Let’s put our phones down.

Nowadays, smartphones are everywhere. Actually, smartphones are everything: calendar, camera, notepad, maps etc.
It’s becoming more & more difficult to live without our phones. We bring them everywhere we go & get desperate if the battery goes down too fast.
Addiction? Who said addiction 😂? Yes, I think we are addicted.


Another consequence of us having an eye on our phone all the time is that we aren’t “here & now” anymore.
Having coffee with a friend? Both smartphones will be on the table. Our attention can get distracted by notifications in 3 (!) different ways.
We can hear them (noise), feel them (vibrations), see them (message on the screen).

Now, the biggest respect we can show to the person who’s spending time with us is to keep our phone upside down, in silent mode, far away from us.
This gives a clear message: you / our conversation / the time we spend together is more important than whatever my phone has to tell me.
It’s offering ourself a ”here & now”, some quality time without the interference of the “out-there”.



Another aspect of having our smartphone with us all the time is that we also have a camera wherever we go. An easy-to-use & light camera.

We end up taking a lot of pictures with our phone. Dozens of pics in a normal day. Hundreds maybe during special events.

Can we imagine not taking pictures with our phone during the following events:
- sibling’ wedding ceremony,
- our baby’s 1st birthday party
- our eldest daughter ‘s graduation,
- the farewell party of a dear friend,
- actually any kind of intense events life offers us & that we want to remember forever.

But we might want to think about really living the moment & not through our phone screen.

 
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A few years ago, I had a very special moment like this with my now-late mother. We went on a hot air ballon flight during sunrise in Cappadocia, Turkey.

A truly unique, intense, magic moment, which I wanted to be able to remember forever.

Guess what. I don’t remember it.
I remember the “before” & the “after” but I don’t remember the “during”. And believe me, I’m deeply sad about this.

How come I end up not remembering this moment?
The answer is simple: because I was taking pictures most of the time. I was so amazed by the spectacular landscape we were flying over during sunrise that I photographed it during almost the whole flight. I wanted to capture this beauty forever & I forgot about living the moment.

I love the pictures I took on that morning but they feel bitter-sweet.

What about the experience I was living & what about the “mother & daughter” experience we were supposed to have? It’s gone forever.


Just by taking pictures or making videos all the time during an event, we’re making our memories of the event loose.

We document our lives with our phones, to make sure we’ll remember our happy moments but it seems to be counterproductive.
We give less attention to an experience when we know that it will be safely stored in our smartphone.

So we’re putting a lot of energy in creating memories & we get the opposite result!
(And, let’s face it, most of the pictures we take all the time with our smartphone are only worth being shared on social medias.)


In many cases, scientists are finding that constant photo taking actually diminishes our ability to recall our experiences, diverts our attention, and takes us out of the moment.

 
 


How come this is happening?

Giuliana Mazzoni, professor of Psychology, University of Hull, says that “we use smart phones and new technologies as memory repositories. This is nothing new – humans have always used external devices as an aid when acquiring knowledge and remembering” (here is her full article).

Writing certainly serves this function. Maybe you’re like me: I keep a notebook on my nightstand to write down all the ideas/thoughts/things-to-do that make my brain busy & prevent me from sleeping? Here we are, same logic!

When we’re taking a lot of pics with our smartphone, we see everything trough our screen, in 2 dimensions already.
Our brain knows something else is creating memories so it’s not working as effectively as usually. Indeed our brain will create memories less intense, less precise, less clear, less stronger.

Because we don’t need to rely on our memory much in many many occasions …. We have smartphones :).
A dentist appointment or a birthday? On our calendar.
A genius idea or the shopping list? On our notes.
Our sister’s cellphone number? On our phonebook.
Which day we had our last periods? On a special “Cycle” app.
Our hand-written letters? WhatsApp messages.

We give our phones the mission to remember…. and our brain knows! It doesn’t create memories as efficiently as it would.

When it comes to strict information, I think it’s great & that we’re lucky to have these helpful tools at our fingertips.
When it comes to special & emotional memories, I feel we’re loosing something.

To sum up:
When we are taking pictures during an event, because 100% of our attention is not in the moment:
- we are distancing ourselves from fuller participation
- we’ll have a poorer recall of the actual event
- we’ll have less memory material to awake when we’ll look at our pictures.


Attention & Intention


To be fair about smartphones, I looked for studies about taking pictures with a (real 😋) camera & the impact on memories. There are a few & the conclusions are more or less the same: when we’re taking too many pictures, we’re not paying attention & our memories are less precise.

Believe me, I am the first to say “Pictures have an endless value, they are part of our visual heritage, they just have to be taken”.
I still stand by this AND by taking pictures on a conscious way.

We should think twice before taking pictures all the time, in order to find the right balance between:
- snapping constantly, missing the whole moment & not creating real memories
- taking a couple of shots, being here & now AND creating memories material (to be able to recall our moment in the best way possible).


