Cafe Keese Berlin – A film shooting debriefing

Hello everyone,

I hope you did not mind me disappearing for so long away from this blog, I was busy shooting.
We will today go through the Berlin cafe Keese shooting and give you a bit of Behind the scenes peek.

Cafe Keese?

I first became aware of the existence of cafe Keese a few years ago when flickering through the pages of the excellent “Berliner Luft”, a photo book mapping the city and what makes it so particular.
One of the book entries mentioned the “tea club” cafe Keese and the possibility to use phones at each tables to invite someone at another table to dance! I always thought I had to see that and take pictures there.

The idea became more concrete when preparing a recent trip to Berlin. The planning all happened very fast, unusually fast… I subscribed to a Facebook group about photographers and models in Berlin where I immediately stumbled upon Jod de Maupassant’s offer for modelling. Three chats and a few phone calls later we were in!

For once the planning did not involve much research on poses, lighting or styling for the simple reason that the distance with Berlin made scouting preparations impossible…
I was more concerned about how would the film react in very low light conditions and how would it behave with mixed artificial light sources (mainly tungsten for the key lights).

Previous tests showed me that shooting with an iso400 film at 1/15th of a second IS possible with medium format (sometimes without tripod but this is just madness and playing daredevil).

The Gear list:

– Hasselblad 500CM body
– Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 Planar
– A tripod
– Sekonic L-478d light meter
– Two boxes of Fuji pro 400h

So? What do you need? First, you need a tripod. Tripod will be essential here since there is so little light around you. So little that I swear I thought it would never actually work… I’m glad it did.

You will also need a good light meter. Mine is the Sekonic L-478d and it does an excellent job.
The problem is always to find out where to actually make your measurements. Since the club light spots cast a very harsh and saturated light that contrasts with absolute darkness in the shadow, one always must stand at the edge of a good compromise. From what I remember, 1/30th of a sec has been for iso400 the fastest speed I could achieve that day but most of the shots were made around 1/15th or below.

You would also obviously need film. Prior researches on how to shoot in these extreme conditions showed interesting results on forums… I had in mind that Kodak Portra would do a very decent job with low light tungsten settings, but this is a daylight balanced chemical compound. How about finding a good specific film for that purpose?
The perfect film was called Cinestill, but it failed to sustain itself economically speaking after a last failed crowdfunding call and remains not available for purchase.
Their excellent website however compares some films from different brands and demonstrates the relative qualities of my beloved Fuji Pro 400H.

So far, I was only considering Fuji as a film to largely overexpose in bright light to get this fabulous creamy pastel look that fits so well with wedding photography and any white heavenly fashion shoot. But it seems to also do better than others in Cafe Keese’s light.

Now, why analogue?

I had a Canon 5d along with me that day and the dynamic range of film is just miles broader.
Again, consider my poor scanning skills, but what I already obtain through messing around is way richer than what I had on my raw file. Is just a medium format effect? It probably also plays a significant role, yes. Film however completely absorbs overexposed zones without trembling and I wish I could find a way to show you the tiff files or a print to demonstrate how well the hard contrast is handled here!

I won’t hide that the recent acquisition of a Hasselblad did give a little push when deciding which gear should I pack along with me. I however believe shooting film in such a place was highly relevant by nature. Vintage for vintage, the whole club screams out loud for a disappearing art of living and the use of film echoes this! In a way shooting with film would have set a distance, an observatory one, when film accentuates our will for integration. When the club actually opened its door near 3pm, we simply stayed and enjoyed a little dance with our 70+ fellows! The picture was then complete.

The actual shooting:

How did we arrange the poses and settings? Unfortunately no magical recipe here. It’s a see and react strategy fed with years of collecting photo books and browsing the Internet.
Again, there really was not much light available and since we shot without flash we had to ask Jod to place herself where the light simply was. Keeping in mind that the end result would be full of contrasts, I was more looking for good rim lights and strong angles to work with.

The Hasselblad camera forces you by nature to carefully compose, think over it, adjust every detail and finally shoot. This slow thinking process does make a difference. It tackles down any will to shoot action but in the end, that’s not what you are looking for here…

One must really pay attention on how does light fall onto the subject but the very large viewfinder is really helpful here. As long as disgraceful shadows do not get cast by the nose, a hand or an accessory, you would be fine with your shot.

Areas of improvement?

Definitely the scanning process! I told you film can handle a huge dynamic range didn’t I?
Well, it does but then it hits the wall of the scanner specs… The key is to scan your negatives with skills. A set of skills I do not possess yet, but I am working on it. This will lead to suppress the red blown-out zones you can see with the photos above for instance; much cleaner pictures. The good thing is that the negatives can be archived and reworked later when I ll be a bit more confident with this tech aspect.
As for now, I kind of scan blindly with minor corrections, mostly because I want to see the pics as fast as possible appearing on my computer screen! But I will probably rescan my favourites, paying closer attention to the curve and especially the red tones to get better results.

I hope this small insight was helpful to understand the shooting process for Cafe Keese Berlin.
Would you have any additional questions regarding the technical or artistic aspect of my work, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below!

Let me just use these last lines to say thank you to Cafe Keese and it’s crew for patience, but more importantly to Jod for completely stepping in and playing the game so well and a huge thank you to Michaela for commitment, help and kindness!

Hope to see you all soon!

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#Hasselblad diary n.2 – Trier Hauptbahnhof

We are talking here about taking the Hasselblad a few rolls further. I propose you to join me on the long journey that is the discovery of analogue medium format. Big old fashion film rolls right?

So what’s new with it? Well I learned a few things since diary number 1! I was really concerned about this story of having one and one only roll at a time and therefore being constantly constrained to shoot 400 ISO (the only actual film I buy so far…). The theory is that film is much more permissive through scan than a digital raw file. It’s so easy to turn the dial and adjust your ISO on the go when needed. It gets a little darker?? Turn the dial, Canon 5D can handle that!

But what to do if you can’t? What to do if on top of that, you just can’t see the result on a back screen?! You know, a week long waiting for your negatives to come back from laboratory is tough for someone as impatient as I am!

So here is the plan:
Contacting Nadja. Check
Setting up a shooting date and project. Check
Browsing the world for inspiration and create mood board? Check!

Making sure the car will be available for my idea of a car shooting? Check

Ok! Fine! Ready! Wait… What? No car? Wait, you mean no film rolls nor flat keys!? Hmmm… Let’s do this improvisation thingy again I guess!
Long story put short: the films came 1hr+ late! the car remained unavailable and it was freaky cold outside. So we head to the train station to see what we can do there.
On my way back from Luxembourg the other day I noticed some tubular installations that could make an interesting setting and I knew already how well the Blad could handle neon light.
Light meter in the hand, conditions are naturally the worse and we are both freezing…

We take our first shot…

In order to take a photo, you must in such low light conditions set up the camera on a tripod. Once you look over it on the viewfinder there is a risk to fall in love… You are warned! The whole scenery appears on the glass, just like you are watching a 3D replica of the scene and think:

“If what is going to record on this film roll is only a quarter as good as what I see here on the glass,… I’m gonna be a haaaappyyy photographer”.

And it does! This is what came out of my scanner. You can see the frame at the bottom right of the photo and unfortunately a trace due to laboratory mishandling, whose people folded the film before handling it to me (guys you just lost a customer). I don’t know if this talks to you but I frankly find this whole look magic! But remember, at the time of the shooting I have no idea about that.

Further down the road I decide to push it harder and set up a frame with even less light. I take my metering which says 1/8sec of exposure.

If you have no idea what that means, it is the duration your shutter will open to let the light in and reproduce the picture on the film.
Ideally you are looking for something like 1/100sec or with the type of lens I have mounted on the camera at the very worse 1/40sec? We are still far from it here…

Let’s try nonetheless! We have a tripod a bit of time and our model is not completely blue yet.
The shot is not the photo of the century but it tells how much latitude I have with film for highly contrasted scenes.

Since we aren’t far from the supermarket and that I know the place well for having shot a look book there not long ago, we decide to head there and give it a try before it closes down. It’s already 10pm.

No comment, judge for yourself.

One last try for tonight before we can go home and switch the heater on, level 11… I would love to see how the camera handles the worse lights ever.
Ever heard about Blue Lagoon? The Aral tank station near the train station? How does film handle various coloured sources of loooow lights?
One is from an orange street light positioned about 12 meters behind us, the neons act as rim light and cast a greenish ambiance overall and balance the heavy blue ARAL sign.

I’m confident. I slightly underexpose because I have no other choice. I smile when looking at the viewfinder, frame it, release the mirror, breathe and press the shutter 🙂

I wish you a very nice week and would like to thank Nadja a last time, for her patience, comprehension, cold resistance, trust and joyful mood.

Posted in Hasselblad, Medium Format, photography, Street | 1 Comment

The #Hasselblad diary n.1

As recently advertised through my Facebook page, a 1981 Hasselblad camera enlarged ArtEO’s family! This post will explain you the reason behind this choices and will provide you with some of the first samples I shot to illustrate the different arguments!


First of all, what is a Hasselblad camera? Hasselblad is the name of a Scandinavian firm who famously designed arguably some of the most iconic medium format cameras of all time.
Medium format means that the photo is recorded on a 60*60mm negative film (compared to 24*36mm that you may know as your standard).
The model we re using now belongs to the old 50X series and for the record, it is the same model which took the photos on the moon when Mr. Armstrong first landed onto the satellite!

The object is entirely mechanical, no batteries needed, a true clockwork! It does look pretty, it sounds magical! I took it to town the other day and got stopped three times by people who wanted to see it… A proper nerd magnet 😀

I believe my first encounter with medium format photographs was when discovering the work of Nina Korhonen with her book Anna, Amerikan Mummu and not long later through Alessandra Sanguinetti with her books about Guile and Belinda and On the sixth day. Two photographer that would permanently shape my idea of a landmark photography wise and be the start of my ever growing photo book collection about Family. I guess you can call this “love at first sight”! I promptly invite you to discover their work, a very different look and feel setting it apart from anything you know. Don’t be mistaken tho, Nina is now a recognized master (Her book being quoted in the ideal collection of Martin Parr) and Alessandra works for Magnum (Most probably the most iconic photo agency of all time). You would be foolish to believe buying a medium format camera will make you a master, but I strongly believe it grants you access to a whole new range of possibilities!

This said, what can an old 33 years old analogue camera bring on the table that my pro digital SLR cannot achieve faster and better?
Those who have been reading me for a while, know that I’m a digital native and strongly advocate the use of digital over analogue, right? In this specific case, in order to shoot in digital medium format, I would have to sell my car and spend my savings to get a camera… The old analogue medium format camera remains affordable and still produces mesmerising results!

So, what is the difference??

First of all the amount of details recorded onto the film is just phenomenal. The possibilities offered are just immense: much more details in the shadows, the highlights and a billion shades of mid-tones. I gave it a try the last few weeks in probably what seemed to be the very worse shooting conditions and it almost systematically turned out to be a hit!
It deals surprisingly well with multiple mixed light sources (incandescent bulbs, neons…etc.)
What would have turned to be a digital porridge of colours and noise with the SLR comes as very natural on the 60*60 film without the use of a flash.

Image 11

The colors appear much richer, with a broader dynamic range and the size of your frame being much larger, allows you to come closer to your subject. In practical terms, this means more details, more bokeh (mounted with a Zeiss lens, the bokeh becomes true whipped cream).

As a matter of fact I am going to need some more rolls in order to get accustomed to this flexibility. I am still completely not confident when turning all those wheels and force myself to let it flow. It is of course much easier with a digital cam, as one simply has to look at the back screen to see if it all turns fine! No back screen here of course…
One must wait a good week for the negatives to return from the lab and god knows how frustrating this can be!

This comes at the cost of a careful maintenance, a lot of care and love for craft. My old negative back actually came with a light leak that ruined most of my first rolls. The light entering and hitting the negative inside the camera from the side of the body creates a typical color veil that does not look Very good at all. I was very lucky to shoot this below photo on which the leak looks totally controlled (I swear it wasn’t!) and adds to the overall photographs mood. Just like a mystical fog… Lucky me.

All in all, unpleasant surprises. Can happen if you aren’t extremely careful. But in the very end, when your first roll ever comes back to you and delivers this very first portrait below, it feels like a virus and you want more, more more more more…

So what’s next? Your portrait maybe? A secret project I can’t tell you about?As mentioned above, this type of photographs is associated with the notion of Family to me. I think it carries a set of values like patience, proximity and care by nature. Can one actually use this and incorporate it in the very artistic practice? No doubt to me… Only through extensive practice tho, try and error. I am working on it. Very hard.

Stay tuned and keep it hushhhhhhhhh…… 😉

Posted in fine arts, Hasselblad, Medium Format, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest blogger: Maria! An insight on “how did the shooting go?”

Good evening everyone!

Today we have a guest and she is here to answer a couple of questions about the last shooting I posted on my sites/pages. (Did you like it?!?). It sort of was a first timer for her and I thought her insight on how does a shooting smoothly work might be interesting!

Feel free to ask us any additional questions! It would be an honour to satisfy your curiosity about our settings, gears, preparation workflow and all! Here we go 😀

Hello Maria, first time we met was actually for taking a photo of you in Luxembourg. Do you remember? Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

Hi Ed! Of course I remember : ) I couldn’t believe a photographer would find any artistic/aesthetic interest in my style or my looks and I was pretty flattered. I am always up for trying new things, and I appreciate all kinds of art, so despite being a bit shy about it, due to the friendly approach and how cool the idea of Street art sounded I decided to give it a shot! It was pretty exciting. As  for myself, what can I say? … my name is María and I come from Spain, I moved to Luxembourg after doing a traineeship at the Parliament and, finding it very cool, I decided to stay. I now have a full time editorial job at a multinational and like to fill my rare free time gaps with things like going to the movies, to concerts, playing guitar, (fashion photography xD) and hanging out with friends.


You were a contact recommendation from about a half of your company’s staff! (Only half kidding). That day I met a busy bee indeed. The pics eventually ended up on the pages of a magazine published in the whole Great Region of Luxemburg. How would you describe your relationship with your own image on pictures/public image?

