Window or Aisle?
I don’t quite remember how and when exactly did I find Guillaume Gaudet‘s page on facebook, but I remember very well how much I loved what I saw and how I found a close correlation between his images of New York and the images I took. In some pictures, it seemed as we were both at the same location almost at the same time, pointing our cameras. I was quite happy to discover that there was another photographer out there who sees similar things to what I see and vice versa.
Even today, few months after I have contacted Guillaume for the first time and met him in some occasions, there are times when I upload a picture on my facebook and Guillaume emails me back and says: ‘Funny, Sivan…but I have a similar picture from that same place…’
When I first saw Guillaume’s pictures, I knew I would love to shoot with him. I love to shoot with my local colleagues. It is fun and inspiring. But Guillaume was super busy and I was away, so the first time we met was only this mid June. I learned that beside shooting the same locations in New York, we might be sharing a similar path: We both left the Corporate world and followed our passion of Photography.
My favorite series of New York is NY Street Noir. It makes me want to shoot more Black and White. …’NY Street Noir is an ongoing series of street photography in New York City. I select photos and convert them in black and white when I feel that there’s a strong contrast of light and shadows or because the subject is better shown in a simpler way rather than in color, which could be a bit distracting. It’s pure street photography, moments of life in the Empire City caught by my eye and camera…’
I’m very excited to share with you more of Guillume’s NY Street Noir.
Where are you from? France. I was almost born in Madrid. Then moved every 2 years until I was 15 years old. I lived in Germany and Argentina. It makes you more open-minded and keen to meet with other people. I just regret not having youth buddies.
Where did you study photography? I’ve never studied photography. I took my first photo class 2 months ago. It was a 2-weekend course about studio lightning. I’ve learned photography through magazines, books and on the web. Everything is out there for free. I just wish I had been able to study it and have more confidence from the beginning. I’ve shot a lot without being sure of myself at first.
What made you want to learn it? I moved to NY and I fell in love with the City. Being jobless at that time gave me a lot of time to shoot. When your hobby is your main occupation, you become more serious about it. I would spend more time editing my pictures, learning new stuff, etc.
If you weren’t a photographer what would you do? I’ve worked in real estate, finance and communications before becoming a photographer. It’s my fourth career. I’m not planning to change again. It’s my last one, for good. I never knew what I wanted to do before becoming a photographer. Now, I know.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Hard to tell. When I’m walking on the street, I look around and sometimes something catches my eye. It can be a person, a light, a shape, etc. I rarely know what I’m going to shoot. Except maybe for portraiture or lifestyle. I look at other photographers’ work, I see how and what they shoot.
What do you mostly love shooting? Environmental portraiture. People in a nice setting. If you have a very nice background and you put a cool or good-looking person in it, that’s the perfect picture.
How do you usually approach a new project? It depends on the project. If I would get assigned by a magazine, for example, I presume that I would do a thorough research to know where I have to go rather than wander and waste my time.
What are you working on right now? A lot of different things. Shooting at a palace hotel in NY, shooting a wedding, shooting fashion/lifestyle portraiture for my portfolio. Diversity is good, you never get bored.
Window or Aisle? Window for a flight during the day with nice views, aisle for a flight at night
I’ve been writing about Paris quite a lot in the last couple of months since I visited the city three times in one year. I think that in one of my posts I even mentioned that I have this day – dream of living in Paris for few months, indulging in some French boulangeries, pâtisseries, fromageries.
While I continue to day dream about it, Carin Olsson, originally from Stockholm, Sweden, is actually DOING IT.
Carin is the persona behind the visually beautiful blog ‘Paris in Four Months’. She moved to Paris January 2012 for four months, mostly to learn French and to eat all the great food that Paris has to offer. She fell in love with the city, and came back to live there again a year later, January 2013. She is still not sure if she will be staying in Paris forever. ’I’ve said to myself that I should stay as long as want to, but there are so many cities and exciting places to explore in this world before settling down. So perhaps I’ll go away for a while and then come back to Paris again, who knows?’
She shares with her readers bits and pieces of her Parisian life. If you follow her long enough (also on facebook and instagram) you will learn that she loves Fashion, Sweets (my favorite category) Store Windows and much more. Especially I am looking forward to her Weekend Reading category. She always finds these gorgeous flowers that she pictures for her Weekend Reading finds. I love looking at her big-sized images that sometimes fill up my computer screen and make me feel as I am right there, with her, in Paris.
