Monthly Archives: May 2016

A surprising wedding in Sologne (France)

About weddings, I thought I’ve seen already plenty of things, but I’m glad to notice that I actually still can be pretty surprised, mesmerized, and of course, in love with what I see ! And today, I’m going to show you a surprising wedding in Sologne 🙂

It’s actually the reason why I love so much being a wedding photographer !

Charlotte-Anaïs and Benjamin’s wedding was one of these weddings, surprising ! (not that it’s a contest, by the way) 🙂

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Plenty of surprising things, but also a wedding in Sologne, a part of France I didn’t know  (near Orleans and the Loire Valley)

Gorgeous landscapes, pretty countryside with ponds everywhere, I’m really glad I’ve decided last year, to now work all around France (and the world), taking photos of weddings !

Despite a very cold and grey weather, and some unplanned event during that day, this wedding was extraordinary (just like this couple) 🙂

Wedding gown was from Yolan Cris, a designer I didn’t know, all in lace and crochet details !

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A gorgeous purple bouquet, and smelling so so soooooooooo good ! (made by “atelier après la pluie”) 🙂

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The lovely city hall of  Romorantin

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The rest of the celebration took place in  Château de la Beuvrière in Vierzon (18)

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A non religious celebration, full of ribbons,  where friends went to tie ribbons around the couple’s hand (it reminded me a little bit the religious laotian celebration I took photos of)

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Guests who, at the end of the ceremony, shouted “long live the emperor, long live the empress” !

Apparently a private joke, but very touching and funny too (I loved it !)

A surprise HAKA ! 🙂

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No bouquet thrown that day but again, ribbons playing with fate (only one of them was linked to the bouquet)

And a “princess on top of the tower” mood that I’ve loved ! 🙂

I once, when a guest at a wedding, knocked over kids and other women to catch a bouquet, with that ribbons technique, no chance this can ever happen (and that’s a good thing, right?) 🙂 🙂 🙂

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A bucolic theme, with sweet peas seed instead of our traditional “dragées” !

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And a butterfly on each table !

I’d love to show you that, but a video is actually much better

(I NEED ONE! )

and….

An awesome gift from the guest to this couple :

The bride’s mum and her sister are seamstress, and they asked all the guest to make a personnalised  piece of fabric (respecting the theme color of the wedding), to make a quilt.

Dragons, mapple leaf, and other little stories and anecdots from each guest made this blanket such a special and loving gift !

I definitely want to keep that idea for my wedding, and ask right now my friends to stop knitting and start sewing instead ! 🙂

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A cute wedding cake matching perfectly with their theme ! 🙂

(I havn’t told you about the caterer, l’Auberge des 3 marchands : simply delicious !)

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And for the party, no DJ or spotlight : the good thing when you’re a teacher is that you can easily find one of your student willing to play the DJ for an evening !

🙂

For their first dance, Charlotte-Anaïs told me “we havnt worked on anything, it’s going to be a bit of an improvisation I guess”.

But I suspect she bluffed me : so feel of energie between these 2, and so funny too !

When bride and grooms decide to have fun, really, you don’t need a choregraphy, it’s contagious (and awesome !)

🙂

Let’s play some music to put you in the mood for it 🙂 CA + B - 14 mai 2016 - pour blog-36CA + B - 14 mai 2016 - small-872

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I really have loved this day spent with them, my first time for a wedding in Sologne but I hope not the last one.

🙂

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A+F ‘s wedding in a castle in Auvergne (central France)

I settled down in this part of France (Auvergne) just a year ago and havn’t taken phot of weddings here yet. Aurore and Florent’s wedding in a castle in Auvergne was the first wedding of my photography season, and it was just nearby, in  château des Roses et des Tours

When I met this couple, they first told me that they didn’t plan to get married.

But then, Aurore had an opportunity from her job, to expat and live in India for a few years.

In order to be able to bring with her Florent, but also their 2 young daughters, they needed to get visas.

And when it’s about visas, really, being married is almost always the easiest option in these administrative world.

🙂

And so, beside getting ready to moove on the other side of the planet, with 2 young kids (they leave this summer !), they also had a wedding to plan !

🙂

And I have to say that that for a couple who didn’t want to get married, really, they did an amazing job !

🙂

The castle  des Roses et des Tours was also an awesome place to celebrate this event.

and for a 1st wedding in Auvergne, I couldn’t dream of a better place to start the season 🙂

A very pretty decoration, thought by Aurore, with the help of Design Event 63, an awesome band, playing music during the cocktail (actually, they are 2 groups, knowing each other and working together for special events : “Les tronches de vie” and les boucs et miss hair“).

I really loved their songs selection and covers 🙂

A and F also thought about having plenty of nannies from La Boite à Surpriz to entertain kids.

