Back a different man…

(En Français plus bas sous les dernières photos)

film photography Bordeaux

As I begin typing this, I am realizing that after 5 months of silence, I may only have two followers left to read me… I feel like I’m starting My French Heaven from scratch actually! I just hope that the two or three of you reading this will like it and help me rebuild my readership… It’s good to hit the reset button sometimes…

Lifestyle-photography-workshop-France

I won’t bore you with details about my private life. Let’s just say that I’ve been feeling off for a few months? Mostly I was grieving for my dear uncle André who passed in November as well as for my darling cat Sirus that I had had to put to sleep the following week! (Please note that I Am in no way comparing the two. It’s just that I had been living with Sirus for 21 years and was truly devastated when he finally died in my arms….) Then the Paris attacks happened and my tiny over sensitive brain went into emergency emotional survival mode. After much work on myself I decided to get rid of a few toxic habits and a more toxic people. I ate tons of Belgian chocolate, French cheese and home made pasta and now I feel strong enough to come back to you guys in the best shape I’ve been in a long time!!

This first post shall be about film photography. Indeed, on top of all the gloomy feelings I was experiencing over the Winter, the one thing that has made everything exponentially worse was the fact that I had started to detest my photography as well as myself for allowing my drifting into mediocrity and complacency. For a while now, I had let technique and skill determine the quality of my art. Now my photos looked good but were completely empty of any meaning or substance. I started to see each photo as a soulless bimbo and all my wannabe Mona Lisas became kardashian girls and Housewives of Beverly Hills… What to do? What to do????

photography-workshops-in-france

That’s when Vivian Maier came to my rescue! I heard about the mysterious Franco-American photographer and read and watched all I could about her. Her work felt so meaningful to me; her life and persona so interesting… I was obsessed! I then found out that most of her incredible work had been shot with either a Rolleiflex or Leica film cameras. I borrowed a Rollei from my niece, bought a few rolls of film and started to play…. I have been shooting film for a few weeks now, and I must say that I feel like a brand new man already.

Here is my first self portrait Vivian Maier style:

photography-workshop-in-france

Film photography has slowed me down in my creative process and has forced me to get out of my own way. I will continue to shoot digital of course, if only for the simplicity of it all, but I have now officially become a diehard film photographer!

You see my friends, I really believe that true joie de vivre can only be found if we find a way to slow down and find our way back to what feels most natural and authentic to us… We can do that through cooking, walking, traveling, writing…. The opportunities are limitless really, and I find this quite exciting and inspiring!

Here are a few shots taken around the Farmers’ market and at the Bordeaux antique fair last Sunday. Like I said, I am new at this. So please be kind in your critiques 🙄

Cela fait plusieurs mois que je n’ai pas bloggé et des années que je ne le faisait plus qu’en Anglais. Après un hiver difficile, j’arrive enfin à sortir la tête de l’eau et j’ai décidé de remettre “My French Heaven” au goût du jour. Je me suis débarrassé de mes idées noires et de quelques personnes nocives et me voici à nouveau plein d’entrain et de détermination à partager ma joie de vivre, mes passions et mes photos avec vous!

Ce premier “article” est consacré à ma nouvelle passion pour la photographie argentique. En effet, après des années à courir après les pixels,  je commençait à détester mes photos et à m’en vouloir d’avoir succombé à la mode du toujours plus moderne et toujours plus facile et toujours plus pratique…  Même mes plus belles photos étaient devenues à mes yeux complètement vides de sens ou d’une quelconque substance. Je commençais à voir chaque photo comme une bimbo sans âme; comme une Joconde devenue pouffiasse. Presque parfaite à l’extérieur et complètement vide à l’intérieur. Non mais allo quoi!

C’est à ce moment là que Vivian Maier est venue à mon secours! J’ai entendu parler de la mystérieuse photographe Franco-Américaine et suis devenu obsédé par son oeuvre. Je suis tombé amoureux de ses photos et j’ai appris qu’elle utilisait un de ces vieux appareils à double objectifs. Un Rolleiflex. J’ai emprunté celui de ma nièce, j’ai acheté quelques rouleaux de pellicule et je me suis lancé… Après seulement quelques semaines d’essais, je dois vous avouer que tout dans ma tête à changé. Le bonheur d’apprendre à utiliser un nouvel outil, l’obligation de ralentir et de réfléchir. Chaque photo coûte de l’argent et on perd vite l’habitude de photographier n’importe quoi n’importe comment!!

