Winter Light

It’s been a very, very long and harsh winter in Minnesota… Several days of dangerous temperatures, turning into weeks. I can’t tell you how tired we all are of dealing with this. Having to worry about your eye lashes freezing shut as soon as you step outside the door gets old very quickly… So what is a photographer to do? Wait for the warmer days? Absolutely not! The visual muscles would weaken and deteriorate. You need to exercise them on a daily basis. I recently introduced you to ‘Photo antiquing’ in this post. I’ve visited a few more antique shops since then. But that’s not the only way I keep my creative soul happy between trips and projects. I also chase light and textures 🙂

I was visiting an artist studio for a purchase recently, but it was closed. Actually the entire building was deserted. The extreme cold tends to keep people inside. Not me… I can’t stay in for long, I go stir crazy!

Of course, I had my camera with me and I walked up the few floors of the old factory building and played with light for a few minutes. It wasn’t much, but enough to get a few warm images on a very cold day…

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It’s this cold here… 😦

 

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#DoSomethingForNothing Paris

I travel to Paris several times a year and I always go in January, it’s one of my favorite times of the year for street photography. I also combine it with a trip to Normandy to celebrate my mother’s birthday.

This year I spent a few days documenting my friend Joshua Coombes on the streets of my beloved city. Josh travelled from London and we spend 3 full days all over Paris meeting people from all different backgrounds who shared stories that will stay with us forever.

The photographs are available in this gallery and the stories will be part of the next ebook #DoSomethingForNothing in Paris. My role was not only to photograph those touching moments, I was also Josh’s interpreter. This experience was more challenging because my attention was divided between the visual storytelling and the translating. But it was even more intimate than the NYC experience because I was more immersed in the interactions.

Here are just a few of the photographs. I will not reveal the stories as they will be available in the next book later this month. Want to get involved and help Josh continue his important work? Please sign up here to be notified when the new ebook comes out. In case you missed the New York City stories, you can download the them here.

Vlad

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Malory

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Bruno

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Mike

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Joseph

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Marian and Monika

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Paris mock up for social media low

Coming soon!

Book mock up for social media

Available for download

Escape the cold, go photo-antiquing

There there many things I love to photograph on bitterly cold days. The weather has never been an excuse for me not to exercise my ‘visual push-ups’. One of my favorite activities is what I call ‘photo-antiquing’.

It’s not simply walking into an antique store and photographing random objects. The exercise is to work the frame without moving or repositioning any object. No removing distractions (price tags, etc) allowed, that would be too easy! I describe the value of such exercises in my book The Art of Seeing Photographically, it’s all about shooting with more intent and pretending you don’t even have a processing software to work with later. I also highly recommend one focal length and no cropping, just like the few frames below shot recently in a cute little antique store in Duluth, Minnesota.

Try it next time you have cabin fever and you feel that there is nothing to go out and shoot. Your creative soul will thank you!

I shot these with the Fujifilm Xpro2 and the 35mm 1.4 to get me out of my 23mm comfort zone 😉

Please share your thoughts!

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2017 in 100 Photographs

Wishing you all a beautiful end of 2017 and the most creative 2018!

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Valérie Jardin

San Francisco, Dallas and a little break…

December started in San Francisco where I taught a street photography workshop and a few private sessions. Then I spent a couple of days with my son who is currently doing his doctorate studies in Northern California. I had such a great time and I can’t wait to go again in February!

The following week, I was off to Dallas for the last workshop of the year, followed by a presentation for Fujifilm US. I was a cold week in Dallas but I met lots of warm and friendly people. It was a fun time!

I’m home again and taking a short travel break. I am actually craving the idea of not having to pack for a while but I know that in just a couple of week I’ll be getting the travel bug again.

Here are few pics taken on the streets of San Francisco and Dallas this month. Some in B&W, others in color (and for obvious reasons I think).

Thank you for accompanying me on so many streets this year!

San Francisco

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Dallas

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More news about #DoSomethingForNothing

The most rewarding projects I’ve done this year was documenting the work of my good friend Joshua Coombes on the streets of NYC in September. Josh and I published an ebook with the stories and photographs we collected during our week on the streets of New York. With the help of two great volunteers, Paul Vincent and Mel Rolleri, the ebook is now available for download here. Donations of any amount are appreciated to help Josh continue his beautiful project and bring love and compassion to new cities around the world. My goal is to continue to work with him as a team as much as possible when my schedule allows it. A first exhibit of the work is already in the planning stages for June 2018.

More exciting news! A new camera bag was also released as a Valérie Jardin signature limited edition by Cosyspeed in Germany. Proceeds for this limited edition bag go to a humanitarian project and I chose Josh and #DoSomethingForNothing to be the recipient. There are 200 New York gray sling/hip bags in this beautiful limited edition. With your help, we can sell out quickly!

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THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!

#DoSomethingForNothing ~ eBook Fundraiser

As you probably all know by now, I’ve been deeply moved by the work of Joshua Coombes and #DoSomethingForNothing for the past couple of years. We had the opportunity to finally work together this year and the experience truly changed my life. I had looked at different ways to use my visual storytelling skills for a humanitarian project. Perseverance brought us together on the streets of New York City in September and the experience was amazing.

“Everyone has the power to #DoSomethingForNothing. We’re not raising awareness, we’re raising compassion. We’re mobilizing people globally to spread love in their communities. Changing the way in which we interact with one another, across the globe.” ~ Joshua Coombes

I decided to try to help Josh continue his important work any way I could.
Thanks to some amazing volunteers, we just published an eBook to help raise some funds for #DoSomethingForNothing. Any donation, small or large, will help make the world a little brighter, one person at a time.

Thank you for your support!

Valérie

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To download the eBook CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Weekend in November

I had less than 48 hours in Paris earlier this month but they were two very memorable days. I arrived on Saturday morning and took part in the first Paris Hit The Street Worldwide Photowalk which is a new project of mine, aimed at bringing my podcast listeners together. Volunteers organize free photowalks in major cities around the world under the podcast brand. After NYC in October, I had the pleasure to participate in the first Paris event organized by my good friends Christian Baillet and Fabienne Harris. Friends came from several other surrounding european countries to attend a fun afternoon on the streets of Paris. Of course, the goal was to take pictures but it was first and foremost a social event to share our passion with like-minded people and make new friends. We explored Montmartre on a rainy day, which is always my favorite time to be there. The day ended at a restaurant near Place Pigalle where many stories, laughs and glasses of wine were shared!

On Sunday, I spend the day with three friends on the streets of Paris and collected a few more pics. Monday morning came and it was time to take the 9 hour flight back to the States. My head was full of fun memories and my camera was full of stolen moments.

Here are a few of my favorite B&W pics from my Parisian weekend in November…

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J’aime Paris en couleur aussi

I finally have time, between two trips, to post a few of the color pics I took in Paris last month. As you know, or may have read in my books, I believe that the choice of color or black & white should be part of the creative process in the field. Knowing what you want to convey with your photograph will help you grow by making you a more deliberate visual artist.

I hope you enjoy these few color photographs of my Paris as much as you enjoyed the monochrome of the previous post.

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J’aime Paris en noir et blanc

Bonjour!

I’ve been so extremely busy since my trip to Paris last month, that I never found the time to post pics on the blog. I missed the interaction with my blog followers 🙂 I’m back!

Here are a few stolen moments from the streets of Paris this Fall…

Which do you prefer?

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All photographs made with the Fujifilm X100F in Acros

#DoSomethingForNothing NYC

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The simple tools of compassion. ©Valérie Jardin

I finally had the opportunity to spend a few days with Joshua Coombes, the founder of #DoSomethingForNothing, and document his humanitarian work on the streets of New York City.

Josh is a young hairstylist from London who started giving free haircuts to homeless people during his time off, in an attempt to brighten up their day. The project, known as #DoSomethingForNothing, soon became his mission and he has been traveling to major cities around the world to touch lives, one person at a time.

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Joshua Coombes at Coney Island last week.  ©Valérie Jardin

Josh and I have known each other online ever since he started his project 2 years ago. We’ve been following each other’s work, determined that one day our paths would cross, and I would have the opportunity to tell his story through my lens. Thanks to the support of Fujifilm North America, who brought us together on the streets of New York City for 4 days last week, we finally made it happen!

We hit the ground running as soon as I landed on Tuesday afternoon. Josh had arrived from the U.K. a couple of days earlier. I couldn’t wait to meet Josh and start documenting his work. My X100F was loaded and ready to capture compassion and hope.

Over the following four days on the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, we met people from all different backgrounds. Homelessness can happen to anyone at any time. White or black, young or old, misfortune and adversity don’t discriminate.

Working with my Fujifilm X100F was the perfect choice for this project. The 23mm focal length allowed me to be physically close, while its small size and silent shutter made it unobtrusive and non intimidating. Every subject agreed to be photographed, but I didn’t start shooting right away, and Josh didn’t start cutting hair immediately either. Our first role was to listen, wipe tears and give hugs. We were always rewarded by the brightest smiles in the end!

What’s next for Josh? He obviously found his calling. As he recently wrote on Instagram: “This isn’t charity, it’s connection. It’s keeping all doors open to listen to others and learn.” I want to do all I can to support him in his mission to bring smiles in our challenging world, one haircut at a time. By doing so and sharing his experience, he is influencing others to also Do Something For Nothing, whatever that may be.

As for me, this project was life changing. I’ve been wanting to work on a humanitarian project for quite a while, and this is the perfect fit. Josh and I work well as a team, and the images I collected were definitely the most important photographs I’ve ever shot.

We wish to keep working together whenever possible to document other stories in other cities, to raise awareness and share the love. We are planning to write an ebook #DoSomethingForNothing in NYC in the next few months to raise funds to help Josh keep doing what he does with so much passion. We also want to show the recent photo documentary in galleries.

Here are a few of the beautiful souls we met on the street of NYC last week. This is a sneak peek! More photographs with their stories will be included in the ebook. To be notified of its release, please follow this blog or sign up to my mailing list. Don’t forget to follow Josh on Instagram to see his before and after pics!

Note: Listen to episode 52 on my podcast Hit The Streets with Valerie Jardin for a special conversation with Joshua Coombes.

Your help is important, take a moment to write a comment and please, share this post!

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Tony in Tompkins Park ©Valérie Jardin

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Tony holds Josh’s hand with gratitude. ©Valérie Jardin

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Tony’s friend Smiley also wanted a buzz cut on a hot September day. ©Valérie Jardin

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Janusz was next… ©Valérie Jardin

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…and he could not stop smiling when he saw the transformation! ©Valérie Jardin

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This mirror has seen a lot of joy and hope! ©Valérie Jardin

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Near Grand Central, we met a young couple living on the streets. Josh first gave young Terry a cool new do. ©Valérie Jardin

 

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Then it was Eveylon’s turn. Those two are so much in love! ©Valérie Jardin

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Neither the rain, nor the looks from passers-by would deter Josh from his mission.          ©Valérie Jardin

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At Herald Square, Melissa becomes emotional as she tells Josh how she wishes to go back to her kids. ©Valérie Jardin

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For a moment, Michael forgets the harsh reality of life on the streets and simply enjoys the sunshine and the feel of a fresh shave at Brighton Beach. ©Valérie Jardin

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My most meaningful silhouette photograph yet! ©Valérie Jardin

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Roman, from Ukraine, was sitting alone at Asser Levy Park in Brooklyn. He only spoke a few words of English. It’s obvious that he has a big heart and he also smiles with his eyes.       ©Valérie Jardin

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Irish Mike is the king of Washington Square Park. He is full of life and wanted to make sure Josh would not cut his adorable curls too short 😉 ©Valérie Jardin

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We made some Instax Mini prints of the encounter. Mike said he would send one with his new look to his mom. ©Valérie Jardin

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