So how can we find the solution to the equation: “Good quality memories” + “Pictures to remember”?


For me, the solution is double:

- Truly pay attention to what is happening, to be “here & now”, to avoid being distracted.
This makes us see more details & feel more intensively the emotion of the moment.
We can keep our smartphone at reach (remember, it’s more than a habit, it’s almost an addiction so it might take time to feel ok without our phones in our hands) but do our best to see the event directly with our eyes & not through a screen.
We can rely on others (friends, family, professional photographer here to create the most beautiful pictures) to take pictures & get them later on.

- Have an intention before taking a picture.
I personally feel one thing can make a huge difference, may we use a smartphone or a DSLR: Our intention.
Let’s wonder “Am I taking a picture I value or Am I just having a modern reflex?”

As soon as we do pay more attention during an event, special moments will stand out & we’ll get better at choosing the right moment to take a pic.

If we think about the interest of the image we’re about to take (= we take a step away from just following a reflex), we might end up not taking that pic.

And for a further step, if we think about the result we want to achieve (= setting up our camera according to our photo intention) before taking the picture, then we will act consciously.

So by paying attention, we really enjoy the moment & we are creating quality memories.
From this full presence, we can develop a photography intention & more meaningful images.


So let’s be conscious of our actions & do our best to be “here & now”.

Let’s put our phones down for a moment & enjoy life, happiness & beauty in the simplest way, with all our senses.

Let’s act with intention & let’s think about what we’re about to do.

And if you want to make sure images are created during a special event, rely on someone else to capture lovely moment.
You’ll be sereine & phone-free during the event, you’ll be creating great memories to recall & you’ll receive beautiful images of the moment.


Have a lovely day ☀️!


How to finally get great photos during summer?

If you’re tired of not getting the pictures you want,
If you feel helpless with all the buttons & options available on your camera,
If you can’t wait to finally be happy with your summer pictures,

Here are easy solutions!

Why should you stop using the automatic mode?
Because with the automatic mode, the camera only takes into consideration the available light. That’s it.
It’s not its fault, it was defined this way :).
You need to tell your camera that your subject is moving fast or that you’re photographing a stunning landscape.

But how?
Nothing easier & without going into the semi-automatic ou automatic modes: Just by using the Scenes modes.


Most of the pictures we take during summer are divided in 3 categories:
- People (moving & not moving)
- Landscapes

And there is a Scene mode for each of these situations!


1. Moving people

Your kids playing on the beach or jumping in the pool, our partner running on the beach, your dog trying to catch the frisbee…
There are many occasions when your subject will be moving.

By choosing the “Sport Mode”, your camera will set up a high shutter speed (lest’s say 1/250 or faster like 1/500) to freeze the movement & an aperture large enough to achieve a well-exposed photo.

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2. Stationary people or Objects

During holidays, we are relaxed, sun-tanned & we have free time. A looot of free time. Is there any better time to take lovely portraits of your family?

The best for a portrait is to have a blurry background. It makes the subject stand out.
Luckily, there is a mode that will do the job!

It’s called the “Portrait Mode” & sets up a large aperture (let’s say f/4 or larger if you can like f2,8) to create a blurred background.

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A large aperture = a small figure = a narrow depth of field

A large aperture = a small figure = a narrow depth of field

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3. Landscapes

For landscapes, we will prefer to have the whole image sharp. In order to achieve this, a small aperture is necessary.

If you want an easy way, you can pick the “Landscape mode”, it will set up a small aperture (like f/16 or f/22) & choose the right shutter speed accordingly to have a well-exposed photo.

A small aperture = a large figure = a deep depth of field.

A small aperture = a large figure = a deep depth of field.

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I hope you’ll enjoy taking pictures during summer & that you’ll be happy with the results!

If you think your images are still not good enough, don’t hesitate to drop me a message! I’ll do my best to help you out!
And don’t forget I give photo lessons all year long… so you can be all set for next year’s summer 😉!

Enjoy your time 😎🤩!

Noemie DeveauxComment
How a Boudoir photo session can help you

First, let me tell you what a Boudoir photo session is.

A boudoir session is a photography session where you wear sexy outfits, lingerie, dresses, or even go scantily clad & get your photographs taken.
The photographer & the model will work together to create beautiful, sexy, confident images of yourself.

The Wikipedia definition is: “Boudoir photography, or sensual photography, is a photographic style featuring intimate, sensual, romantic & sometimes erotic images of its subjects in a photographic studio, bedroom or private dressing room environment, primarily intended for the private enjoyment of the subject and his or her romantic partners”.

I think this definition misses the main point of a Boudoir photo session & definitely forgets about the impact on OURSELVES that a Boudoir photo session can have.

