Monthly Archives: January 2018

A roadtrip in Provence

It’s on my way to a  Wedding in Provence that I took some time off to explore Provence.

I’ve spent my teenage years in South of France, near Toulon and Hyères, but at that time, I didn’t have a car (because no driver’s licence yet !). So that’s quite later  in my life that I finally get to explore this part of France, and more specifically the area in haut Var, and Alpes de Haute-Provence.

So here is, in photos, a few places that I’ve discovered and really enjoyed, while on this roadtrip.

Please fasten your seatbelt, and enjoy the ride !

Let’s gooooooooooooo !!!! 🙂

Lavander fields at Valensole !

This place, I’ve been dreaming of it for years, without even knowing where to look for it. Lavender fields everywhere you can look at. How and where did all this lavender, Provence is famous for, comes from ? Now I know.

That’s in Valensole that you’ll find it. This place is so famous that there even is roadsign to warn drivers from tourists walking all around and crossing the roads without any notice. Crazy ! 🙂

I woke up really early to be there hoping to be alone, but didn’t work… same for sunset : I’ve never be by myself there, there is always photographers (well, in July !) 🙂

I adored the intoxicating smell of lavender flowers, when driving and walking around, but also the red color of the ground, and the bzzzz bzzz sound of bees flying around, but also the fact that you could see, very far away ,the mountains, reminding you that this flat heavenly landscape is just a bit of rest before you keep exploring the area 🙂

Moustiers Ste Marie

Not that far from Valensole, there is Moustiers Ste Marie,  honored to be among the prettiest village in France, this village smells the south, the sun (and tourists !). It was delightful to wander in its small paved streets, I specially loved the olds doors everywhere. All different but all very pretty, and its hiking paths that lead me on top of the village, with a breathtaking view on the village but also Saint Croix Lake.

 Verdon gorge

Watch out, if you’re afraid of heights, or don’t like to drive on narrow and sinuous roads, this is not a place for you. I’ve been lucky to drive there very early in the morning, in early July, and so by the time I was done driving all around the gorge and enjoying the view, the crowd of tourists and drivers was just arriving in the other direction….

Roads are pretty, and there are little space here and there to park and stop to enjoy the scenic view, but parking space are limited, so avoid going there in crowded hours. 🙂 I’ve been there when I was really young and had forgotten how this aread is beautiful, wild and empty (no house anywhere, nothing !)

Bonus point, at the end of the scenic drive, you meet again Saint Croix lake, with its pretty green/turquoise color.

Next time I go there, I’ll rent a paddle boat, because that day there was a heatwave, and these people on the water seemed to have quite a good time, exploring the gorge from beneath the skyline 🙂

Tourtour

This village is also among the prettiest village in France and I really enjoyed wandering in its small streets, but also the very animated main square , with pretty terrasse and flowers and plants here and there everywhere in the village.

The road to get there is also pretty : lost in the middle of nature, you reach the village as if you wanted to reach the top of the clouds 🙂

AUPS

Aups, on a market day, in summer, is the real spirit of my vision of Provence : joy all around, lovely yummy smells, and vacation flavour! Between the booth that sells baskets, the olive shop, bathing suits or soap maker, there are plenty of terrasse to enjoy “apéro”, and a all bunch of happy mood, colors smells, and laughter…

And then, walking a bit aside and find calm and quietness in pretty narrow paved streets 🙂

It was quite a pain to find a parking spot when arriving in Aups on a market day, but it was way worth the search, to stop there for a little walk at the marché, and a drink at a terrasse  🙂

Régusse

A quick pause at Régusse, because there is an old windmill, and I havn’t seen that many in my life. A windmill is quite tough to photograph : between its massive size, its wings, but also the fences to protect the path that leads to it, and the bad weather… that was a tough mission. Not easy, but this windmill was pretty, and very old, so it’s worth a stop on your way elsewhere.

🙂

and then…

Aix en Provence !

I have lived a bit more than 2 years in Aix en Provence, and going back there was the icing on the cake of this roadtrip in Provence.

I had forgotten how pretty this city was, with its narrow old streets, so lovely to walk around. Aix en Provence has been for me the beginning of my addiction to USA (thanks to a cultural exchange programm, and later on I’ve worked for this company, based in Aix en Provence, before flying back to USA).

I feel like I’ve lived 12 000 lives since the time I’ve lived in Aix en Provence, and I was far from guessing I would become a wedding photographer, so being back there was like meeting myself again. 🙂

The challenge, that day, for me, was to try to take photos of the city without any people in it, when the city was very crowded in July, this was an interesting challenge.

🙂

So here’s the end of my roadtrip in Provence, and I hope you enjoyed it.

So please, now, tell me when we’re going back there !

🙂

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2017 – an extreme year

Oh wait, it’s 2018 already and I havn’t wrote a retrospective of my year 2017 on the blog !

(but I have for my knitting blog though)

So let’s do this !!!

As mentionned in the title, 2017 has been an extreme year for me. Way different from 2016, and because of that, I stare at 2018, wondering, but also quite motivated to keep living my life the way I want it, and follow my dreams, and my guts.

2017 has been more calm in terms of weddings, allowing me to work on other important projects. But I still drove a lot though, exploring France, here and there, on my way to weddings.

So here are, for me, what were the most important moments of 2017, in photos (but also my favorite photos) 🙂

2017 started with a winter wedding  !

