Love and hate

•juillet 30, 2009 • 2 commentaires

I was (and still am) really motivated when I decided to make the move to live abroad. People knowing me well know there is always a « why » or « how » question after each answer or fact. I am a simple really (too much) curious. When I travel, I hate (really) hate tourists, tourist place, and cliché. I just don’t understand when I hear people saying I like a certain place, a city, how amazing this country is etc etc. For me, before saying out loud or before pretending you love certain things about a city, you have to live in it, live the real life. Leave your rain-wind coat, your tourist hat, and your tourist look and try to melt in the population. Go get yourself lost in a weird non-touristic place, go at the supermarket and try and buy some food without having any idea if it will be good or disgusting.

London, 2 months later… I do have a love and hate relationship with the city, the country and the people.

Here’s my list

I hate

–    The transport system – especially the Underground
–    The British administration
–    The British food
–    The noise
–    The Brits make their own rule
–    The Brits always nice even if they don’t care about you.
–    The laziness of the Brits
–    People not willing to help you when they need to follow a certain rule
–    Everything is deep fried

I love

–    The Transport system – especially the Bus system
–    The pubs
–    Big houses to live in
–    The Brits are nice, even if they don’t give a sh*t about you.
–    You can dress the way you want. Seriously.
–    Their sense of humour
–    Easy to travel to other countries
–    Brits are open-minded – I saw in an HMV – Gay film section and Black film section – How amazing?
–    The Indian restaurants
–    The Ice cream truck in my street everyday at 4:30 pm – I hear its music!

Considering my list – Some things about photography can be easier or harder – I am working on it 🙂

I now live in Plaistow – East of London with Marie, my super great housemate from Germany. I live in a cute house with a garden on a quiet street. I love the place 🙂


Sun in London

•juin 23, 2009 • Laisser un commentaire

Since I’ve been living in Europe, I’ve been pretty lucky with the weather. Everywhere I go, the sun shines. Some people would undertsand me if I say how guilty and uncomfortable you can feel when you have an amazing light to work with and you don’t shoot or don’t have your camera.

The sunset was just amazing in London. I walked from Piccadilly Circus to Big Ben and the Aquarium by crossing the Westminster bridge. People were walking in front of this London urban landscape. Here’s a couple of photos I just took. I’m not showing all of them… the rest are for a long term project!

Enjoy 🙂

London and Gentlemen!

•juin 20, 2009 • Laisser un commentaire

Being alone in a big new city like London can make you feel far from home (even if it makes me feel like Montreal sometimes)

I went to a party last night and I met Andrew, the friend of my friend Mike and his boyfriend Paul….
Which I never met before. I needed to take the bus… oh, I meant the confusing bus system.
First I took the bus in the wrong direction. I asked the man sitting beside me if I was heading the good way. He said, “I don’t think so, let’s ask the bus driver and he confirmed the info. The man sitting beside me, went off the bus with me, walked towards the good bus stop he keep repeating the bus number and which direction
I got off at the wrong bus stop. (it is confusing)

Walked in the street, asked couple of people where my street was, they didn’t so I said to myself « I must be really far »… I asked a man working for the city, he knew and said that it was quite far… They wanted me to jump in their Garbage truck because they were heading that way. I said « No thank you! » and smiled. And went to a mini cab office… after understanding a man (Turkish) talking through a window and knew exactly where to go. A short man walked in (taxi driver) they talked in Turkish for a while and the short man, who looked like Humpty Dumpty said, “I’m going that way” I didn’t have any money for a cab in London. He said, “I’ll take you there, I’m going that way anyway!”. Gave me a ride, took 10 minutes, we talked… went off and had an amazing evening with really cool people and drinking Strongbow ☺

They are gentlemen!

Is back and in London

•juin 18, 2009 • Laisser un commentaire

Where was I? Pretty much everywhere! Here’s an update: After my internship I went to Sweden to see my good friend Alex, another Canadian lost in the mail. He has been living in Stockhlom for the past two years. Stockholm? A city builted in nature. Quite amazing how much we feel the respect between civilization and nature. Filled with blond people, not a myth! We went for a week end in Copenhagen. We drove from Stockholm to Denmark. It takes approx 6 hours. You cross the bridge / tunnel and you’re in total different word! Much more relaxed and…. crazy! I enjoyed Sweden and Denmark very much and I was really happy to see Al 🙂

Although, in Sweden, the internal drive from my computer died. I needed to wait to go back in Paris so I could speak a language so they understand what to do. I tried the cheapest way to fix it, it took me 2-3 weeks of waiting. You learn from your mistakes. I pushed contacts in Paris to do exhibitions. I need to work on that now… 🙂

My good old friend Marie-Josée came to visit. We went for a week in Brittany (west coast of France) on the coast to enjoy Crêpes, Cider and watch the ocean.

I just arrived in London last Friday and Marie-Josée left on Sunday. I live close to Manor house station, a little bit north of London. I really feel like in Montréal here. Except for the big red buses, they drive on the left and the discusting food. I’m job hunting, many possibilites, but we can feel the economical crisis, it’s quite hard to find something. At least, the museums are free!

I met a guy from the Guardian newspaper, an American. I asked him questions about the market here. He said London and UK is quite behind for the multimedia. Even if the Brits invented the multimedia, they don’t mix stills and video. It’s either  slideshow OR video. So far, the only photos on newspapers cover are Victoria Beckham eating a hot dog or something interesting like that.

We’ll see where that city brings me too!