Why? Just because women are not defined by having or not a romantic partner, therefore the images created during a Boudoir photo session do not automatically involve our potential partner.

Here is the thing: most of the women struggle with their body image. Not with all the same complaints (too small, too big, too long, too short, cellulite, shape of the nose etc) but the list is endless.

The bottom line is, every woman is their own worst critic & picks on something about themselves regardless of how beautiful they are. 


A Boudoir photo session is about YOU (& body positivity).


The “gorgeous, glamorous & confident YOU”.
Do you remember or even know that person?
Maybe not. A Boudoir photo session can help you reconnect with her.


it will help you see yourself as you really are, as the people who love you see you.

It is about you & your body.
It’s about the image you have of yourself.
It’s about self-confidence & getting out of your comfort zone.
It’s about celebrating yourself just the way you are.
It’s about trust & « let-it-go » attitude.
It’s about empowering & pride. 
It’s a unique gift to yourself.
It can be a ton of fun. Trust me!


Here are some feedbacks of the latest Boudoir photo sessions:

  • Miss P.

    ”I have always been very shy in front of a camera, but at the same time very curious of this feeling of being uninhibited in front of a lens. I desperately wanted to try but the problem was: "who will I trust enough" to be at ease in front of?.


    I knew Noémie had had few sessions of "sexy pictures" with other ladies and I loved the result. So I went for it and it was scary at first but absolutely fine and fun and surprisingly, it freed me and made me finally be at peace with my body, its shape, its flaws and its uniqueness.


    I am so proud and grateful to Noemie for making me feel like a goddess for one day. Now, the problem is... I want to do it again, and very soon !”


  • Miss C.

    “I needed to see myself from another perspective. I thought about doing a Boudoir photo session with Noemie as we already worked before & I trust her eye & her kindness. I also saw some beautiful images taken by her during Boudoir photo sessions so I thought “Why not me?”.
    I knew she would be able to make me feel relax, to give me great tips, without any judgement.

    The photo session itself as a good & even funny experience, as I discover the “behind-the-scene” of a lingerie photo session! There are special poses that reveal our best side & we need to push the furniture away or find our balance on a chair! I realized that even professional models use special poses & tricks so I felt better!

    Noémie knows perfectly the poses that made me look great. At the beginning, I was stressed but after a while, I had fun & I stopped being self-conscious.

    The result is stunning. The pictures are natural, I recognize myself in a sexy, confidente, full of life version of me. I dared overcome my self-consciousness. When I don’t feel so good about myself, I think about these images & they help me to feel better & to keep my chin up. I try to be that woman on the pics, who does deserve pride.

    She is not perfect but this doesn’t matter, she is beautiful as she is. Finally, I am able to say: “I’m beautiful this way :)”.

    For me, a Boudoir photo session is a way to capture forever our intimate femininity. No need to be naked or even to wear lingerie: a camisole, a pair of heels, whatever outfit you love will do the job.

    The images aren’t created much to be shared on social medias but to be kept for yourself (& maybe your partner), to reveal to yourself your beauty & your femininity. “ 

    PS: I have the agreement of P & C to use these images online. They chose them according to what they want to be online & public.

 
 
Noemie DeveauxComment
5 reasons to shoot in Black & White

For many years, I wanted to join a Light & Shadows photography workshop with Timurtas Onan, a Turkish photographer I admire & this year, I finally did it!

I’m sooo happy I did as I think there a “before” & an “after” this worksop with this talented photographer & great instructor. Black & White has also a lot to do with it.

First of all, let me clarify the specificities of a photography workshop compared to a photo tour.
I already wrote about photo tours here, and I still like them very much. They are just not the same thing & allow you to achieve different goals.
- A photography workshop lasts a few days (daily or periodically), with shootings & review sessions.
- It can also have a special theme (here light & shadows), with new techniques to be learnt.
- It’s organized to be at the best place at the best moment for photography
- The instructor shares their shots on their camera's LCD monitors so others can see and learn
- It’s an educational experience to help you improve your craft.

=> Let’s say a photo tour focuses on the “tour” when the workshop focus on the “work”.

The 1st thing we did was to set up our camera into Black & White (surprise!). Still shooting in raw format, this has 2 consequences:
- We see in Black & white through the view finder & take the image in B&W.
- Our files being raw are in colors & it gives us all the possibilities to process them as we want in B&W.

Note: If you shoot in Jpg, you’ll only have the B&W version created by your camera & not much possibilities to change anything.

So here we go for the 5 reasons to shoot in Black & White:

  1. Getting out of your comfort zone. As we naturally see the world in colors, changing your camera settings to B&W will for sure kick you out of your comfort zone.
    Personally, I loved it. I truly think it can help improve our color photography too, as we begin to see things which seemed not so obvious before.