But also, later on, driving and exploring Leucate area, with a wedding during a heatwave 🙂

Marjorie and her husband made me cry quite a lot at their wedding in Auvergne 🙂

But I also laughed my pants off at  Marie and Loup’s wedding ! 🙂

I spoked Spanish with guests at Perle and Patricio’s wedding in Auvergne.

And practiced my English with  Amy and Ed, at their  bohemian wedding in Provence 🙂

I went back in  Sologne for a wedding with Céline and Sébastien !

and my GPS freacked out to find  Château de Pramenoux, in Beaujolais, to take photos of  Marie-Hélène and Mathieu 🙂

I’ve been contacted last minute (well, 3 weeks in advance) for a  wedding in Cévennes ! 🙂

I enjoyed the indian summer sun in Auvergne at La Bourboule, for the last wedding of my season

But also, also, alsooooooooo… I’ve been in the middle of a  yarnball fight, with Anissa and Benoit ! 🙂  🙂 🙂 🙂

In 2017, I’ve also worked on 2  very important projects for me :

I did a photo documentary about Virginie Basset, a violonist who plays music in pediatric intensive care at the hospital in Clermont-Ferrand.“Violon à l’hôpital”  is now an itinerant photo exhibition with conferences that we hope to share here and there. In case you wanted to have my guts on a plate, here they are ! 🙂

 

But also, regarding the yarn part of my life, in 2017, I’ve worked on a MASSIVE  yarnbombing project from January to June 2017, for the ecomuseum of  Ruynes en Margeride (Cantal – central France).

38 miles of yarn knitted, plenty of trees and fences covered with knitting and 500 crocheted spiders set up in the garden.

If you wanted my silly artist side on a plate, here it is 🙂

(more details about this on my knitter’s blog)

In terms of travels, exploration, as you’ve seen, I drove a lot all around France, and among the best moment I want to remember for 2017, I’ll definitely say that I FINALLY get to see the lavender fields in Provence !

but also that I’ve been  mooved by the beauty of  Fontfroide’s abbey,  now on thelist of my favorite place visited in France. 🙂

In 2017, I’ve also tried more and more to hike by myself, in order to not feel limited by the availability of my friends. So I’ve explored a bit more Auvergne, in  Haute-Loire, but also Puy de la Tâche.    Put myself out of my comfort zone, but staying safe, that’s a thin line and a challenge I’m still working on 🙂

I’ve also discovered Leucate, and loved that place ! 🙂

But also, and most of all, if there is an awesome thing I’ve done in 2017, that would be that crazy awesome day, where I finally put my ass on a moped (a lifetime achievement !) 🙂 and visit the Pilat !

 

And since then, I’ve decided to create another instagram account, specific to my travels, my roadtrip, and my exploration : WanderingSandrine 🙂  (and here is my other for  Wedding photography)

🙂

Yes, 2017 has been an extreme year, with its package of worries, car accident (if you meet a wild boar with a punk haircut, that’s mine !), health problems, and a end of year quite challenging on the personal aspect of my life.

2017 also allowed me to sort out what’s important, in my contacts too, but also to figure out more accurately my priorities, my goals, and to improve my stress management.

Regarding the pro aspect of my life, 2017 has also been the year where a guest, at a wedding, insulted me, for being in front of him to take a photo while he was trying to do so, despite the fact that he has been bothering me for the entire day and I’ve mentionned it to him many times.

Yes, this year, I’ve reached that level, and couldn’t think I will : being insulted when at work ! 🙁

I will be short on the amount of rush for photos from the guest, you could think I am  JP Rouve in  “Le sens de la Fête” :), but it’s true that this year, I also broke one of my very expensive lense because of that, and that’s the kind of stress (and expenses) I would love to avoid.

I deal better with these things, and always do my best to manage these situation, but I would really love a little extra dose of kindness from everybody for 2018.

My clients are fantastics, your friends are too, so let’s all spend an awesome day, especially if some of us have to work on that day 🙂

I still really really love my job, so that’s a chance ! and I just can’t wait for  the next wedding day in my agenda !

🙂

My agenda is wide open for bookings in 2018 (and 2019?), and I already know that in 2018 I’ll be back in Paris, in Creuse, and in Auvergne for your weddings. And I can’t wait !

(future brides and grooms,  contact-me !)

In terms of travels, I’d love in 2018 to explore more  Périgord, Cévennes,  but also the Atlantic coast (it’s a large area, I know !), and the Pyrénées too (same, there are plenty of miles to drive !), and why not Corsica ? 🙂

I would love to drive back to Beaujolais, Alsace or  French Alps,  but also Provence again.

Yep, you get it, the road calls me, and I’m a curious explorer ! Even if these days I don’t travel abroad that much, France has got plenty of places I don’t know and havn’t seen yet !

To be continued then ! 🙂

During these past Holidays, I’ve processed all my travel photos, so get ready, in 2018, this blog is going to be active ! 🙂

Now let me finish this blogpost by a photo of one of my favorite moment in 2017 : Lavender fields in Provence !

It took me a while to figure out where I should go to find them (Plateau de Valensole, that’s the place you wanna go!), and I shed a tear once I sat down there, on the red ground, surrounded by lavender flowers and the bzzzz of bees !

I wish you a wonderful year 2018, hoping that it will be as happy for you that I was on that moment !

🙂

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