The party later this evening was entertained by Prestique animation concept

Since Aurore and Florent were about to leave Auvergne in a few months, you may have guessed that this wedding was also a way for their close friends, family and surrounding to say good bye and enjoy their company before they leave Frane.

There was a special feeling in the air, that day, at the castle Des Roses et des Tours, and I have loved being able to spend that day with them.

So here is a little photo summary from that sunny day

🙂

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🙂

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A bucolic bridal shower in rural Auvergne

I didn’t get the chance in the past, to take photos of a bridal shower, but I have to admit that I now regret it : it is awesome ! 🙂

Especially after Christine’s Bridal shower, organised in total secret by her girl friends !

A chance in my agenda: it was organised on a Friday, just the day before my very first wedding of my Wedding photography season 2016 !

What an easy way to  relax, and put myself in a “wedding” mood !

(I’m always stressed before the 1st wedding of my season)

 🙂

Christine’s wedding will be in June this year, in Clermont-Ferrand, in Auvergne, in central France (where I live), but this time, it’s in the center of Auvergne (the center of the center of France ?) :), in a B&B, La Goulapie, near St Quentin s/ Sauxillanges. That’s where I met the girls for our photo session.

With our 2 agendas overbooked, we never get the chance to meet with Christine, the bride, but I already have heard about her plenty of time, since she contacted me thanks to a friend I’m doing volunteering with.

And so, on that bridal shower day, I was kind of a surprise for her, at the end of the day.

Christine was eyes closed, on the terrasse, surrounded by her girl friends, asking here “what about your photographer, did you finally get to meet her ? What’s her name again “

No ? Well, now open your eyes ! 🙂

and so she did 🙂

Except that  we never met so she didn’t know how I look like ! 🙂

Laughter and hugs later, it was so good to finally meet her !

And that’s in such a good mood that we started our photo session, being silly but first, wearing paper flower crown and ready to party !

🙂

To be honest, I had one of the best time with them, I laughed so much, and actually, I think you can guess that when watching the photos 🙂

I really loved taking photos of this bridal shower, in central Auvergne

I can’t wait for Christine’s wedding on June 18th !

🙂

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A year exploring Auvergne

It’s been a year now, that I’ve settled down in Auvergne, an area in central France.

A region totally unknown for me, I barely spent a week-end in Clermont-Ferrand before that (CF being the biggest city)

But, I was craving for nature, fresh air, and also a way to stop thinking about Oregon

I already told you about visiting Salers, but also hiking in Chaudefour valley, but there is so much more to do and explore around here, in Auvergne ! So much to share on this blog still 🙂

So here are some photos, some landscapes of my time in Auvergne this past year, hoping to share more about it in my next blogpost.

Auvergne area gathers several little village classified “most beautiful village of France” (“plus beau village de France”)

Lavaudieu

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Charroux

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But there is also plenty of NATURE !

Its Puys (former volcanos), that I havn’t all climbed or hiked yet, but after a year, I am now always search, from the back of my head, the view on its most famous one : Puy de Dôme !

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Just like in Oregon, the vision of Mount Hood made me feel at peace, here, Puy de Dôme is reassuring me. It’s like a kind of landmark that helps me to figure out my way around, wherever I could be. 🙂

Here’s a view on Puy de Dôme, from Puy de Côme :

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Auvergne, often empty and isolated

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and sometimes icy and snowy too ! 🙂

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Auvergne, that I love for this exact reason : even when it’s crumbling, you can find life making its way through a wall, thanks to a plant, a branch or flowers…

Nature is everywhere here !

Auvergne, where I’ve seen more animals in a year than in an afternoon at the Agriculture Fair in Paris 🙂

(yes, I’m a teasing troll, but come in Auvergne and you’ll see by yourself 🙂 )

I even created a mental bingo card, for when I’m hiking with friends, checking all the animals I may see while hiking !

Few days ago, I saw a deer crossing the country road where I was driving. It’s as rare in France to see that, that it’s common in US… so I think I made 5 000 points that day ! 🙂

and I just cannot get enough of all this

(as long as I don’t see snakes, I’m fine with that!)

🙂

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Auvergne, with its traditions, churches, cloisters, castles and other historic buildings….

And sometimes, I feel like I live in another era, or maybe, I’ve lived in other eras before, and now I’m in the real one… that must be it 🙂

Last time I hiked with a friend, we walked into a group of monks, on top of a hill in a procession in order to bless the harvest. EXTRAORDINARY ! 🙂 (and I’m not religious, you know that, right ?)

