About moi

When I was two and, needless to say, unable to voice an opinion, my parents uprooted me from sunny above the smog Los Angeles to cold and dreary Belgium. My mother’s whole family resided in Brussels and my parents had decided that my sister and I would benefit from being raised amongst kin rather than run the risk of us growing up to become carefree beach bums. My father had yet to realize just how colorful the Belgian family truly was.

My cousin Valerie, at the tender age of five, dismembered Barbie dolls the minute she received them and found pleasure in collecting miniature suitcases of heads, torsos, arms and legs under her little bed. This should have clearly given everyone a clue that the child may pose a certain danger to others. Not in my family. Our nuttiness is not quite to the degree described in “Running with Scissors”, but damn close.

Today, my security blanket consists of an ocean between me and the rest of the gang. I don’t surf. I grew up to be a responsible person with a regular job, the person on whom you can always count. Then one day, I woke up. I quit the job, the comfort zone, and its financial security, and followed my heart. This is how I became a photographer. The passion was always there and it even runs in both the American and the Belgian sides of the clan. Both my brother Christopher in Brussels and my cousin Marc in Chile are professional photographers as well.

Today I am much poorer than I used to be… but much happier. I have traded the Prada pumps for a smile. I look good from the ankles up.

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50 responses to “About moi

  1. I have really enjoyed reading your light hearted accounts and viewing the great images that you produce.

  2. hello
    I m the french boy with the ladybug tshirt.
    I met ur friend last night, she told me u published my pic on ur blog.
    it’s a great picture!!!
    thanxs

    vincent

  3. Blessed is what you are. Talent. Tenacity. Beauty. And, those children! And, an eye from the gods themselves. Girl, when the egg and wiggly things came together to make you, they gave you gifts some of us only dream about. I am emailing this to my niece right away! She has loved Paris all her life. Went on her honeymoon there. And, dreams of it. These photos and commentary shall be her dream.

    Thank you so much for visiting my potato.

    Pat

  4. You left a comment on my blog (thanks!)..your blog is a treat…wow, the photography..I’d like to be in “your” Paris…

  5. Thanx for stopping by and leaving a comment. Looking forward to perusing your site a bit more.

  6. now I know why your pictures are so amazing… passion and an eye for details…
    they are a real inspiration…makes me want to stay at least in your shadow… 🙂
    maybe one day I will look good from my ankles up myself!

  7. Thanks for the nice comments on my blog 🙂

    I like what I’ve seen of your site. I’ll be back.

    I have a Belgium connection: my mother’s side of the family. I’ve visited Belgium a few times and loved it.

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    You’re photos are amazing. I have always dreamed of being a professional photographer but never really did anything about it. I just recently got my first ‘real’ camera and having a lot of fun with it and my two sons. I look forward to stopping by to see what you have captured.

  9. Oh yeah Diana, go ahead, make me feel incredibly guilty for that dollar I refused to send you.

  10. Any chance Valerie ever moved to the U.S.? I think I may have dated her under a different name. 🙂

  11. Matt, you register real high on the cute scale… but your taste in women appears a tad spooky. I just hope a piece of you did not end up in a little suitcase under a canopy bed somewhere.
    Anyway, the one who did this to you was not Valerie who still happily lives under an assumed name in Brussels.

  12. Hi Nathalie, and thanks for dropping by my page. Yes, I will adopt you. My fiance and I are child-bearing-challenged and quite frankly I’d like to bypass those teenage years once we reach that goal of a plus sign on the preg-o test. It would also help lots that you speak French.

    Please have a look at my blog on Nomad4ever…
    He’s one of my blog-pals who has completely dropped out of the rat race and is living life his own way. I can’t say I won’t join the two of you some time… I probably will.

    Anyway, check Chris out here:
    http://epicurienne.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/epic-blogs-2-christian-skoda-a-nomad-forever/

    Enjoy and warm wishes
    Epic

  13. cindystephenson

    Dear Nathalie,

    Thanks very much for stopping by my blog. I’ve been to Paris twice and am looking forward to going back next summer.

