This year has been without a doubt driven by the desire to sharpen my craft. I think you can never consider yourself as done with the learning process, photography is just so complex and wide open. I had promised myself I would take a class of some sort before the end of the year, just to keep my creative juices flowing and learn from other professionals with different experiences and horizons. I ended up signing up for an advanced studio lighting class at the ICP. Below are some study material produced these past few weeks.
Challenging, exciting, frustrating, daunting and humbling are words that come to my mind when describing the process of the class. And I am not even half way into it yet.
Below: The exercise was to reproduce a famous shot form the movie In the mood for Love by Kar Wai Wong.
When we entered the cour intérieure of Monique's traditional 1800's building I knew immediately the space behind the front door was to be spectacular. Monique lives with her husband Régis and their teen son Martin. Their home has been featured numerous times in décor magazines for it's distinctive modern class. Not long after they purchased the space they decided to hire a team of professional designers and everything fell naturally into place around the art collection and the fine furniture. The herringbone floors made me personally swoon. If these floors were not an original feature, they surely were a perfect replica of Parisian's Haussmanian apartments. I love how the sun was playing and shaping the rooms with new angles that afternoon.
I want to thank Monique for her trust and patience as it took me long hours to navigate the entire space. She is also such a supportive believer in my work.
I live in the center of the city of Strasbourg near the Cathedral, an edifice built in the Middle Ages. We have been living there for five years now. The Area is really lovely with beautiful shops, effervescent energy of swarming students gathering for lunch and mingling around the cathedral. It's a great composite of humanity. As for my daily errands, I love that everything is within walking distance. I am 200 meters away from my butcher and the fruit and vegetable market which happens every Wednesdays and Fridays. Such a commodity. I really love it here.
When and how did you decide to hire a designer to decorate your living space?
It was imposed on us immediately after the purchase of our apartment. We wanted the kitchen to be the center of our home and that raised technical problems. The space was so quirky and odd. The walls were not straight and the floors were all different, old and new. It was necessary to do important work. After a brief research, I decided to call Benjamin Lestrat, a DPLG architect. He offered to partner with two of his designer friends from V8 designers. It was their first apartment project, they were very young and we were not so much! But this mix of generations was really interesting in the end because we had to trust each other. I would not hesitate to work with them again.
You have quite an extensive Art collection. When did you start it and what is your favorite object?
We started about a decade ago. We are not collectors, we just live with Art that we love. I especially love the work of Alain Delorme.
What lesson(s) have you learned in the process of decorating?
Well, my children have taught me a lot. At each stage of their lives we had to reinvent their living space, which I absolutely enjoyed.
Also, decorating should never be manipulated by emotion I think. Never choose a beautiful piece of furniture at the expense of practicality. It should always have a practical element. Since I always look for both qualities, I end up looking for ever!
What daily gesture defines your lifestyle?
I do not really have a routine, but I need my morning coffee.
A current obsession?
A green spot somewhere in Provence.
You've traveled quite a lot, is there a country or a city that charmed you in particular? somehwere you could see yourself live?
Rome is definitely the perfect city for me, I try to go there every year, It feels like home.
What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
Illustration. Even if I fail! I have been actually practicing it diligently for 7 years. I'll admit that I practice it more from Fall to Spring. I have recently installed my desk facing a view on the outside.
je vis dans le centre de Strasbourg depuis 5 ans, proche de la cathédrale, un monument fort qui date du moyen-âge. J'aime ce quartier, ses vitrines séduisantes, son mouvement, ses humeurs, son humanité, le fourmillement des lycéens à l'heure du déjeuner qui viennent acheter dans les épiceries alentours leur repas et qui au printemps s'installent tout autour de la cathédrale. Pour mes courses, je circule à pied, j'aime cette proximité, j'ai mon boucher non loin et un marché de fruits et légumes tous les mercredis et vendredis à 200 mètres.
Quand et comment as-tu décidé de faire appel à un designer pour décorer ton lieu de vie?
Ca s'est imposé tout de suite, après l'achat de notre appartement. On voulait que la cuisine soit au centre et cela posait des problèmes techniques. Il y avait aussi un grand espace biscornu, les murs n'était pas droits et les sols étaient tous différents, anciens et récents. Il a donc fallu faire des travaux importants. Après de courtes recherches, j'ai décidé de faire appel à Benjamin Lestrat, architecte DPLG, il nous a proposé de s'associer avec deux de ses amis designer, les V8 designers. C'était leur premier projet d'appartement, ils étaient très jeunes et nous beaucoup moins, ce mélange de génération a été vraiment très intéressant, car il a fallu se faire confiance mutuellement. Aujourd'hui, je n'hésiterai pas à retravailler avec eux.
