Posts tagged engagement
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! 

How to 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."

 

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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. 

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 :). 

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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 :)! 

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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! 

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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! 

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!

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. . 

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!