I didn’t know whether I was ready at first. As in, OK, I’m brave enough to pose, but should I? Will I accept and be happy with the result? with seeing my image published? I wasn’t sure I had the right to pretend to be a model, but I then I relaxed and let my ideals come first: I think all people are beautiful in a way, and it’s good to show diversity instead of following the rules established by these epidemic imposed universal beauty standards. I convinced myself that I had something to offer, as I was enthusiastic about it and I had actually been asked and recommended by other people. My first reaction when the result of this first shot together was out was “Wow, he’s an awesome photographer! he’s made me look great in this picture!”. My initial idea was that it was the technical and artistic ability of yours that made this picture beautiful and that, in particular, had made me look good in the given context and environment. But the closer I looked into it the better I realized the result had little to do with editions or modifications (the picture looked super natural and not trying to modify or perfection reality) but with how comfortable we both felt, and how much passion was involved in the process. Since that moment I knew I could trust you to take pictures of me, and that I wanted to do my best to help create beautiful captures and feel even more relaxed in front of the camera to make the most out of what it has to offer in hands of people like you!IMG_8245-2

Last Sunday’s  project has been tough to plan due to both our schedules. The long wait left us plenty of time to plan, talk, prepare… When it finally happened it took us nearly a full day! Was the actual shooting process different from what you imagined?

Last Sunday was my “biggest and most ambitious project” so far. We had been talking a lot about it, changing plans, ideas for settings and landscape, etc. But we were also thinking bigger than usual. This time we bought clothes online (apart from using the ones we could get hold of);  Michelle, a professional make up artist, was there and we had thought of several ideas to capture vs. a single shot/idea session like our previous approach was. It was demanding indeed, I felt a bit more responsible for delivering and being up to the expectations that were put on me, but on the other hand I also knew we were playing with improvisation a lot, and that there was no pressure whatsoever to worry about. The whole planing process made me feel super excited about the project, and allowed for all the effort put into it and the long hours of shooting to be exciting and thrilling. I wouldn’t have imagined that we could spend 10 hours + taking pictures without getting bored, and I wouldn’t have expected either I could stand the torture of being in the cold, with a bra and a raincoat to then get asked to wet my hair without complaining too much (laughs).


Yeah well I recognize that if I feel there is a good shot to be taken, I simply ask for it! I don’t want to go back home and feel like “Damn why didn’t I at least ask for it?!!”

Of course, and I think that is how it should be, it’s just maybe things I could predict and imagine to a lesser extent than the rest. It’s risky, it’s challenging, and I like it.

Is there a particular “moment” you will actually remember from that day? Let’s imagine you would need to post one single Vine video from this shooting that both represents what you take away personally from this modelling exercise but also represents the actual results we made public? What would that be?

I couldn’t be able to pick one moment. I’d try to capture the  conversations, the make up while being done by Michelle, the “before” and “after” of every look, when we laugh out of the silliness of a situation, when you come up with a new idea, when we stand in the same position for long periods of time, when I complain…And I would mainly try to give a balance of the ups and downs, the laughing and the concentration moments. I think that would reflect very well how hard the whole process is, but how rewarding and fun it is at the same time.

Fair enough! I leave you this… But now you need to choose only one picture out of our series from last Sunday and no “I like them all” answer!  Roland Barthes defined in Camera Lucida photographs in terms of Studium and Punctum.  Pick one picture and go on 😛 (Mwahaha)

I really do like them all! (ok, ok…); but I have 3 absolute favorites. The one lying down by the fountain at night with the raincoat, because of the dramatism of the colours, and the textures; the “Fuck sight” one because its fresh and cheeky and has a great contrast of colours; and my absolute favorite would probably be the close shot with the reflection in the mirror. I’m no expert but it looks technically perfect to me. The effect,  the idea behind it, the colours and the execution. It’s crazy that from the super simple tools we used to try this effect out something so highly professional and beautiful came out!

Magic mirror on my wall...

Without demystifying the whole thing, it is true that in the end, it’s just a Sofa, a light and a roll of reflecting paper! I always thought people underestimate how creative photography can be without using retouching softwares like Photoshop… Post treatment is kept so low-key on that one it is hardly believable! We created a whole world in a frame with sooo little! How do you (Maria) now relate to this girl you see on the picture?

Well, I do feel close to that girl in the picture, I recognize myself and all of the elements we used in it. It’s true that the initial resources used seemed much more simple and almost rudimentary in comparison to the elaborate result, but the final scene, what you see now, is indeed, and not surprisingly, derived from the passion, the savoir – faire and the effort put when combining all these simple things into a winning magic combination!


Ok, last one! I usually work with models with a fair amount of posing experience. I think this can be intimidating in a way as people generally are fearing the camera, doubt their modelling skills… I remember you expressing doubts at some points! Can you give a few practical advices/tips to someone who would be tempted in trying something similar with me? (what to prepare, things to keep in mind, questions to ask…).

It is indeed very challenging, and the comparison is unavoidable. One usually has a very cliché idea on what posing means (we’ve all imitated models jokingly), but I would say it’s pretty off. I think I still have a lot to learn, but what’s helped me most is to relax and feel comfortable. At the beginning I felt stiff and nervous, hesitating on whether what I was doing made sense, looked good or ridiculous instead… Now I feel more relaxed in front of the camera, I rely on you giving me instructions and telling me to move in a way or the other, and in the meantime I do whatever feels right for the set and the context given. I suppose professional models know how to be more proactive and initiate the poses themselves, but I think both approaches can work if the photographer and model have a good communicative relationship, like it was the case.

Thanks Maria! Best regards 😀

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Shoot story: A brotherhood portraiture session

Autumn is just fitting his feet on the starting blocks and here already goes the light away…
This isn’t too bad cause you and me both know that when light there is, during this season, it is of the greatest premium quality. It comes from a low angle and paints your beloved landscapes with gold!

Two weeks ago, I went abroad for a family shooting. Three brothers to portray, not the classical way… Sounds like something I can do right?
I was for long interested in photographing “brotherhood” which all in all is very different than portraying three individuals. The latter puts an emphasis on personal characteristics while “brotherhood” stresses the familial bond.

The idea is to find the right balance between the two, both to satisfy an artistic vision and a portraiture interest (you would not want your kids not looking like your kids in your family album, or would you?).
Starting point was to ask for three similar outfits, of a color that would complement the natural setting. We went for three Bordeaux T-shirts and pairs of blue jeans.
Here was the catch: I had to bet that the three young boys would act in tune, pushed by the similar outfits as visual clues, while expressing individuality through body language.

“Brotherhood” would then manifests itself visually in a very natural way despite the forced similarity. We would later emphasize the coherence of the many different shots through the use of a few accessories like the American flag (something that would relate to the presence of a family figure) and a recurring use of fire as a comforting and warming force (another hint to represent a second family figure…). Later, as shown above, I allowed the elder brother to change is shirt for a grey one, the time of a few shots. I thought it would illustrate the affirmation of individuality with age, adolescence and personality confirmation.

Anything else? Yep… Why the forest and the camping thingies? Well, our three boys are active and passionate “scouts”, meaning they know their “way” through the wood. And this “way” involves knowledge sharing and teamwork: family values? I believe so…

Anything else is technical, a fast telelense, a prime wide angle and as usual, a lot of preparation through Internet browsing, images saving, mood boards and all the crazy stuffs. A pince of YouTube tutorials for a Lightroom trick or two.
You know it by now if you regularly read those lines, all this preparation won’t help you in any way while shooting, but remains essential! To get you in the mood or to open your third eye very wide before hitting the photographic battlefield.

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One last piece of advice… Cover yourself with warm clothes! I know it’s tempting to run in t-shirt when taking your pics, quite an effort sometimes… But I got seriously sick through that and remained blocked in my bed, nearly for a week after the shooting.

This said, enjoy fall’s light!

Posted in Fashion editorials, fine arts, photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BTS photo shootings (behind the scene) – How Edouard likes his coffee!

Good morning everyone!

The last few weeks have been photographically hectic on my side of the world.
A few people asked me if it was possible to push some bts shots online… I usually would not care much since it does not really teach anything but how crap reality looks indeed!

So what? You want to know which camera I use? Which lense? Software maybe? Which online tutorials do I pay a regular visit to? Then there is something you should know about me…

My gear is old, stained, rusty, broken for a large part (but still works so far, thank god).
I don’t use photoshop (honest figure would show maybe 2% of my workflow achieved through Photoshop). My tripods don’t hold much…



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What do I consider essential material then?

1. An ok enough camera with a GOOD lense. By good lense I mean something sharp enough to take decent pictures without reaching the stellar price figure. By good lense I also mean a lense that matches the picture you have in mind. Do me a favor, skip the Photokina this year and go plan a shooting instead, I swear you will learn much more through practice.

2. Excellent planning. Browse the online world of photography, organize moodboards, talk with your team mates. Funny thing is, all this prep won’t help you at all during shooting time… But if you are one of those believing they can rely on their godly given inspiration breath on D-Day and go hands in pocket rock the photo world, pass your way please this blog isn’t for you.
Exploring the world of online fashion magazines and alike will give you the culture necessary to approach any given situation and help you fine tune your taste.

3. Get yourself a decent photo book library. I don’t ask you to get mad like I do, but go to museum, galleries, borrow books at the library, read Barthes, Sonntag , Krauss so at least you know what you are dealing with. Flickr, Fotocommunity and tumblr are fine but stopping there is like an attempt to understand the nature of humanity by reading Elle or Gala. Those, only are the froth at the top of the gossip.

I had a few discussions the last few days after with people over my Facebook page and have been criticised for not using the “right” camera brand (Fuck that) or others asking me for detailed nomenclature of the gears I used for doing this and that (?!?).
Well, I d like to heartily answer that Shakespeare did not have to use a golden pen to write Romeo and Julia… But I am not Shakespeare indeed…



Anger set apart, all I needed here was a prime 35mm, a telelense, a TTL flash system with one master and one or two slaves (flashes not assistants), a few tripods (from 35 to 65eur max each),
A set of broken umbrellas or octabox and a reflector.
Good mood and Michelle Weyand for the makeup on the go, cakes, drinks and an iPad playing Pj Harvey or Nick Cave. Later, your copy of Lightroom will do the job.

By no means I ignore the fact that better gear would give better results, but hey let’s face it: it makes no sense to by a Lamborghini to ride an Icelandic road. And I swear our roads are much more Icelandic than highstreety. You ll still have time to buy top end gears when you will feel like it’s time to bid for Vogue Cover. We all have seen sooooooo many reeeeaaaaaallllllyyyy shitty pics taken with a digital Hasseblad by a “pro” and same amount of awesome pictures taken by teens on their entry Canon 1000d, haven’t we?

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One last thing: be unmerciful with yourself and others if you don’t have what you want. Crappy photo sessions start with compromising. The models, the location, the lights, the topic are so-so? Well your pictures will be so-so. No miracle here.
You are the photographer, here is a handful word that will help you when planing with others: “No”

You think the model doesn’t suit? Say no. Something is technically nonsensical? Say no.
Propose alternatives tho, you are the one with the knowledge and experience about photography here or am I wrong? Don’t get me wrong! This should not mean you must keep all doors closed but I trust you enough to find the right balance, the one that pleases your “client” AND looks awesome! To you want to be the one they picked cause you look awesome or the one they picked cause you are the cheapest?

Alright? Now pack your Polaroid and target awesomeness! 😉 oh I forgot… Join our photo book club at cafe Lecca :-p

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Book review: PLANETES from BIRGIT KRAUSE such a treat!

“I am capturing the essence of life”,
“I’m waiting, waiting and observing, only to capture the perfect decisive moment”,
“I develop a relationship with my models in order to get an access to the intimate, genuine and natural feelings”

So are typical artistic statements populating the Internet. I never felt acquainted with such a philosophy of photographing the world I live in… Simply because I don’t think I could.
In many regards the world I live in is very unreal and I have a feeling it has always been like this, so why on earth should I pretend I can communicate the REAL when I, myself, barely have an access to it!? It’s just that the dreamscapes we navigate has so much to offer!

What does this mean? Let’s mince it through an example and jump back in time:
Edouard is 8, lives in a crappy building “offered” to the police army families in a 4000 souls city that hasn’t much to offer but a few sport clubs, school and forests.
But it doesn’t matter because for Edouard and his friends, the courtyard is just the best playground on earth. There, they re-enact together sceneries from “The ghostbusters”, they climb trees in what looks like a jungle… When coming back home, main activities consist of watching cartoons, playing ATARI games…

Crying sometimes? Sure, most often comedy tho, merely a child attempt for manipulation.

All in all not much Real in there… And I continue today… Still hardly seeing anything else than what I want to see, understand else than what seems to be the most satisfying explanation to me, constantly obscuring the unpleasing details. I once read somewhere that the difference of what our eyes capture and what our brains offer to our consciousness is phenomenal, a 80/20 ratio, 20% standing for what the eye actually captures… All the blanks being filled with assumptions or stereotypes to save a bit of mental energy… Dreams…

In this light why wouldn’t we have a right to communicate these through photography? After all painters have been doing so for quite a couple of centuries now right?! In the mind of Mr. everyone, photography is much attached to the realm of the real tho. It records and displays what has been, fixes for display a few rays of light.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I m pretty aware that artist photographers have been exploring this path for a while now. Whether we are photographers or not, we do see the world through our own lense and our own set of filters. Newly appointed parents may see the whole world as a threat for their baby, astrology enthusiasts may look at every corners for the signs of their ephemerides…

Birgit Krause is looking for signs of the stars in the everyday physical manifestations of light.
In her book “planètes”, she holds our hand, switches the light off and shows us the stars shining under our beds, in our own private spheres and I find this choice for a topic very clever.

The “space” subject holds very antinomian charges. Space is poetry, a dreamscape, a source of fantasy, a projection, a source of fascination, fears, incomprehension, the temple of god… But also the land of physics, sciences, exploration, theories and experimentations, pragmatism.
“Space” as a subject, supports very well the photography medium in the sense it is by nature, both very rational (camera records light through a lense onto a sensible surface) and irrational (with a photograph you can tell stories, express fantasies, depict surrealist ideas).

Birgit Krause creates with “planètes” a 26 photographs project (+5 illustrations) that tells us more about our relationship with the photographic medium than any other book.
Astrophysicists points telescopes at the sky, she points a camera at your mind.