Je crois vraiment que la vraie joie de vivre ne peut être trouvée que lorsque nous faisons l’effort conscient de ralentir et de revenir vers ce qui nous semble le plus authentique et le plus naturel en accord avec notre personnalité… Nous pouvons le faire grâce à la cuisine, la marche , les voyages, l’écriture …. Les possibilités sont illimitées, et je trouve cela très encourageant!

Les photos ci-dessus ont été prises autour du marché ainsi qu’à la foire des antiquaires de Bordeaux. Comme je l’ai mentionné, je suis redevenu un photographe novice. j’espère que vous serez indulgents!

126 Comments Add yours

  1. Ivan Pilov says:

    Good pics! I couldn’t agree more about Vivien Maer. She was one of my strongest inspirations, absolutely fantastic artist and story. I wish I had such a keen eye.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I agree. The more I see of her work (and new stuff is coming out all the time), the more I believe she was one of the top 2 or 3 best photographers of the 20th century. She’s inspired me to start using medium format (film) and that has changed everything for me… Thanks for dropping by Ivan!

  2. Salut Stéphane, ça fait plaisir de te voir de retour … 2 followers left … tu disais 😀
    Bon, je vais aller me régaler visuellement avec tes derniers billets.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Que ça me fait plaisir! J’espère que tu vas bien. Je me suis mis récemment à la photo argentique et je m’éclate ! Tu me dis si tu passes à Bordeaux dans l’été!!

      1. Oui, tout va bien 🙂
        Je vois en effet que tu t’es mis à l’argentique !! Chouette !!
        Pas de souci, je te ferai signe si je descend 🙂

  3. Zelda says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your losses. We recently lost our gorgeous ginger boy too, at the age of 18. He was the spitting image of your Sirus, so handsome and such a dear, faithful, wise old friend. I was quite taken aback by Sirus’ photo, and the resemblance. Good to have you back. Courage! X

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words!!!!

  4. So sorry about your losses. But as much as you may mourn there, you may NOT mourn anything about your photography, no matter the type. These are up to your usual excellent standard. Welcome back! I’m excited, as at the beginning of July, I’ll be back in the Voges for two weeks again. I wish I could get down to see you, but I’ll have to settle for waving. 🙂

    janet

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Just text me when your plane is above me. I’ll wave back. If Sarah Palin can see Russia from Alaska, I should be able to see you wave 😉 🙂

  5. Leilani says:

    So many things to say in response to this post! First, big hugs for your deep losses. Second, your photography inspires me each time I take a picture of a dish of my food. If your photo work is less-than, then there is no hope for anyone. Your work is amazing! Finally, I wonder if it’s the tides pulling many of us back because I have felt the same about stepping back, slowing down and resetting. It feels good but also scary. Good to hear from you again!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      We are becoming hipsters so fast my dear friend ☺️ thanks for the lovely comment!!

      1. Leilani says:

        Ha! True! I like to think of it as returning to the times and lifestyle of Julia Child. What would Julia do? 🙂

  6. Wonderful self portrait, Stephane and I’m glad to see you’re feeling better. So sorry to hear of your losses – it’s always incredibly hard to say goodbye, including when it’s to our furry family members. Sending you hugs and hope from across the pond and wishing you all the best in your latest endeavours!

  7. We missed you too. It’s good to have you back. I love the asparagus photo. Just posted the perfect asparagus and parma ham wrap starter served with lemon mayo and paprika dip to celebrate British Asparagus season here in the UK. Best wishes. Emma.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I love asparagus Emma. I like them ice cold with lemon and chives mayo…

  8. Carrie says:

    Welcome back! You have inspired me to pick up my camera again! Oh how I do love film, too! I look forward to seeing/reading more from you.