  2. Getting more creative. As said above, you’ll see differently. You’ll get more creative as patterns, lines, geometry, shapes, silhouettes, texture will all pop up! It will change your “eye” and you’ll need to focus in the composition more than ever. With practice, you’ll improve your photography in general as you’ll play with the light more easily.

  3. Simplicity. Sometimes, colors can be distracting & confusing. B&W is a good choice when the color in a photo serves only as a distraction from the message you want the image to convey. B&W will make is simple & stronger.
    B&W can also “save” some images, so confused by the colors.

  4. Creating stronger images. Without color, an image has fewer ways of differentiating the elements that make up its composition. Because what you’ll see will be more simple, you’ll work more on the composition, therefore get stronger images.
    B&W also strengthens your portraits, with emotions & mood enhanced, and the reading of the images will get easier.

  5. A rich processing. One might think that processing B&W images is easier / faster than for color images. It’s not & it requires a different kind of work & of course an understanding of what is a B&W image. The only requirement is to shoot in raw format: you will still have all the color data but have the advantage of seeing a black and white preview on the camera screen.
    Behind all the shades of grey are the original colors. You'll play with tones & hues & create your own B&W image.

    I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t hesitate to share it!

    I’m very happy to share the final selection of my work after the workshop with Timurtas Onan.
    I can’t thank him enough for all I learnt & understood during the shootings & the reviews!

Noemie DeveauxComment
Why I loved my trip to Kars

For the last 2 years, I wanted to join a special trip to Kars & I couldn’t. No money for year 1, a surgery for year 2. 

On year 3, I was on my 2 feet & I could afford to join (thank you again Dad & my sister Camille for your participation!). 

 
At the top of the Kars Castle

At the top of the Kars Castle

Being stuck in the snow with Murat (middle) & Levent (left)

Being stuck in the snow with Murat (middle) & Levent (left)

 

Why did I want so bad to join that trip? 

Because it was an organized trip focused on photography in a unique region of Turkey.  

Organized? Those who know me would be surprised I’d join an organized tour. Yes, it’s true, I usually don’t like organized tours as I feel I don’t have the freedom to go & see what I want & to spend enough time in the places I really like.... to photograph them. 

But when it comes to an organized photo tour, it becomes perfect!  

Why perfect?

Because….
- We went to the greatest places in Kars & its surroundings, in a very efficient way (we had a minibus just for us).
- We spent all the time we needed to photograph the places we went to.
- We know we’re all taking pictures so we just don’t put ourselves in front of each other.
- We had workshop every evening to have our 6 selected images reviewed by Murat Düzyol, Turkish photographer working for National Geographic Turkey & organiser of photo safaris. 
And then, icing on the cake, we were lucky to be an energetic group, with a fun & positive ambiance, always constructive critics, exchanging tips helping each other.

The group in front of Kars castle

The group in front of Kars castle

When photographers have lunch, there's always a "camera" table 😆📸

When photographers have lunch, there's always a "camera" table 😆📸

What did I love about that trip?

This trip was not a holiday: we were there to photograph & that’s what we did. I loved that. Not that I don’t love holidays but there is a time for everything & I loved to be able to both be away from home & to focus on photography.

Staying in Kars & its surrounding means being outside & breathing fresh air. We were also driving through vast lands covered by heavy snow. It was refreshing for both the body & the mind.

I of course loved discovering unique places & new activities:
- I had never seen any Çirit game before going to the Kekeç village.
To be honest, I had no idea of what this game was. It was intense & impressive to see horses running on the snow in the middle of nowhere with their riders trying to touch others with a stick by throwing it.

- I had never seen someone fishing through ice before going to Çıldır lake.
I admit I’ve never thought about the fishes under 25cm of ice during winter! When I saw the fisherman taking the net out of the ice-cold water with bear hands, I had another proof county life is not easy.

- I had never seen an archeological site of Armenian ruins before going to Ani (45km away from Kars).
I just never heard about this huge site & I loved it as I could imagine its faded beauty.

- I had never seen Caucasian danses before going to the Puskin restaurant.
The rhythm of the music, the costumes, the physic performances (when they stay on their toes) were very impressive. I was lucky to be able to go & see a show in Istanbul, as I loved this so much!


Next steps

Discovering new places & new ways of doing things are the reasons why I’ll go & visit new places as soon as I can. I’m planning on visiting Mardin, Hatay, Gaziantep, in the south east of Turkey. I’d love to visit Konya too. And Rize, in the Black sea area. And Çanakkale. And Diyarbakir. Well, the list is long :)!

If you have any questions about this trip, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, I’ll be able to share details (hotels & restaurants for ex) with you.

For the moment, here is a selection of my images of my trip to Kars.
If you fall in love with my image(s) & want offer yourself such a gift, let me know!

That’s all folks'!

Moving away this summer?