The book is intriguing, fun, beautifully designed and is getting rare… A piece of advice? Run to 25books (Berlin) or visit their webshop and treat yourself

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The “wardrobe complex” or how to creatively look back. #throwbacktuesday

Good morning everyone,

I took part two weekends ago of the Kunstrasen exhibition in Trier. What’s that? A summery local cultural event allowing a bunch of enthusiastic people to share their arts with the crowd, outside in the sun, on the grass.

-“What will you actually exhibit?”
-Haaa… Hum… Tough one…
-you don’t know yet? It’s in a week!!
-… I know…

Then, It’s basically about browsing your photos (photos in my case, paintings for others…etc) and pick a few ones to show. Cause frankly my stack of photos is the real mess.
It was out of question to exhibit single series, because I would not find this very representative. I enjoy very much starting new small projects with new people but I’m not much the long run guy…

Or am I?

I found it a very interesting exercise and took lessons from it that I thought I should share with you.

More recently I turned my camera (camera only, don’t worry I’m fine) towards the dark side. As a matter of fact I more and more tend to think it was turned towards the wrong direction for too long. And just like a long lasting muscular effort, your mind and body slowly start to give up to come back to a more natural and resting position. In a way, it takes a lot from me to shoot any joyful event as I rest in the dark.

Back to our sheep, I knew I wanted to pick something more actual, in terms of mindset. I had a few recent pictures aside that could have matched and all, but this would not have been enough for filling my allocated exhibition space.
I came up with the idea of browsing through all my series in search for pictures that would work along.

Whether you are using analog negatives or raw digital files, what you are presenting to the viewer as “your photograph” is one possible way of processing this “negative” among an infinite number of possibilities. The idea is then to look at all those negatives and “reinterpret them” in a new light; take out photos from their former series and inject them into your new project to create a new meaning contextualised by the all new set of pictures. Still following?

Let’s use a well known issue we will call the “wardrobe complex” for that matter:
Ok, so over the past few years you bought about a hundred kilograms of clothes that now lay in your wardrobe waiting for the perfect occasion. Some you could enjoy wearing everyday, some you only wore once (In the shop)…
Then you receive this Facebook event notification, asking you to join for the opening of your local urban outfitter…right? (Is this still swag? Is “swag still swag?).
You got confused, as I would be…
Luckily, you just found that amazing neo-grunge t-shirt but you could not buy sh…t to wear along. So, you browse through your wardrobe and “recycle” all those stuff you never had a chance to wear, combine creatively this half billion clothes item till you find the one look you were looking for. Got it? Ok, now brag a minute in front of your mirror and go give all what’s left to charity please.

Why is this so interesting? In my case, it helped me to actually visualise how much my practice of photography changed over the last few years. It helped me to measure the influence of all those photo books I read, the people I met, the projects I came across over the past few years. Very literally like browsing through your childhood photo album.
Moreover I found that my mess of picture surprisingly was much more coherent than what I thought. I found a common core to all my series, just like a seed I m willing to grow from now, a roadmap with a goal!

No wonder why all those #throwbacktuesday online initiatives are so successful.

So, now? What’s in your wardrobe?

Here is mine 😉









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10 Things you should stop photographing right now!!

Disclaimer: Since you never care much about what I write in this blog, I invite you to continue this way. My photos are mostly as full of cliches as yours, so let’s get out together without our cameras, a few excellent photo books under the arm and let’s drink ourself up to oblivion (but don’t spill your drink over the pages of my books or you will reach oblivion much quicker than me!)

So let’s go! 10 things you should just abandon:

1. The random flying hip nude in the forest:

There was not a single day in the last 5 years, without a “random flying hip nude in the forest” appearing under a banner “new incredibly mesmerizing original emerging talent”.
Ok we got it, it’s not funny anymore! Some do it very well, sometimes with subtle and interesting variations… But watching such series feels like being invited for a holiday film projection party in the 90’s after your neighbor came back from Luxor. After 10 pics you are done with it… You know what I mean?

2. The “I am young and even when I don’t do s***t, it looks awesome”:

Well, stop it! First because it makes ME feel terribly old (and I’m only 31!). Second because this moustache makes you look ugly. You look like you are a Californian surfer except that there is no sea here, nor California. Let those people do their business and start taking care of yours!
I mean serious here, this iconography might look cool because life on those pics look effortless, hair in the wind, awesome bikini girls laying on the bed, removing their clothes for no reason and all… FREEDOM!

You can still have a look at Larry Clark incredible career… All good for the mind.

But does it have anything to do with you?
Where you live, the wind is cold, any stylish divergence will lead you up to jail (or at least judgemental look from mr everyone) and your friends look crap. Well good news: it doesn’t matter! Be creative your own way, picture genuinely what surrounds you in a honest manner. No need to photograph that girl in a “Cali” style to prove us that you are young, in love but not too much… and cool.

3. HDR:

WHY?!? I recently saw a YouTube video describing the vast majority of HDR pictures seen online as a “fountain of Skittles popping out of the ass of an elephant”. The technique was meant to reveal subtle details in highlights and shadows, not to rape your photograph of an anyway boring subject with a Panzer! Just DON’T!

4. The mermaid:

Is there an obsessive tendency in the photog world for photographing mermaids? I don’t mind mermaids really, mermaids might actually be hot if I think about it… In a way… Without the fishy thingy… We’ll forget about it and get back to our sheep!
Why no siren? Because in 99.9999% of the cases you make that poor pretty girl look like a TUNA in the river Mosel 😮
Somehow that sub genre just does not work at all if it isn’t flawless. Model, post-prod and setting must be perfect or the whole thing looks like crap. You still want to do it? Take this piece of advice: be unmerciful with yourself if you still want to do it. A Mermaid shooting deserves full commitment for location, model, styling and all. It. Does not bear mediocrity that would look unbelievably cheap. Here is what it potentially could look like if you do so:

model: lexi boling (ford)
photographer: laurie bartley (managementartists)
stylist: felipe mendes
hair: romina manenti (see)
make-up: ayami nishimura

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5. Your geographical g-spot shooting:

For every city it’s photo landmark. You recognise it by googling the name of your town.
I remember a friend attending a photo course in Magdeburg (Germany), photographically famous for its factory ruins. First lesson, the teacher warns everyone: “I swear I kill the next student coming to me with an essay about this bloody factory!”.

In my area, next to Luxembourg, most of the photographers rush to the ultramodern “philarmony” to picture a model breathtakingly looking at the sky like she herself is rushing to long missing oxygen… I’m not saying all those are bad but com’on’! Is this truly the only location available any near around?? DO A TINY EFFORT PLEASE!

6. Ophelia:

Another water related subject… Ophelia is slowly abandoning life in the water, dies, go over it!
There are billlllions of those all over any online photo platform and you think you are the first one coming up with the idea? Your model might get seriously cold and the chance for the result to be nearly as good as the pre-raphaelite landmark is next to zero. And why Ophelia? Same applies for the girl with the pearl earring. What a weird idea to copy a painting masterpiece that reached such cultural height, precisely because it’s a painting. Once more: Ophelia is dead, go over it.

It is however not completely hopeless:

Gregory Crewdson – Ophelia from the excellent “twilight” series

Alessandra Sanguinetti – “Guile and Belinda and the enigmatic meaning of their dreams”

7. The “Helsinki school is so OMG” school:

So yes Helsinki school was so OMG. Can we move on now? Let me briefly explain: This movement brought us a handful of amazingly talented people. Their common point? Hard to explain (a picture is worth a thousand words they say, so try to imagine a whole school of photos…). Something delicate yet deep, uncanny and somehow romantic at the same time. All highlighted photographers being very different from one another tho. In photography, the term school is associated with Dusseldorf whose statement was loud and clear; here is nothing like that with Helsinki.

The sublime work of Anni Leppala from the Helsinki School

The result? 3 billions girls in vintage dresses looking lost while making love to trees in the dark forest. Is this really all you retained from your northern heroes? This is enough!
Same applies to girls in vintage dresses looking lost in an abandoned house playing with vintage toys; or girls in vintage dresses looking lost half hidden in a red berries bush.

P.s. Danger! A mutating trend currently tries to mix sub genres to create Flying nude hipsters girls looking lost after playing vintage toys in an abandoned house filled up with plants… Don’t let this be happening!

8. The homeless:

Taken with a tele lense, black and white, with crap weather, heavy sharpening, high contrast and high vigneting? No! Getting a close up would be any better? No! Have you got creative energy to spend? Spend it helping them the real way. This practice doesn’t raise awareness, it doesn’t remind to anyone that they are humans like you and me (don’t laugh, I heard that one before). If you still want to do so, then engage them properly, long term, and you d better have really intelligent and creative ideas than just portraits. All else is a populist attempt to flatter your own portfolio by adding a “social” category to it. No go!

Kitra Cahana can however inspire us with her Rainbow festival series.

9. Photos of someone else’s good work, claiming it’s your good work:

A little while ago, I came across an artist photographer homepage with a picture of an awesome window shop arrangement of hats. Great composition, offered to the street wanderer by the hat seller. The photo was black and white and all the hats were carefully arranged. A very balanced composition. But wait… Whose work was this? Ok I get it: the shop keeper frames it, sweat his arse off to present something nice and you just steal it by tripoding your camera and pressing the shutter? It sounds like plagiarism to me, doesn’t it sound like plagiarism to you?

If you do so, please at least quote the name of the shop (which the photog didn’t do). You can of course sublime it all using the photographic medium, but be kind with the person who did the hard work for you. This also applies to live performance photography, but now you know what I mean.

10. Projects justified through psychobabbling 10 pages of artistic statements:

Your project is nice, why would you ruin it with an undecipherable artistic statement? Sorry but meaningful ones are rather the exceptions and are mostly written by people who really know what they are talking about… I know you have to provide your teacher, gallerists or audience with one so they can wrap their cup of champagne in it to keep it expensive… How often have you returned to your usual business after reading one of them? Keep it simple and meaningful.

Conclusion: don’t take all this too seriously. As long as you are having fun, this should just be ok 😉 I’m not targeting anyone, just having a bit of fun!

With love for all your good work,


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5 tips to engage people for street style pictures #photography #streetstyle #trier #luxembourg

Some summers ago, a giant computing company released an ad campaign about people who uses current technologies to create new sorts of job that would simply not exist otherwise. Nothing linked with high end chips nor high power calculators but rather creative use of what was already existing and available to everyone. Mr. Schumman, also known as the Sartorialist is one of them.


His idea? Going out and look for fashion in the streets of NY, Paris or Milano, shooting regular people with a creative mind for styling composition and share it to the world.
Besides giving back power to the end users of fashion, Scott was creatively using street photography and make something new out of century old street photography rules…

Just google “fashion” to understand his influence. Sartorialist certainly wasn’t first but he certainly was fuel to fire.

I thought I could join the effort and modestly participate in collecting these kind of images. When you live in Trier at the lost corner of Germany, where no decent connection to a fashion metropolis is left to you, you need to think creatively.
Is Trier and it’s region filled with fashionistas? Hmmm no… You surely find people here and there but there is no critical mass. In fact, most edgy people go for shopping elsewhere at some remote shopping paradise. The fashion supplies are here limited with a focus on selling what sells, while alternative thinkers tend to struggle to convince a local audience. Here, original = expensive (mostly).

The ironic title SaarTrierialist came while confronting face to face this terrible TRUTH.

The solution?

Celebrating local efforts.

Partly a collection of nice people, partly a celebration of local identity trying to engage more global codes with its tiny voice.
The first picture came out with a desire of not letting go a guy who obviously had dressed to impress on a busy downtown Saturday afternoon. I showed him a few pics from my phone, told him I was willing to start this larger project… The man felt somehow flattered, accepted and took the pose with the promise of the final product being delivered in his mailbox.

With an acceptance rate of more than 75% of the people I asked, I always considered this project a success. People saying yes was the sign that it pleased them to be recognised as such. I remember saying to a lady that I liked the tiny “risks” she took, embedding different original pieces of jewellery, colors and styles. I told her that one could really see she made a little extra effort there to be fancy, not just the standard way. Her kind answer was “I m glad someone eventually recognised this”. Now I am sure I wasn’t the only one, but doesn’t that please you when someone comes to you to tell you how cool you look?

To me It always felt like I was celebrating this along with them.

A couple of months later I got contacted by a local magazine who offered me to work with them, featuring about 6 pictures per trimester. This brought the level of seriousness to a much higher level.
I have collected nearly about hundred of those portraits all taken in the streets of Trier and Luxembourg within the last 3 years.

So! Now you would like to do something similar? Here are a few tips for you:

1. Choose your lense wisely: Most of the shots were taken with a 70-200mm f/2.8 or 50mm f/1.4 (Full frame) – Temptation for always opening max for bokeh is big but remember it needs to look sharp… f/4 is safe zone in my experience.

2. When you see someone you like, just go and ask them. JUST GO and ASK THEM! You would be surprise how often they say yes. Some of them actually became very good friends of mine. So be friendly without being a cheese and everything should be alright!

3. Carry release forms with you. No release forms means no possibility for publication. You will find a ton of them for free online, ready to print. I occasionally used EASY RELEASE for IOS: Helpful.

4. Be patient, anticipate, scout and go where stylish people are; wandering all day long in empty streets is anything but joy.

5. Make sure their E-mail address is correctly written and send them the pics… It s a minimal requirement!

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Share your discoveries with us! Inject your own ideas into it and show us your good work. The more you do it, the easier.

You will find an extract of that collection of smiley people at free to have a look and leave a comment, the people who are pictured may probably read them 😉

Have a lot of fun outside!

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Fashion editorials, a high standard selection juuuust for ya!

When was last time I showed you magical editorial spreads? Too long? Long enough for me to gather exceptional material for you to escape reality along with me, the time of a screen print.
Take my hand, I take you along with me!

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

‘6-0’ Ataui Deng by Julia Noni for Fat Man SS 2014 [Editorial]
(source: Fashion Copious)

Fat Man SS 2014
Photographer: Julia Noni
Stylist: Simon Rasmussen
Model: Ataui Deng

One of those “minimalist shots” that make you feel like a crappy photog when you see it. I don’t know where that series lead you to but it’s somehow not on this planet despite the reality anchors it holds. Ohhhhhh enjoy!