  9. hollykaann says:

    Glad to have you back again! I wast just thinking of you today and I log on to find this post, amazing. The photos are great, there is just something about old school film- a depth to it I guess. Anyway, it’s lovely. I am so very sorry for the attacks and the trouble for you all.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Holly! Yes, I’m having a lot of fun travelling back in time when we used to take it slow… It’s great therapy for a guy like me who’s always running everywhere… Thanks for dropping by Holly. I genuinely thought I had lost you and my other best blogging buddies after all these months… Have a lovely Sunday!!

  10. Angelina Hue says:

    Welcome back Stephane and glad to hear that you’ve found your rhythm again. While it’s nice to have great-looking pictures, there’s more to photography than the outcome itself – including the process of taking the image, whether you were enjoying yourself/what you’re thinking or your memory of the moment. Look forward to more of your pictures!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are so kind Angelina! I bought a new film camera today, so I promise lots of new pictures soon! 😉 Have a lovely evening and thank you so much for dropping by!!!

  11. natacha treskin says:

    So happy to see you are still here! I missed your posts and comments. So sorry for your losses, I know how hard that can be and time heals all, they say. I look forwards to seeing and hearing more soon. I am not a photographer( especially since most are my grandkids off an iphone) but to me these latest ones are very good. I love seeing through your pictures your side of the world.
    patiently waiting for the next blog!
    Natacha

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you dear Natacha! Yes, photography truly is my passion and helps quite a bit when I’m down. Don’t discard Iphone photography though. Some pretty serious photographers have started to create really cool art with their phones. You know what they say: the best camera is the one you have with you! Try to take as many embarrassing pictures of the kids as possible. That’s what I do. They will be great material for funny wedding slide shows later!

  12. Barbara Lane says:

    Oh my darling Stephane! Welcome back! I’ve checked in regularly, hoping…and was quite concerned yet didn’t know how to contact you (not that it is my business). So I just kept you in my prayers and good thoughts, beaming Light and Love to you, and hoping all was well – or getting there.

    I so understand your grief and loss. Oh my. I am so sorry your heart aches as it has and does. Bless you and yours always – oh my, yes.

    Your photographs have always been as much of a feast for me as your recipes, your food, your hospitality, your very Being. However you choose to “enhance” them is wonderful I’m sure. However not being savvy as to the process all I know is what my eye delights in. And it delights in your images every time.

    One day I hope you will choose to visit another place in this world that is a culinary and sensory explosion: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. And if you do ever desire to visit, I invite you to please be my guest. I would love to share the delights of it with you – true gifts of beauty, both edible and architectural.

    I am so very glad to see you here! I send warm abrazos, and always, always, my best wishes and thanks for all you share and for your very presence in this world.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Your words go right to my heart my dear Barbara. I don’t know why I thought you were in Australia all these years… You know I’ve been to Mexico before. I took my mother there for a week for her 65th birthday. We were staying at friends’ in Cuernavaca. We had such an amazing time. Oh the colors and the skies and the markets and the food and the people…. I could go on and on. Mom is 85 now and 20 years later she still mentions Mexico as one of the best trips of her life. I wish I could share pictures in comments… I will return to Mexico one day if only to have good shrimp cevice and one of my all time favorites: chicken mole (or molle?). When I worked at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay, our employee cafeteria chef was an older Mexican lady and she made molle at least once a month just for me… I tell you, chocolate in all its forms will be the death of me… 😉

  13. We’ve missed you, your take on life, your food and your photographs. Welcome back.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Dorothy. You know how much I enjoy sharing. I honestly had forgotten how good it feels to blog and share ideas and experiences with one’s tribe. Truly inspiring and very important for one’s own creative development I think…

  14. Terry says:

    bienvenue en arrière, the testimonials and the affectionate comments from so many are endearing, and what we would all desire I am sure. I have always enjoyed your painting and your insights.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Why thanks Terry. That is very kind!

