I was not doing anything new.

And then I made a mistake. An exposure mistake. A huge mistake, the image was so over-exposed (you can discover the image below the article). But the result was amazing. I loved it. It looks like a painting. It looks fresh, soft, full of life. I'm even thinking about printing this image out and offer it to myself! To look at it every morning would definitely put me in a good mood!

Note about all my images: if you're looking for beautiful images of Istanbul to put yourself in a good mood every morning too, check out my online gallery here, all these images are available. For further info, get in touch with me directly here

So I decided to put intentions into what I was doing, and try something else than what I would usually do. I was becoming creative again! And that's exactly what I've been missing for the last months, being stuck at home and then super busy working on my photography business. 

Even though I'm not against the idea of overexposing my images again, I worked on almost the opposite: I tried to enhance the stunning colours thanks to the shadows. I loved to look for the "right" flower & for the "right" shadow" and of course the "right" light. Find the images below my "mistake". 

What do you think about the results? Let me know in the comment section! 

And if you like this article, don't hesitate it to share on social medias! 

Let's value our images again

Until I was a young adult, a photo was a physical object, often placed in a photo album or pinned on a cork board, maybe even framed and hang in the wall. Sometimes, the photos would be kept inside the envelop given by the photo lab, put away inside a shoe box. I remember, as a kid, those precious moments when we would pick up a photo album from the shelf, and then, sitting on the couch, we would turn those thick pages and laugh about old-fashion poses / outfits / haircuts / decoration  - pick the one you prefer.

Then an unmaterial world became more and more important. Internet took a larger & larger place in our lives. And new ways of life, like travelling more, moving more during the day, created new needs & new habits. And new tools came up: smartphones & tablets, allowing us to be connected everywhere & 7/24.

By the time social medias trapped us, we found ourselves sharing photos & videos on a daily basis. And even though I say "photos", I mean digital files. And when I say "sharing", I mean posting on social medias, to whoever is connected at that moment. 

Back then, we had to have a camera. Now, we don't actually need one, as most of us own a Swiss-knife phone, this mix of a phone, a camera, an organiser, a directory, a timer and a compass (this is a non-exhaustive list).

Then, we were quite mindful about the photos we were creating as films were not cheap and we had only 24 or 36 poses/chances. Now, as long as our battery is still charged, we can shoot.

Then, we had to go to the photo lab, wait a few days and only then, we got our photos, protected in a special envelop, keeping both photos & films safe. Now, we press the button and we create 1 or 10 images, even videos, instantaneously. And they are kept inside our phone, maybe our computer or our "cloud".

Nowadays, photos are the victims of some kind of "image inflation": the more images we create, the less value they have because the process of creation is much more a reflex than a need: there is no real purpose behind those images. We just create them, we don't go much further. Like we'd keep thousands of undeveloped films. 

Were our photos better then than now? No :). But at least, they existed in real life, and their value comes from what they represent but also from that physical existence.

 Yes, it's me. I'm so happy those pictures were taken. Little treasures to illustrate my childhood memories. 

Yes, it's me. I'm so happy those pictures were taken. Little treasures to illustrate my childhood memories. 

I know, people say that digital images will survive through time; that since digital ages, we always managed to save them, from one kind of support to another one. I really hope so and I will do my best to update my back-up supports. 

The extra-investment of time & money to print our images is not only a way of saving up our images from a hard-drive crash. It does one extra-thing: it adds value to our images

Small efforts for big results: 

- go through the thousands of images (8 551 right now for me...)

- delete the bad ones (it creates more free space to take more pictures ahahah)

- select the best ones (use the "favorite" heart-shape to select them)

- find websites or app to send our files too (I'm helping you on that!)

- order what we want and then wait for them to be delivered (it'll feel almost like Christmas!).

 What I think (I could almost say "What I feel") is that the experience of looking at an image on a screen can't be compared to the experience of seeing, touching (maybe cropping with scissors & sticking it on the wall with colored masking tape) a printed-out photo. Almost like having a conversation on skype with friends compared to sharing a coffee on a sunny terrace with them, you see? 

This is a gift we offer to ourselves, to our kids and the next generations: to be able to hold a photo in our hands & to remember -or discover- the past. 

Here are some websites & free phone applications you can print your images out from very easily:

Websites: PhotoBoxPhotoWeb (French), Foto.com, PosterXXL, SmartPhoto

Applications: Lalalab., CheerzShutterfly, Free Prints, Print Studio and a special one for create postcards: InstaCards

Of course, on all those websites & apps, we can create photo albums too! So don't be shy, print your images out :D! 