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Formento & Formento: Through the Eyes of Global Nomads

Read the interview and see a dozen more photographs from this amazing couple of artists at the edge of fashion and fine arts. A MUST! An instant classic playing with traditional Japanese visual codes and injecting this dose of nervous technique modern machines allow you to play with… Remember who create the cameras you handle 😉




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Gilt trip: edie campbell by tim walker for w may 2014

model: edie campbell (dna)
photographer: tim walker
stylist: jacob k (streeters)
hair: christiaan
make-up: sam bryant (dandv)

Seeing Tim Walker’s name written somewhere is a bit like hearing the fanfare approaching. It sounds it s going to be huge, popular, colourful, kitschy a bit and very noisy… Yet you feel totally excited! No bunnies or English countryside for that one but a spiritual retreat.


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(Source: paradiso artificiale: mia stass by luca bellumore for d la repubblica 10th may 2014 on visual optimism)

model: mia stass (mp)
photographer: luca bellumore
stylist: laura bianchi
hair: enrico mariotti (see)
make-up: yumi lee (latelier)

This flawless shooting reveals you the ultimate trick of photography: you enjoy being deceived!


The work of Damien Elroy

Photographer: Damien Elroy
Model: Natascha Haack
MakeUp and Hair: Aennikin
Treats! Magazine Exclusive
Portfolio: Damien Elroy

Beautiful series of nude photographs in artist atelier. Colours, shapes, mood and fine compositional choices!


Life is short, eat dessert first! Enjoy! 🙂

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What All Of This Is About

Sincere and genuine

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A photo book about nightmares, knights and hell? Or is it just about a race…

Whenever you travel to Hamburg, Deichtorhalle is a must for you photo lover. They have one of my favorite museum dedicated to photography there and their photo book shop is my pit stop. I tend to order most of my books through the Internet because they are not exactly available in Trier nor anywhere around. Shame shame… but I m best placed to know that it is a niche and that not many people care about photo books. But going as far as claiming a photo book shop should be open in every city is delusional. Things are slowly changing tho, partly thanks to the self-publish revolution and the remarkable work of new popping talented edition houses everywhere. To own one or two photo books nowadays is a bit like displaying Trout Mask Replica from captain Beefheart on top of your vinyls pile and pretend you enjoy the music Vaaaeeerrry much (sigh). Noobs might give you credit for that.

Going to Deichtorhalle photo books store (or Motto Berlin or 25Books Berlin, name yours, there aren’t many anyway) is what we should all head for though… I m going to spare you with the saveyourlocalshop chorus, nothing new here. What remains interesting though is the IRL suggestion factor that definitely completely outmatches any online algorithm.
I walk in, turn around the shop, recognizes everything, get frustrated, then simply ask the shop manager what’s cracking and end up with a bomb in the hands.

This offensive grenade is called SPEEDWAY from MARTINA HOOGLAND IVANOW and I have never heard of it before. I literally was just leaving the shop when they called me back, yelling “wait wait wait there is something here we all are in love with, something that you should see!”. He grabbed a copy of that sober book from a not so hidden pile and ironized something about the book title.

Ok! So, what is this all about?

Frankly at first you don’t really know… If you know what speedway is and therefore expect shiny motorbikes on a Dakota track with hot chicks taking the pose in front of sponsor signs you may be deceived (But now you know what speedway refers to).

Here are dark photos printed on black paper that seems to come from some sort of black hole, sucking you in at the very first glance. What seems first to be warriors in armor praying their last breath out in the snow, slowly turns out to be some sort of extreme northern motocross bench of pilots racing in the dark. But the gap between reality and phantasy is very thin here. Flicker the book five seconds in the busy environment of the shop and you end up in a world where the sun is for long extinguished, where people are fighting wars for survival against an unbeatable enemy.


So is it reportage? It seems however so… No artificial lighting, no technical tricks besides color grading and under exposure, just what a speedway race can be. Yet it looks like you passed the doors of hell… You see legions of faceless soldiers fighting against enemies taking the form of a monstrous cloud, masses of covering snow, thick and greasy wind. Their motorbikes blur into dark mechanical horses. Fully masked behind tribal armors and helmets, the parallel with Denis Darzacq “Casques” comes to mind but  is  here pushed to a much more lyrical extent: MARTINA HOOGLAND IVANOW soldiers fight here for survival. But the fight seems endless and purposeless as you see soldiers falling helpless, one after another all throughout the book. Theatrically EPIC! Other inspirations could have been THE ROAD from Cormac McCarthy; post-apocalyptic novels in general…


Martina does not offer you a narrative to follow, but rather a loop race track without a beginning nor an end, just as you can enter the book in the middle and escape from it by simply closing it… and come back to it later. Soldiers gathering in the shadow on one page, Shield plates hanging or ghost riders passing through the book like charging a demon there.
But the nightmare does not end when closing the book. This is no phantasy but an actual Swedish race, no Mad Max delirium but an actual competition in the snow.

So… close the book, raise your head look around the shop manager and his dude with a smile, look at the shop itself around you, then look away at Hamburg main station in the rain… Then look at the book cover and smile in return, cause your ten years trip in stormy Sweden hell only did last for 30 seconds max in reality. The experience is pretty much similar as reading a post-apo novel. Comparable bonds can be found in Redheaded Peckerwood in terms of immersion. Christian Patterson’s visual survey being grounded in popular culture and modern American history while Speedway digs into myths, religion and collective fears of hell and darkness.
No way I could have experienced this through online flickering.
As a matter of fact, the book is out since January, (edition of 666 printed books, go figure!) and I had never heard of it even remotely… And that feels very good!

So, I love how the book is made (the black matte paper is a treat), the pictures are mesmerizing and even tho I am not usually even remotely connected to the motocross world, I feel deeply connected to the topic through the use of intelligent book edition techniques. Doesn’t that sound like a recommendation to you? On the downside I regret that color grading seems a bit overdone on some of the pages (especially the pilot portraits) and regret that the signed book costs 80€. Should that prevent anyone to get one of the 665 books left?

My answer is NO:

Blogingly yours from luxembourg train as usual!

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How many good reasons to go to see Viviane Sassen’s work in Frankfurt?

How many good reasons to go to see Viviane Sassen’s work in Frankfurt?

1. She’s a genius

Whatever she touches turns to gold. I got to realise this with her personal series PARASOMNIA. She, like no other, turns human matter into delicate saturated abstraction. When closing one of her books you feel like wandering if you are blind not to see the beauty she depicts everywhere, like she does. It is usually damn simple but it always is right in front of your own nose and you could’t see it.

Arthur Schopenhauer summed it all:

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.

2. Because none does it like Viviane

I have been advocating for Fashion Photography as a genre of its own for a while now. I oppose it to Photography of Fashion to make the distinction clearer. Viviane Sassen’s work is Fashion by nature, like a haute couture collection can be, not talking about the clothes or the models, she uses them like others would use clay to sculpt. It is fine arts without questions but radiates a sense of NOW that makes pretty much everyone else in the Fashion Editorial Photography business look a bit ridiculous. Next to her work, their attempts as brilliant as they can be, look pale and vain. I can spend hours browsing through the new classy ideas of Madame Peripetie, New Formalists and friends, they sadly recall her work to me and can’t match the delicacy and subtlety, Viviane sneaks in just like a curse over photographers.

3. Because shapes and forms are fine but humans are best

Ok ok that statement does not make too much sense, but Her photos are more than just vivid visual compositions. Human remains a middle point in her body of work and ETHAN and ME is here to prove it like a final point at the end of a chapter. Her friend Ethan is pictured with an incredible sensibility and complicity. The series reflects on friendship relationships and asks some ontological questions about what it is to be Human before pushing further and complete the question with a “… in the 21st century”. I swear there are all of those in Viviane’s work.

4. Because Fashion photography is kicking in, RIGHT NOW

Germany has had a few highlights for Fashion Photography recently, and so had the world. Guy Bourdin at DeichtorHallen, Helmut Museum in Berlin, fine!!! But old like your grandpa and in fashion it means like before the first bacteria appeared on earth. Viviane does it now and floods your favorite magazine with her editorial shootings here, here and there.

5. Because she photographs Africa anyway but the way we want a white female artist to do so…

…and god that feels good. Bye stereotypes, bye convenience, bye colonialist systems of visual representation (no no I m not joking…). Hello fresh Viviane air! You see? Sometimes she s the one responsible for the curse and sometimes she is the cure. What else?



Conclusion? Go to see In and Out Fashion – Viviane Sassen exhibition in Frankfurt

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KARMA (Oscar Monzon) is like a shiny handcrafted razor blade you feel like swallowing

At an age where the world is being pictured in its entirety, from photos of our streets through the google street view eye to Belfies for a better look inside the mind of our beloved teens, there’s almost nothing you could not see by simply opening your daily blog roll.

Regularly checking blogs and photography sharing platforms allows one to distinguish trends and what makes the buzz’. Ask me what’s buzzing right now? Dreamy semi nude floating in the forest in vintage dress. Copies of copies of copies of them flooding the Internet, of course not even remotely matching the quality of Anni Leppälä’s work and the now age-ing Helsinki school of photography…
A common strategy consisting of presenting ‘controversial’ works to stand out of the crowd remains equally popular.

But can photographers still be controversial through this massive mess? How about feeling angry? Feeling like you want to shock someone? I guess there’s a tough link between the notion of controversy and the time and place the work is being presented. Sometimes the photographer is willing to provoke a violent crash and sometimes the photographer sees the F.B.I. seizing his materials without completely understanding why. The context of work presentation being a prime factor of reception for the audience.

(Above: Jock Sturges’ controversy over child nudity. Below: Piss Christ from Andres Serrano)

So, let’s talk business now. You want to shock everyone? First forget about porn, death or anything related, it doesn’t work anymore. Hot topics remain religion, or childhood. This fountain starts however to run dry. So? Any idea or suggestion? Oscar Monzon has one for you… But it’s rather subtle and part of the controversy lays in the fact it might even silently fly under the radar!

KARMA controversially addresses the people it pictures, the people appreciating the photos, the people flickering its pages and more importantly photography in General.
KARMA is punk in the old school way. Not the pink and fluorescent green raised hair, oh no nono… Like destroying an YVES SAINT LAURENT costume on purpose and wearing it just cause you are too lazy to raise your middle finger? Hell yeah…


KARMA is made of harsh light and ultra sharp dismantle collages of sneaky shots. It’s a war aimed to claim back what you thought was a private sphere in the public space. Oscar Monzon stands on on the roadside, sets his trap up and wait for you to admit defeat. Whether you are a car passenger or a photo book collector, you are all done.

The book presents no title, no essay, barely displays the name of the author (somewhere in the middle of the book, just like a statement “didn’t I tell you I can do whatever pleases me?).

The hyper sharp pics are superbly printed on a hyper glossy plasticized paper emphasizing over exposure and hard color saturation. It’s all about that YSL costume I told you about. The pics themselves brilliantly get rid of any kind of photographic conventions while remaining aesthetically mesmerizing and nervous.

Dalpine (The editor) says “Karma explores a range of unconscious human behaviours imprinted on our memory. In terms of the relationship we establish with the car, these forms of conduct materialise in specific ways: detachment, competition, aggressiveness.”

KARMA is like a shiny handcrafted razor blade you feel like swallowing

It is now time to reach a conclusion… The book was awarded with a first prize at Paris photo-aperture (go figure…) and is now hard to get. Actually pretty hard and the price already climbs up. Flickering through it makes me feel the same as when listening to good ole Rage against the machine, no more no less! Oh and to stay in tune with the topic, be aware that I have a copy… and you don’t 😛

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Back when only the photographer was the photographer

Hello everyone!

Talking about Bottrop-Ebel 76′ from Michael Wolf in the previous post and the sense for community that radiates all throughout the book, invites me to show you a little something more Please refer to the previous post

First thing first, I d like to tell you what happened to the village where my family comes from.
As you can easily guess the mines closed down, many families left for brighter mining horizons here and there leaving older people behind. Village population decreased of more than 2k individuals and now everything is being bought by cross-border workers from Belgium, Luxembourg or larger cities in France as prices there went mad.

On paper it sounds like another cultural mixing settlement cycle just like it was in the 30’s, things are fairly different though… People are not working together anymore, sparsely contact each other, barely know their neighbours and leave for the weekend.

What does this have to do with photography now? Well, I figure that photography evolved the same way.
If the actual village DNA changed this much, is there an actual way we could witness it through photography? In BOTTROP-EBEL 76′ Michael Wolf obviously was looking to communicate this sense for community through his pictures. Each frame of this book recalls the fact that the people had to live with each other, whether for killing the pig and share the meat, working at the factory being a link in the production chain or being the accordionist that makes the people dance in the cellar club.
Not exactly what you would call objective though, considering the socio-economical context of that area of Germany in the early 80’s. And the book format emphasises all this by connecting frames to each other, inviting the reader to naturally connect the dots between the pages. Photo book designers and publishers are curators!

A few years ago, while asking my dear grandma to show me her wedding pictures, she showed me a collection of photos she got from the whole neighbourhood.
That was back in the days where nobody was a photographer but the photographer (That kinda changed didn’t it?!).
Based on this material, I then composed my first postmodern ironic appropriation artwork and it is now here for you to see!


Ok ok those all were taken by the same photographer (mr. Pierrard) who did a stunning work in recording the first steps of a thousand newly formed families in that region. What does this work show up is clearly a sense for community. This should be put in the light of modern wedding photography.
I have been a wedding photographer myself and would always go to see the customers and ask them what they wished for. They would come up with a tablet or magazines filled with ideal wedding photos in the style they would want to be seen on their wedding album. They would from time to time even come to me because my style was different from x, y or z wedding photographer and would match with their personal taste (note the use of a bold font). Why this? Through the common act of marriage people just want to be uncommon. A way to shout out loud how unique the story of their love can be. The act of marriage being individualised, within the frame formed by the strict rituals and visual codes dictated through tradition.

When I look at this series of 16 vintage photographs I see a loud statement of a community welcoming newly married couple to become part of a the BIG PICTURE. The only affirmation of the self lays in the hand of the bride and her choice for a less or more conservative dress.
What made this switch possible? Well technique surely helped with an access to mobility, sensibility and reactivity through the evolution of the camera. Cameras being also more and more accessible also meant more and more people using them, exploring along a whole new set of visual codes.
Just like with music: back in the days you could pick among two or three genres and one radio station per country. Then jazz, then rock and roll arrived, with their set of styles and attitudes… Nowadays, claim something like “cool, I love this techno sound” someone beats you to death screaming “do I look like someone listening to Techno to you?! This is Northern Liquid drill&bass you idiot!”.
……….. Well……… Same happened to wedding photography.