Tu as une collection d'Art assez étoffée. Quand l'as-tu commencé et quel est ton objet préferé de toute ta collection?
Nous avons commencé il y a une dizaine d'années. Nous ne sommes pas des collectionneurs, nous vivons simplement avec des oeuvres d'art que nous aimons. J'aime particulièrement le travail d'Alain Delorme.
Quelle est la leçon que tu as le plus retenu dans le processus de décorer?
Mes enfants m'ont beaucoup appris. A chaque étape de leur vie, il a fallu réinventer leur espace de vie, j'adore ça ! Il ne faut jamais se laisser manipuler par l'émotion : ne jamais choisir un beau meuble au détriment du sens pratique. Comme je tente de faire les deux, il m'arrive très souvent de chercher longtemps.
Quel geste quotidien définit ton style de vie, ta routine?
Je n'ai pas vraiment de routine, mais j'ai besoin de mon café le matin.
L'obsession du moment ?
Un coin de verdure quelque part en Provence.
Tu as beaucoup voyagé, y a-t-il un pays ou une ville qui t'a particulierement charmé dans lequel/ laquelle tu te verrais vivre?
Rome est certainement la ville rêvée pour moi, j'essaie de m'y rendre chaque année, je m'y sens comme chez moi.
Dans quoi te lancerais-tu si tu savais que tu ne pouvais pas échouer?
Dans l'illustration, même si je devais échouer, je m'y exerce en dilettante depuis 7 ans, mais j'avoue que je le pratique bien plus de l'automne jusqu'au printemps. Je me suis d'ailleurs installée tout récemment un bureau avec vue sur l'extérieur.
During an artist residency in California’s Joshua Tree National Park photographer Daniel Kukla had the brilliant idea to take a mirror with him as he headed to the desert, resulting in this vivid series.
I love the idea of capturing infinity in a frame within a frame, and the dimension of interpretations it embarks us in.
A while ago, I was hired to document a Liquor and Spirits convention at the New York Times building. To be frank I felt out of my element on that job. It was a bit of a challenge for me. I don't usually do events and rarely find myself immersed in the corporate world. I was told later by my client that I was not dressed enough for the part.
But there were something special about these images I thought when I got home an opened them up on my computer. They reminded me of my early days as a photo student. Back then I was shooting film and had a more journalistic approach to my subjects. After all, something pretty interesting is happening when you put hundreds of dapper men (and women) together and have them talk about the business of booze.
I have never spent more time at home than this summer. Not that it is by choice really. It is just this moment in life where suddenly everything gets viciously quiet on the work front and you find yourself facing your most critical insecurities and start rethinking your life. New York is brutal when this happens, no safety net and no second guessing or you fall into the pit. These introspective moments can be beneficial but it should not last too long, it is a slippery slope for an artist.
I welcome fall season with the hopes to re-focus, re-invent and most critically move on from idle-ness.
I know I am not the only one walking the desert. I know. And you can drop me a line if that makes you feel better for a few minutes.
My unforgettable hike in the black forest, Germany. I have never witnessed anything like it. I was literally in fairyland. Every respectable once upon a time story ever written was inspired by the beauty of this land. And there I was, standing in the heart of it. It was like the world's largest theater backdrop. The little girl in me was having heart palpitations. I rarely felt joy the way I did that day.
In God We Trust is a brooklyn based line of really cool jewelry pieces and clothing. I had the pleasure to shoot their work space last month for Beautiful Savage mag as they were running a feature / interview on the owner and creator Shana Tabor.
What I love about them is the timeless aesthetic of their vintage-inspired retail spaces (three in NYC alone) that transport you somehow in time and make you want to stay for ever and forget about the reality of the city around you. They create everything on premises, a fascinating well-orchestrated growing microcosm of creativity.
In God We Trust est une ligne de vêtements et bijoux qui commence à se faire un beau petit nom ici à new York. Ils ont déjà trois magasins ouverts entre Manhattan et Brooklyn. Une équipe de créatifs et petites mains qui confectionnent de l'idée au produit fini chaque pièce dans les locaux d'un Loft à Broooklyn. J'ai eu le plaisir de le photographier le mois dernier pour le magazine Beautiful Savage.
I am freshly returning from our annual summer week at the beautiful beach house on Plum Island, Ma. This year I did what I like most when on vacation: Strolling the streets of unknown territory (preferably at dusk) and peek at people's home and gardens. Trying to figure out their lives, what they are all about. It's a fine exercise I could get lost in for hours.
As I wandered, I realized that the island is mostly made of modest occupants, small-towners and families, which felt very comforting in many ways, coming from the realm of a city like New York. Oddly, the streets were completely deserted and all I could encounter was the sound of crickets and a fading hour.