février 2012

Feb 29th – Leap Year

Hello there,
Just a quicky to say Happy Leap Year !
Basically it’s a year containing one additional day in order to keep the calender year synchronized with the astronomical
or seasonal year. In Britain and Ireland, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only on leap years.
In Denmark, women may propose on the bissextile leap year day, and that refusal must be compensated with 12 pairs of gloves !
In Finland, the tradition is that if a man refuses a woman’s proposal on leap year day, he should buy her the fabrics for a skirt !

For me its one more day to take some more shots or say « I love you » a few more times to the ones I love.

Smile & Have a Lovely Leap Day !

10 Things Every Creative Person Should Learn off by Heart !

Here is a list of 10 things I’ve learned the hard way and that every creative person (Thats all of YOU!)–should know.

1. Experts are not the answer.
Blogs, teachers, mentors and seminars aren’t the answer. They’re not there to tell you exactly what you need to know. If they’re good, then they are there to give you some ideas, guidelines, or some rules to learn and subsequently break. This isn’t about the expert, it’s about you. In creative pursuits especially…what’s going on inside you is where the answers can be found. Hear what experts say, but don’t always listen to them.

2. Clients cannot tell you what they need.
Clients hire you because they have a problem. They need a great visual representation of something, a solution. They think they know the best way to photograph something, but they don’t really. That’s why they hire you. Take their suggestions to heart, because they definitely know their brand, product, their vision–perhaps even shoot a few versions of the images they THINK they want to see first–but then go nuts with YOUR OWN vision. Add value. Show them something they didn’t expect. Don’t be a robot  with a finger. Remember why you got hired…that YOU are the crazy photo maker. If you are good enough to get selected for the job, you should be good enough to drive through your  photographic vision for that particular client.

3. Don’t always aim for ‘better’, aim for ‘different’.
“Better” and “different” are related. If you aim for ‘better’ that usually means you’re walking in someone else’s footsteps. There will often be someone better than you, someone making those footsteps you’re following… But if you target being different–thinking in new ways, creating new things–then you are blazing your own trail. And in blazing your own trail, making your own footprints, you are far more likely to find yourself being ‘better’ without even trying. Better becomes easy because it’s really just different. You can’t stand out from the crowd by just being better. You have to be different.

4. Big challenges create the best work.
If you get assignments that are pushing your vision, your skills, then thats really cool. Good for  you, keep getting those assignments. If you’re not getting those assignments, then you need to be self-assigning that challenging work. Give yourself tough deadlines and tougher creative challenges. You do your best work where there is a challenge that is clearly present and 10 feet taller than you think you can handle.

5. Aesthetic sensibilities actually matter.
Go figure on this one… I’m constantly surprised as how much this is overlooked. Read this and believe it: You must develop a keen understanding of design, color, light, and composition. To just say “I know a picture when I like it” isn’t going to get you anywhere. You need to know –for your own sake as well as the sake of your clients who will ask you– WHY a photo is a great photo. WHY is this one better than that one. If you don’t have any visual vocabulary, opinion, or aesthetic sensibility you won’t be able to explain these things. You won’t get the job. Or if you do get the job, you won’t be able to explain why your photos are worth getting hired again by the same client for the next campaign, story, or video. Trust me on this. Develop a sense of visual taste.

6. Simple is good.
Almost every photo that is bad has too much information. Outside of technical basics, the number one reason that most photos fail is because there is no clear subject. Often this is the case with design, film, fashion, you name it. Remove clutter, remove distraction. Tell one story, and tell it well.

7. Make mistakes and learn quickly.
Simply put, you need to be able to learn from your mistakes. Avoiding failure is not the goal. The goal is recovering from mistakes quickly. That goes for every element of your photography–creative, business, vision…you name it. If you’re not willing to make mistakes, you’ll be paralyzed with inaction. That is the devil. Get out there and do stuff. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t work, change it. Quickly.

8. “Value” is different from “price.”
Don’t compete on price alone. That is certain death in any creative field. Focus on delivering value and price yourself accordingly. If you deliver great value with your images — better than expected, and better than your competition– and you can illustrate that through any means, then you should be more expensive. And remember that value comes in many forms.

9. If you are ontop of your game, you’ll work with people ontop of their game.
If you are good at what you do, then you work–or seek to work–with other people who are great too. If you suck, then you put yourself around sucky people to feel better about yourself. If you want to be the best, seek to be around awesome people–be it other artists, assistants, producers, clients, partners, whatever. Shoot high. Shoot for better than yourself.