Enjoy your prints & memories!! 

Cheers, 
Noémie

 

At the barber shop

In Turkey, barber shops are quite an unique world: from hair, mustache & beard, to eyebrows & ears, nothing will be forgotten.

Compared to other places where men go, the barber shops are quiet. Of course, the TV might be on to catch up the latest football images, but there will be no much talking. 

Why is that? Well, they don't speak much because of the sharped razor blade on their cheeks and throat :D!

It's quite impressive but men say it feels very nice. I take their words for it! 

Photography, meditation & gratitude

Meditation isn't part of my life. Not yet, at least. I bought many books, practiced a few times but meditation is still not part of my routine. 
Deep inside, I know that this special time I'll offer to myself will have a positive impact in my life. 

As you may know, meditation is about being "here & now", welcoming things the way they are, without judgment. A few days ago, I began to read "Practicing the power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle.

And an idea came to my mind: what if photography was one way of meditating?

At first, these 2 activities couldn't seem to be any further one from another: photography is about the outside world, meditation is about our deep inner self. Photography is creating our own images of the reality, meditation is looking at the reality as it is. 

But there are also a lot of commun points. Both require practice, disciple and dedication. Both seem simple but we know for sure it's not that easy.  

When I'm out there photographing the city, I'm on a certain state of mind. My brain knows that it's time to see the world in a special way. That's why it's easier for me to photograph alone, so my entire self is into photographing, and at the same time, wide-opened to whatever may come. 

I also consider photography as an healing activity: if I feel sad, I know that going out to photograph will help me getting better. 

Of course, the contemplation is a major part of photography: it's about looking at the world in a different way. I personally realized I have a thing for details, like a shadow on a petal, a drop on a leaf, a reflection on a puddle.

Photography is about being part of the world, being part of the world which exists only here and now. It's about capturing that moment, gone forever. And it's about not interfering with all this, being here and now and letting things be. 

There is also the "no expectation" aspect of photography: to be ready to welcome whatever happens, as any kind of thoughts or ideas during meditation. 

I also think that photography brings gratitude to my life. As I am photographing, my brain becomes some kind of a radar to find beauty, and I feel grateful for all the beautiful things (on the most global meaning) I can see and photograph. I'm also grateful to share the result of my work, to offer my view of the world to the world (well, almost ahah!). 

And it's like I'm becoming a kid again. Being amazed by the smallest detail, by the cute cat sleeping in a funny position, by the craftsman creating iron tools, by that ray of light which comes out of the clouds. It's about seeing the good & beautiful things, sharing them through my photographs and being thankful of my ability of doing so. 

What do you think about this? What about your own experience? I'd love to know, so please feel free to express your view! 

 

PS: The American photographer Bill Brandt wrote: "It is part of the photographer's job to see more intensely than most people do. He must have and keep in him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveler who enters a strange country. Most photographers would feel a certain embarrassment in admitting publicly that they carried within them a sense of wonder, yet without it they would not produce the work they do, whatever their particular field. It is the gift of seeing the life around them clearly and vividly, as something that is exciting in its own right. It is an innate gift, varying in intensity with the individual's temperament and environment."

 

If you'd like to receive my newsletter, please click here

If you'd like to follow me on Facebook, it's here, and on Instagram, it's here

Happily ever after

In August, I was very lucky to work with an amazing team, for a beautiful couple in a gorgeous place. Is this too much to describe my experience? Oh no. 

When Ko.Ka photography called me up and asked me if I'd like to join the team for a wedding in Istanbul, I was thrilled. Thrilled and scared! I love and admire their work, for photography as well as videography. So being part of this was like a dream becoming true. 

So I breathed deeply and jumped in. Actually, I passed the revolving door of one of the 5-star hotel in Istanbul and discovered the beauty of the lobby. And it was only the beginning of a magical day. 

Working with the Ko.Ka team felt natural and this was a great relief for me and I'm very thankful for their trust. I hope this collaboration will happen again. 

I also witnessed and captured a loooot of love and happiness, feeling welcome and comfortable with the bride and groom, their families and friends. 

And this made me happy. Yes, I'm just happy to be a photographer. Happily ever after. 

A truly amazing experience

Being a photographer allows me to witness and photograph special family moments, emotional bridal preparations and smiling birthday kids. It allows me to create everlasting memories of my clients' happiest moments. That's the reason why I am a photographer, why I love my job and why I am proud of what I do. 