(Those are a few photos of mine, I chose black and white photos only so you can concentrate on the essential)

Drawing conclusion on “what caused what?” would just be like trying to answer the question of who came first between the egg or the bride. Humm egg or bird sorry. By arranging a few photos together we can however have the viewer questioning what he sees. Different arrangements, different questions.
This is what the photo book does to us, by carefully arranging body of works creating new meanings that stand above the simple sum of a bunch of photographs, no matter how good they individually are.

All this said and back to our wedding business, it would be cheap to conclude this messy post with a conclusion like “That was all better before”.
So I leave that in the hands of Veronika and another serious writer with a quote:

‘The past is a foreign country,‘ goes the famous opening sentence of L.P. Hartley’s novel The Go-Between, ‘they do things differently there.’ But the photograph tells me to invert this idea; it reminds me that it’s my present that is foreign, and that the past is home, albeit a lost home in a lost city in the mists of lost time. It may be argued that the past is a country from which we have all emigrated, that its loss is part of our common humanity. The shards of memory acquired greater status, greater resonance, because they were remains; fragmentation made trivial things seem like symbols, and the mundane acquired numinous qualities. (-Salman Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands)


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Bottrop-Ebel depicts your past, just the way you want it to be!

Collecting photography books is quite a demanding hobby. It requires time to browse the Internet in search of what’s new and coming, patience and perseverance to localise copies of the desired edition and tough muscles each time you need to move to a new flat.

Books are filling every inch of the weak and now distorted library and then comes that question: what does all this serve?………….

I always preferred the book form over the gallery print format for photographs. Not that the latter isn’t awesome, it just always seemed distant and arrogant to me. Think about it: you cannot afford a print in most of the cases and often, the one single print belongs to series that were thought as a whole despite the intriguing qualities of a single shot.

The book form offers you an unique opportunity to admire the series as a whole, it’s (most often) relatively affordable and in some cases is a form of art in its very conception. Bottom line: nobody to bother you when reading it, no annoying hip gallery assistant to engage you during your transcendental experience with the arts.

In short it makes photography accessible and unforgettable.

I keep on wondering what will ever happen to all my books. Ideally, one day a mini version of myself bearing half of my genes will pick a few of them to the bedroom and take on whatever journey the imagination and memories can create through the book medium (if that makes any sense to you). This said, if you ask me what my favourite photograph is, I will doubtless point directly at a family picture. This photo is a gem of a kind. Just to point out how photography and family can be linked and participate to one’s identity definition.

Photo (unknown) – my family, both sides for the twins baptism (Yeah ok they all look a bit too serious here 😛 )

My grandparents, all the four coming from Polish families arriving in France to answer the massive coal minors call were raised in France at the border with Germany/Belgium/Luxembourg. Entire families living in cloned houses in endless streets where meant to work and live together, at the mine, through the cultural differences and through the war. Call it fate or accident or chance, my two grandfathers were living in the exact same house, became first friends to each other and at 80+ when all are leaving us one after the other, remain last and oldest best friends. The photo above therefore unites two different families living under a one roof, two families who will later be united through my parents marriage and shortly after… Through my birth.

This photo above, belongs to the set of my family albums along with many other proofs of a past and are attached to the prolific familial tradition of storytelling. When I stare at it, I see what is there on the photo, recorded, but I attach to those pictures the many phantasies triggered by the memories of some stories told on Sundays around the family dinner table. Just as I am unable to tell what part is historical fact and what part was constructed over the years, I accept those stories as they are: the big story of my own family.

Bottrop-Ebel 76

Two recent events triggered the writing of this post. About a month ago or so, someone created a Facebook group dedicated to the people originated from the village where my grandparents grew up and still live. The group quickly was flooded with tons of black and white photos of the time when the heart of the village still was beating loud, deep in the mines. It’s oh so weird but so pleasing to watch all those people who lived their life along with my parents and their parents.


Photos: Michael Wolf

Second event was the appearance in my blog roll of some posts about Michael Wolf and the book above. I knew Wolf’s work through is Amazing and thoughtful series called Tokyo Compressions. I haven’t specified it before but I now live in Germany. What strucked me was to see how similar the world depicted in this book and the community described in Bottrop-Ebel 76 were similar. It was just as there was a copy of my “hometown” living a parallel life across the border.


Photos: Michael Wolf

Now consider the many stereotypes that French and German hold about each other’s, most often incomprehension at best and hatred at worse. Hard to understand for me, having a foot in both worlds. This appears however soooooooooo silly when flickering through the pages of this book. Michael Wolf talents lays in the way he communicates the relationship of intimacy he built with the city and the people living there. He makes me feel like I am a warmly welcome guest, invited to step in and participate to the local life of those people. By extension and due to the many similarities with my hometown, I feel like I can share a slice of my grandparents life as it was back in the days of their numerous tales of joy and worries.

Photo: Michael Wolf

Bottrop-Ebel 76 was Michael Wolf university project, the photos were taken before all the fame he acquired through famous series like Tokyo Compressions. I would like to imagine those photos reappearing after some years, out of a box, raising interest just like the photos people post on Facebook about their village. They radiate a sense for community and trust, inspire nostalgia for a time before Internet when neighbours new each other’s? Or is it what we are looking for when watching this book?

Whatever you are going to project in this book, every single frame from page one to the end is filled with awesomeness. The photos are stunning, the book is of a high quality paper and presented in a nice box. All in all super highly recommended!

Photo: Michael Wolf

Below, various photos obtained through the Facebook group “Si t’es originaire de Tucquegnieux”, family members, village where they lived and mines were they worked.

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04.03.14 digest – #babygiraffes the new Wednesday Adams, #heaven and #supermodel on #horse

Good morning!

It’s going to be a heavy pics loaded post today. I have been saving a few things in my folder for sharing later and later seems to be now. Meaning it’s not going to be freshly pressed juice but rather white wine.

First things first I know all the craze about miss Kerr (full nude editorial from Mario Testino released yesterday) or Cara twitting to her fan crowd what she thinks of Paparazzi… Sure they are cool but my heart goes for Codie Young for now.

Appearing in more and more editorials recently, she s completely unique and utterly strange in the best positive way. The only problem I could see hiring her as a designer would be that she completely eclipses anything but her on each frame. How cool is this?? Now if you ve been reading me for a while, you should know that we actually don’t really care about this.

Here you will find more on Visual Optimism:
sleepwalker: codie young by nhu xuan hua for nasty #4 the void issue winter 2014



And a bit more on Fashionproduction:
nicolas valois


Posting anything about giraffe is probably as populist as posting about kittens, it’s just propaganda. You can sell anything with kittens, it’s unfair. I just wanted you to be aware of that before showing the following photos and if you jumped through the post without reading it, it’s your fault not mine!
Funny fact is that these appeared in my digest the day of the zoo craze,when everyone got nuts cause a baby giraffe would be killed (badbadbad)… But somehow Giraffe heaven seemed ok enough to me after seeing where the animal would end up enjoying some fruits in a basket:
prints charming: alana zimmer by liz collins for uk harper’s bazaar march 2014


…and talking about heaven, its animals and colour code… Here is a superb example of visual perfection. The frames and post processing are simply perfect, visual candy from the finest candy makers. With Karlie Kloss as a cherry on the cake.
ray of light: karlie kloss and sasha by mikael jansson for vogue april 2014



Finally, it seems that Instagram filter craze reached fashion editorial industry.
When it’s so well done I’m ready to pardon anything.
the laroache brothers



If you reached this point of the post you may be thinking there are a lot of links directing to fashioncopius? You are right. But they post so much and so good that I actually invite you to subscribe their feed. They also have the best quality pics upload which makes it easy for me when an editorial appears on several blogs.


Enjoy your day 😉

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04.01.14 digest is intended to make you smile

Hello everyone,

A funny post today!!!

What would you do if entering a party at Cannes festival everyone would mistake you for YouTube’s legend PSY (gangnam style)?
I would just do like Maciej and his friend, grab the fame and enjoy the 15 minutes of celebrity promised to me by Andy Warhol.

This book has a very funny concept with photos cleverly illustrating it. Just a slice of fun in your photo book collection who often looks dark and conceptual!


Life of Psy!
Maciej Pestka

On the other side of the world, there is a place with a motel you now definitely wants to sleep at.
To promote the facility, they publish a ‘standard hotel’ calendar illustrating comments left by the clients. Some of them are hilarious and you can see more at the following Internet location:

Photos From The Standard’s 2014 Calendar Bring to Life Oddball Comments From Guests

AUGUST / Stayed here a few years ago and it is still beautiful! The only thing I recommend is…the TV is possessed. No matter which button you push: vol, channel up, etc, it just channels down—malfunction. Love from Vegas.

DECEMBER / Dear Standard Staff, You were the most hospitable bunch of people I’ve ever stayed with in a while. Thank you so much for making my time here in LA so nice. PS: Btw, someone installed the sign in your hotel upside down.

Finally, in his project “Strangers that look like twins“, François Brunelle takes you onto a journey where you will never feel alone anymore because your hidden twin is waiting for you, somewhere!
One must be very patient to complete such a photo project!

Strangers That Look Like Twins


Enjoy your evening 😉

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03.26.14 Digest #back and blurring all those boundaries

Good morning! Long time no read 🙂

Art is what makes life more important than art” said a dude…
If you ve been reading the lines of this blog on a regular basis (which I totally doubt), you d be accustomed to the fact I’m in love with those projects blurring the boundaries of fashion, fine arts and reportage. Partly because those are titanium soldered “boxes” people have difficulties to mentally get rid of. There should not be a distinction and in fact if I push this way of thought through, I should not even talk about it… Fine arts / fashion / reportage…

In some rare occasions, one just creates this perfectly balanced precious alliance and I could keep on writing about the benefits it offers to the lucky viewer… Or I could just show you this and make you happy?

Digg in! ★ ‘Boarding Schools’ by Jamie Hawkesworth for Hot & Cool Magazine spotted on Fashion Copious.




Interestingly enough, the above mentioned balance isn’t only explored by fashion industry actors but also by artists or reporters. To make it more understandable, let’s simply group them under the banner of “editorial photographers”. Basically people not getting paid to shoot what they see but rather to shoot what they feel or what they want to feel.

I’ll never give you better advice than having a look at Rena Effendi’s body of work. I introduced her mesmerizing book called Liquid Land earlier in this blog. Liquid Land was a book paralleling her father’s passion for collecting butterflies and the nasty oil industry, all set up in the Azerbaijan’s death landscapes. She comes back now, and invites you to meet the people of “Transylvania, Romania”.

Follow the link: “Transylvania, Romania” Rena Effendi

Step by step, you mentally cruise with me in the regional express. Destination: workplace. One hour to kill? I keep on blogging!


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Top end portraiture and top end Fashion Nudes… What else?! #photography #vogue #portraits

Good morning everyone,

I have been gathering a handful of top end portraits for you the last few days.
As I read here and there within the blogosphere the past weeks:

Taking a photograph is easy, taking a great photograph is almost impossible.

So let’s focus on those who achieved to make the best portraits!

Now that they revealed Taylor Wessing winners, I thought that I should find a post doing a quick recap of what made it to the top selection… and here it is. Featured by Fubiz, the selection is very certainly flawless. No wonder for such a prestigious prize:
Taylor Wessing Photography Prize 2013

Feature Shoot people on their side focused on “selfies”. By the way did you know that the word entered the Oxford dictionary this year? Signs of changing times…
Nevertheless, the two projects below give a brilliant demonstration on how selfies can be creative!
Clever ‘Double-faced’ Portraits Use Simple Drawings to Distort Perception

Photographer Transforms Found Dolls Into Strange Self-Portraits

Finally TREATS! Wrote a post last week about the best of nudes in Vogue and offers a selection of about a hundred high end fashion nudes. NOT to be missed!!
Full of classics and contemporary shots, the best recap I ever came across online!
Follow the link:



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11.06.13 digest – Unicorns taking a bath, meditating cookie monsters and other very serious forms of #photography

Hello everyone!

Now that you are familiar with Fashion Editorial Photography thanks to our previous post, let’s come back to our daily considerations and a fancy selection of things you should not miss.

Let’s start with this series of photos depicting London artisanal workforce. That one forces you into their dreamy-like universe, but no worries it is a colorful and interesting one!
Full article at: Handmade London by Julian Love

Poetic curiosity of the day on a German blog.
Full article in Kwerfeldein: Von Ängsten des menschlichen Wesens

Smile factor of the day, a fistful of laugh with Cosplay artists in their familiar environment.
Common’ what would you be?
Full set at: Just the Two of Us: Portraits of Cosplay Enthusiasts in their Homes by Klaus Pichler

“Who hasn’t had the desire just to be someone else for awhile? Dressing up is a way of creating an alter ego and a second skin which one’s behaviour can be adjusted to. Regardless of the motivating factors which cause somebody to acquire a costume, the main principle remains the same: the civilian steps behind the mask and turns into somebody else. ’Just the Two of Us’ deals with both: the costumes and the people behind them”.

For having been an England resident for several years, I could not resist but showing this candid editorial capturing everything I would have loved to communicate about British countryside.
Cup of tea?
Full set at: the call of country life: ruby jean wilson by tom craig for vogue japan december 2013

To end that selection, let’s have a closer look at this incredible fashion editorial series standing at the very border of storytelling, looking like a reportage in the style. I’m in love with that kind of work. It looks real doesn’t it?
Full editorial at: grey lake: sojourner morrell by an le for tush magazine

I hope you will enjoy today’s selection!

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What is fashion editorial photography? (Because you think you know, but you don’t!)

I love photography. In all it’s forms. I love the debates it provokes and what it tells about us. I could talk about it for hours and I actually do. I manage my own photo book collection and I m pretty proud of it.