When I left France back in 2013, I felt an urge to bring memories of my family, my friends, even the cities I lived in, in my suitcases. Thanks to pictures, I was able to take little pieces of my past (& its limitless value) with me to Istanbul.

Will you leave Istanbul (replace by the city you live in now) this summer?

If so, you might not want to think about it now & get the best out of your last months in your beloved city. 
Of course, living in various countries is a great luck. But it is not easy to move every 3 to 5 years, to re-adapt to a new culture & to re-create your social life every single time.
And it is hard to leave a place you love, your friends & take a new step to the unknown.

A family photo session brings your family together in the places you love in Istanbul.
The images I created for my clients are everlasting memories of their happy moments here, as well as a part of the family history. Family portraits are for you & your partner as much as for your kids. And they are great gifts to your families living in your “home country” too.

Family photo session in Istanbul
Family photo session in Istanbul
Family photo session in Istanbul
Family photo session in Istanbul
Family photo session in Istanbul

For the past years, I photographed a lot of "about-to-leave-Istanbul" families. So, based on my experience, I'd like to give you one main advice:

-- Book now a spring or early summer photo session --

By booking a spring or early summer photo session, you'll avoid many things that'd make the photo session not so fun or even impossible to happen.

Here are some examples of things that might occur:
- You'll be all too busy to even think about a photo session so it won't happen. 
- The one who's working might need to leave Istanbul earlier than the rest of the family. Without your partner, the photo session won’t happen.
- A few weeks before you’ll leave, you might need to go for a few days to your “new city” to find a new home & a new school for your kids. It will be a stressful time.
- During a "last-minute" photo session, you might think "this is the last time I see this place I love" everywhere we go & it won't help to have a positive state of mind. 

And some info from the photographer’s side:
- Make sure your favorite photographer 😉😎 is available as soon as possible.
- All photographers get very busy at that time of the year, to book now a spring session is to be 100% sure your spot is secured. 
- The photographer will have the time to edit & process your images & to deliver them to you before you leave.


And if you’re still not sure a family photo session is important, especially before moving away:
- It’s a way of celebrating all the happiness you had while living here.
- Every member of your family will be on the pictures.
- Your years in Istanbul are & will be forever a part of your life. You & your family deserve to be captured in the city that was such an amazing environment during these years.
- These images will have a unique & very high value. They will be worth being printed out, framed & hang on your wall in your new home, thanks to all the memories they will represent.
- It’s about creating the visual patrimony of your family. Your kids will be thankful to have these images. And their kids too!


☀️☀️ Once the session is booked & organized,

all you have to do is to join me & have 2 or 3 hours of happy moments

with your family in beautiful places in Istanbul. ☀️☀️


Don’t hesitate to send me a message, just click here or go to the “Contact” tab of my website. I’m looking forward to reading you!

And if you’d like to subscribe to my monthly newsletters, it’s right there

Noemie DeveauxComment
How Istanbul winks at me & makes me feel at home

As many, I love Istanbul & I feel connected to this extraordinary city. For the past 5 years, Istanbul winked at me a couple of time & I always saw this as little signs I’m in the right place.

If you’re like me, you get curious about the whole world.... and forget to discover your own neighborhood! So Kurtuluş remained for long as the area in Istanbul I knew the least. Just because when I go out of my house, I to discover other places….. without realizing there is a lot to discover here too.

First, let me tell you how I ended up living in the Kurtuluş area, as it is quite a story. 

In summer 2013, I was still in France, with a one-way flight already booked to go & live in Istanbul in October. During my previous short stays in Istanbul, I connected with quite a lot of foreigners to build up my network. So I was not surprised to receive in July an email from a girl about to leave her room in a shared flat & looking for a substitute.  

She told me about the flat, its location & her roommate. She eventually gave me her flatmate’s name.... & her last name. It sounded oddly familiar. Quite an unusual last name, borne by some family members of MY family 😳. 

I checked with my grandpa, who’s into genealogy & it turned out the lady who might become my new flatmate was the daughter of the brother of one of my grandpa’s sister’s husband. Still here? To make it easier, we were (not blood related) cousins 🥂.  I thought it was quite a positive sign & I decided to go for this flat.  

So since I arrived in Istanbul, I live in Kurtuluş & the more I live here, the more I love it

An old Armenian neighborhood, neither traditional nor trendy. Just a normal neighborhood, full of markets, small restaurants & shops, with some old houses. I love the normality of this area, a Turkish normality of course so it still feels quite exotic for me. To have one of the oldest Turkish basketball clubs is one more thing that makes Kurtulus unique! Of course, cats are everywhere, most of them fed by locals 😻.