When Michael, a former photography student of mine, told me his wife Romina was pregnant, I was very happy for them, as I like them a lot. Then, Michael asked me to do maternity and newborn photo sessions, I was very glad to accept and thankful they trust me to capture those very important moments of their lives.

And he asked me if I could photograph the birth. I had been willing to capture this incredible moment for years so I was thrilled to accept. 

3 weeks ago, early morning, I got a message from Michael, saying they were on their way to the hospital. It was their first baby. It was my first experience as a birth photographer. First cry, first breath for their baby boy. 

Such an emotional moment. Such an unique feeling. Such an intense experience. 

I'm deeply grateful to Michael and Romina for their trust, allowing me to follow this so special time of their lives: creating images of her pregnancy, of their baby boy's birth and of his first days. 

So here is their story! 

Welcome Leo!

I had the pleasure to photograph Leo's baby-shower and his first hours in our world. 

I love this idea of celebrating both motherhood and the baby-to-come with a baby-shower. It's a special moment for the mother-to-be to see her friends and family before giving birth.

Baby-showers are about pregnancy and giving life. It's about not knowing him but loving him so much already. It's about waiting for your life to change forever. It's about the magic of life. It's about unconditionnal love. 

And then he was born! On an early Monday morning. From a digital image from the ultrasound scan to the skin-to-skin moments. From daddy singing to mommy's belly to the first nursing moments. Here he is. Loved to the moon and back. 

Welcome Leo! 

 ** To book me for a private event or a portrait session, contact me.

** Follow me on Instagram and Facebook

** If you'd like to purchase one (or more!) of my images of Istanbul, check out my work here and for more information, get in touch with me here

Galata Bridge is my favourite place in Istanbul

6 years ago, I came to Istanbul for the first time. And I don't remember walking on Galata bridge. Maybe I did but my mind was already full. Full of the beauty I could see around, of the seagulls screaming, of the taste of the apple tea I had been drinking, of all the fabrics I touched, of the spices I smelled. Because Istanbul is about your 5 senses being awake. 

Since I live in Istanbul (I moved here 3,5 years ago to live my dreamt life), I often cross that bridge. All year long, I see the fishermen focused on their fishing rods, I feel the vibrations of the bridge when a bus is passing, I feel the wind on my face, I hear the seagulls happy to see Istanbul from the sky, 

Walking on this almost 500m-long bridge is an experience. Not a clean, soft and quiet experience. A raw and noisy one. Friends, families, fishermen, cars, buses, tramways, seagulls... Life.

From that bridge, you can watch both sunrises and sunsets, you can look at both Pera and Sultanahmet areas & both the Golden horn and the Bosphorus. You can talk with the fishermen or with the restaurant workers (if you walk on the lower level of the bridge). On Saturdays afternoon, you need to slalom between the crowd. For sure, you'll never be alone on that bridge. Rain & snow won't stop some courageous fishermen to spend their time here.

I just love that bridge. Here are my latest images of this place (taken during a photo lesson I gave a few days ago). 

Enjoy :). 

** For further information about photo lessons, it's here

** If you'd like to purchase one (or more!) of my images, check out my work here and for more information, get in touch with me here.  

** Follow me on Instagram and Facebook

 

The tulips are back in Istanbul!

As you may know, tulips are special in Turkey. So special they have their own festival in Istanbul. Every year, during the month of April, all the parks and actually almost all the green areas, welcome thousands of colourful tulips. 

Tulips aren't from Holland but from the Ottoman empire (for the French-speakers, here is a nice article about the origins of the Tulips). Tulips are the Turkish national flower and to some extent, the symbol of Turkey. You can find tulip shapes on a lot of fabrics (bed covers, scarves etc) and some say the shape of the traditional Turkish tea glass comes from the tulip shape. 

As a personal tradition, I went to Gülhane park to photograph those beautiful flowers. I love the softness of the petals and their transparency. I love their colours and shapes. And I'm very impressed by the work done by all those gardeners who not only plant the flowers but also take off the broken or damaged ones during one month. 

Enjoy those incredible colors :)! 

** If you'd like to purchase one (or more!) of my images, check out my work here and for more information, get in touch with me here.  

** To book me for a private event or a portrait session, contact me.

** Follow me on Instagram and Facebook

A baptism in Istanbul

When Jeanne's parents got in touch with me to photograph her baptism, I was very happy they trust me to catch that symbolic moment for their little girl and family. 
I did already photograph her as a newborn and her big brother & her grand-parents during a family session, so it was very nice to work with this lovely family again. 

The baptism took place at the French church Saint-Louis-des-Français on Easter Sunday. A special day and a special place indeed. It was very touching to attend and capture this faithful ceremony, as it was fun to photograph the brunch afterwards. 

Because discretion is so important during this kind of event, I use the quiet mode for the shutter-release button, wear sneakers and walk carefully. When I want to catch details, smiles, gazes, I'm using the zoom of my 24-70 lens, and of course the larger angle to catch the global ambiance. I'm trying to be invisible, or at least forgotten. 

Find below the result with a short selection of images! 

To book me for a private event or a portrait session, contact me.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook

 

Birthday time!

I was very lucky to photograph the birthday party in a lovely family, in a lovey area, for the birthday of a lovely kid. Should I mention we all had a lovely time ;)? 

Family, laughs, gifts, balloons and cake, everything was here to make this day outstanding! 

I can't wait for the next birthday's celebration! 

Let it snow!

I love Istanbul for so many reasons and one of them is snow! 

I was once asked "don't you have 30 degrees all year long here?" by freezing tourists... Hmm no. Snow does come to Istanbul at least once a year and when it comes, it adds to the city more magic (yes, it is possible!). 

Snow arrived on Friday night and a white coat recovers the city since then. To be able to discover the city under snow, you need to be a bit brave! Not speaking about the tons of layers to stay warm, but about the sloppy slippery streets all over town! But once you managed to gain confidence on your steps, then you can look up at the beauty of the white city. Is it not worth being outdoor? So peaceful, so soft, so quiet. OK, I have to admit that on Saturday morning, 2/3 of the people outside were photographers :). 

I went out on Saturday and Sunday (for a family photo session! Who called me crazy :)? ) and I just loved every moment of my walks in Sultanahmet and Süleymaniye areas. I think I'll go out today again to check out how is Ortaköy. 

For now, enjoy and don't hesitate to share :D! 

Creating everlasting memories

When Sophie first asked me about a family photo session, I was very happy and excited about it. She told me she wasn't into "classic" family portraits, not a fan of smooth and "clean" images. She wanted something different, images taking sides, emotions and the reality of their family and of Istanbul as they love it. 

I needed to better understand what she had on her mind, so I asked her to make some researches on internet and to send me examples of images she likes. She came up with Vivian Maier, Sally Mann and Alice Springs. I have to admit I was petrified. Literally under pressure. Not really about the images I would expecting to create, but more about reaching their expectations. My fear came directly from my weak self-confidence. 

I thought about it, over and over again. I know what I'm doing. I know my gears. I know the places we'll go to. I just didn't know how good I was going to be, and if this would be good enough? Breath deeply, breath deeply, breath deeply.... 

Then I decided to let myself go with the flow, step by step. Setting up a date and a meeting time. Picking up a starting place and a route. Speaking with the kids on the phone about their likely apprehensions and doing my best to ease them. Getting my equipment ready. 

On an early morning of October, I jumped on the first "vapur" from Karaköy to Kadiköy. I watched the sunrise from the Kadiköy iskele, eating a poğaca and drinking a çay. Just a classic turkish early morning. 

After coming back home, I saved the files. And let them rest, as a cake dough. Not that I hope they'd get any better :) but I just need some time off before actually working on the files. 

Then the second part of the job began. An invisible part to most people. Hard work of selection, and mainly edition. This is as creative as the actual shooting process. Working on the light, the contrasts, the framing -if necessary. Looking up at every detail, every look, the environment as well as the subjects themselves and their interactions, to get the best out of every image. 

The last but not least step is sending the images to my clients. 

Sophie called me right after she looked at the images. She told me how much she was happy, amazed and touched by them. On the very same evening, she made a short selection and wrote a post on Facebook about them. I felt overwhelmed by her words and by the comments. I felt so happy and proud. So happy they are happy. So proud I managed to create lifetime memories. 

This photo session is such a symbol of the reasons why I am a photographer and why I think professional photographers still have a huge role to play. We create beautiful images, which represent you, your family, the way you behave towards one another, your life. Those images will be part of your life forever and will be part of the family history. In a way, they will be part of your patrimony. They have a value, such a huge value. And I am very proud about this. 

Thank you so much Sophie for your trust, for pushing me (maybe without knowing it), for letting me create those true images of you and your family. 

 

Waiting for you

A maternity photo session is always very special, just as unique as the new baby the family is waiting for. When it's combined with a family session, it becomes ever more touching, witnessing and capturing the lovely family interactions and true love. 

I'm always doing my best to make everybody feel confortable during a photo session. When it comes to kids, at time, parents can help me with patience, laughs, even games. 

Sometimes, toddlers are in not such a good mood. It happens, it's life. During this session, the little Melissa just didn't want pictures of her to be taken . We had to negotiate to make it happen, and once we were on tracks, it went just fine and we all keep a great memory of this photo session!

Backstage

When my friend Mandy told me she was going to work for a "défilé" during the fashion week, I was so proud of her. I felt it was one more step for her, the result of talent and hard work. And it had to be photographed. 

I was more than happy to document this incredible moment; to capture my friend in our own world: hairdressing, beauty, perfection and professionalism. 

For the designer, the fashion week is the end of a long process. She finally presents to the public the result of her hard work with her team. Now that the clothes are done, the finishing line relies more on others' work. Models, hairdressers, make-up artists, lights technicians, DJ.... Everyone has to do his-her job no less than perfectly, for a crucial 5-minute show. So what can be more exciting and challenging than that? 

Fashion isn't my thing, it's not my dream work environment. But there is some kind of magic in fashion. And even more when the défilé takes place in such an amazing hotel as the Pera Palace. 

So enjoy the show :)!

PS: Mandy's studio is in Maçka, Beşiktaş. You can follow her work on Facebook and Instagram. Find out further details on her website: www.mandyguerin.com

Let's dance!

When I first met Caroline, about one year ago, I thought -and still think- that she was a beautiful woman, yet she seemed not to aknowledge it. I remember thinking she might be a dancer. From the light steps she was taking, and the way she hold her head. Soft and discreet. 

So when Caroline came up with a project dear to her heart, I felt very touched and excited. Such a great combination of 2 things I cherish: beauty and love. 

We needed to meet up early morning, as the sun was rising and shining hard even in the morning. We went to 4 different places: the 1st being very much graphical, the 2nd being much more "natural", the 3rd being beautifully Ottoman and the 4th being more modern.

4 places, 3 outfits, 2 women, 1 city.

Thanks to Caroline, who chose me to capture her "alaturka-ballet"-self and thanks to Istanbul being Istanbul, that session has a special place in my memories and in my heart. . 

Fifty shades of blue

The summer light brings out the brightest colors, and going on vacations in Nice and Corsica gave me the chance to see such a wide range of blues. I have to say I was feeling quite blue, after the attack in Nice and the coup in Turkey. But all the beauty I could see around me, in this mediterranean environment, helped me to focus what I love: to photograph. 
 

Istanbul my love

Istanbul has something more, a little something hard to define with words. Maybe it's the love I feel for that city that I simply can't define.

I often say that Istanbul is like a man. A man I felt in love with at first sight. Then I discovered aspects I didn't like, some stuffs that annoyed me. But like a man, I knew I couldn't change that city, could I? So, as within a relationship, I had to decide rather I really wanted to be here, to live here. The answer was and is still "yes". 

I'm not going to write anything after the latest events in Turkey. Not the right place. 

For now, I just want to show you pictures I took during the Holy month of Ramazan. Such a special time for Muslims. Such a special time in Istanbul. Enjoy. 
 

Here and now

Istanbul, like most of the megalopolis, is a huge melting-pot. it had been that way for centuries and centuries. Nowadays, people, coming from all over the world, live here. Sometimes, Turkey isn't the first foreign country where those "yabanci" choose to live, and Istanbul may be only a few-years stop. But it seems there will be a "before-Istanbul" and an "after-Istanbul" for those who will keep on their journey in another part of the globe. 

I've met Anna through a common friend. She is Italian, married to an Italian man and they have a beautiful little girl. They did spend many years in Vietnam before coming to Istanbul. 

Like me, they think that it is important to create memories of special moments of our lives. Even if this special "moment" began 3 years ago and there is no plan to leave Istanbul yet. That's what I loved about this session: the simple statement "US being HERE" is a good reason for a photo session".  

I was very happy when Anna got in touch with me for this family photo session, thankful for her trust and for this opportunity to capture their happiness here, in an environment they love. To be honest, the photo session had a special occasion: Anna's birhday :). Thank you again Anna!