I however have a feeling that it’s problematic to love photography this much. There are different group of people, all fighting their way through and working very hard in promoting it as a form of art. Did you know that photographs represent less than 10% of the global artwork sales in galleries and auction houses? Sounds nuts! Why? Well, think about the mass of photos you see everyday, whether it is as default background for your computer or to illustrate family happiness on a chocolate box. Probably a million photos sold everyday for such purpose and a billion photos taken by mr. everyone but yet such a low status for photography as…a form of art.
To make it even more difficult, the photo people even fight each other’s adding a layer of confusion for the public; mostly to determine who’s got the biggest (pardon me I m angry)!

cruel summer: sindy by andrew soule for flare july 2013

People have always been ranking subjects “worth of interest”… So are we educated, always being told that first comes sciences, followed closely by economics and business studies, social sciences and in any case at the bottom: the arts.
Within the arts world, a hierarchy again with visual arts, music and at the bottom comedy and dance. I think it’s crap but let’s face it, it won’t change any soon!
We are ranking everything and the world of photography doesn’t escape such nonsensical judgement.
So stop the suspense, what lays a the bottom in photography? This one category that nobody wants to write about? The one that is regarded as a subform, a horrible mutation meant to serve hideous purposes? The one that holds no credibility and is meant to be disposable?

Well, I believe it is fashion photography…

Douglas Friedman Captures Underwater Style for Vogue Italia March 2013

A little while ago, I saw myself submitting my work to a few groups labelled FASHION EDITORIALS on the Flickr platform… For review. One hour later, the website notifies me that a review had been written by one of the platform members, a text of about 8 paragraphs, very promising! Not… This person wrote a miles long mail to tell me how stiff the model was (actually a ballet dancer for the record), to criticize my poor choice of clothes that weren’t fashionable and a lack of story to follow through the different pictures. I was shocked, ready to give up had never heard of such disgrace. I wanted to understand who wrote that and what motivated him!
Sure my series were far from being perfect but… That bad?!? C’mon!

So I clicked through and ended up on his website within a minute. Ok, so a professional fashion photographer as stated on the banner and a dedicated “fashion editorials” section. A few sub categories entitled with the name of the series. I pick “affair at the mosoleum” for a start.
I see myself browsing through a neat collection of photographs, highly professional in the look, framing, retouching, of a good looking model in romantic poses in a cemetery…
That’s When it stroke me!!! We were simply not talking about the same thing!

visual optimism; fashion editorials, shows, campaigns & more!: be a chameleon fit in anywhere be a rockstar stand out everywhere: xiao wen ju and yue ning by solve sundsbo for i-d summer 2013

I think that despite the impressive technical skills demonstrated through his sets, this person was completely wrong and misunderstood what was at stake under the banner “fashion editorial”. The photos I could see there where photos of fashion and not fashion photography.
Ok let me explain: today when coming back from work you opened your mail box, picked a few bills a postcard and threw away that advertisement offering you 20% on fashion articles in a local shop. Oh you know that shop pretty well and it is anything but “fashionable”!
And now I am talking to you Fashion design student, fashion designer and alike, yes YOU!
This thought of having everyone around using the term fashion for any piece of crap sold at every corner is pretty spine chilling Isn’t it?? You spend days and nights developing your concepts, you hide yourself in hype student WG and go as far as not sewing your clothes at school because you are afraid of others stealing some of your ideas! Yep, I know you well! You want that high grade but you also want to state something about yourself, about the time being and the times to be through your very unique designs? Congratulations you are doing FASHION.

FASHION is something that lays ahead of us. Ahead but close enough to be accepted and eventually understood, digested. Something both unique (this “never seen before”), but universal (this “that’s it, damn that IS it!”). The FASHION label (please note the capital letters) applies to dresses, hats, underwear, footwear… Make-up, hairstyling… Photography.
So let me be clear now: fashion photography is not about taking pictures of clothes. As a matter of fact I could copy a dozen of links to brilliant fashion editorial series where models are completely nude all along. Fashion photography is about being innovative, ahead, unique and universal in the very way the photo is taken. It’s about the photographic process. It’s a proper exercise for the mind and it must be challenging. It implies a sound dialogue with a rich historical background of creativity and a will to move forward, a knack for innovative and out-of-the-box thinking.

Fashion design and fashion photography remain interdependent though and fuel each other’s. But the result is meant to stand above the simple sum. Something different with its own set of rules. Something deeper than the simple look book and that answers to a set of rules that aren’t found in any other photographic field. Fashion editorials give life to your creations. It sometimes interprets your creative intentions in an unexpected manner…and? Shouldn’t you accept it? Once public, your work is going to be reinterpreted by critiques, juries, teachers, fellow students as well as consumers, bloggers, haters and photographers. Give it away and see what happens, you might be surprised!

Sky Is Falling Source:

The history of fashion editorial photography is rich, very rich and it is depressing to see how little recognition it has gained. We surely see institutional initiatives such as Deichtor Hallen exhibiting Guy Bourdin or Vivianne Sassen publishing more art books (and I m not going to complain about this really!) but those are rather the exception. Internet remains the sole place where Calikartel, Fashion Gone Rogue, Ben Trovato and alikes vigorously promote Fashion Photography the way I defend it here.

visual optimism; fashion editorials, shows, campaigns & more!: grey lake: sojourner morrell by an le for tush magazine

Haven’t you ever surprised yourself daydreaming when flicking through the pages of a magazine, unfolding such universe? A fantasy world existing only for a few A4 frames, so moving you want to rip the pages off and save them for later? So you can come back to them any time you want?
I do. Everyday.
But look… All across this blog post I copied a few highly recommended fashion editorials that will show you what I mean. I find them provocative in a way, executed with maestria all their very own and unique way but always challenging. Isn’t a photo worth a thousand words?


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5 major tips to take stunning pictures on holidays regardless the type of camera you own!

Good morning,

It’s now time to conclude our Marrakech series and instead of unfolding a new set of photos I thought I could rather write something a bit different.
I never really was focusing on technique when talking about those photos and the reason is that most of them are not exactly technique dependant. In other words, yes I’ve got a pricey camera and it is much needed when I Need to satisfy my client requests, whether it’s fashion fotografie, wedding or portrait based assignments. But I also strongly believe that the Marrakech set could have been done with a muuuch less expensive camera.

Try googling “travel photography” and you’ll end up browsing HDR ultra wide landscape photos with hardcore shallow depth of field obtained through 2k+ EUR lenses.
I used a 24-70mm lens mostly set at values like f/8… Basically more limited than your phone camera in terms of possibility range (no need to argue about sharpness or dynamic range, it would not make sense here, of course it wouldn’t).
My point being that instead of focusing on what other stunning gears can do, it’s time to make the best out of what YOUR gear can do.


1. Planing is key!
CERVANTES famously said that “The man who is prepared has his battle half fought”.
Prepare yourself then! Internet is filled to the the top with photos of people who visited the place you are heading to… Check their work! Google it, whether it is Marrakech or Montenegro. Visit Flickr groups, do selective researches on Behance, name it. You probably have a favourite platform to share your work, just browse it!
It will give you an idea of what is the standard artistic representation of the place you will photograph once there, you are then free to use it for inspiration.

I personally hate to come back home with the same pictures I’ve seen everywhere. The Marrakech tag will lead you to a mass of teeth less old souks men under the sun with those typical red wall backgrounds seen everywhere in Marrakech. I sort of forbid myself to come back to Trier with such pictures, so my work could stand out a bit! What’s the point then???

The point is that doing so will put you in the mood. Do you remember when as a kid you were looking at pics of the things you hoped for Christmas? Do you know this feeling when you play lottery and dream about what you could do with all that money? Well, same same except that here, you eventually get the toy, win the lottery: your plane ticket is already booked! Why would you prevent yourself from enjoying the planning process!

Moreover this exercise helps you to develop a photographic culture and expand your vision of what is possible creatively with a camera in hand and this is key!

2. Do not shoot what you see but shoot what you feel
During the first two days of my one week stay in Marrakech, I was completely overwhelmed and could barely shoot a single picture. It was all so new to me and extremely sensual for the best or the worse. It was about the heat, the smells (from delicious spices to ignoble leather factories), the tastes (from magnificent Tajines to those meat stands in the souks I would avoid at any cost) and sounds (hundred calls for prayers mixed from everywhere in the city 5 times a day in a chaotic chorus).

It quickly became clear that what I wanted to bring back from Marrakech wasn’t another self-made postcard but rather a way to express those above mentioned feelings.
How to do this? Sit down and think. Write a mental list of what inspires you I the city and regroup those ideas under 4 or five keywords/folders.
One of my “folders” was this idea of a foreign powerful divine entity, ruling and giving the beat to the city through Sun, Muezzin calls and excitement due to the Aid El-Adha. Once this concept clarified, I walked the city and shot anything that could be attached to this idea.
Ok ok maybe that one was a bit complex but it could be much simpler: in Iceland this leading thought was “empty wild large space”, in Roma it was “contrast between imperialism in the city and modern Italians”. Call it!

In other words don’t shoot like crazy to fill your memory card in hope there would be something to tell afterwards, but tell something with your photos instead! It s like writing a poem: you know what you want to express and you need to choose the right words!

3. Engage!

It probably is the most difficult part for a beginner. Engage your subject. It is about finding the right balance between being intrusive and getting Closer with a Cartier-Bresson big “C”.
When I shoot my street style fotografie series for Glanzvoll magazine in Trier, I stop someone I really like, tell them I find them very charming/trendy, emphasise the effort they have done to look great this day and ask them for the permission to take a photo.
90% of the answers are positive! Unbelievable huh? Who would have thought?!? Is it this surprising? Not…

After all they later get a good picture of themselves via mail, receive tons of compliments often regarded as a positive feedback In times where street style is regarded as a creative/artistic act. What else would you wish for when you didn’t expect anything?

Now apply this one to everything. The people you meet do not want their photo to be taken? Move on, find someone else. They do not want you to take picture of this or that? Explain yourself, negotiate, clarify your intentions and if they still refuse, move on. No big deal! Sometimes this negotiating process go through body and eye languages only, especially if you do not speak the local language, trust me you’ll find a way!
Don’t miss this part of the game! Sometimes a bit of stress will make your heart skip a beat when engaging the people but it very very normal.

Last tip from Martin Parr himself: ask people not to smile, they look much better when they don’t have to fake anything!

4. Be ready to shoot

Prepare some space on your memory card, take a universal lens if you have the chance to possess more than one, review your ISO and other settings, TAKE OFF THE CAMERA CAP (no joke). And be ready to shoot because sometimes you only have a second! This second will make the difference between a WOW shot and a hahahuh shot. It s about positions of everything you record in the frame. Get ready? Shoot!

Also being active in observing can also help to predict chances for something to happen.

5. A right shot is not what you think it is.

Right shots are often mistaken with crisp, focused perfectly exposed and framed photos. With time and a little experience in using your developing software, you will learn to seize the opportunity to use noise, out of range exposures or movement blur for creative purposes that will eventually serve your narratives. Sometimes in a much more expressive manner than this HDR shot of the bay that clearly has nothing to do with reality anyway. Think of those hype analog photos of everything and everywhere that flood the internet.

They use the optical and chemical particularities of a film to carry a vintage feeling, emphasize authenticity (should not be taken as an absolute observation), often faked through Instagram filters! Use all this creatively. Motion blur indicates movement, not all unsharp photographs look terrible, noise can make a shot look rough… Experiment!

Now give me some feedback if you wish, try some of those next time you go on holiday or simply anytime you want to explore something new with your camera. Many great photographers apply some of those principles when exploring the relationship between the individuals within families, to document the life in industrial neighbourhoods… There are endless possibilities!
I hope all this will be helpful and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any question!


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#marrakesh #photography set #bts part II

Good morning,

This is part two of our post about Marrakech! Quick reminder, you will find the complete set at my Facebook page reachable through a link on the right part of the blog.

Do you know why all houses in Marrakech are covered with this red/orange coating? It apparently is because, far from the coast the air charged with dust tends to dirt houses traditionally painted in white. The houses colour matches with the earth colour you would find in Moroccan landscape at the feet of the high Atlas. And this is precisely where we will drive to for our first picture! This was taken at wide angle directly against the sun and with a pretty high colour temperature setting. I took a chance on clicking in order to get this contrasting red bottle in the foreground and got it as a microsecond later would have been too late and the image would have been much less balanced in my opinion. This red bottle highlights the presence of one individual goal through that mass. It shows that despite the apparent chaos, everyone is here for a very practical reason. Needless to say, it also balances composition by offering an focal point to the viewer’s eye!

Monday is Berbere’s market day. At about one hour drive from Marrakech, people would come down the Atlas with family and donkeys (no joke) and gather near a small village to buy essential goods like salt, meat, mint and tea but also to give a visit to the dozen Barber/Dentists who for a couple of Coins will shave you and extract your teeth with terribly rusty tools… The old dude I’ve seen on the chair seemed happy with the service provided… This photo above is a sort of Donkey parking lot where farmers would leave the animal the time of the ballade through the tents. It was about 11am and the ambiance was pretty bubbly as it seemed to be a last chance to get a sheep for the Aid El-Adha’s sacrifice. Believe it or not but camera around the neck, being probably the only tourist there, this is the sole picture I took… Why? First because it was insanely busy and tricky to navigate through the mass of people, animals and cars. Second because once again, take a picture of someone and they will ask you for money (how about introducing the TFP concept?). Last but not least, it looked beautiful colour wise and pattern wise but any picture I would take would have fallen into stereotypic miserabilist representations.
I was far too overwhelmed and excited to concentrate to avoid this and simply preferred to enjoy the scenery with my own senses.

And believe me it’s difficult not to be overwhelmed in Marrakech!

For those of you who never had the chance to experience the muezzin call for prayer it can be quite a shock when first time hearing it. It sounds like nothing I ever heard before. It quickly came as a priority for me to find a way to represent this “call” visually through my photos.
I wanted to translate this feeling of god talking to the people via the Mosque medium. The call can be heard from ANYWHERE in the city, five time a day in tune with the Sun movements (Moroccan flag is a five star branch, symbolising those five prayers).
Picturing the Koutoubia, largest Mosque in Marrakech and highest point in the skyline for urbanism reasons seemed logical. I the above picture I wanted to visually demonstrate this relationship between god (the sun), the mosque tower grabbing it and communicating it to the ground of Marrakech. This was done by exposing the sky correctly and therefore burning most of the details for obtaining a contrast between divine clarity and human constructions.

In the picture above, another example shows a speaker stocked on a window in the Souks roof bringing both light from the sky and light of god through the prayers in the dark shadowy grounds of this market dedicated neighbourhood.

This said, ask a little boy I theatres what his religion is, the answer is more likely to be Football…
This shot below shows two boys playing with a balloon in a souks place under a heavy afternoon sun. I popped my flash to obtain details in this colourful public typical telephone one can see everywhere in the city. This spot had it all to me: chaotic souks architecture and picturesque constructions, colours and contrasts, bright sun and effervescent young people. A proper postal card with a modern representational twist!

