Dear friends, dear readers. I was quite silent during this april month. The reason : I’ve been hired by a luxury real estate company that wanted me to take beautiful pictures of the neighborhood and people around their new west village building. The head of marketing of the project has been looking for natural pictures for a while on the web without finding what he wanted when he stumbled upon Style and the City. He loved the pictures and my articles for their humanism. He contacted me to ask if I could help him. I gladly accepted. I then met him during New York fashion week in february and he proposed me this well paid job.
I am always happy when I have the opportunity to quit Paris for New York. To thank them, not only I promised to take very great pictures of the neighborhood but also to take great pictures of the workers, live! My vision was to tell to the tenants : “Look who have built your appartement ! Look at this invisible men that sweated hard to make your appartement comfortable. You certaintly don’t look at them on the street but look! They are the ones that made it possible. Let’s honor them !”. The real estate owner loved the idea and the humanist value beneath it. He gave me the GO!
I knew it would be very difficult from the moment I opened my mouth. But because I knew how challenging was the task, I embraced it. I do what I always do : I get out of my comfort zone. I’ve been doing street style photography for almost 6 years now. I mastered and even improved it by bringing a “real life” and “documentary” style to street style photography. Check out any street style blog in the world, especially the most famous and check out what they were doing before and after they discovered Style and the City. The point is not to tell you that I am the best street style photographer in the world, but to share this wise life lesson : when you feel that you stagnate, take risk ! Get out of your comfort zone, enter a field where your skills will be tested, where you talent will be challenged, where the only reward will be that feeling that you learnt, that you are better than yesterday. Forget magazines publications, money and fame, just embrace the learning.
I spent 2 x 2h in this building. The light condition were awful as you can see it. Workers had no time for me (the building is scheduled to be finished in june). Their tasks were very precise and dangerous for some of them. They are not models and not used to be taken in picture. English is not my mother langage and believe me, some wokers had a so strong irish accent that I couldn’t understand anything. I just faked and smiled to not offend them, LOL. In addition, I just had few seconds to convince a worker, to anlyse the situation (angle, light, attitudes, background, people around, tasks…). Because it was challenging, I loved it! I did my best to honor these hard workers by offering them great memories and beautiful pictures : +2 000 ! Some of them were so cool that I did my best to take pictures of them like real top models for VOGUE. They were amazed by how great they were in my pictures. that’s the magic of humanist photography that Photoshop will never match.
I doubt that any famous fashion photographer working for the biggest fashion magazines would be able to do what I did. To them, money and fame, to me, the feeling to have learnt, to have helped people to feel self confident, to have made this world a better place.
Whatever field you enter, you will find a tough competition. If you try to be better than others, you’ll always find someone better than you. But if you try to be different, you’ll have an advantage. Get out of your comfort zone and embrace the pain because your pain will turn into happiness and happiness in what you do will lead you to great achievements. Don’t expect a quick reward, never. But my dear friend, I can tell you that from my experience : you learnt ! And someday someone will notice it and like I’ve been hired (and well paid) because of my difference, you’ll be hired, respected and loved for your great difference. You live once, live wise !