If you are planning a trip to Paris soon, I encourage you to check Paris in Four Months. If you want to know more about Carin and how she approaches new projects and what is next for her, read below.
Thanks Carin! Can’t wait to walk with you one day in Paris.
Where are you originally from? I’m originally from Sweden. I grew up in a smaller city outside of Stockholm but during my teens I moved back into the city.
Where did you study photography? I’ve actually never studied anything in this category I’m afraid, although I would absolutely love to study photography and design in the future. Everything I’ve learnt about photography so far I have my dad and my ex-boyfriend to thank for. During many years I just watched them with a camera, in front of editing programs etc. and when I finally picked up my own camera I already had a bit of knowledge and tricks in the back of my head. I also think I taught myself a lot. I’m almost never happy with my photography which pushes me to find new ways and reach better results.
What made you want to learn it? I always had an interest for photography but it wasn’t until I made my first move to Paris that I realized how much I actually loved it. I would often spend my days walking around, exploring the city with the camera in my hand. After staring my blog and finding a way that I could share these photos I just wanted to get better and better.
If you weren’t a photographer what would you do?I unfortunately don’t think I can call myself a full-time photographer just yet but someday I hope to be able to do so. But if I couldn’t be a photographer in the future I would have loved to be an event planner. I looove organizing and planning! Or work at a magazine.
Where do you get your inspiration from? During the last year it’s been Paris. When I walk around the city I get the most inspiration. I love that I never seem to get tired of these beige, white and grey Parisian streets. Although I’m hardly the only one… Paris is extremely photogenic and very beautiful.
How would you describe ‘Your Paris’? Paris has a lot of different sides and they’re not all picture perfect and stunningly gorgeous, I’m aware of that. But I think I choose to see the prettier sides of this city. I love the history, the architecture and the romance of Paris.
What do you mostly love shooting? When I first started taking photos I focused a lot on the city itself but lately, during the last couple of months or so, I’ve really enjoyed shooting people too. I love capturing emotions and different moments, preferably when the person in front of the lens doesn’t notice the camera. Hopefully I’ll get some chance to practice this more in the future as well.
How do you usually approach a new project? It depends on the project but since I love to organize and plan and usually sit down with a pen and a pad and try to sort everything through. Time frames, places, people – everything that is a part of the project needs to be written down. I need to see things in front of me to really be able to grasp them and to organize my thoughts.
What are you working on right now? At the moment I’m working on two different articles for a Swedish magazine, both with Paris as the main subject. Hopefully I can share more once these are in print but right now all I can say is that they both involve two of my biggest passions; Paris and food.
What do you see and want next for yourself? I would love to focus more on the photography part. I feel happy and excited every time I pick up my camera and that’s how I would like to feel every minute of every day. I would also love to go a little bit more towards the fashion side of photography. Right now, that’s the most exciting for me!
Window or Aisle? Aisle for sure. I get kind of claustrophobic if I’m forced to sit in the window seat.
While Berlin is becoming a hot-destination on the globe, or at least on my agenda, I am getting inspired by Ashley’s images of the German city.
The first time I came across Ashley’s work was through Chasing Heartbeats, her website. There was something about the name that grabbed my attention, but her images were the ones who made me come back and check her website over and over again. With time, I started seeing more of Ashley’s work through mutual talented friends, such as Pret a Voyager, Sister Mag and Lost in Cheeseland, all in the same creative circle.
She moved to Berlin with her husband in December 2011 after living three years in Germany’s Black Forest, and she gets her inspiration from the vibrant city and the creative people living in it.
Ashley is a talented wedding photographer but she also capture her Travels in such a unique and ‘clean’ way. I believe living in the middle of Europe makes it much easier to travel to other countries and experience new cultures.
If you ever go to Berlin before I go, please check Ashley’s images for more inspiration, or even book her for a shoot. And by the time I make it over there, I’ll just keep staring at her beautiful pictures.
Thanks Ashley for answering my questions. Can’t wait to take some pictures with you one day in Berlin!
