Me, myself and photography – Personal notes Part 2

That first Christmas felt awkward and my daughters and I did not know how to react. It took a few months before I got my act together. I was able to stop taking medication and depressions went away and never came back.

In April 2007 I took my daughters on weekend to the French Opal Coast. It was cold and they did not like it very much. Guess they still did not know how to react, how to be themselves in a world of single parents.

Colours, Wissant Digital Capture
Colours, Wissant
Digital Capture

The beauty of the Opal Coast, a region between Calais and Boulogne-Sur-Mer, is absolutely breath-taking. I could relate with the vastness and the solitude of these costal landscapes. Cap Blanc Nez became a place where I could feel at home and get away from the loneliness reining my heart.

Arrow, Cap Blanc Nez Digital Capture
Arrow, Cap Blanc Nez
Digital Capture

I bought an used Nikon F100 to shoot some film alongside my Nikon D300. I liked that camera very much. It was responsive and fitted perfectly in my hand. It was a brief flirt with film though. Shortly after the F100 died and for some reason using another analogue Nikon did not feel the same.

I fell in love with the Opal Coast and for the next few years I visited the region regularly and photographing, trying to find a connection.

Solitude, Tardinghen Beach Digital Capture
Solitude, Tardinghen Beach
Digital Capture

One evening, in my hotel room in Calais, I was exhausted after roaming the beaches, searching for those images that expressed what I wanted to say, it happened. While I took a shower images were transferred from my camera to my laptop.
I opened Ligh room and looked at the images I had taken that day. It was an overwhelming experience. What I saw was what I had been looking for so long. I could hardly imagine I had taken them. I had finally found a way to express myself through my photography.

Solitude at sea Digital capture
Solitude at sea
Digital capture

I worked and worked and bought an A3+ photo printer, a Canon Pixma Pro 9500 Mark II.
I was driven and felt so creative.
Several expositions followed and then finally one in my home town, in out Cultural Centre. It was an old dream of mine.
At opening night I also knew it would be my last exposition. I had achieved something. I had discovered I was able to express myself through photography and I had learned to accept and like my own work yet to criticism it in a healthy way. I had exposure and I felt so much pleasure.

Poles, Calais Digital Capture
Poles, Calais
Digital Capture

On that opening night Sweetheart was at my side. Our relation was almost a year old.
With Sweetheart I knew I had really found what I had been looking for all my life.
Sweetheart is my Holy Grail, the Love of my life and, with my kids, my everything.

Yet she took away what had fuelled me on those beaches. She had taken away my solitude, my loneliness, strong emotions I used to capture my landscapes. For more than 2 years my camera’s stayed silent.

Digue Carnot, Boulogne-Sur-Mer Digital capture
Digue Carnot, Boulogne-Sur-Mer
Digital capture

I am so very grateful though. Sweetheart has given me things I could not have imagined I would ever have or experience.
She made me write again and we are building a new life together.
Most of all she motivated me to take up photography again.

Going back to black and white film and working with old cameras has offered me another way to look at the world. I find myself taking pictures I would not have thought of a few years ago. Slowing down, thinking about a capture is so rewarding. Developing, scanning and printing myself so much fun. I feel so close with photography.

Thank you, Sweetheart as you have given me so much. You are the One I have been waiting for so long. I love you deeply and give you my heart, my soul and my love.
I dedicate all my work to you, Sweetheart.

Evening at Cap Blanc Nez You know that one day, Sweetheart, on top of that hill I will ask you... Digital Capture
Evening at Cap Blanc Nez
You know that one day, Sweetheart, on top of that hill I will ask you…
Digital Capture


  1. Humbled that you shared so much, so freely Stephan. You and your Sweetheart are an inspiration to everyone losing faith in their dreams . . . They are just over the horizon. Keep walking and stay focused – right?

    Annie 💖


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