Old house in Kurtulus, Osmanbey, Istanbul

Old house in Kurtulus, Osmanbey, Istanbul

Kurtulus basketball club

Kurtulus basketball club

Tuana caterer, Kurtulus, Osmanbey, Istanbul

Tuana caterer, Kurtulus, Osmanbey, Istanbul

Kittens in the Despina restaurant

Kittens in the Despina restaurant

People from different backgrounds are all living together, and everything is just fine. Armenians, Greeks, Philippin nannies, African watches sellers or businessmen, foreigners working as English teacher, belly-dancer or photographer, travestis, Jehovah witnesses are part of this very eclectic area. 

When I decided to move out the shared flat to live by myself, I just wanted to stay in this area & I was lucky to find a small flat just a few minutes further than the previous one.  

But I didn’t  know much about the history of Kurtuluş before I went on a tour with Mustafa Kemal Dönmez, Turkish French-speaking professional guide. We visited a place I always wanted to go to: the Latin Katolik Kabristanı in Pangaltı (Roman Catholic Cemetery). 

Levantine families, mainly French & Italian, were buried there. The Feriköy area even got its name after the French Pierre Ferry (According to legend, the 3rd Sultan Ahmet Ahmet falls from his horse falling from his horse. Pierre Ferry, who lives nearby, takes his home without knowing that he is the Sultan and makes his first treatment. The sultan of the sentient gives the name “Feriköy”). But you can’t imagine how surprised I was to discover, thanks to the French writer Gisèle Durero Köseoğlu, a gothic vault on which was written “Famille Deveaux”

 
A gothic vault in the Roman Catholic Cemetery of Feriköy

A gothic vault in the Roman Catholic Cemetery of Feriköy

 


I already knew people bearing the same last name as mine used to live in Istanbul. When you’re walking on Istiklal street, coming from Taksim square, look up at the Demirören building, you can see this 😎 (It seems I’m not blood-related with the family who used to own this building but it’s quite fun to see my last name up there when I’m walking on Istiklal street!)

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Deveaux_Demirören
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One more wink in August 2018!

I discovered a cousin of mine is living in Istanbul too! Incredible, isn’t it? Our great grandmothers were sisters! I love the fact that life managed to connect us, thanks to great-uncles having diner together. We’ve met a couple of times already & I really hope we’ll create many occasions to meet again.

As I’m in love with Istanbul & the way this city makes me feel, I am SO happy everything I see a wink 😉🥰!

If you ever visited or even lived in Istanbul, you know what I’m talking about. Do you also feel Istanbul is winking at you once in a while? I’d love to read your story so please tell me about it in the comment part below!
And if you don’t know this city yet, I can only advice you to come & visit! Maybe you will find out you have some cousins here too 🥳!

PS: For French-speakers, here is the best blog about Istanbul: Le Blog d’lstanbul,
For English-Speakers, here is one that will fit your needs: Yabangee

All the best 🤩.

Noemie DeveauxComment
6 reasons to go on photo tours

A photo tour is a walk to a special area, picked by the organizer, in order to take pictures of what makes the location interesting. Most of the time, the organizer knows the area & is able to tell you about it.

I’m a big fan of photo tours as they get me out my photography routine. If you wonder how a photo tour can be good for you, here are 6 reasons to help you.

  1. To be understood
    You know that feeling when you want to get the best shot of a detail on a monument & your family or friends are looking at you like you’re crazy & ask you to hurry up?
    Well, with fellow photographers, nobody will judge you :) because they know what it’s like to photograph & they love the same thing you do: Photography!

  2. To make new friends
    Photography is a hobby for so many people, there is a good chance to meet people you’ll get along well. Especially during a photo tour, as this means you already have a lot in common!

  3. To try something new
    There are lot of new things to be discovered during a photo tour: an unknown location, a special light, some unique kind of workers…So many reasons to go out of your comfort zone.
    And when you’ll see someone trying this or that setting, it’s a great occasion to ask them about it & to learn!

  4. To develop your own vision
    No pressure, no stress, nothing to prove, no judgments. During a photo walk, freedom & peace of mind will help you to develop your eyes, to identify what you love to photograph & your style will become more asserted.

  5. To go out!
    Let’s admit it, sometimes, it is hard to pick up your camera, go out & take pictures. Photo walks are a great occasion to finally do so. You made a commitment to the organizer so you just have to go :)!

  6. To practice
    Once you’re out there, as it is the point of the photo tour, you’ll practice photography. For 2 (or more) hours straight. You will get the best out of this special time.

    Thanks to all the reasons above, you’ll get better, you’ll understand new things & you’ll in a great atmosphere.

    Here are images I took during a guided visit of the Yenikapi & Kumkapi areas, in Istanbul. The guide was Mustafa Kemal Dönmez, french speaking professional guide in Istanbul.

Noemie DeveauxComment
How to choose the camera that fits your needs?