  15. Danielle Shirlaw says:

    Stephane it is great to have my favourite blogger back and what can I say… your post is more than fantastic, it’s truly inspiring and has given me a lot to think about. I think your photography with the film is beautiful. with film or digital you have a true talent and I love seeing your work and reading your blogs. I am sorry to hear about your Uncle and of course your beloved Sirus. loosing a fury companion hurts a lot more than some realise so my heart goes out to you. I look forward to seeing more photos and blogs soon 🙂
    all the way from the I.O.W.
    xx

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks love! Next time you’re here you’ll have to play models. I think Jamie’s getting tired of my shooting everything…

      1. Danielle Shirlaw says:

        oooo that sounds fun 🙂 lets vogue like in the summer 🤗 🙂 and as for dad… he is vain he enjoys being in the limelight 🎥 you’re always an inspiration Stephane.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          😘

  16. chef mimi says:

    Can we skype today?

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Of course, but after 10pm my time. I have a concert to go to to take pictures…

      1. chef mimi says:

        It’s 8 AM here – what’s the time difference now? 7 hours?

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Yes, it’s 3pm here. We can also do it between 6 and 7pm my time if you prefer. I hope everything’s OK!

          1. chef mimi says:

            How about 6:30 PM your time?

          2. My French Heaven says:

            OK

  17. Diana says:

    Dear Stephane, I really missed you and was only wondering the other day if I acciddently was deleted of your list. It is so good to have you back, we can’t miss out on all these beautiful photos and your writing! I went through a similar experience this winter with loss and a lot of sad things, but am just emerging out of my ‘walnutshell’, and your beautiful post really made my day today. I am sorry you had to endure so much sadness and pain, I hope all of us here will bring back a smile on your face and an warm feeling in your heart as you give us with your amazing shares of photography and stories. A warm hug for you and thank you for coming back! Bon courage, celebrate life dear friend! xx

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are so kind my dear Diana!!! It is so good to get to interact with you and all my “cyber” friends again! Yes, life goes on and we can’t afford to stay behind! Thanks for your lovely comment. It truly warms my heart!

  18. talkavino says:

    Glad to see you back, Stephane. Amazing pictures, as usual!

  19. solaner says:

    great, to have you back, Stéphane. I missed your fantastic food images

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! Good to be back ☺️

  20. Barbara says:

    Welcome back, it is very good to read and see your blog. So very sorry for your losses. Nothing will ever be the same again, but you are finding a way back to creativity, enjoyment and photography. Congratulations on the lovely shots.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      My dear Barbara. Thank you so much for taking the time to write these kind and encouraging words. The good wishes have been so great and so heart felt since I posted this yesterday… I wish you a lovely day full of joie de vivre!!!

  21. Jodi says:

    So great to see you back Stephane and your gorgeous photos!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you my beautiful Jodi! It’s good to be back. I felt quite guilty not writting, but i believe that to create good stuff, one must be ready and willing. Blogging isn’t a good hobby for perfectionists and overthinkers… ☺️☺️

  22. So lovely to see this post from you Stephane. It’s important to take stock from time to time… quiet moments of thinking and reflection will always make for a more purposeful, meaningful life. xx

    1. My French Heaven says:

      They sure will! This now found “philosophy” is what I want My French Heaven version 2.0 to be about. Slowing down to smell the roses is one of those old clichés that make average people feel smart, but I believe that clichés have become clichés for good reasons. They not only make good sense, but when taken seriously and acted upon, they do indeed work! … I’ve given myself a headache now… ☺️☺️

  23. Sandra says:

    Your photos are wonderful, I’ve missed them and I’ve missed you. Sorry you were feeling so low, but I’m very happy to see you’ve bounced back. Wishing you well and sending you positive thoughts and strength.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh my dear Sandra, reading your words feels like seeing an good friend for the first time after a long time (see? Just a few months have passed and my writing skills have gone to hell…)! So glad you’re still here with me! Much love!!

  24. ladyredspecs says:

    Just sometimes we need to activate the reset button. It’s enough that winter drags us down without the emotional roller coaster set in train by the loss of loved ones, but it looks as if you made some good decisions along the way. The strength and clarity of your “selfie” says it all. Hugs from Oz, we missed you

    1. My French Heaven says:

      😘😘😘😘

  25. Julie says:

    So good to see you back, Stéphane. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks dear Julie!!!

