20 April 2018

Arrival of Spring

  1. 1.
    a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders.

I love shooting portraits. Both the candid and the staged. The ability to capture someone's true self, their essence, or even to become someone else entirely - it's one of the great joys and wonders of photography. Yet when I have my portrait taken, I always feel like an imposter somehow. As though the person, the face being captured isn't my real one.

J'ai toujours aimé prendre des portraits. Ceux qui sont naturel et ceux qui sont mises en scène. La capacité de capturer l'essence de quelqu'un, ou même de devenir quelqu'un d'autre - c'est l'une des merveilles de la photographie. Pourtant, quand on prend mon portrait, j'ai du mal à m'identifier. J'ai souvent l'impression d'être un imposteur, comme si le visage capture ne me représente pas tout à fait.

There's no denying the desire we have to capture our best self in photographs, it's only natural - some may call it narcissistic or vain, but I think it's more than that. Do you ever look at old photographs of your ancestors? I always feel a sense of pride and love when I see the faces of those before me. This is how they chose to represent themselves, and these are the portraits the future generations will know them by. I believe portraits, both candid and staged ones - are important to leave behind. This may seem a little far-fetched, maybe we just want a picture of ourselves where we look good. It could be for the family photo album or for a profile picture. Maybe we just want to take more creative portraits for the sake of Art. Either way, portraits can and should be cherished, whatever the reason behind it. Every portrait is different. Every face is different. So why do I feel uneasy when I look at portraits of myself?

On ne peux pas nier ce désir de vouloir capturer notre 'best self', c'est normal - certains peuvent considérer ce dernier comme du narcissisme ou de la vanité, mais personnellement je pense que c’est plus grand que tout ca. Je pense toujours aux photographes de mes ancêtres, tous ces magnifiques portraits auxquels je tiens énormément. Ces portraits sont les seuls choses qui restent d’eux, et ils nous permettent de voir comment ces personnes ont choisi de se présenter au monde, leurs expressions, leurs habits. Je crois que tous les portraits, les naturels et les mises en scène, sont important pour les générations futurs. Et oui, je comprends que tout ca devient un peu disproportionné, peut-être que tu veux qu’un simple joli portrait pour ton photo de profile ou pour l’album photo. Peut-être que tu souhaites prendre des portraits pour apaiser ton côté créatif - peu importe la raison pour ce portrait, il mérite d'être apprécié. Donc pourquoi ai-je tant de mal à regarder les miens?

16 April 2018

Picton NZ in 35mm & Backpacking Vlog #10

Picton left us absolutely speechless. We hadn't researched the town beforehand so we were quite shocked indeed when our ferry pulled in to this magnificent paradise. We were lucky to have a couple of days of good weather during our 4 day stay in the Sequioa Lodge Backpackers hostel and although it is a very small town, Picton quickly became one of our top stops of the whole backpacking adventure. Click here for more hiking pictures and here for our small Picton town guide.

The picturesque town was our first stop on New Zealand's South Island: we had booked the inter-islander ferry from Wellington with our Kiwi Experience Bus. The crossing took about 4 hours, we spent the last hour and a half on the deck admiring the astonishing views of the Marlborough Sounds which is one of New Zealand's most famous landscapes.

As you can see at the beginning of our Picton travel vlog (see below!) the views during the ferry crossing are incredible. Steep green hills and dark grey rocks contrast against bright blue water and on a clear day you may even see the giant snow-capped mountains far in the distance. Apart from the occasional hiking trail the heavenly lush hills remain wild and untouched by humans and there are very few boats on the water. It truly does feel like a paradise which has somehow avoided becoming a tourist hot-spot.

We arrived at about 10am so we decided to clean ourselves up a bit and do some exploring after we settled into our hostel room. After a wander around the town we went to a restaurant in the early evening, and I had a weird moment when we were sitting down at the table looking out at the sea. For some reason whenever I find myself by water or the beach when I'm travelling, I am always reminded of how far away I am from home, how much distance separates me from my 'normal' life. It hit me just how amazing it was that Summer and I were actually in New Zealand after years of dreaming about it.


14 April 2018

The Self-Portrait

It's been a very long time since I shot self-portraits. Summer and I always take pictures of each-other which means that I am very rarely alone with the camera (the exception being the occasional mirror selfie which doesn't really hold that much value).

The act of sitting in front of a camera by yourself is one of the most liberating things ever. You can be anybody. You have complete and utter freedom to use your body and your creative mind to create an interesting visual piece. It doesn't have to mean anything specific or lead to something special, it can simply be a moment for you to stretch your creative muscles and get inspired. This may seem exceptionally narcissistic for some but at the end of the day if you're having fun with it, it really doesn't matter- and it doesn't make you a bad human being either.

I haven't invested time in being creative just for the fun of it in way too long. I always had to get something out of it otherwise I felt like I had wasted my time and energy. If I spent a couple of hours or so getting ready and shooting pictures only to discover I disliked the look or feel of the end result, I'd feel like I completely wasted my time and end up getting really frustrated or even upset. 
I'm trying to change that mindset and be creative for the fun of it, without taking it too seriously. 

I guess you could blame the above feelings on the rise of social media. Art and technology is very tightly linked nowadays and the result of that is that we build the need to receive positive feedback (likes, comments, follows): any kind of acceptance which states that what we do is worthwhile.
I have been sharing outfit pictures on a regular basis for nearly 5 (!) years now and I recently noticed that over time I began to value the feedback I received on social media more than how the whole creative process made me feel. I feel as though I've been sucked in to this mindset where more is better and as a result I feel as though I am drifting further and further away from any sort of true meaning and value in blogging. That last sentence may seem a little pessimistic but I have given a lot of thought over the past few months as to what I want this blog to represent, and one thing I know for certain is that the end-goal is not to push people to keep on buying new things. That is not our message. On the contrary I'm feeling excited to keep on sharing things which inspire us and our passion for clothes.

10 April 2018

Backpacking Series: Part II - What you need for your trip to New Zealand

What do I need to take with me to New Zealand?

We spent 6 weeks backpacking around New Zealand with the Kiwi Experience Bus in 2017 and it was without a doubt the best thing we have ever done. We have posted a lot of visual content from our trip already and there is still quite a lot to come, but we wanted to expand our "Backpacking Adventure" series as it remains a little light. We decided to put together a list of essential items you should bring with you for your backpacking adventure, so you don't end up spending extra money on all those little things when you arrive.

Fortunately I didn't have any issues with my luggage whilst I was away, if anything I had packed too much stuff: there are some clothes which I never got round to wearing. Your whole life will be in your rucksack so it is vital that you pack properly!

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