Where are you from? I grew up in beautiful San Luis Obispo, California. After a few years living and working in San Francisco and Paris, the last 4 1/2 years I have lived in Germany. I spent the first three years in the picturesque Black Forest and now call Berlin home.
Where did you study photography? I have a Bachelors in Commercial Photography from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California.
What made you want to learn it? I have played around with cameras for as long as I can remember. I stole my father’s Canon A-1 during family trips and eventually got my own film SLR when I was a teenager. When it was time to decide on what I wanted to study in college, I knew I wanted to do something with art and debated between studying ceramics or photography. I think I made the right decision. I feel so blessed to call this my job.
If you weren’t a photographer what would you do? Oh my word, I have no idea. Maybe something travel-based. Or somehow dealing with religious studies. I have always found the the religions and traditions of the world completely fascinating.
where do you get your inspiration from? the people I photograph and my surroundings. Travel is endlessly inspiring.
What do you mostly love shooting? weddings and my travels around Europe and the US
How do you usually approach a new project? I don’t do a lot of preparation. I do find inspiration on pinterest and sometimes I flip through my board, but mostly I just go out and shoot and get inspired that way.
What are you working on right now? I just sent off some editorial images for a magazine with two Berlin based stories which was really fun. I am booking weddings for 2013 and spent a lot of time last month planning for the year ahead. I just opened a print shop and it has been really fun to go through my travel portfolio to find images to sell as prints. I am going to Spain next week and really excited to take lots of photos and hopefully will have some new editorial work come from it.
Window or Aisle? window. Although I often sit in the middle and let my husband have the window
I’m really excited to start my ‘Window or Aisle?’ series of 2013 with a special photographer.
For me, Ramin Talaie is the ‘eyes and ears’ for places I will hardly (if ever) have the chance to shoot in, mostly because of my nationality. Originally from Tehran, but now living in Brooklyn, Ramin is the founding editor of photo agency document IRAN, a news and stock agency based in New York, which provides coverage from Iran and Iranians, documenting culture, politics, arts, history and Iranian people.
I highly recommend to check out this agency, as the images are quite rare and special. A true glimpse into a world that some of us are afraid to see.
I first met Ramin in Dumbo, Brooklyn. I was introduced to him by a mutual friend (photographer as well) when we visited the New York Photography Festival. I remember going back home and googling his name, just to discover how great and talented he is. I was so taken by his images from Iraq, where he went, as soon as the US invasion was coming.
The second time I met Ramin was in Brooklyn as well. This time was in a friend’s wedding. Apparently, I was from the groom’s side and Ramin’s wife was from the bride’s. Six degrees of Separation we call it here.
Ramin has been shooting professionally since 2003 and his work has been published in magazines such as Time, Saveur, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to name a few.
For Window or Aisle? I’ve asked Ramin to share some images of his hometown, Tehran, but images that would surprise me. He chose to share his Dizin Ski Resort series as a glimpse to the lifestyle in Tehran, that is not shown in the news.
Thanks Ramin for sharing! I will be looking for more of you.
Where are you from? I live in Brooklyn, but I was born in Tehran, Iran.
Where did you study photography? I first learned bout photography in high school while going to a darkroom with a friend. Ever since I always took pictures and owned cameras. Later on I took selected workshops including courses at ICP. I never studied art in university. In fact I have a BS in engineering and an MBA.
What made you want to learn it? Doing darkroom work and making pictures was always fun for me. There used to be something magical about making a print in a darkroom as the image would start to appear in your tray.
If you weren’t a photographer what would you do? I wasn’t! I used to finance in book publishing industry. I left my office to do photography and travel the world. I am obsessed with documenting so perhaps I’d be curating and archiving historical documents and images somewhere!
Where do you get your inspiration from? Inspiration is everywhere you just have to feel it. For me it could be a nice sunny day. It could be fine art, it could be a museum and collection of documents or movies. I also find music a key component for creating and making nice pictures.
What do you mostly love shooting? If I had the choice it would be conflict and wars. There is nothing seeing history first hand.
How do you usually approach a new project? I do a lot of research. If it is a person or location I try to learn as much about the subject/location as much as I can. I don’t want to be a tourist or a stranger. Even if I am shooting a corporation I try to find out what they do and who works there. I want to be local and have as much knowledge as a local person.
What are you working on right now? I am working on a conceptual video and planning trips for 2013. I am in a bit of transition since I am not doing as much hard news
What would you do different, if you were supposed to start all over again? Perhaps move to a place in Middle East for easier and faster access and traveling, but since I am happily married and have a little girl perhaps nothing! All seems to be fine!
Window or Aisle? Always window, but traveling with my baby I have to do aisle so I can walk her up and down.
I met Arati in a lighting class in ICP last Summer.
On the first day of the class the teacher asked us to introduce ourselves and share what we do, what we love shooting, where we want to go with our photography, etc. I’m not sure if it was me first who introduced myself to the class or was it Arati, but when the words of introduction were out there, we realized we both do sort of the same. But in a completely different locations. Whereas I shoot, write and blog to Travel magazines and website mostly in the US, Israel or Europe, Arati does the same, but for magazines in India and the area.
The more we talked, the more we realized we were sharing sort of a similar path. We both can’t really separate photography and writing and it comes naturally to do the two. According to Arati, ‘I have never been able to separate the two. A story to me, or any experience is necessarily vivid. And that means I have to portray it visually and verbally. It is beautiful to do both, and integral to me. I find when I am shooting, a burning urge to put words down too. Sometimes, when an image may not be possible, I fill it in with sketches or an infographic, if that is more appropriate. The story dictates the treatment and I let myself go with the flow when I am in the field‘
When I look at Arati’s images, I can’t even imagine how much courage and boldness this woman has. I admire how she traveled to Uzbekistan, or shot the rainforest of Bureno or chased elephants in Sri Lanka. And above all, capturing everything in such a delicate precise way. In fact, taking a class with Arati and watching the way she is preparing herself for a shoot, explains a lot about her explicit portfolio.
It has been a while since I wanted to introduce my readers and colleagues to Arati Rao and I’m so happy to feature her recent journey, where she captured The World of Elephants.
Thanks Arati. Can’t wait to see what’s next!
Where are you from? I was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. That city is still very dear for me. My ancestral home is in southern India, in a lovely little city called Mysore. But I call neither place home anymore. I think I’ve turned turtle. Haha. That is to say, I carry my home on my back.
Where did you study photography? I’m largely self taught. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but constantly - and more recently very deliberately – refining and learning that craft. Am still teaching myself photography, and I taught myself graphic design while I was at Arizona State, for I felt it very central to visual storytelling.
What made you want to learn it? It was all organic. I kept wanting to add layers to my storytelling and each layer brought with it the need for these skills. And I am still adding to it. The goal is to keep telling richer and more engaging stories using all kinds of fantastic tools available to us these days.
If you weren’t a photographer what would you do? Aah, I dont think I’d be happy doing anything other than exploring, discovering, and telling stories. And writing, photography, etc. are all a means to that joy
Where do you get your inspiration from? So many things inspire me. Little graphics I spy somewhere, a story well told, a photoessay done refreshingly, people, their stories, places – the sights, a minaret, a river, a tree, a pitcher. So many things. places. Inspiration is everywhere. All I need to bring with me to every day is a curious eye and a wide open mind.
What do you mostly love shooting? So many things, I am not sure I can hone in on any one thing I love to shoot. A good story? An intriguing face? A forest! But if I were forced to pick, I would say put me in a wild place, New York, Bombay, or in an ancient city and I’ll be happy as a peach shooting.
What’s is the place that really left a big impression. Aaah, there are a few. The old virgin rainforests of Borneo, the vast savannahs of east Africa, and the ancient cities of Istanbul, Lhasa, Bukhara, and Samarkand. I love wilderness and I love history. That is plainly reflected in these choices, right?
How do you usually approach a new project? Good, strong research always stands me in good stead. So I try to do that. Read everything on the topic, see what people have shot, and then – what is non-negotiable is, go there. Go and spend time with the subject, in a place. There is nothing like being there, and the longer I stay, the better the story turns out.
What are you working on right now? I have been shooting Asian elephants over the last two years in India and Sri Lanka. I will be continuing that work and working with researchers to document Asian elephant gestures and behavior. I also will begin work on a personal project where i will be documenting displacement of native people and changes in their lifestyles.