When it comes to buy a camera, the possibilities seem endless.
In this article, I won’t talk about the new models coming up or even specific brands. I won’t tell you this camera is better, as it all depends on your needs (& financial capacity).
I want to help the owners-to-be to project themselves as photographers, as purchasing a “not-so-suitable-for-me” camera might keep you away from photographing & all the fun which goes with it.
I keep this article simple in purpose. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments section.


“The best digital camera is the one you have with you & use.”


There are different types of digital cameras:
- DSLR (digital single lens reflex) (full control over settings, with interchangeable lenses)
- Mirrorless or Four Thirds (lighter than DSLR; with interchangeable lenses)
- Compact (Point & Shoot) - (small & light without much -if any- control over exposure settings; lens is not interchangeable)
- Smartphone (you may already have one of these, so I won’t go any further)

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Now, I’d like you to think about yourself: what you want & can invest (time & money) now … & what you’re willing to do later:
- Your money investment range (camera + lens + accessories)
- Your skill level
- The weight you’re ok to carry around (maybe for hours)
- Your time & money investments to learn how to use your gear
- Your need of videos too
- Your desire to change your lens
- Your will to edit & process your images


And the things you might like to photograph:
- Close-ups (flowers, details, insects) - DSLR
- Portraits (kids, family) - DSLR or Mirrorless
- Sports - DSLR or Mirrorless
- Street photography - Mirrorless or Compact
- Travel photography - Mirrorless or Compact
- Nature or landscapes - DSLR or Mirrorless
- Wildlife - DSLR or Mirrorless

So, here are the steps I advise you to follow:
- Define what kind of photographs you want to take
- Rank the things which are the most important to you (video or interchangeable lens for example)
- Define what is a no-go (weight or budget)
Now that you have this in your mind, you’re ready to discover the 3 main types of cameras available in the market.

Let me tell you more about the different types of cameras, with their + & -


Compacts
+
They have the great advantage to be light & small. You’ll always find a place for yours in your backpack or handbag. They weigh about 200-300g, are about 10x6x4cm (the size of a wallet) and their costs vary between 300 & 700€ (for the “expert” versions).
They are very easy to use: “point & shoot” is all you need to do.
There won’t be much to learn about it (expect for the expert models) as they don’t often offer setting controls.
They would be good for street & travel photography.
Nowadays, they often offer 4K video.
If they offer Raw format, you’ll be able to fully edit & process your images.

- They can’t be upgraded as the lens is built-in.
They might not be good at sport (not fast enough) or wildlife (the zoom would reach its limits).
In low-light situations, they might not give you nice results (noise).
They are quite small so if you have large hands, check in a shop if you can access the buttons comfortably.

Here is a link to more info about the compact cameras available in the market in 2018.

Mirrorless
+ Smaller & lighter than DSLR.
They weigh between 400 & 700g (without the lens)
The variation of the sensor size creates a large price range: from 500€ up to 2000€, & in most of the case the sensor will be larger than compacts’.
The lens is interchangeable & you can have full control over the exposure settings.
You can buy a kit camera in specialized shops with a basic lens (18-55mm) or just the body & choose the lens that fits your needs.
Some brands choose an old-fashion esthetic.
Some of them have 2 SD card slots.
They offer Raw format so you can fully edit your images.
They have 4K video.

- The expert mirrorless cameras will be quite expensive.
The no-expert have cropped sensors (not sure it’s really a “-”!)
The lens offer is not always very wide for every brand.
Some of them have short battery life.
The viewfinder is digital so it uses energy
They are not that big so if you have large hands, you might want to make sure you still can access every button & wheel you need.
Beginners would need to invest on photo lessons.

Here is a link to more info about the mirrorless cameras available in the market in 2018.


DSLR
+ The largest offer for camera bodies & lenses.
They are a real long-term investment (from 1300€ up to 4000€).
The lens is interchangeable.
You can buy a kit camera in specialized shops with a basic lens (18-55mm) or just the body & choose the lens that fits your needs.
Some of them have 2 SD card slots.
They always offer Raw format so you can fully edit your images.
They have 4K video.

- The heaviest & largest cameras (from 800g up to 1,3kg without the lens).
Suitable accessories are a must, to carry & protect the camera & lenses.
They have large menus & a lot of things to set up. Help might be necessary.
They can be seen as a great target to malicious people.
Beginners would need to invest on photo lessons.

Here is a link to more info about the DSLR cameras available in the market in 2018.

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When you have the control over the exposure settings, and if you bought this kind of camera for this specific aspect, I advise you to find the best way for you to understand how things work. A lot of great tutorials are available on Youtube & on specialized websites.
If you know you need a face-to-face learning method (and you live in or travel to Istanbul), I’d be more than happy to organize private photo lessons for you.

Don’t hesitate to leave comments, ask questions & to share this article!