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Auvergne, and its chemin Fais’Art , a hike among massive stone sculptures

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I have to do this one again, I loved it ! 🙂

 

Queuille meander, that reminded me of , HorseShoe Bend in USA, but with a bit more trees all around 😉

 

Auvergne, I really like you, and I still have so much to see and explore, I can’t wait ! 🙂

Good thing I just bought my very first car, right ? 🙂

So, to be continued, for more photos of Auvergne

🙂

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My roadtrip from Portland (OR) to San Diego (CA) along the pacific coast

When I first left Portland, in 2004, I took a night bus, leading me to San Francisco by night, where I my flight back to France was waiting for me.

A long journey, in between 2 attempts to sleep, uncomfortable, but from which I kept dreaming of the landscapes I’ve seen, along the Pacific ocean coast of Oregon.

Since that trip, and until that trip in 2013, my only dream was to be able to make it back to Portland, but also to do this roadtrip along the Oregon Coast, to see these landscapes, that seemed in between dreams and reality. 2013 was the year where my dream became reality !

And since I’ve planned to rent a car, and then, later on, go and visit a friend in San Diego, I’ve decided to also drive all the way down to San Diego. A friend of  mine told me lots of good things about Big Sur, in between San Francisco and Los Angeles, so that was a perfect time to check this also,instead of taking a flight from SFO to San Diego, let’s drive all the way down from Portland to San Diego ! And so ‘ve left Portland to reach road 101, along the coast, and follow it until almost the mexican border.

More than 3000km drive (yes, I did a few detour), all by myself, with my camera, in a little Chevrolet Spark, with a good music playlist, a guide book I’ve been working on before my departure, and craving for  freedom and being amazed by what’s surrounding me.

So, are you ready to see my photos of this long roadtrip ?

LET’S GO !

🙂  🙂 🙂 🙂

So, after 5 delightful days in Portland

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I’ve left the city at 5am, in order to make it at Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park at sunrise.

As soon as I’m there, I’m already breathtaken by what I see… fog everywhere, ocean, and majestic Haystack Rock… and elks or deers everywhere around me !

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🙂

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I’ve never seen woods like these (except in Twilight), amazing and beautiful green trees like in fairytale…

<3 🙂 <3

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And then, going to Cannon Beach to have a look at Haystack Rock

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I’m not used to tides (I grew up near the Mediterranean sea !), so, on the first day, I get caught by water, and it was very close from being dangerous 🙁

Surrounded by water, with all my expensive photo gear on me, my only escape was to cross a part of the water for few minutes, with water up to my knees !!!!

I’ve been quite scared, but at least, I’ve learnt the lesson ! 🙁

And then, because of this, I had to walk 30 extra minutes around to reack the parking lot where I’ve left my car, since the beach I walked in at first had become…. the ocean ! This also is a lesson I kept in mind :S

But, I do believe things always happen for a reason… and without this little incident, I wouldn’t have seen this, on my walk back to the car… Sun warming the hills, in early morning… glittering nature, after a rainshower (that I received on my own head 15 min before !) :)The ocean was just 5 minutes walk away behind me, when I took this photo…:)

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And then, leaving Cannon beach,

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on the road again, with a goal : to see most of Oregon’s lighthouses…in between 2 amazing landscapes 🙂

Netarts Bay  (and my own satisfaction to be able to see, for real, a landscape that was on photo on my tourist guidebook !)

and take the same photo 🙂

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Yaquina Bay  Lighthouse

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Yaquina Head Lighthouse

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and arriving in Heceta Head Lighthouse at sunset….

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Since night was almost there, I didn’t get to really see and enjoy the Oregon Sand Dunes, that stretches out for about 100 km

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After a night spent in Coos Bay, I was back on the road, exploring around Coos Bay, because I arrived there late at night.

Marsh, ponds, Pine trees (christmas trees ?) on a sandy ground, these landscapes were both strange and splendid…

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I’ve wanted to stop to have a walk on a trail, but then, at the beginning of the trail, I’ve read on the sign there, that you can meet tracks of several wild animals… among them : cougars !

I didn’t want to take the risk to run into a lonely cougar…. since the area was totally empty of any people…

(yeah yeah, I’m a scared city girl… I’ll do better next time, I promise) 🙂

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And then, looking for Cape Arago lighthouse !

I’ve been looking for it, and get almost mad at not finding it, thinking I’ve finally lost my sense of direction…

This lighthouse is not open to public for visits, but I wanted at least to see it and take a photo.

So… if you ever happen to want to see it, please know that you can only see it from 1 way of the road…. actually the way back from a deadend entrance of a National Park

Thanks to these people who had stopped there, at the place I’ve been driving  by 3 times, I get to finally look up, and see the lighthouse, driving on my way back !

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🙂

and then drive past a group of very noisy sealions 🙂

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Cute ocean town and ports

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And then arriving at Coquille River Lighthouse on a crazy windstorm….