Where are you traveling next? I will be heading to a rainforest later this month, and then am slated to go to Namibia in December, to volunteer with an organisation that works with local communities and desert adapted elephants.
Window or Aisle? Oh my nose is stuck to a window, any day, everyday.
One day in the middle of August I got an email from Pola. She was writing to ask if I would be interested to be interviewed in her blog Jetting Around, about my photography, ‘especially shooting cities‘ as she stated. I immediately checked her blog, which by the way, is a finalist in the Travel Bloggy Awards and of course I said Yes. Pola sent me a list of questions, and I must admit her questions really made me think! Made me think about my profession and made me think about the way I take pictures; intentionally and unintentionally.
When I read more about Pola and her blog, I realized we have a lot of things in common; we are both expats in the US. I’m an Israeli in New York and Pola is Polish in Chicago. We both Travelers by heart. We both blog about it and document our travels with our cameras, and we both leave room for serendipity when we travel.
In case you didn’t get it by now, Pola is also a Travel Writer and Photographer. She also loves cities (her blog really reflects that) and for times, she feels like she is somewhere between the two continents she loves (Europe and the US) and experiences ‘city love on both sides of the pond’
Thanks Pola! Can’t wait to hear about your next adventures.
Where are you from? I grew up is Wadowice (pronounced Vah-duh-veet’-seh) a small city in southern Poland, about 30 miles southwest of Krakow. I always had close ties with Krakow and later lived there before moving to Chicago in 2002.
When did you start writing? I started writing in my teens – I published articles in several youth publications in my hometown, then wrote for the high school paper – and those years were my writing school. Also my mom, who is an excellent writer, was my first teacher and audience. As an adult, I enrolled in writing courses.
Where and when did you study photography? As far as photography, I took classes at a school in Chicago, did some self-study and have done photo outings with friends who are photographers. The best way to learn is to go out there and shoot as much as you can. That’s how you find out what works, what doesn’t, and what your strengths are.
What made you want to learn it? In both cases, the need came from within, I simply felt it. Writing came early – growing up, I was always encouraged to read and write, so it was natural. I discovered photography much later.
When visiting Toronto a few years ago, I went for a walk one morning. It was cold, windy, and it started to drizzle, but I didn’t want to go back to the hotel. Instead, I kept on walking and taking tons of pictures with my tiny point-and-shoot camera. I ended up having so much fun that I later bought a DSLR and enrolled in classes (the first one was actually a present from my husband, who had noticed my newfound passion). Eventually, I decided to combine travel writing with photography and started Jetting Around.
If you weren’t a Travel photographer what would you do? I have an alter ego already – my day job is marketing communications. It does involve quite a bit of writing, though…
Where do you get your inspiration from? Cities and the energy they give off. I’m inspired by their architecture, art, cultural activities – whatever surrounds me when I’m on the road.
What do you mostly love shooting? Views from above, cities at night, stadiums, coffee shops.
How do you usually approach a new project? It’s a combination of planning and spontaneity. Whenever I travel, I have a mental list of places I want to write about and photograph, but I always leave room for last-minute decisions. Often, the best experiences are those that happen by accident. I may stumble upon an interesting café, performance, or neighborhood.
What are you working on right now? I’m getting ready for a trip to San Diego, California and Mexico. I especially look forward to exploring and reporting on the Baja California Wine Country. I also have plans to grow the newest section of the blog – City Guides.
Window or Aisle? Window, hands down! I tend to get glued to it upon takeoff and landing…
There is nothing like arriving at a new city or a new place for the first time and falling in love with it.
That’s what happened to Benjamin Colombel, an Art Director and Photographer from Paris, when he came to New York on a foggy night in May 2012. (I still remember the first day I arrived to New York to live in, even though it was 10 years ago. The images of 6th Ave on the night before New Year’s Eve are still fresh in my mind)
For Benjamin it was this extraordinary reflection of the light of Time Square on glassy buildings, the Empire State Building vanishing in the fog through the sunroof of the car… It was such a fresh and unique feeling which continues for the next day when he woke up early just to see life slowly rising in the Lower East Side.
I sort of ‘discovered’ Benjamin through Greg Finck, a friend of mine who lives in Paris, and was also featured on my blog. I think Greg made a comment about one of Ben’s images of New York and it showed up in my facebook feed.