      1. Julie says:

        I apologize for any confusion if you see two comments like this – I thought the first one didn’t take, so please disregard if there is another.

  26. Farmgirl says:

    Count me as one of your forever followers. I have always loved your photographs and love to live through your eyes and words and visit France by your side. I am heartbroken for your losses. I have mourned my cat longer than most relatives, by the way.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I know what you mean. It makes me feel quite guilty actually…

      1. Farmgirl says:

        All living beings are spirits, there is no differentiating them. I am sure you miss them both. Glad you are out and about! Looking forward to more posts.

  27. Welcome Back!!! You are the Art of Art….Love the Selfie Photo! So sorry to hear about your losses…AND yes the cat is a hurtful loss because animals love and understand your heart better than humans!!! 🐱🌻📷🇺🇸

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are so right! Sirus knew ly heart better than any human ever will… I haven’t found the strength to replace him yet. Replacing is the wrong word obviously… I may get a dog later. Either a Scottish-terrier or a Westie… 🐶

  28. Bronwen says:

    Dear Stephane,
    I’loved your photography before and I love your photography now. Your blog has always been a visual and wordy feast and I missed you! Thanks for ‘baring all’ for us, you’ll never know how much it may help others who go through hard times as well. We all need the reset button every so often, and whilst I would never wish grief on anyone and am so sorry for the loss of special beings in your life, I’m sure you would agree you are in a stronger place now. Keep clicking, keep writing, keep cooking and loving. Be well! X Bronwen

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are so very kind! You make me feel very special. The feedback I am getting to this post makes me so happy. It gives me all the strength and encouragement I needed to take my work to the next level… I expected two or three likes today and ended up with almost a thousand views… Have a lovely evening!!!

  29. Sabine says:

    I´m certainly not the only one who has stopped by your site from time to time to see if I had accidentally unfollowed and missed something! I felt you might not be well and not post for that reason, then again I thought you might be completely lost in love for your other blog about the cars… Though I´m truly sad to hear you had such hard times these last months, I selfishly say: Great to see you´re back in heaven!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you dear Sabine!!! Lots of catching-up to do for sure… So glad you’re still following me!!

      1. Sabine says:

        well, that´s so my pleasure – and your photos are wonderful as always, the auto portrait being particularly amazing. Looking forward to everything!

  30. juliabarrett says:

    I’m so glad you’re back and so sorry you’ve struggled! I understand. This has been an odd period of time, very disconcerting for many people. I too am taking up new interests and deleting much of the old. I love your new style. Your self-portrait is beautiful. I’m very sorry, too, about your uncle and your cat. I know how hard it is to lose those we love.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks my dear friend! I hope you and the family are doing great!!

      1. juliabarrett says:

        Think of you all the time!

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Stop being so sweet. I can’t take it ☺️☺️

  31. Wonderful to see your face again Stephane! You aren’t the first person, that I have read, that said…film brought them back to life. Happy for you. Maybe, one of these days, I will have the gumption to give it a go.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You really should! The cameras are dirt cheap which compensates for the cost of film and processing. Therés just something very special about the whole process… Have a lovely evening!

  32. I, too, am happy you have rejoined us. We have always been here….maybe out of view but here nonetheless. I imagine the boom boom boom of horrible events were tough and of course you needed time to regroup. Glad you have surfaced enough to enjoy photography again and especially selfishly happy you are ready to share with us again. All the best.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you my adorable friend. You know that there are a handful of readers/friends I know I can count on and you are definitely one of them! Now I need to catch-up on all the great things you and the others have pisted iver the past 6 months…

      1. Check out my new blog for my commerical food processing business too…CanDoRealFood.com. I think you might enjoy that as well.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I certainly will!!!

  33. Carl Johnson says:

    So good to see you blogging again. Most of my photographer friends are using film, and some are even making their own plates. I will find a way that we can dine together this summer. We return to the Medoc on 28 June.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m around June 28th. Will you be staying at Cordeillan Bages?