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and finally make it to Cape Blanco Lighthouse, the Southern Lighthouse in Oregon (I love this one !) ,

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At that point of my roadtrip, landscape had already changed a lot… rocks are less abrupts… cliff less dramatic, and roads less narrow…

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Bye bye my beloved Oregon 🙁

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Oh hello California ! 🙂

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Turning back for a last look at Oregon, because I know I’m going to miss it very much 🙁

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I’ve spent the night in Crescent City, in California, and arrived there at sunset 🙂

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I then woke up really early to be on the road again.

For the upcoming journey, I only had one priority : see the redwoods !!! 🙂

My priority was Oregon coast and see some big redwoods….and then drive drive drive intensely to meet my friend Maite in San Diego.

Now that I’m back in France, I think I could (should ?) have added a day or 2, to spend really more lazy time on the beaches and cliffs of Oregon, because I’ve really loved it there…

California ? no, it’s not my thing… maybe because I grew up in South of France, and find that vegetation was a bit similar ?

Maybe also because of the roads, that became much bigger, straight pieces of tarmac cut in the hills and woods…

I’ve enjoyed much better the narrow cliffs of Oregon.

So here I was, at 6am, ready to drive to “Avenue of the Giants”, where huge redwoods were waiting for me (yeah yeah, for me !) 🙂

I’ve planned to arrive at around 8.30/9am there….But I didn’t expect I would see this on my way….

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and then, few miles later….

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But also, and this is one amazing time that will give me a good reason for the rest of my life to want to wake up at 6am while on vacation, because it’s sometimes really worth it…

This photo here, is one of my happiest moment in 2013 🙂

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I’ve finally made it to Avenue of the Giants, a place I’ve been dreaming of for several months while planning this trip…

Surrounded by these giant redwoods, in a magical silence, huge trees everywhere, mersmerized by their delightful smell, I’ve felt very very very small…

It’s an amazing place ! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

And so, I’ve spent some time hugging trees, trying to hold them in my arms, and thanking them for being so beautiful and making me so happy to be here….

And there were quite a lot of trees… this is an impressive place ! 🙂

A delightful sweet light was filtered by these giants trees…

I had to take self-portrait to be able later on to remember the size of these trees 🙂

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Sitting near a tree, I’ve absorbed all its energy, and have tried to remember this peaceful moment… for the next time I’ll be upset…

No, I’m not waiting in line at the Post Office for already 20 minutes, I’m here, sitting near a big redwood, and I’m happy…

🙂

(if happiness is something you have to work on, well, sitting by my tree, I’ll live happily ever after !) 🙂

23 - avenue of the giants (21)

And back on the road, with the will to reach San Francisco before nightfall, because my hotel was an hour drive south of SFO.

Christmas trees are not part of the landscape anymore, it’s now eucalyptus

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and grapevines (it’s not the Napa valley, but it’s close by though)

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Arriving in San Francisco at 7pm, guess who drove on the Golden Gate Bridge ?

meeeeeeeee !!!! 🙂

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25 - Through SFO - small (1)

7pm, big mistake to be in town at that time, office workers are out, and so I get stuck in the traffic… it will take me 3 hours to reach my hotel

(but it’s ok because I had a nice music playlist, air conditionned and so I did a little singing show in my car) 🙂

🙂

Spending the night in Monterey, I was on my last day of roadtrip, with a big piece of driving ahead….

Goal : have a look at Big Sur, but most of all : make it to San Diego directly then…

As mentionned before, my trip was Oregon oriented, California wasn’t my priority…

I’m not a Los Angeles fan, and in San Diego, I have a friend waiting for me. These moments spent with her and her family felt definitely more valuable than any visit I could have done to the Hollywood moovies studios or than another photo of the shore….

And so, I drove, a lot… intensely... and sang even louder in my car :)Landscape there was extremly diffrent from what I’ve seen at the beginning of my trip, although we were in the end of September.

There, it was dry, aride, a bit more flat and less dramatique than Oregon’s cliff….

It was nice, but I’ve enjoyed it less…

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ok, that road was lovely though 🙂

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But there still was a silly squirrel to ask for a piece of your pizza !

🙂

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Or some sealion to make you laugh with their snoring

🙂

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and here I was, after several hours stucked in traffic around Los Angeles, arriving in San Diego at sunset…

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I’ve made it ! More than 3000 km by myself, in 4 days, with 2 last intense days…

and then, I’ve spent several days living with my friend Maite and her family, in La Jolla, near San Diego….

Eating cactus, and taking photos around here, while watching cute guys surfing waves 🙂

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This trip was awesome, I had an amazing time, and to be honest, I’d love to do it again ! 🙂

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