But before I continue, I have a confession to make; I LOVE looking at pictures of my colleagues photographers who come to my city for their first time. They look at things different from the locals do and they want to grab any piece of information in their lens. (That’s what happens to me when I visit Paris). Ben (who easily fits my ‘Frenchman in New York’ thing) was here in a very foggy rainy week in May, and the way he captured the city was very misty. The more I looked at his New York pictures, the more I wanted to see other places he has been to and shot. I must admit that some of his other albums made me want to book a flight and go. He has that talent to look at the little things and objects in a way that makes you want to know more, and yet, you kind of understand the feeling he was trying to convey.
For me, I just wait for the opportunity to shoot New York with him next time he is visiting.
Where are you from? I’m from Quimper, a small town in Brittany, France. Near the sea. That’s where I started to appreciate beautiful images. Landscapes are so wonderful there.
Where did you study graphic design? At first I learned by myself. Graphic design is definitely not something that you learn on the bench of a business school. But after a couple of years as a project manager in advertising (after my business degree) I made the best decision of my life. I applied for a graphic design school in Sydney called Billy Blue. I was directly enrolled for the bachelor degree, I was exhilarated ! It was an amazing school with people from all over the world and an amazing education, so different from the French system . That’s where I learned to think differently. Since then I’m highly motivated in whatever I’m doing in this field !
What made you want to learn it? It’s the combination of multiple factors but I guess as I’m a fan of music since my childhood, I always wondered how the album cover were made. As a teenager I used to spend so many afternoons, trying to figure how they were executed. And what I really loved while I was in my graphic design school was to get all the answers to the questions I had during this period. I’m really into technique and still spend a lot of time learning.
If you weren’t an art director/graphic designer, what would you do? I prefer not to think about that. I would probably be highly depressed, held in a madhouse, screaming…
Where do you get your inspiration from? What I love the most is to find time to stay on a bench and watch people. Hear what they say, see how they look, how they move. I could do that for hours. Spending time with my friends is also highly inspirational. I’m really lucky to be amazingly well surrounded. And when I’m not with people I bury myself in my office with my books and one of my best friend … the Internet !
What do you mostly love shooting? As an art director, my day-to-day work is to conceive projects with very narrow boundaries. Everything has to be planned. Photography is my balance to that, I love to shoot the unexpected !
How do you usually approach a new project? If I’m not catching the unexpected, I would say that it’s a long process. I’m really critical in general but it’s nothing compared to how I can be critical about myself, my ideas, my work. I’m my worst client. That’s why I tend to think that photography is a quest to help me find who I really am deep inside. But I realized that the process is pretty long.
What are you working on right now? I have many projects in art direction and also working on some videos (one of my new passion). In matter of photography, I have several ideas right now that may be more conceptual than usual. All I need is to find some time. And I will never give up on travel photography. I’m sure all the readers of this blog can guess why? Argentina might be my next destination. Scoop!
Window or Aisle? Can we say both ? I’m always doing the splits between dream and reality.
…So here is the story of how I met Adi….
I took this random shot (above) while visiting Tel Aviv on September 2011. It was also when JR, the French artist, visited Tel Aviv, during the social demonstrations and ran the Time is Now project in Israel. I was taking part in this project and had my picture taken, as well as documenting others…When I uploaded the above image on my facebook page, some of my friends recognized Adi (third from left) and tagged him on my photo. I got quite curious to know who was that guy that everyone is talking about, so I sent him a message.
The next week we met somewhere in Tel Aviv and we went shooting together. I see Adi as a magician with everything that has to do with Art and photography.
He is not afraid of experimenting different techniques, colors and angles. His bold, creative and limitless personality reflects very well in the images he produces. (I think you will sense his personality through the answers below). For this interview, I chose a series of images Adi took while he was visiting Tel Aviv last year. I was drawn to the way he captures the night scene and to the way he masters the balance between light and darkness, mostly because I don’t do it quite often.
So sit back and relax because you are about to discover who Adi is. And it sometimes seems as few people in the body of one, Adida Fallen Angel
Where are you from? I was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel on a rainy chilled day at the end of October 1975.