Finally I just wanted to share this small composition with you done in jardins de Majorelle where Yves Saint Laurent would now rest in piece. Just a nice mix of pattern don’t you think so?

I hoped you enjoyed it! Courage the day is only starting 😉

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#marrakech How to take pics of it? My personal view! #photography #aideladha

Good morning!

Those of you who follow my Facebook page probably witnessed a heavy release of Marrakech photos very recently. I thought it would be funny to explain how and why I took those specific pictures and therefore give a bit more context for you to travel along.

The problem is that there is no proper narrative structure nor twist so I should just pick some of my favourites and describe them, shouldn’t I?

When leaving Trier for such an adventure, I usually do a lot of researches. Not much about where to eat and what to visit there but more about how did other people represent this same place artistically, no matter the medium. I quickly came up with the conclusion that I should not do any portraits in Marrakech for the following reasons:

90% of the photos we see online or in travel logs, show old people with missing teeth or children barely walking, often taken from a distance with a tele lens and I just did not want to add mine to the stack.
Because you will quickly realise that if Moroccan people are so excited about you and your camera, it s most often because they can ask you for money once the pic is on the film.
Well… For every rule an exception! After negotiating fairly heavily with this shop owner (Mind you! Starting at 1200dh for one silver talisman, down to 600dh for two talisman and we got the deal!) I told him I could take a profi fotograf of him in front of the shop and sending him as a present for excellent deal. It was done using a flash held on camera left and dropping down the ambient light for about -1. This was my only proper portrait in a week.

We arrived in Marrakech on the Aid El-Adha’s week (I would gently redirect you to Wikipedia to get more info about meaning and significance). One thing to retain is the exaltation feeling pouring down the city during the festivities. And the rays of joy bathing Marrakech that day, were very certainly carried on to the people through the sunlight! The Aid El-Adha is no street festival but rather a family celebration. So everything is happening behind closed doors.
Almost everything… Once the sheep killed behind the walls, the head and legs are given to the children in charge of the grill. This latter will shine in the street, in front of the houses because it s damn smoky and as a way to show to everyone that the celebration is over in this specific house. For strangers, it frankly looks like sceneries of apocalypse at a first glance… But one can quickly realize how happy and proud the children can be for being responsible of the evening dinner!

During this specific day, the souks will be left empty and all shops closed. Quite an unique opportunity to take pictures of a place that can be completely overcrowded and sensually overwhelming! The challenge here is about making the right spot choice and picking the right exposure setting to maximize the huge dynamic range of those splendid sceneries (difference of luminosity between the darkest and the brightest spot in your frame). My tip? Take your time and if you use digital: experiment!

In reality, this place was not as “warm” (light not being so yellow), but adjusting the white balance I this direction was much more convincing to communicate the mood of this place through a photograph.
For the picture below, the colors look pretty much the same as in reality under full bright sun. By choosing my white balance wisely for every picture I can therefore bring coherence to the whole set, conveying this sense of warmth one can feel everywhere in Marrakech in October!
My intention for this following shot, my intention was also to convey both the contradictory feelings of contrast and harmony that colours the town. Contrast of modernity/tradition, rectitude/unbalance in geometry contrast due to hard light and saturated colours and harmony within the complementary colour palette. This motive sums it all up for me: 3 telephones in front of a mosque.

I hope this set is inviting and thoughtful to you and that my enthusiasm for Marrakech teases your curiosity and travel envies.

More to come any soon,

Enjoy your meal (Tajine?)

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10.28.2013 digest is about Eros, Thanatos and cute pets!

Good morning!

It’s been a while huh?! I just was very busy, sick, away, tired and more. I wasn’t sleeping much though! I revamped my website (please give it a visit and why not feedback?, shot the city of Morocco and revamped my whole photography workflow but I guess you will only be able to see the result thru the next shootings.

I must say I was also complaining a lot about the volcano of photographers in The city of Trier where I live. 100.000 inhabitants and probably as much professional photographers with the following etiquette: Reportage, Hochzeit, Bild, Bearbeitung and other scary German words for the ones like me who do not shoot bikini pin-ups.

If, like I d like to believe, my bottom line lays within a sort of uniqueness (I didn’t say better, pay attention!), then I should just continue to do it the way I do and not adapt to step where others are doing better and where I’m not exactly feeling satisfied… And it goes through the redaction of this blog. So here we are!

To start with something tough, here is a photo I saved for a little while now… I do not exactly agree with the author’s point of view when it comes to censorship on Facebook, but there are plenty of other channels completely appropriate to share this kind of pictures, including his blog, including mine!
Happy Birthday Mr. Sobol

My second pick actually relates to the very first post of this blog where I introduced you to the stunning work of Kate McGwire. After the birth theme we therefore switch to Eros and Thanatos through those intriguing and weirdly sensual sculptures.

New Feather Sculptures by Kate MccGwire

After dead birds, we can jump back to our lovely friend: the Human dude! Kwerfeldein, a German blog getting better and better presents an essay about this very job you and me would not exactly be willing to do…
“Die Bilder denken, glauben, handeln. Für mich ist Fotografie ein Weg, näher an die Transzendenz zu gelangen”.
So yes it’s about transcendence through the use of a camera…
Amador Rabal, Totengräber

Time now to discover a new talent! Why him? Because his photos depict a place that looks like the one where I grew up. Just that my friends at the time did not look a quarter as cool (sorry dudes!)

Travel as ultimate freedom…Aurélien Buttin

To finish with a cute, sugar coated and populist note, this essay depicts animal hospitals and would satisfy your curiosity by answering the question “What the heck are they doing there?!”.
This essay remains nonetheless brilliant, poignant and intriguing. A must!

I hope this satisfied your appetite for new and curious things related to photography! And if like me you are still concerned about the flood of photographers in Trier, then you might just read this philosophical piece 😉
“How about the idea that there’s a flood of photographs, which, as some artists claim, makes one…”

With all the love, enjoy!

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08.23.13 Digest – is #morbid covered with #death and approved by David Lynch

Good morning,

Today’s post is morbid and David Lynch would probably approve it! There we go:

Follow the Leaders: A Corporate City in Ruins by Isaac Cordal presents an ambitious artwork as a “metaphor for the collapse of capitalism and the side effects of progress.”

Not a book for everyone, clearly… Patrick Burdenz photographs in Post-Mortem are “Powerful, excellent, morbid photos of dead people”.
Burdenz visual survey of the morgue gained critical acclaim and this article explains you why it s a good book: This Week In Photography Books – Patrik Budenz

The excellent Oitzarisme introduces you to the changing city of Shibati in Wang Yuanling – Eighteen Stairs: “The purpose of this collection is to pay a tribute to the unpredictable future with some shared memories of grassroots in this magnificent city”– Chongqing

Fashion Copius proposes you a triple A editorial shaped like a Lynchian nightmare. Somehow “refreshing”, it s good to come across things you have never seen before from time to time!
‘Love In All The Wrong Places’ by Steven Klein for W September 2013 [Editorial]



To end this post, let me introduce you to Lene with a few shots taken in a pub last week-end! What do you think? 😀





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Last editorial – first time modeling – #trier #fotograf #fashion #summer

Good morning,

Just wanted to share my last editorial style shooting with you.
It was a first time modeling for her and I think the result is fairly allllllright.
Don’t you think so? The whole thing (and much more) was shot in igel by 35.C bright sun.
Isn’t it like what Summer should be?

Fotograf: ArtEO
Model: Sina
Assistant and fotograf: Geraldine Hutt
MUA: Michelle Weyand


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07.31.13 Digest – where #fashion #photography meets #arts, weird #family stories in the #usa #brazil or… #trier :-s

Good morning,

Today’s post is a giant mess of very different things (like the usual?). But I guess it s alright!
It includes a shot of mine and you will probably see more of those in the next few posts as personal projects and cool models are piling up in the dark room!

Marcin Tyszka is a modern love story where everything looks perfect… And from time to time, something that perfect is alright!

Julia Fullerton-Batten will tell you more about her work and her career, what drives and inspires her in this article. Very Spielbergian in the style!

Klaus Pichler – Skeletons In The Closet
Is a collection of photos taken in a museum when nobody’s there to disturb its inhabitants.
An arty photographic version of “a night at the museum” without Ben.


Natalie Krick – Natural Deceptions
There are projects introduced with singular statements, some even provide with matching imagery… Natural deceptions is one of them and proves itself disturbing enough for me to show it here 🙂

“The photographs that I make with my mother are fueled by my conflicting attraction and aversion to popular culture. I am fascinated with perceptions of the sexualized body and the intersection between the ubiquitous and the taboo nature of sexuality. I photograph to portray beauty as artificial, flawed, threatening, psychological, seductive and garish”.

ana carolina fernandes – bodies and souls is a collection of photos taken in a transsexual squat… Not so appealing at first, the series juggle with maestria with a singular saturated color palette and ends up being just brilliant!

And how about ending this post with a shot of mine? This was shot in an old shop in Trier (Germany) for a student collection and ended up being surprising for a quickly improvised shooting! I hope you will like it!


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Digest 07.26.13 – with explosions, high end #fashionphotography or simple shots in #iceland … In any case, a lot of #nude models (it’s important for marketing) :-S

Good morning everyone! Happy Friday!

It s a busy post today since I slow down. Hopefully you will enjoy those picks!
By the way I d love to hear what you think about the digest! I invite you to comment it at the bottom or through direct messages if you are shy; in the comment section or if you receive the digest by mail, through the web based version:

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Dynamic Photos of Exploding Idyllic Landscapes just because I am a boy and therefore enjoy exploding stuffs. Find more on the excellent feature shoot blog!

Sometimes blog calendars see to randomly synchronise to offer more pictures of a similar theme.
Now it’s time for Chadwick Tyler aesthetic. And who would complain? The first is nature based and enigmatic, while the second offers rough imagery. Judge for yourself! Both findable on Fashion copious.
‘Bodies Of Water’ by Chadwick Tyler for Victory Journal No.5 [Editorial]

Emily Baker & Codie Young by Chadwick Tyler

Gwen Lu Seduces for L’Officiel Singapore’s August 2013 Cover Shoot is mystical, full of aesthetic intelligence. (On visual optimism blog)

And I like mystical portraits more and more… This, below is one more I shot for Anna. She is barely recognisable but I like it. The setting is pretty simple and it illustrates a few lines of a mrs. Plath poem called fever 103, a slow state of recovery. You will find more by following my Facebook page (follow option available on the right column of this site).

It s a lot of work of course and it usually costs an arm to produce (make-up, logistic… Etc.) but the more I do it the more I progress. Ok but what for? Well… Someday I wish I could achieve something like this:
‘When Doves Cry’ Guinevere van Seenus by Txema Yeste for Numéro China No.31 August 2013 [Editorial] (once more on Fashion copious, in case you did not get it by now: it s a good blog!)

I highly encourage you to check this particular editorial shoot for NÚMERO China introduced today by FashionCopious. It has everything: variety, complexity, mastering and drives you to a Lynchian fashion world. That s the way! And I can t resist to paste another pic from that one:

DONE! Muhahaha I have complete powers over that blog!

Last but not least, some phone-o-graphy in Icelandic blue lagoon… So now you have no excuse: your camera is good enough!


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07.21.13 digest it’s oh so #summer with some fotos from #Trier !


It’s been a while! Well it s holidays time isn t it?! Plus google reader shut down recently giving me a hard time to gather info from here and there. Which also means this blog might slow down for a little while.

I still had time to gather a few things here and there and made some myself that I wanted to share with you. You lucky dudes!

So here it goes!

Let s start with Patrick Romero whose b&w work stroke me… Chilly really
The guy is working for the film industry and has a self published book who ended up on my to buy list.
Website –

IGNANT treats you with a Bingo project, a bit pathetic and pittoresque where people never seem to be happy… But very colourful and treated with some kind of humour!
Bingo Source:

With this project, feature: Closer // Elinor Carucci instituteartist offers you a great family photography example. Beautiful and coherent!

Finally some fashion shots I saved aside for you!
Well these first one actually are mine. She s a friend of mine and never posed before… What do you think?? You’ll see more from this series pretty soon!


Número magazine features a very cool editorial, colourful contrasted and very coherent. I like and you can see more at fashion copious: ‘Pulsion’ Jac Jagaciak By Txema Yeste For Numéro No.145 August 2013 [Editorial]

And finally a rough one but no less impressive! In visual optimism: I like!
visual optimism; fashion editorials, shows, campaigns & more!: virginale: steffi soede by olivia bee for numéro #145 august 2013

Enjoy your holidays!

Ed fotograf in Trier

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06.20.13 digest – about #windows opened on #family #fashion and #grime …


Just a few days before holidays! Probably one of the last posts before a couple of weeks… I tried to make it a good one! 🙂
Here you go!

fusion tech: ilse de boer by bharat sikka for marie claire italia july 2013 is an editorial shoot published in Marie Claire and definitively a triple AAA borrowing visual codes from blade runners or Akira… We want more… We want more!

diana markosian – my father the stranger
“I was born in the wrong country, at the wrong time.

As the Soviet Union was falling apart, so was my family.

I have few memories of my father.”

Part of the fascination to photography is very often due to the fact that it opens a window to another world, sometimes beautiful, but also tragic or dramatic yet one we don’t know…
It particularly resonates to me when it comes to watch photos from someone willing to share a poignant part of his/her life… One of the best recent example being the recent release of books of the like of UNCLE CHARLIE (Book Reviews: Uncle Charlie), not so focusing on exotism and some foreign country cultural peculiar details but more on family and what oddity can one go through when it comes to familial interactions.

MY FATHER THE STRANGER kind of uses both of those visual codes but is rather well balanced and intriguing enough to spark more than curiosity. Please travel along!

On the other side of the world, Book Review: Boy Stories will introduce you to Johan Willner, dealing with childhood and early memories on a very differ manner.
Here, photos are sometimes staged sometimes documentary in order to reveal a completely different narrative form.

Finally, Isaac Blease – ‘Council Estate of Mind’ focuses on Welsh youth and U.K. grime music scene… Maybe another window opened to a world you don’t know?

I hope you will enjoy today picks!

