Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Tour du Lac Annecy ... Lets Ride

The Tour du Lac Annecy ...  
Tips to make your bike ride a Safe and Memorable one.  
 I imagine as May 11th gets closer there will be more people using their bikes to explore Annecy. After being confined since March, the hope of being able to ride around the lake has given me something to look forward to and I am sure those of you reading this as well.

         (Mero Mero the perfect bag for carrying my camera if I want to cruise ... find it here)

The Tour du Lac in Annecy is about 42 kilometers around. The day before confinement I made it around in 1:47. I was riding and out for a workout. The weather happened to be perfect and earlier that week I road the tour du lac but at a more leisurely pace to stop and take some photos.

What Direction Should you Go? You can ride in direction of Sevrier if you feel like your bike level is good enough to get up the infamous hill of Talloires. The reverse direction towards Veyrier du Lac will have you cruising down the hill but there is a chance to get stuck in some strong wind in the afternoon passing Duingt. Both directions are beautiful and will have you enjoying some spectacular views. There are pluses and minuses to each direction and I have found it is a personal preference. I switch it up depending on my mood. I also do half tours often direction Talloires and then I get the hill (great workout).

Depending on your cycling level the ride can take you anywhere from 2 to 9+ hours (this is an approximation and depends on your level, bike, etc). I say 9 hours more jokingly because I had a friend in one of my French classes make the mistake of riding the lake with a city bike, nonetheless it was a story for her to tell and we all laughed with her and her choice of riding around the lake on a cruiser. She had a good attitude about it and wanted a journey. A journey is definitely what she got. 

 The Ride: I ride the Tour du Lac often and have learned some tips that have helped make the ride more enjoyable and also safer. I am amazed with how many people I see without proper gear and when I say proper gear I mean a good ole helmet. There are some segments where you are sharing the road with trucks, motorcycles and cars (I've been almost side swiped several times from cars passing each other) and to think of not wearing a helmet terrifies me. The number one thing I will tell people is wear a helmet. If you want to look cute like you are starring in your own romantic comedy with a baguette in your basket sans helmet remember nothing ends up being as cute as a romantic comedy, but there is something cute about wearing a helmet. :)

 My tips for riding around the lake ... these are just recommendations that I HIGHLY suggest :)
1. WEAR a helmet ... this also includes having your children wear a helmet, your friends, your wife, boyfriend, girlfriend and friends. I have found peer pressure works wonders and if you peer pressure those you care about to wear a helmet ... WELL DONE!

2. Bring a bike pump ... you can find a small bike pump that can fit alongside your water bottle. I have one small enough so you don't notice it. (I might be speaking from experience after asking a man named Jean to use his pump as my front tire went flat one ride. I luckily ran into Jean and after he helped me pump my tire he says:  you know you have the same one right there (bike pump) HA never did I make this mistake again. But in all seriousness ... make sure your tires are pumped, and that you have a patch kit. Most people will help you if something were to happen but I feel being prepared just gives you an ease and confidence when you ride.

 3. Clothes ... this is a suggestion that wearing proper workout gear is best when riding around the lake if you plan to do the full tour. It's 42k around and you will sweat. Some sections are windy, some hot, some shady, just wear clothes that absorb sweat and keep you warm. I always carry a lightweight windbreaker even when I ride in summer.

4. Cruising ... if you are cruising on the same bicycle path as others (runners, skateboarders, rollerbladers, people walking) share the road and be mindful of others. Pay attention to the lane you are in, and if you are in a big group pay attention to the people in front of you, to the side, and behind you. Just be courteous and this makes for smooth cruising.
 5. Water ... I always say have a bottle of water even if you plan to stop at a restaurant, or perhaps you think you can stop at a market. You never know if the markets will be closed, or if the restaurant will even give you enough water. You are riding around the lake and the worst thing is to find yourself in a situation where you don't have water. Bring water, you can thank me later :)

 6. Check your bike, the tires, the frame, give a good look over and make sure everything is running properly before you head out. If you need a tune up Basecamp in Talloires offers great services.

7. Shoes ... wear proper shoes that are closed toed. Sure if you are riding for 10-15 minutes to go to the beach I am sure you will wear sandals but if you are riding around the lake I suggest shoes. You never know if you might fall, have to put your foot down quickly, or just for pure comfort for 42 kilometers  athletic shoes make the ride more comfortable which in the end makes it more fun. If you have clip ins don't bother reading this suggestion because you know the importance of shoes. 

8. Have fun, enjoy the views, and take in everything the lake has to offer. Be mindful of others on the road and I am positive you will have an incredible time. 

 9. Stops ... if you do need to stop make sure you look where you are stopping, move from the bike path and find a place that is safe and clear from others. For leisurely stops there are plenty of places to stop along the way. I love stopping in Sevrier and admiring the views. Stopping in Talloires is a must for me at Basecamp for an espresso or a flat white.

 It's the little jolt needed to get me around the lake.  If you can't make it around the lake it's ok. It's all about the ride right? Ride safely eveyrone and enjoy the journey. 

Happy Riding, Cruising, and Cycling,

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Weddings + Collaboration in Annecy France

At the beginning of the year I organized a styled wedding shoot to bring together local women I work with in the wedding industry in Annecy, France. Through experience collaborating with others is a great way to support each other.

2020 being a year where a lot of my clients have moved their wedding dates I am so grateful that I was able to create content before the confinement. This styled shoot serves as inspiration for the next coming months.  So to keep things light I thought I would share some tips to keep in mind when working with a photographer or vendors for your wedding.

 For your wedding keep your theme true to who you are. For this styled shoot our idea was Crazy in Love with some sweet and romantic edginess.  I love when brides and grooms do what they want regardless of what is popular. If it fits who you are go for it your authenticity will be reflected into everything.

The people you choose to hire for your wedding matter. They all add their energy to your day and will be with your family and friends that matter most. Make sure you are comfortable with them. I feel this is one of the most important things I can tell you.

Details are even better when they speak to your story. The little details make a huge difference and this will add an ambiance that surpasses time. Think about the month you are getting married in? What are some details you could add that fit the season. What are personal touches you can add that tell guests exactly who you are as a couple. For our styled shoot details mattered but not so much that they over power the moment.

When it comes to Wedding Photos meet with your photographer before your wedding. I love meeting with clients several times before so on wedding day they are 100 percent comfortable with me. Your photographer will be with you most of your wedding day so make sure you are comfortable with them. Have fun when it comes to photos and it's ok if you don't want posed photos or if you do. For this styled shoot we wanted edgy, fun, and playful. I always ask couples to give me three words to describe their wedding and this helps me get a clear picture of how to photograph. Every couple is different so photos should be different and reflect that based on who they are.

 Convey what you enjoy to your photographer. How do you see yourselves?  On wedding day I love focusing on the little details, the moments in between, and capturing journalistic moments that make your heart skip a beat when you look back at your images. Your photos must tell a story and to me that is the job of being a photographer.

Your wedding day is your day. Think about what colors or details make you happy. For this styled shoot we chose shades of pink, black, and warm hues which I feel speaks to Romance ...
details we kept simple with a touch of whimsy.

I always say less is more and quality over quantity.  

These are my mantras that I enjoy but I suggest finding a mantra and sticking with that through your wedding planning. This will help create a cohesiveness in every wedding detail.

I feel lucky to work in a city, Annecy France with a group of women that are extremely creative, passionate, and talented. when it comes to weddings. This has allowed all of our work to push the limits and evolve. Most importantly creating signature weddings that are sincere, intimate, and original.

 The clients I work with march to the beat of their own drum and think outside of the box. These  weddings are completely original to the couple ... I love this.

The Team for this Styled Shoot: 
I have to sincerely thank Pauline of Prune Wedding who helped me put the finishing touches on details. She is an incredible wedding planner I have had the privilege to work with. Flowers were created by Laurie of Flowers and Papers. Her work with flowers is limitless, creative, and her flowers speak for themselves, extraordinary. For wedding details, invitations, save the dates, and anything in between is Save the Date. Everything is perfection and the attention to detail is unlike anything I have seen. Make up was done by Beatrice Carroz who is an artist with her makeup and extremely professional. Last but not least jewlery is Manarola and her work is romantic, authentic and the perfect touch of originality needed on wedding day. Photography: yours truly :)  These are the women that made up our styled shoot.  

We are all based in Annecy France 
 and continually creating & booking weddings 
for the 2020 and 2021. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Back to Where it all Started ... Baking

Time and time again I said I would put together recipes and revamp my food photography portfolio.  I would put it on my list of to do's but never fully jump into recipe creation. Sure I would photograph a recipe for freelancing or occasionally for personal enjoyment but I never really got my hands dirty as when I first started food photography.

I remember the first days of food photography when my hands were covered in dough, sugar on my work space, and endless notes written on recipes of what to do and what not to do. 
For example, if I see a recipe with baking soda and baking powder it's an absolute red flag. 

I just told myself I don't have enough time. However the universe would yield time and  it was on the fist day of confinement here in France that I dove into making homemade gnocchi and ravioli.
 I had time for the first time in awhile. A bit overwhelmed by the situation I took to baking and cooking something I always do when I want to control my emotions, it is meditative for me.  

The ability to focus solely on ingredients and directions 
takes away overthinking and I always end up feeling accomplished,
 and grateful.

It was after making potato gnocchi that finally gave me the courage to try making bread. Oddly, I have always been intimidated by making bread. I am often impatient and in the past, have found countless excuses as to not make my own bread.

- It takes way too long and in the end what if your bread doesn't rise
-I don't have the time to leave my dough for 18 hours what if I forget about it

 However, after seeing my baker friend in Paris make a perfect loaf at home I was inspired to make my own. 18 hours + 4 hours later (4 hours give or take was the time it took to contemplate making my own) I had my very own homemade loaf of bread.

 Cracking into my first loaf and feeling the warm steam engulf my baking space, I was thrilled with what I had made ... bread. It was the first time baking where I was left in a state of ... wow and that was the only word that came to mind.  


When it comes to photographing bread I must say the bread stands on it's own there is minimal styling that needs to be done (in my opinion). The brown crust, the perfect bubbles of air, and next to a jar of french jam and your picture is perfect.

 With food styling I never like styling a scene just to photograph. I prefer setting the scene to how I will actually enjoy a meal, taking a few bites, actually pouring the coffee I am drinking into a coffee cup then taking photos. For me this routine allows for life to pop in my food photos. I like when food images speak to real life. The only problem I am finding is with baking such perfect bread saving enough for the photos haha. 

I hope all of you are doing well and finding things that keep you creative and inspired during this moment. For me, it is as always baking that has saved my spirit.

happy baking,