Where did you study graphic design and photography? I studied Multimedia Production at the SAE (Sound Audio Engineering & Multimedia) college in Rotterdam from 2000 – 2002, the studio was mainly into graphic design and 3D animation with touches of video productions, illustrations and web deign and programming, I picked up still photography more seriously when I left the Netherlands at 2008.
What made you want to learn it? I tried many things in my life but two things never left my heart and that was music and arts, I wanted to study something that will help me express myself better and also earn a living. I found out that I am not so good with numbers and words but when it comes to shapes and colors I felt at home, so I picked out the best field for me.
If you weren’t a graphic designer/photographer what would you do? I would be a musician, o wait…I AM ONE!!! win win for me.
Where do you get your inspiration from? O god, good question, basically everything I see when my eyes are closed and what I hear when I am in total silence. If we want specifics then I would pinpoint 3 things, The internet, documentaries and music, specially music.
What do you mostly love shooting? Ummm.. I don’t think I have a favorite genre but I do know I really don’t like to shoot events, like weddings or rock shows or anything with tons of people and even more photographers than air particles. I used to be really afraid shooting people but lately I am falling in love with the humans, I’m also getting really into massive productions where I can really control everything and get a shot that will be as close as possible to the image in my mind.
How do you usually approach a new project? With a smile and a bucket of skills and imagination!
If it’s for me I will spend endless hours until I get exactly what I want (the curse and beauty of being a perfectionist!), If it’s for a client I will spend hours before figuring out how to make the project shine like the sun then I will come with exactly the opposite and let everything happen on the spot, I am a big fan of the magic of the moment and always aim to reach truth within the shot itself, it also demand to have fun while shooting, otherwise it’s just work and I HATE WORK!
What are you working on right now? I just finished a massive art installation in a big streetart gallery in Montreal called Fresh Paint, it is by far my biggest and most complex art piece to date, it took a whole Month to build and sucked tons of energy out of me, it’s pretty amazing if you ask me, beside that I have another exhibition coming up next month where I will show new paintings and drawings, I am also very close to finish my band’s (Spoonlicker) first album which we are working on for a couple of years, very excited about that. Got shoots and little art project in the air and hopefully figure out how to pay my rent this end of the month because sadly I am not the greatest business man! I need a manger, hint hint!!!
Window or Aisle? Window, I insist!!!
Anything to add? Yes, I want to thank you for reading and taking the time to embrace my art/heart, inspiration is very important to me and I feel I need to share as much as I take in, being a part of a cycle that moves around sounds and sights is why we are all here, got to keep the wheel spinning, so thank you.
Do you know the feeling of recognizing a photographer for one aspect of his work, and then discovering something new about him? A real delight! This is exactly how I felt when I asked Greg Finck to participate in Window or Aisle.
With the perfect back drop of a Parisian street or a French country side, his images of Wedding photography look like a scene from a French movie, seriously! I love the romantic feel in his pictures and I keep telling Greg that if I ever get engaged or married in Paris, he will be the one to capture it with his camera.
I was lucky to meet Greg in person. In one of my previous visits to Paris we met for a drink one afternoon in one of my favorite areas of Paris; down the hill of the Pantheon, overlooking Jardin du Luxembourg. Greg knows all the right locations in Paris and he can tell you when is the perfect time of the day to go there and take pictures. I followed some of his tips and found some new locations in the city of light.
For my column Window or Aisle? I asked Greg to share some of his recent travel shots. He just got back from Bali and captured it so well, that one can tell how much thought and passion Greg puts into his photography, whether it is a Wedding session or a Travel one. Looking at his blog is a real inspiration.
You don’t want to miss it.
Where are you from? I’m a French wedding photographer living in Paris, France. I’ve always loved wedding photography as it gives me the opportunity to live a unique moment in the life of two persons and to capture emotions I’m really sensitive to. A real blessing when you live in the world’s most romantic city!
Where did you study photography? Actually I didn’t study photography at school as it has been a passion since childhood and I kind of learned on the job. I always try to improve myself by reading books, following photographers who inspire me, or wandering in Paris streets to still more apprehend light, but I don’t have any academic degrees. Even though photographers need to master some basics, wedding photography needs to come from the heart first and to me, that cannot be taught at school!