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06.17.13 digest – is #weird #photography

Good morning,

Just a small collection of things found here and there…. No special editorial line behind the choice… Just nice stuffs.

Flickr Friday displays it s weekly selection from Flickr. This time it stands out.

luxury: gisele bundchen by steven meisel for vogue italia june 2013

Thom Browne for Metal Magazine Spring/Summer 2013 is just weird enough for me to put it here!

dark matter: magdalena langrova by mikael schulz for vision china june 2013 and same same…


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#trier #hochzeit #fotografie

Hi people,

Just a quick update regarding my Trier based wedding work!
I thought you might like to see how does that look like 🙂
Enjoy and do not hesitate to ask me if I am free for your wedding day! See you soon!









Trier Hochzeit Fotografie

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06.14.13 digest – #omg #fashion surrealism at its best… You got to love it!

Good morning!

You see! This is the precise reason why I do all this… When there s a whole surrealistic universe coming up out of the blue… Coherent and bloody point blank. I dive into this, I totally dive into this and if you want to know what I’d ideally do with all the needed resources available, then that d be something like this! So in case you did not get it… I Love it! 🙂
cruel summer: sindy by andrew soule for flare july 2013 make sure you check the whole series!

Yet something completely different and more atmospheric..
denim: nimue smit by annemarieke van drimmelen for exit spring/summer 2013

Then a photobook about Berlin… I can’t help but drawing a line between this one and Gerry Johansson’s DEUTSCHLAND. Visually very interesting and modern!
Raise the Bar in Photobook catalog blog.


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03.13.13 digest – fire in #California and other strangeness

Good morning,

The last few days have been very calm in term of posting. But let’s stand up and fight hay fever!
So here it is back in shape, just like the boy on picture 2!

Powerhouse Fire in California reported by fubiz and walking through California forest fires hell!

12. Juni 2013 displays this beatified entry posted in kwerfeldein.

And Joshua Lutz prepared a few confessions for you in this interview available at Joshua Lutz Interview VisualCultureBlog.


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06.06.13 digest – is #lynch (as an adjective) and #summery

Good morning,

There is something a bit weird about today’s digest and I am not going to complain about it!
This said, a quick Happy birthday to Mareike!

Portraits Photographed Through Screens Look Both Nostalgic and Modern throws nostalgia into modernity on FEATURE SHOOT:

Young Photographer Constructs Coming of Age Tale With Her Contemporaries shorts staged pictures “a la David Lynch”. Fantastically disturbing!

AMERICAN PHOTO introduces you to fragments of a 1971 Paris:
Fragments of 1971 Paris, On View Today in New York

And finally, VISUAL OPTIMISM is here to remind you why is summer a good thing for you:
cuerpo de verano: sheila marquez by alvaro beamud cortes for s moda 1st june 2013


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06.04.13 digest – explores relationship of #intimacy, domestic #violence, #darkness and farms…

Good morning,

This week end has been bubbly with interesting above the line fashion editorials, but that’s not all!
Let s scroll down to see what I picked up for you:

border crossing: stella tennant by bay garnett for uk vogue july 2013 takes you for a journey to Berwickshire farms and it just feels right!

While CLARICE waits in the background… Probably not the same farm, unless it was shot in that cabin in the backyard: border crossing: stella tennant by bay garnett for uk vogue july 2013

Let s stay in the cold colour range with “a perfect blend of sophistication and seduction“:
age of beauty: drake burnette by josh olins for uk vogue july 2013

Out of fashion we now jump to BURN! Magazine to discover a nice project about “life in darkness and the difficulties of true communication between people” in Murmansk during polar night times:
valentina quintano – in the absence of things

Sara Lewkowicz Wins LUCEO SPA 2013 for the recipient of what seems to be a well deserved award to me. It s about domestic violence and the small ones in between.

“Domestic violence is a largely invisible crime. We usually only hear it muffled through walls, and we usually only see it manifested in the faded yellow and purple bruises of a woman who “walked into a wall” or “fell down the stairs.” It is rarely limited to one event, and it rarely stops. My project, “Shane and Maggie,” seeks to take a deeper, unflinching look at domestic abuse as a process, as opposed to a single incident, examining how a pattern of abuse develops and eventually crests, as well as its short- and long-term aftereffects on victims, their families, and their abusers”.

Malerie Marder Photographs the Private Moments of Family Members, Friends and Herself (NSFW) because not everything always goes wrong in the private sphere, some photos work on the positive side of life! …in feature shoot


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05,30.13 digest – quotations and #afghanistan

Good morning,

THE quotation from living legend Gregory Crewdson at The Process Of Making Pictures Is Connected To Failure:

“The whole process of making pictures is so deeply connected to failure. You have an expectation you have a dream of what your picture is going to be and then something always necessarily goes wrong.”

Manca Juvan – Unordinary Lives – Afghanistan | The PhotoBook introduces this promising book described in those terms:

“As a counter-balance to the ongoing images of the Afghan war, Manca Juvan provides the reader with an emotional alternative, perhaps at times only a little less dark. Her documentary photographic project of this ravaged region spans six years, from 2003 to 2009. Juvan’s investigation is segmented into the following sections: Forgotten, Threat, Privileged, Supporting, Living, Home and Unveiled”.

Sounds like I should put my hands on that book!


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05.28.13 – digest is full of #intimacy – when #climatechange turns #spring to a #coldwave, one must turn to oneself

Good morning,

us against the world mes amies: codie young by andreas ohlund for scandinavia ssaw a/w 13 is a beautiful editorial showing sensibility and fragility within a highly contemporary framing. Perfectly echoing the cold season we are currently going through. An eye candy…

Anna di Prospero’s Endearing Self-Portraits With Her Family for it’s part shows self-portraits from a different perspective than what you are used to see.
“This series of self-portraits with my family comes from the desire to create a research based on my intimate bonds. For me, the most important part of this work was obtained by the involvement of my family during the shooting, and thanks to this experience, I discovered unknown aspects of my loved ones”.—Anna di Prospero

All in all it s a Tuesday morning post full of intimacy…


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05.24.13 digest – from #fantasy to #reality through #tuna #thisisreal !!

Good morning,

No fashion today but a slow transition between soft fantasy and brutal reality.

FINALLY a proper book from Viktoria Sorochinski about Anna & Eve (
I Ma big fan of her work and regularly go for a visit on her personal website… And of course I just ordered the book!
I strongly advise you to do so!

Art Producers Speak: Kenji Aoki and a set showing how creative people can be through photography where “a picture s worth a thousand words”… Poor Tuna…
We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. Thru A PHOTO EDITOR

To end this post with something a bit more down to earth: DAVID MOORE: “Pictures from the Real World” (2013) and a related excellent article from ASX DAVID MOORE: “Pictures from the Real World” (2013) – Since 2008, AMERICAN SUBURB X | Art, Photography and Culture that matters.


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05.22.13 digest – FASHION IS AN ISLAND on photo manipulation, #photoshop craze and the very serious TIMES


Today’s post will be thoughtful, I promise!

But first, on the lighter side let me simply show you another editorial about fashion and suburbs. What was I underlying yesterday? It seems I was right. It’s a trend!
“Sun Showers” : Barbara Fialho (IMG Models) by Jeffery Jones for The Wild Magazine | Fashion Editorials | A Photographic Collection of Trending Fashion Magazine Editorials

On the other side of the Internet, last week crazed about this editorial I am just about to show you. Very probably because it is a good one… It appeared in at least 5 blogs from my blog roll and I was hesitating in pasting it here. That was before The Times got involved and wrote that small essay about image manipulation.

Lets put things back In context: each year, the world press photo award praises a bunch of highly qualified people for their work during the flowing year. Last year winner picture triggered a debate about photo manipulation, what is allowed and in which extent can we modify a “journalistic” entry. Times got this strict rule and would not accept any manipulated photo… But would this apply to fashion photography?
I do not use photoshop, partly because I like taking photos and love the attention required “on set” to make a photo look good, partly because such software is expensive, partly because the skill level required to master it and get something pro out of it is for me, for now, out of reach!
Most importantly I do not find it very fair. I enjoy much more making a photo, good enough for people not believing me when I tell them photoshop is not involved. So such debate is to me more than necessary and I hope it will act As a wake-up call.

I therefore strongly invite you to watch the very nice work series that follows:
‘Too Tough To Handle’ Julia Nobis & Fei Fei Sun by Craig McDean for T Style Travel Summer 2013 [Editorial]

But more importantly to quickly have a look at the following article from POPPHOTO regarding this same series: New York Times Fashion Spread Sparks Discussion on Photo Editing


I hope you will enjoy it!

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05.21.13 digest – Back from #holidays with guess what? #b&w #fashion and photo essays

Good morning!

Back from the land of Spring wedding mazes, I prepared a heavy post for you today.
Now I see happy couples everywhere and I won t stand any cake for a while but it was a lot of fun! So back to business as usual with a book, a essay and a few fashion editorials demonstrating what color management means.

Photo-eye Book Review: Post Scriptum unfolds the 50 years career of Christer Strömholm, recipient of the Hasselblad award. It s black and white peculiar beauty where you do not expect it.

Marie Claire essays the “beauty of nudity” through Jocelyn Lee. I could not agree more…
tearsheet: Jocelyn Lee’s ‘Women Are Beautiful’ in Marie Claire (Taiwan)

And a few Fashion editorials:
bon voyage: femke oosterkamp by paul berends for elle netherlands june 2013 takes you by the hand for an asiatic voyage… More the backpacker type.

‘Hard Candy’ Candice Swanepoel by Sharif Hamza for Interview Germany June 2013 [Editorial] is surely hard to miss as appearing in about a dozen blog… Easy to understand why though. Candice is everywhere but usually in flat series not so appealing to me. Well here is something different!

There is this trend now where models are shot in suburbs, “almost showing it as it is” mastered previously by the likes of Vivianne Saessen and I am not going to complain about it if it looks like this: sloppy england: nell van hülst by claudia grassl for friday magazine #17

Finally, for color addicts, here is a masterpiece found at be a chameleon fit in anywhere be a rockstar stand out everywhere: xiao wen ju and yue ning by solve sundsbo for i-d summer 2013
It must be in resonance with the fair that just opened at my doorstep and that looks nothing like this… Maybe with a good model, make up and a few speedlights? I should give it a thought!



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05.10.13 digest – #streetstyle #vintage #editorial # spring

Good morning!

Book Review: ABC
“Whether by accident or provocation he seems highly proficient at getting people to perform for him and on rare occasions they also try to hide”.

Andrew Querner – The Bread with Honey goes deep down in interpersonal relationships with the people from Stan Terg metal mine below the town of Trepça, Kosovo. Very metaphorical when you think about it. This making the whole project incredibly coherent and legitimate.picked from the OITZARISME blog.

On the lighter side, some people using fashion as a medium make huge efforts to communicate their enthusiasm for the Spring season… And we do really appreciate it!
Karen Elson Embraces Spring for Harper’s Bazaar UK May 2013 by Alexi Lubomirski


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05.09.13 digest – Browse through a 100 #photobooks for free and features some #hyena of course

Good Morning,

Today the Train is empty and I’m going to work on a bank holiday. Which is alright… Just wanted to share that thought before introducing those 4 posts.

This one has been running the web and the press for quite some time now. There’s even a book about those people. Well anyway, I want a hyena as a friend, it looks cool!
THE HYENA & OTHER MEN from Photographer Pieter Hugo in IGNANT.DE

While CONSCIENTIOUS introduces you to Paolo Woods and the Chinafrica project:

Back to fashion now, I think there’s a record for Antoine de st Exupery saying at some point that you do not reach perfection when there’s nothing left to add but when there’s nothing left to suppress: positivo e negativo: thairine garcia by bob wolfenson for harper’s bazaar brazil may 2013

Same applies for a rare Men fashion shooting I guess:
Eight Persons (Max) in Hunger Issue 4

Finally photo book lovers are gently reminded thru AMERICAN PHOTO that’s here is a place, somewhere, other than my own living room (:-P), where you can browse thru a hundred photobooks for free! And there it is: 100 American Photobooks, Available for Instant Browsing—Offline, That Is

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05.08.13 digest – #pets #love #friendship and of course #nyclubbing for #fashionphotography


Today’s post shows animal affinities * 2 and some midnight urban beasts!

Amelia and Animal Affinity
Photographer Robin Schwartz took splendid photographs of Amelia over a period of one year with all different sorts of animals across the world… The result? This splendid portfolio not to be missed! Source:


Talking about animals, Fubiz also featured this project called Friendship Between a Girl and Her Cat from photog Andy Prokh starring Katherine and LiLu Blue Royal Lada!

And now back to the edgy fashion stuff, spotted on VISUAL OPTIMISM:
guy aroch presents a solid set, challenging posing and composition, a punk equivalent to photography where rules are broken for the sake of creativity!


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05.07.13 digest – on #wrestling and other creatures for the fight of their life

Good morning!

Wedding season is still roaring so I offer you a redux. But don’t worry, nice stones on pretty rings also tend to be small but they mean a lot to their bearers.

On the dramatic journey from piggish life to bacon chips (I know I know…)
ASX EXHIBIT: Nozomi Ijima – “Scoffing Pigs”

While Anthony Tafuro captures the odd life of an underground wrestler:
Documentary Series on Underground Wrestling Chronicles Unlikely Hero in FEATURE SHOOT


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05.03.13 digest – #fashionphotography #ebony #dream

Good morning!

Two selections today both sharing some intriguing dreamlike qualities.

Spotted on FASHION PRODUCTION and reminding me of Viviane Sassen imagery:
robert grischek

While this intriguing set featured in FEATURE SHOOT and extracted from Harry Callahan’s blog Villeburg will please viewers who like to bring their own imagery along when exploring someone else work. Excellent!
Villeburg: A Carefully Arranged Photographic Collection of Randomness


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05.02.13 digest – #backtothefuture #childhood #fashionphotography and #visualcandy

Good morning,

It s a two essays post today! Same same but different!

irina werning – Back To The Future 2
BURN. Magazine features the second part of this brilliant essay called “back to the future”, involving people recreating the same photographs many years after!
Just sit down, click on the above link redirecting to the complete series, relax and enjoy!!!

And look what I found next?! I think this one (especially now put in the light of the above mentioned essay) looks terrific!
daily chores: bianca balti and matilde lucidi by martin parr for grey #8 spring/summer 2013

I enjoy it, do you enjoy it?

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