  34. stéphanie says:

    En entendant ce matin que François le cousin avait gagné la course, je me suis dit sue cela faisait un petit bout de temps que le French heaven n’avait pas fait signe…le temps c’est important, et vous semblez en avoir fait bon usage:j’aime vos images! je vous embrasse et vous envoie un peu du printemps viennois.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Merci Stéphanie!!! C’est vrai que François (qui est mon neveux) nous rends toujours fier. C’est souvent grace à son exemple que je trouve la force d’avancer et de vouloir faire mieux… Passez une belle soirée!!!

  35. Francesca says:

    It is so good to have you back- I missed you and was concerned. I love all your new work, just beautiful. and the new you makes sense too. Sometimes we need to take stock.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh Francesca, I so hoped you would comment. It’s because of people like you that I keep exploring and sharing. So so happy I haven’t lost you to my shameful procrastination and laziness… Have a lovely evening!!!

  36. Awww Stéphane, I am delighted that you are back and have found new inspiration! I for one have always adored your photography. You are your own worst critic. AND, by the number of comments you have already, I do believe you have not lost any of your followers! I am looking forward to your newly inspired posts, no matter what the subject. I am sure the photography and writing will impress us all. xoxo ~Kathryn

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I can always count on you to lift my spirits up dear K ! I am quite surprised that so many readers have reacted to this post. I truly thought all the hard work had been lost for good. This motivates me so much!! Have a lovely evening dearest Kathryn. You rock!

  37. Amanda says:

    Glad to see you are back. I love your photography! Thanks for reminding me also that there are a few toxic people I need to rid my life of as well. Good for you!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It’s quite simple really. Just block their numbers on your phone. If one day you see them on the street, just play dumb and ask them why they stopped calling you 😉 I’m so evil sometimes… But you know what? Life’s too F—–g short!

  38. agnesashe says:

    So pleased to SEE you back and read you of course. I’m sorry for your losses and please don’t apologise for putting the two together. The loss of a beloved pet and the loss of a beloved human are not identical, but can be felt as intensely though differently.
    Great photos – I think creativity is often a good place to work with and assuage one’s grief.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you my dear! And you are absolutely right. Art is such a great way to focus on the positive parts of life while inspiring others to find their own strengths and share their own light…

  39. Cynthia says:

    So good to see you posting again, Stephane. I have been reading for a while, but I believe this is the first time I’ve commented. I love that you write from the heart and share so much of your thoughts and feelings with the world. Very impressed that you’ve taken up film again. I know many other photographers who are “going back” to re-discover the joys of shooting film, and reconnect with what made them fall in love with photography. Your self-portrait is wonderful. I will continue to read and admire!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh my dear Cynthia. Your comment truly warms my heart. Yes, with film photography I feel like I’ve come home. Digital is way too practicle to ignore, but I feel like film is the only medium though which I cà truly find my creative voice! Wéll see…

  40. Francine Guimont Lévis Québec Canada says:

    J’étais inquiète de ne plus avoir de vos nouvelles. Heureuse de voir qu’une nouvelle passion vous anime. Vos photos sont toujours magnifiques et nous rappelle les beaux moments passés dans votre coin de pays. Même si je lis l’anglais j’apprécie encore plus de vous lire en français, ça me touche plus profondément . Merci.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh merci chère Francine. Vos mots me touchent beaucoup. Ecrire dans les deux langues prend beaucoup plus de temps, mais je crois que ça en vaut la peine. Notre langue est si belle!

  41. Craving4More says:

    You are truly amazing, my friend. TRULY. I am so honored to know you.

    Ashley Sara DeKam ashleysdekam@gmail.com http://www.craving4more.com

    >

  42. Ashley says:

    You are truly amazing, my dear friend. AMAZING. I feel so honored to know you.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      And me you Ashley! I actually though of you quite a bit throughout this personal development phase… Went back a watched some of the pictures you liked so much. Thinking about what truly matters and what I felt it was my responsibility and my purpose to share. So you see, salvation seems to always come from going back to what you knew you needed and deserved all along…

  43. Sorry for your loss. Glad you managed to overcome it all. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! It’s good to be back!