No photos for the moment, still fixing issues with applications I lost with my hard drive. gosh. But…. a view from my room!

Photo 2

Internship done

•mai 5, 2009 • Un commentaire

Here I am, done with the internship. For those who are curious about what I was doing and how an agency is working, here:

I was helping out, what they call here: Iconographer, or for us Photo editor. The concept of the agency is quite simple. They accepted around 200 photographers working on their personal project and sometimes having assignments to do and the role of the agency is to put a photo database available to clients and do follow up on what the client uploaded to use. In the morning, the media department crew were going through newspapers and magazine to check if they used a photo from their photographer. The percentage the agency is keeping is a way for the photographer not to deal with clients, to look if an image as been used so on and so forth.

Every morning, I checked if a photographer uploaded new images. If so, I needed to write the proper caption adapted for the agency in english and french.
Sometimes, a magazine was calling the photo editor, asking her to submit proposal for a specific article. Example: an article talking about women and breast cancer. She asked something not too cliché and even blurry. I went through all the photo database and submitted photos. The same for newspaper and cover books. The crew is dealing with: how much a photographer is paid if a photo story or a simple image is published. They have an big archiving section. They say 15% of their film and prints have been scanned. So at the beginning I needed to learn who were the photographers, they style and the type of story they did. So if a magazine is calling for a photo, I needed to go look  in the system if a story has been done and if it’s been scanned. If not, I needed to get the film out of the Cardex and scanned.

By going through their website and all. I noticed that they don’t have a multimedia « service ». Like magnum in motion or multimedia by VII. I had lunch with the director of the department and proposed me to do a test. The market here is not really developed for multimedia. This was last week and I ran out of time to do it. But currently still working on it. They gave me high res images from a photographer in Australia who did a beautiful serie on the Rockabilly movement in Sydney.

The same internship in Canada or USA wouldn’t be the same as what it was in Paris. Even if I’m french, I’m not french from France but from Quebec. Big difference. It was hard sometimes because parisians are not talking to each other. they don’t care about each other. They NEVER ask: How are you? When I asked them how they were. They looked surprised and answer: Good. Without asking back. You start to talk to a stranger… they’ll run away. So thinking about this whole mentality from the country… photojournalism is hard to do in France. People don’t care about simple things. A multimedia piece on simple subject wouldn’t work. They want to learn something, they won’t spend a minute of their life if it’s not an intelligent thing or to get educated. A north American person can seriously die by not breathing… Désolée les français, mais c’est vrai…

But at least, I learned that by living it. I now know what type of images they are looking for in the magazines. What type of stories they like. This internship was perfect way to get to know people and the market. I worked 10am through 7pm… no time to shoot really. But got couple of good random shots

I am now in Sweden visiting a friend for two weeks. An excellent way to take a break from Paris…


Multimedia project – Art and Spirituality

•avril 8, 2009 • Laisser un commentaire

I finally took the time to upload my multimedia project I did back in March. I went 4-5 days at St-Benoît Monastery and did my multimedia on Art and Spirituality.

I knew the challenge from the first phone call. To have to access to this place, you need to be:

1) a monk


2) a man

Which I am not…

Using your student status helps a lot. And I can’t say I was flirting with monks!!!

Here’s the english version (with subtitles)

Version française

Other then that, still on my internship at Vu. The experience is good, I meet a lot of people and made a lot of contacts. I’m not used to work 10am till 7pm. It’s quite long days, less time to shoot.

I’ll keep you updated, enjoy!

P.S: I had big issues with the school camera, sorry for the terrible quality…

Internship at Agence Vu

•avril 2, 2009 • Un commentaire

It was for real. I needed to be at Vu at 10am yesterday morning. I lived my first parisian rush hour with suburbs train (instead of smelling Tim Hortons coffee, it smells like fresh croissant and espresso coffee… mmmmm… )

Pauline, the woman I was dealing with since May from last year, a tiny little french girl gave me (a french) welcoming My desk, computer and chair were « waiting » for me. I did a little tour, meeting everybody

I’ll be working with : Patrick, Thomas, Jean-Baptiste and Laeticia from the media department. I’ll do picture research for magazine and newspapers, archiving, dealing with clients from newspaper and magazines and developing new market. I learned the data research engine and looked at all the photos and photographers material, visited their gallery…. Just gorgeous.

VU has a unique and really artistic style… they keep saying they are not a photography agency, but a photographers agency.

For those who feel they have an artistic / edgy style in their photos. Seriously, go look at Vu agency website. Blurry, colourful, contrasty, double exposure… everything is respected. Paris is an artistic city where people are looking for beauty all the time. The non-conventional is respected.

Today I had lunch with the photographer David Sauveur, I had chance to talk to another great photographer Bernard Desprez, (who going to help me with contacts etc..) and with Okahara Kosuke, a young photographer (my age) from Japan who did amazing work on drug dealing in Columbia. All of that in two days. Talking to those people makes you wanna grab your camera and shoot right away…

They are all photographers, journalists and artists. People are buying their prints, making books and publishing their work in the most prestigious magazines and newspapers in Europe. The agency is not too small, not too big. They want to help me meeting people, making contacts and ask questions to whoever I want.

After one week in France. I feel like everything is possible. Competition is big, there’s a lot of photographers, but it pushes you to search and push to keep your own style and communicate what YOU have to say. I discovered many new inspirations

Do I regret anything? A big NO… Anyone reading this, who has any questions on how an agency is working or any other questions, send me an email, I’ll answer you with pleasure!

A little serie on my way to my internship in the Metro in Paris: