First station: Reflections

When I was asked by Me2 to participate to his little adventure, it did not take me long to say Yes. He did not say much but he invited me to write twelve articles on twelve mysterious words.

I have no idea what I am getting into, but I will play along.

[clickToTweet tweet=”First station: Reflections. @ballou34 joins our new series on #StuckInPlastic” quote=”‘Life is a journey, not a destination” – Ralph Waldo Emerson”]

I don’t know where I am going, but let’s put on some music, some acoustic guitar.

Hop on this train (*) with me and let’s see where it will bring us.
A journey to the unknown.
First stop: Reflections.


What an interesting word. I often make a mistake in writing it because we have the same word in French, not written in the same way: Reflection/Réflexion. But in both case, it has the same meanings: either a thought or a mirror image.

Let’s first reflect on this past year of plastic.

I really enjoyed 2016, on a personal and professional level. I had twice the opportunity to be published in the Bricks Culture magazine, thanks to this blog. I wrote two articles on this same blog and I met some of you in person during some toy photography meet-up, either in France or in Germany. I also did two exhibition where I had the opportunity to chat with people who enjoyed this type of art and people who were new to it. All in all, a great year.

But does any of this really matter?

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘One day, your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching.” – Unknown” quote=”‘One day, your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching.” – Unknown”]

Do I have an impact on other’s people life?

Well… It’s supposed to be the case at work. I work to improving aeronautic safety. But I still see people putting themselves in catastrophic situations not learning from the mistakes of others. So do I/we really have any impact. I am not sure and it frustrates me a lot.

Anyway, with toy photography, I know that I make an impact on people. I have seen it with my own eyes. When you meet people and see how they react to your work, you know that you are doing something good. Either during exhibition or reading those comments or even in the street, I always show what I am doing when people stop next to me wondering why I am lying on the ground. Those smiles and those discussions are worth it. I am proud of that.

Am I what I look like in the mirror ?

Does my art really reflect who I am?

I put a lot of effort in my pictures and I get inspired by my own life, by my own emotions/feelings when I take a picture. There’s a little of me in every picture. It’s not always easy to find it but it’s always hidden somewhere. To be honest, I am somehow of a shy person. I don’t express myself much and toy photography helps me share my feelings with the world.

Time to get some "me" time
Time to get some “me” time

It’s always good to look back but what will be the way forward? Let’s now dive into a reflection about the future.

Like this blog, I took the time at the beginning of 2017 to reflect and try to find where I wanted to go for this year. So, I played along and wrote some sticky notes. I have made them about several projects that I am hoping to achieve. Not necessarily about how to improve my work, but how to make it more “complete”.

I did not think of it at that time but maybe one of this goal should be to be more expressive about my opinions…

But, we will come back to that at the end of the road.

Next station: unknown, but let’s keep on going.

(*) I am more of a plane kind of guy but as I am writing those articles in the train during my morning commutes, I find the analogy more appropriate.

~Julien / Ballou34

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7 years ago

You know you’ve got good reason to be proud of your photographic works! Thank your for sharing your inspiring thoughts here.

Joseph Cowlishaw
7 years ago

I like these reflection shots. I find that when I take pictures of Lego it is also my time to reflect. I reflect on the lighting and the placement of the figures as well as the surrounding landscape to bring the character to life. Reflecting is important to understanding. I feel when we take the time to reflect we can not only better ourselves but we can also help inspire others. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

7 years ago

Nice little article but I was hoping to read about your philosophy or does/don’ts about actually taking Lego/toy photographic shots using reflections. I love your reflective shots and it’s an area I keep meaning to explore and like you it’s on my to do list for this year. So in the meantime I’ll take you lovely reflective pics as inspiration.

7 years ago

Hi Julien, I am very happy to have you join us in the journey. I really liked your reflections, both literally in the images, and in your own reflections on shooting plastic. I am sure your work in aeronautics is making a day to day lasting impression on all of us who travel around the globe. However our day to day jobs bring both great satisfactions and the odd deep frustrations forward. Escaping in our photographic journey focusses on all the good stuff (most of the time) and indeed creates a different connection. One I value also very much. I… Read more »

7 years ago

Thanx for the article
Curious to see what comes next!

7 years ago

Haha those English words originating from the Norman language… They always got me confused. Although recently it’s been more the other way round :-)

I also think there is always a little bit of ourselves in all of our photos. I realized it with my photos with Yoda and Ackbar. They are not about Star Wars characters but about me.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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