  44. Nadia says:

    I am so very excited and pleased to have you back. I missed your magnificent photographs.
    Bisous

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you my belle Nadia! Bisous to you too 😉

  45. Every so often real life does have a way of taking over for what actually gives you pleasure. I’m glad to see you’re back and on the mend. No need to worry about a critique of your photos, they look great from here. I look forward to seeing more from you!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks a lot Emilio! I am having quite a lot of fun learning about all these new tools… And as you know, from fun comes great inspiration (I hope!) 😉

  46. Glad you are back with us. I really enjoy reading your blog.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much dear Peggy!

  47. Welcome back, Stephane! So glad you have returned to us. May your new journey be blessed and fruitful. But do spoil us from time to time with an amazing recipe–or at least pictures of culinary delights we can drool over 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I certainly will my dear Tamara! You know that food photography was my first love…

      1. I do! Looking forward to your posts!

  48. A.M.E. says:

    Nice post! Glad you’re writing again.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Ashley!

  49. judilyn says:

    There are certainly more than two of us fans left to adore your photography !!! ;-> I started out with a bellows camera, migrating through many, many types of film cameras, until . . . digital became useful for serious work. My husband has two 5 x 7 view cameras, a Hasselblad, a high-end Polaroid, and there are numerous 35 mm Nikon and Canon units scattered about the house. We are both firmly in the digital realm now, yet we hold onto the film cameras for old time’s sake, I guess.

    Your portraits (candids and posed) are really something to behold, and I lust for such a talent. The one of yourself and the Rolleiflex is absolutely superb! The slightly off-center lighting on your face makes the whole picture! Black and white never looked so good!

    I look forward to seeing more and more of your work.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    1. My French Heaven says:

      And here I thought I couldn’t love you more my dear Judie! Now that I know how passionate you are about photography, I will certainly share my journey with even more enthusiasm! The Hasselblad is the Rolls Royce of medium format. Right now I am looking at two more practical options: a Rolleiflex or a Leica. So many choices out there. Film cameras are such beautiful objects too… It’s like getting art pieces for the house…

      1. judilyn says:

        I want to mount the wooden Takahara and the Sinar F on a plexiglass shelf hanging from the ceiling and trained on the photo of “White House Ruin” by William Clift.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I keep surfing the net to find new talent all the time. It can become quite overwhelming at times, especially when you realize how much talent is already out there. Yet another reminder that art should be created for oneself first. One could go mad trying to become a famous artist. It was my dream for a while. It isn’t anymore…

          1. judilyn says:

            Absolutely! To thine own self be true! ;-> My pleasure comes from the joy of a photo or other work of art – mine or those of others. It’s soothing to the soul.

          2. My French Heaven says:

            It really is. I truly am a visual person first and I couldn’t count the times when I cried watching a sunset…

  50. Esperluette says:

    Magnifique!!! Ces photos noir & blanc donnent encore plus d’âme aux sujets photographiés!
    Bravo!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Merci merci! C’est vrai qu’il y a un certain je ne sais quoi qui ressort de ces vieilles pellicules…

  51. skd says:

    Welcome back! I’m sorry to hear what you had to go through. Wish you happy days ahead. I used to wonder why you weren’t posting. I am sure all your readers are eagerly looking forward to your wonderful posts.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much! I knew I could count on my friends and long time readers’ support :0)

  52. Sadie's Nest says:

    Welcome back! I’m sorry for your losses, and I’m looking forward to your new perspectives! 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Sadie! I want the blog to be more about finding and sharing joie de vivre wherever we are. More about how to be a “bon vivant and more food and lifestyle photography related articles…

  53. So nice to see you back, I love your photos and thought I must have unfollowed you somehow! ☺️

    1. My French Heaven says:

      No you hadn’t my dear. I was the lazy one who couldn’t find the strenth or inspiration to write…

  54. Sarah Jane says:

    Gorgeous, as always. Good to see you back!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks dear Sarah. It feels good to be back. There is so much I want to do with the blog from now on. New philosophy, ideas, visuals… Can’t wait to share it all with you!

  55. It is so good to have you back, Stephane. I actually checked recently that I hadn’t missed posts or lost my subscription by going onto your site. Your photos are always a joy to see. I’m glad you’re back and that you’re happier and wish you much joie de vivre 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much my dear friend! It is indeed good to be back!

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