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.

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** 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.  

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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.

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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! 

Love is in the air!

When Nikola got in touch with me, I really thought that a photo session for their first anniversary was such a sweet idea. This was only the beginning of the sweetness I was about to witness. 

After a few shots, Nikola told me she doesn't smile showing her teeth, with an wide open mouth. I said "That's just fine, happiness can be seen is through your eyes". Those pictures are all about this: the way your eyes reflect the way you feel. I see so much love, respect and happiness. 

May this anniversary be the first of many many yet to come! All the best to Nikola and Aykun! 

Edirne - 2 days away from Istanbul

After difficult personal issues, I needed something new to discover, something new to photograph. A small trip out of Istanbul, just for 2 days, not too far, quiet and with a nice photographic potential. 

Edirne…. Yes! Edirne is definitely a destination that fits into a 2 day-getaway with only 2,5 hours of bus from Istanbul. Edirne used to be the Ottoman capitale city and it is very closed to the present Greek boarder. 

Visual treasures are easy to find over there: amazing mosques, ancient wooden houses, green landscapes and rivers. Yes, definitely, Edirne was a perfect destination to have a fresh look on how beautiful Turkey is. 

Here are some of the pictures I took. Enjoy! 

Memories

I guess you already looked at your family album pictures, and laughed about your dad’s hair cut when he was 18 or your mom’s outfit in the 80’s. For me, photo albums are part of my life, my past, my family’s history. Like a patrimony, a highly emotional patrimony. 

 

My mother passed away 3 months ago. Today, exactly 3 months ago. Gosh, we didn’t expect her to end her life in this world so fast. Neither did she, I guess. My sister and I took the time to go through our family photo albums. Four generations on paper. Brown-yellowish old photo paper, discolored images, even some serrated shapes. Paper.... Those are so much more than paper. 

Those are cherished moments. Those are everyday’s life moments. Those are my past, a part of me. As my family history, those are my heritage, the symbol of who I am now. 

 

There are some pictures I can’t look at now. My mother’s, especially. It hurts so much, it’s unbearable. But I know, for sure I know, that one day, I’ll look at them and smile. I actually can’t wait for that day to come. 

 

For now, I look at some of them and remember. And numerous memories are coming back. My grandmother’s perfume, the traditional Christmas movies we watched all together, my favorite sweater, the games my sister and I played in the living room. I love to see my parents when they just got married, my grandparents where they were ‘young’, my uncles and aunts when they were my current age. And I love to re-discover the bathroom in the first flat I lived in, the outfits I was wearing when I was 12, the school pictures during primary school. 

 

I also know that we are lucky my dad was into photography during our childhood. Those moments had been captured and they have travelled through time because they were printed out. Because our « physical » memory cannot hold each and every moment of our lives, those pictures are able to open new doors into our brain. To remember moments we thought were lost, and to learn about your past.

 

Of course, as I am a photographer, you might think that my point of view is biased. Please, think twice. I'd be very happy if my words make you go and find one of your photo albums, and then smile at your past. Or make you look for digital images from your last summer vacation, kept on your computer and create a photo album. Or you might want to call up a photographer to create those lifetime memories. 

 

What is gone is gone. And what is captured and printed out becomes a lifetime memory for you and your family.

And the value of this is limitless. 

 


PS: I chose to only post pictures of me, as a kid, to respect my family's privacy. 

HoliFest in Istanbul

 

On April 16th, the Holiest took place in Sariyer LifePark, Istanbul. What is HoliFest? Some kind of a huge colored powder battle with electro music. 

The first aspect comes from an Hindu tradition. It is said that Holi existed several centuries before Christ. « Holi » is now a major festival celebrated by Hindus around the world, on the day after the last full moon of the Hindu month of Pahlguna (between late February and early March). Holy usually marks the happy transition from harsh, dark winter to brighter, warmer springtime. 

The second aspect, the electro music show, comes from marketing & sales department, on my opinion. What gets people together, in a happy and positive atmosphere? Live music! 

I went there more for the photographic potential than for the holistic one. I was expecting colors colors and colors. I got them if not on pictures, at least, on my face, arms and of course, my camera! Gosh it will need some deep cleaning :). I only wish the powder would be been a bit thicker so it would have stayed in the air longer. 

 

The holistic aspect was inexistent but the electro music was definitely there. I wasn’t expecting to like it, « I’m too old for this » kind of feeling. I did actually love it! Such a huge energy coming from the sound system, the DJ’s and the crowd. A real vibrant atmosphere. 

I loved « Holifest », from the beauty of the powders in the air to the strong colors of the spotlights; from the energy of the crowd to the vibrations of the sound. 

Here my work from that very special day. Enjoy :)! 

Welcome to the Tulip Festival!

Every month of April, Istanbul gets a bit more magical. "How on earth, is it possible?" you may wonder. It is possible and it's thanks to the "Lale Festivali" (the Tulip festival).

Tulips are often thought to be from Holland. It's still quite unknown that tulips are originally from Turkey. They are, indeed, one of the symbols of Turkey and you can find easily tulips drawn on decorative tiles and ceramic plates.  Some even see a tulip shape in the famous turkish tea glass! 

I love to go to Gülhane, on a weekday, and enjoy colors, shapes and textures of those beautiful flowers. I take my time to walk around, getting used to those incredible bright colors. During the week, the park is "empty" compared to weekend days so I can photograph those flowers quietly. I always have a great time over there, looking for the perfect flower, or the beautiful shadow that a petal creates on another one. I'm on my own world, a world of details and beauty. Have you ever taken a close look at a tulip petal? So thin, so fragile, so delicately textured. And even when they begin to fade a bit, they keep on looking lovely: some almost look like poppies, opened to the sun. 

I just love this time of the year! 

 

Joanna's project

A a few weeks ago, I've met a dynamic young lady called Joanna. She is at least as much in love with Istanbul as I am! 

While building up her new membership website, she contacted me in order to create a few portraits which would be true to herself and consistent with her professional activity. 

Natural, authentic and approachable, that's how Joanna defined herself and that's the image she wanted to give on her website. 

I quickly thought about the best place in Istanbul to find, all year long, green nature (one of my little secrets!) and we had the session done within a few days. For about 2 hours, we had a lovely time over there. I helped Joanna, directing her with simple poses and we found special spots to enhance the "natural" aspect she wanted to give. 

I just loved to be part of such a project, creating for her a suitable online image, and making her happy by meeting her expectations.

Thank you very much again, Joanna, for your trust! And all the best for your new activity! 

PS: for the french speakers, check out Joanna's website: www.imparfaites.com