What made you want to learn it? As a kid, I grew up by observing the world more than interacting with it. I never read any book but could spend hours looking at drawings or photos. I exclusively have a visual memory and some photos can mark me forever. So that’s something I’ve always wanted to do: capture people through the lens and retrace their emotions, fears or feelings. As years go by, I think I may still be more exposed to emotions, and that’s something I try to convey via my camera. To me a photograph is much more than just a picture.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you do? I’m a photographer but photography is not my primary job. That’s a passion I do in parallel of a corporate job. Photography has become a major part of my personal balance, just like sport can be to some people. It really heals me and I need it!
Where do you get your inspiration from? I always arrive on a new wedding as it was the first one. I don’t want to compromise and photograph on the basis of certain habits, as it kills inspiration to me. I want to propose the best possible images to my couples so I try to inspire myself from the place, the mood, the love around, and I just let the flow do the rest. Once again, I really believe that wedding photography must come from the heart.
Where do you get your inspiration from? L.O.V.E. Period. Whether it is on a wedding, with a couple in the streets of Paris, or with kids playing… I love to photograph where there is love.
What are you working on right now? I am currently working on my 2012 wedding season, which lasts until end October. This implies covering a wedding every week-end and editing the rest of the week. Besides, I meet couples to book my 2013 wedding agenda… Tough period, but I just love it!
Window or Aisle? Window. I love to look at the sky, the clouds, and sometimes the incredible chains of mountains you can observe from a plane. People can wait long hours to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower but some don’t look by the windows of a plane. I don’t get it.
There are not a lot of guys who will make me want to get out of my bed at 4:30 am! Not to mention when I am away from home, in a cute hotel in HoiAn, Vietnam.
But Etienne Bossot is one of them.
Last February I was in Vietnam for two weeks, looping around my schedule to make it on time for the Full Moon Festival in HoiAn on February 5th. I was rushing from Hanoi in the North to HoiAn in the Center, just to see the paper lanterns on the HoiAn river. Trust me, it was worth it!
The concierge in the hotel I was staying in heard I was a photographer, and one morning slipped a colorful flyer on my table while I was having breakfast. It was a HoiAn Sunrise photo tour in a fishermen village. The truth is that I was debating if to take the Sunrise photo tour or the Sunset photo tour because I didn’t really want to wake up that early. But after meeting Etienne for sweet-condense milk coffee in one of the cafes in HoiAn at the same day, he convinced me to take the Sunrise one! I thought to myself, where else in the World I can do it, if not there, right?
These days Etienne is busy launching more photo tours in NorthVietnam and North Laos and running some online tutorials. Looking at his website and all the great tours Etienne has to offer, makes me miss Vietnam and go visit again!
I’m really excited to have the opportunity to feature Etienne on Window or Aisle? and share with you some of his breath-taking images.
Where are you from? I am from Avignon in South of France.
Where did you study photography? I actually never studied photography. I moved to Vietnam over 5 years ago and it quickly stroke me that I was losing something, living here without a camera. The thing is that after I bought my first camera I caught the photography virus, a strong one, and it never left me!
What made you want to learn it or do it? The beauty of Vietnam and South East Asia, and mostly its people. Being stuck in the mud in a rice field, busy capturing a farmer in the setting sun… the world stops around me when I am busy doing things like that, and this is what makes me continue. I have also been teaching photography with workshops in HoiAn for the past 2 years, so I have to be on top!
If you weren’t a photographer what would you do? I moved here selling wine to resorts… I would probably be doing some sales and marketing somewhere in Asia (being stuck in an office all day long, having a boss,…) hahaha.
Where do you get your inspiration from? I do spend a lot of time watching and following travel photographers I know and like. But what really inspires me and moves me is photojournalism. A dream I had when I started, becoming one. I know this is not what I do now, but I aways keep these styles of photos in mind when taking photos.
How do you usually approach a new project? It’s more something I find, see or hear about. I do not think I am mature enough to start a huge personal photo project that I will do until the end. I am also quite busy with the photo workshops here in HoiAn and launching the new tours in South East Asia… so I guess a personal photo project is something that will come to later.
What are you working on right now? Still editing wedding photos(…), and marketing the new tours in South East Asia.
Window or Aisle? Window of course, admiring the landscape and wishing I had my camera with me!