”A bit about myself”
My cameras: For my 30th birthday, I was offered my 1st DSLR camera: a Nikon D40 with a 18-55mm. I enjoyed it very much for many years. I bought a telezoom lens a few years later, to have a larger range of possibilities (it then became quite heavy!).
Then turning into professional, I upgraded to a Nikon D600, a full frame DSLR, with a 24-70mm, a 50mm & a 35mm.
And 2 years ago, because of some shoulder pain, I switched to Fuji XT-2, a cropped-sensor mirrorless camera, with a 16-55mm (equivalent of a full-frame 24-70mm) and a 23mm (equivalent of a 35mm).


Noemie DeveauxComment
How to evoke genuine emotions & feelings

Even though I think I’m nice & fun to work with, it is not always easy for all my clients to look at their partner’s eyes & show all their love when they’re outdoor, wearing a gown/suit & with a camera pointing on them… Anyone can be overwhelmed by the situation itself. Love, affection & tenderness for the other are here but might be hidden by stress or discomfort.

Last August, a lovely lady came up to me as she wanted posed images of her & her husband H. to celebrate their 1st wedding anniversary.

Posed images are something I almost don’t do, except for business portraits (one-to-one photo sessions). I mainly photograph people in action, walking in Istanbul, having interactions within the family, having fun.

How would I manage to evoke genuine emotions, to get them visible when my clients are just posing?

This is a challenge I always wanted to work on & that the reason why I invested on unique tips to create genuine happy & emotional moments during a photo session

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I want to capture their eyes saying “I’M SO IN LOVE WITH YOU!” & offer this memory to my clients”
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The 1st part of the secret ingredient is a unique type of preparation. A classic one leads to find the right place, the right time, the right outfits, the route during the photo session.

This special preparation is unique as the couple has to find, for example, objects that make them think about their other half or a song that reminds you of a lovely moment in their relationship.

This preparation has a hidden advantage: my clients arrive at the photo session excited about revealing to their partner what they prepared, just like kids!

When revealing their beforehand prepared interactions, I can see the magic gaze in their eyes & the body language begins to be more spontaneous. The couple feel highly connected & create lovely & intense moments. Just perfect moments for me to photograph, with emotions, loving states of mind, extra connections in front of the camera.

It’s really about them, their story, their anecdotes, their words, their love.
A very special thank you to Mrs & Mr LOVE 😍!

Scroll down to discover their live feedbacks & of course their photos!

How to prepare for a "Smash the Cake" photo session

The “Smash the Cake” sessions come from the USA & get trendy: so fun, so colorful & an amazing occasion to capture candide moments of the baby!

Such a photo session can be done when the baby is about 1-year-old: he needs to be able to sit without falling head over feet & to have the capacity to reach things. Still, it’s better when the baby is not much able to stand up or walk, so he won’t escape the scenery!

What about the cake?
The cake needs to be colorful to attract the baby’s attention. Avoid red & brown colors as they’re to close to natural “fluids” 😬. The cake also needs to be soft & creamy so it'll be messy and this is the fun part of it!
As the baby will be sitting with his legs around the cake set up in a low cake-stand, a 2-tiered cake will allow him to reach the top of the cake & then dig in. A higher cake would only work if it stays on the floor. It depends if you want the “fallen cake” image! The only thing we don’t want is the baby’s face being hidden by the cake.
Be generous with the food coloring for the frosting (to go natural, here are great tips!).
I know it’s not great for health but a sugary frosting will help the baby getting back at it.

What about the scenery? As it will get messy, I’d advice to set up the decoration behind the baby with washable items (rather than disposable ones). Be aware that there will be some food left on the ground so if you’re doing this outdoor & you’d prefer to avoid ants & insects to be attracted to the area, put a large cloth underneath the baby & the cake.

Which colors to choose? You can pick up a theme & coordinate the baby’s outfit & the decoration. Bright colors will create a dynamic & fun atmosphere.

Help is necessary as 1 person will take pictures when the other one will interact with the baby. To motivate the baby to touch & dig in the cake, don’t hesitate to show him that he can do it. Have also noisy & colorful toys to be shook around to get the baby look towards the camera.
I advice to be only 2 persons around the baby as the idea is to keep him focus in the cake or looking at the camera if possible. Too many distractions won’t help.
Keep siblings away too.

When is the time to have this session? Take into account the nap times & the lunch break. The baby needs to be fully awake & not completely full otherwise he might not be interested into the cake. Avoid having the photo session done before or after the birthday party, as it is tiring for everybody.

To the parents: during the session, with or without a professional photographer, you will - yes, it’s an affirmation 😂 - get messy too. Just because it’s fun, because their baby is having fun, it’s hard to resist not to go & help the baby picking the cake, helping him to smash it. So get dressed accordingly. You can also prepare a large cloth to roll the baby up in the way to the shower if it’s reachable. Or prepare a big bag to put away the messy clothes & have clean extra clothes. Baby wipes & kitchen paper rolls will be very helpful too.