10. Real artists create.
Do you just sit around and think of stuff you could create, photograph, build, ship, or design, but never output anything? Then you’re a poser. Take a new approach and make stuff. Maybe what comes out of your studio isn’t perfect, but there should always stuff leaving the door and hitting the web, the page, the billboard, the gallery, or the street. If you are for real, you’ll be pumping out work on the regular.

There you go. Now don’t just read this list, KNOW this list off by heart !

(This article has been unashamedly inspired by the words of Jarvis Chase & Steve Jobs)
 
 

Coffee Café

Je suis une accro du café. 
J’aime sa chaleur qui m’envahit et me rassure en cette saison qui annonce les refroidissements.
Retourner avec un petit café dans mon lit douillet, bien au chaud sous la couette à l’intérieur de mon cocon.
Je l’aime également après un bon repas en bonne compagnie.
Ce n’est pas encore la nouvelle année, mais j’ai décidée de prendre une bonne résolution, enfin d’essayer.
Car au fil de mes lectures dans divers magasines et livres ayant pour thème le bien être, on me conseil de le remplacer progressivement  par du thé (de préférence vert ou des tisanes).
Un grand verre d’eau gagne également une médaille d’or au palmarès de la vie saine.
Effectivement ils sont bien meilleurs pour la santé …
Et vous, vous êtes aussi accro au café ???
 

Remi Ochlik

Really very sorry to hear of the death of Remi Ochlik.

Remi Ochlik was born in eastern France in 1983 and at the age of just 20 he went to Haiti to photograph riots surrounding the fall of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
His resulting work was awarded by the Francois Chalais Award for Young Reporters and was projected at Visa pour l’Image International Photojournalism Festival.

From then on he covered conflicts around the world
and was destined to become one of the great photographic journalists of our time.

His work is published in Le Monde Magazine, VSD, Paris Match, Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

It you have not seen his work, please take the time to have a look at his website

L’avocat

Non ce n’est pas un légume mais un fruit.

Vous voulez garder votre jeunesse et bien l’avocat est terrible, car il est riche en folates, potassium, en magnésium,
en vitamines E qui ont des pouvoirs antioxydant. Instaurez les apéros guacamole – carottes et vous vous ferez plaisir
en vous faisant du bien !
Il est notre ami également quand nous voulons perdre des kilos. Il est souvent boudé par les adeptes des régimes, qui croient a tort qu’il est riche en mauvaises graisses. Au contraire cette grosse baie à un seul pépin contient des acides gras que l’on brûle plus facilement que les autres.
Si vous le consommez avant une activité physique vous devriez perdre plus facilement des calories.
Nous pouvons le trouver toute l’année ce qui nous facilite la vie, mais la vrai saison pour le consommer c’est de novembre à janvier. Le reste du temps les locavores devront se rabattre sur l’huile d’avocat, toute aussi régénérante et hydratante pour soigner leur peau et leurs cheveux. Comme elle pénètre rapidement, on peut l’appliquer tous les soirs directement sur le visage et le cou. Pour des zones extra-sèches comme les coudes ou les genoux, on l’utilise en cure d’une semaine, matin et soir. Sur les cheveux on applique en masque 10 minutes avant un shampooing en frottant bien les longueurs et les pointes.

The Zen car in Brussels

Here is a little advert I actually had a staring roll in ! It’s for the new Zen Car that can be seen in Brussels now.
Please take a look at the video on their website. www.zencar.eu
A 100% electric, silent and non-pollutant car!  It’s a new concept of green mobility and a practical system of car-sharing too. You just need to be 21 years of age and have a catagory B drivers liscense. Log on, book and away you go!

I had a chance to drive these little things around town for the day and was blown away by how easy, practical and fun it was. The only hic was how wierd it was driving along with no SOUND at all. Nothing !

No, but we can all learn and that’s whats great!

Do you know how to load a roll of film?
Check a light meter?
Edit slides on a light table?
Scan film?
Color correct scans?
Track a photo inventory?
Submit photos to clients?
Make prints?
Pack a camera bag??
Set up lights?
Scout a location?
Know what light painting was?
Drive on the right side of the road?
Deal with everything in French or Dutch?
Clean a digital sensor?
Work in Photoshop, indesign or illustrator?
Create a workflow?
Edit a Portfolio?
Build a creative brief?
Create a composite image?
Work 10 days straight (with a hangover)?
Shoot and edit video?
Manage an equipment inventory?
Layout a book?
Write a magazine article?
Hang an art installation?
Survive in Brussels?
Write a blog post?

I most certainly didn’t !!

When I started working in photography as an assistant, I was blanker than a blank slate.
I like to think I still am. Many of these skills have become obsolete. Others did not even exist when I started.
Knowing how to do everything is not the goal.

Knowing that you can learn is everything !