Let me tell you something… in confidence

Confidence…
I am looking at a blank page with the word “Confidence” written in capital letters in a corner. And nothing comes to mind.

That was me a few days ago starting to think about this week’s picture: “confidence”.
Creativity”  seemed easier to me and with the rules I set myself for this project (more on that later in another blog post), I had difficulties to find a proper idea.
Looking at the whole list, I know that I will get this blank feeling again in the next weeks.

So, I looked at myself, at my past, my feelings and the first idea arrived.

Confidence as in self-confidence

Confidence
[kon-fi-duh ns]
Belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance

Self-confidence has always been something I struggled with.

Strangely enough, I don’t mind speaking in front of an audience (whatever the size, and I spoke in front of hundreds of people). Whether it is to speak about my work during a conference or as an actor during a play, when I am on stage, in the spotlight, I am not really me. I play another version of myself: a character who looks like me and has my knowledge but he is full of confidence because he does not want to disappoint his work or his fellow actors.
In those cases, I know what to do or what to say (and I feel like a fish in water improvising on stage) and confidence is my friend.

Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.Click To Tweet

It’s more in my daily life, when I am myself, that I lack this “safety blanket” and I don’t feel confident enough to share my thoughts and feeling. That’s when I freeze and shut down.

So, the first picture that I had in mind was to have a stormtrooper about to speak in front of a large audience, frozen with fear and looking for some self-confidence.

And for this one, I tried different things. I started with an overhead view of the stormtrooper facing the crowd, but I thought the story could not be understood easily.

Confidence 1.0
Confidence 1.0

So, I lowered the point of view of my camera and had the stormtrooper face me with the big crowd in the background. I find this second one much better.

Confidence 1.1
Confidence 1.1

But confidence has several meanings.
After this first idea, I was confident enough with this word. So I decided to also explore another meaning of the word.

Confidence is also a secret

Confidence
[kon-fi-duh ns]
a secret that is confided or imparted trustfully

As I told you, I have trouble sharing my feelings with others.
But sometimes, you need a lot of self-confidence, to really tell people what you think, either openly or in confidence. And that is the subject of my second picture: a stormtrooper confiding his own feelings to a friend.

Confidence 2.0
Confidence 2.0
The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence.Click To Tweet

The more I think about this 52-word challenge, the more interesting I find it.
It will be a way for me to reflect upon myself.

Maybe with this project, I’ve found a way to express myself to the world, in confidence.

Julien / Ballou34

Aeronautics engineer by day, toy photographer by night.
Exploring the world with his plastic figures.

Beginning(s)

To tell you the truth, it was difficult to write this blog post.
It was a struggle for me to select a word for the 12th month of the year.

Should it be 'conclusion', 'ending', 'finality'? Click To Tweet

I like order and for me, every story has a beginning, a middle/development and an ending.
I don’t like endings. It means that everything stops afterwards and I hate that.
When I read a book that I enjoy, I always take a break before reading the last chapter. I don’t like endings.
So, the more I was writing this blog post, the more depressing it was getting.

Then, it hit me during New Year’s Eve.
The end of the year is not about ending things. It’s about new beginning(s). Continue reading “Beginning(s)”

Aeronautics engineer by day, toy photographer by night.
Exploring the world with his plastic figures.

2,786 m under the sea

When Boris asked us to write, this month, an article about numbers, I was a bit puzzled.

'You don't have to be a mathematician to have a feel for numbers.' - John Forbes Nash Jr.Click To Tweet

There are so many numbers I could talk about, like the 3,098 Lego minifigures that I own (according to Brickset), the four spacemen that I use in my exploration series, the number 42 because of “H2G2” (of course), my #100_Shadows series or even the number 142,857 a number that fascinates me because of its mathematical properties. But none of those numbers are special or personal enough.

So, I decided to tell you a little story about me and my number (2,786).

“Numbers have life: they are not just symbols on paper.” - Shakuntala DeviClick To Tweet

A year ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time at sea on a vessel. Not the small boats that are used for leisure, neither the big cruise ship. It was a work vessel and I was onboard for work. That was a very unique experience that I really enjoyed. Continue reading “2,786 m under the sea”

Aeronautics engineer by day, toy photographer by night.
Exploring the world with his plastic figures.

A trip to Japan: work travel and toy photography

12 hours…!

I have just spent 12 hours in a metal can to fly across the globe.

It’s Thursday afternoon and I have landed at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport after a long trip back from Kobe, Japan. I was there during 2 days, for work.

My job demands me to travel a lot (in France and internationally). And, at the same time, I like my job and I like to travel, so when I am not at the office, I am happy.

I have been to the US, to several countries in Europe and to more “exotic” places such as Brazil, Australia, Taiwan, Laos, Tanzania, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and now, Japan.

“Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.' - AnonymousClick To Tweet

Continue reading “A trip to Japan: work travel and toy photography”

Aeronautics engineer by day, toy photographer by night.
Exploring the world with his plastic figures.

Travel

This month our word is travel.

Traveling to faraway destinations, exploring the unknown. Discovering new environments, new light, new sounds, and trying to catch the moment.
The world as our studio.

Some of us shoot mainly in the studio and like to recreate the magic on a blank canvas from the ground up, controlling all the variables, building the scene one strobe at the time. Others like to shoot on location and have the world as their backdrop.

Shooting on location always has that little extra, that unique moment, that imperfection and uniqueness that the studio does not have.
A variable that cannot be controlled.
A variable that influences by design the actual shoot.
A fleeting moment, you can capture only then and there.

You can do some location scouting, you can do some research and pack your gear (and toys) for the unknown, and yet, the unexpected will happen.

And that is what this month’s word is all about. Continue reading “Travel”

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

On the subject of projects… and pandas

Why do we do projects?
Why do we start photographic projects?
Why do we launch ourselves in the daunting task of taking pictures on a regular basis or with particular constraints?

It’s intimidating, stressful and exhausting.
So why do we do it?

'Every project has challenges, and every project has its rewards.' - Stephen SchwartzClick To Tweet

When you tackle a project, you know that it will not be easy.
You will suffer but in the end, you will learn something from it.
Continue reading “On the subject of projects… and pandas”

Aeronautics engineer by day, toy photographer by night.
Exploring the world with his plastic figures.

Objectives

Woody and Jessie are taking their objectives seriously this year.

When we launched the first word reflections and made the connection with objectives, an image of Woody doing something with optic glass entered my mind. Words do that to me, they make me jump from one word to the other on to a different meaning and then sometimes there is that one image, linked to a word. An association made, an image that must be shot. I am sure that some of you will recognize the feeling. Continue reading “Objectives”

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.