    I particularly enjoyed your Seine Scenes post, and am intrigued by your candid shots of people going about daily life. I’m going to try doing that more.

    Thanks again.

    A Bientot,

    Cindy

  14. damn…that sounds like something I would love to do and I’m too chicken to even consider…one day maybe…
    thanks for passing by and leaving some funny comments ! I do realize now, when I remember my stay in the US, that indeed, being able to get a baguette whenever I feel like it is a privilege !!! you lived in Sweden? how was it? did you learn some swedish, im trying but it’s tough !

    your pictures are soooo breautiful !!

  15. Yeah…you’re either the smartest person on my blogroll or the craziest. Whichever…I hope you like having me around ’cause I’ll be back often! But ya gotta blog a little more…mmm-kay?

  16. So alntv, I can’t be both, eh? I pick craziest then.
    As far as the blogging rhythm goes, work does get in the way sometimes and it takes me quite a while to put posts together as well. The blog is also linked to my professional site so everything I post includes photographs.

    My clients do not care about my opinions. So sad. I happen to have a lot of these! So I go opinionate on other people’s blog. Like yours. Woohoo!

    Thanks for adding me to your blogroll. I’m definitely adding you to mine so watch your language Monsieur. Remember: the Belgians are taking over!

  17. had great baguettes every morning for 5 days…thought about ya lol 😉

  18. Oh Mo, thanks for letting me eat vicariously through you… Next week, please indulge into a few pains au chocolat for me, and if you could throw an eclair au cafe in the mix, I would owe you forever.

  19. Ma fille,

    please would you send me your e-mail address so I can show you an unpublished comment or two?
    Epicuriennemail@yahoo.com

  20. Brilliant photos!

  21. Absolutely wonderful photos. Whatever you used to do was a waste of time, photography is your calling.

  22. Nathalie, love your shots, I too am an ardent fan of the black and white format…but then I’m an amateur in your field.

    Too bad, I’m gonna need some head shots soon too…

  23. Nat, would you please take a look at some of my photography, especially today’s photo essay and give some professional comment or two (or three) I would be very appreciative of that, thanks, Sweetie

  24. Hi, Nathalie!

    I just saw you on Ross’ blog. Great stuff on here, i’m looking forward to checking out.

    Also, I wanted you to know that I was critical of the peeps in Dallas that made the museum… no offense to you or any other Dallas person. I have good friends there, and I’m there twice a year.

    Pomeroy, don’t worry about it. I was just messin’ with y’all. It’s funny: you sound like someone you has been accused of racism: “No that can’t be, I have black friends!” I checked your blog and found it much fun (my favorite was the post about your sister – very interesting.) Thanks for guilt-visiting! Come back!

  25. I’ve never been accused of racism i’m happy to say. But I have been accused of being a dork. And they were right on with that.
    I just don’t dig on insulting people. I will be satirical from time to time, but I don’t like to shoot at people.

    I will toss you on my blogroll. When I get back from my hiatus (Can’t you tell that i’m on one?) I will check in with you.

    Thanks!

    Pomeroy! You know I was kidding, right? Thank you for tossing me on your blogroll. Please let me know when you are through slacking off and I’ll toss you on mine. 😉

  26. I do, Nat with an H. 🙂

    Thank you.. I will shout out to you when I return!

    C’est la vie.

  27. by the way, your hottie is free to have… shall I arrage something? 🙂

  28. Hopes you are ok with all that weather!

  29. It’s taken me a while to realise that colourful families are to be ‘thanked’ for shaping unusual individuals with unique perspectives on life. These unique perspectives while sometimes difficult burdens for individuals to bear, are essential to society.

    We all have our unique talents and abilities and I think we can only be truly fulfilled when we follow our hearts to express our uniqueness. Society has very rigid ideas about what is of value and what isn’t. It can make the journey to self-expression very difficult if our talent isn’t considered worthy by societies monetary based value system.

    Well done on having the courage to break out and leave the trap of the comfortable behind to follow your dreams. Your photography is testament to your amazing and unique talent. Thank goodness you found it.

    I am on a similar journey. I have given up my job and financial security and thrown myself headlong out of my comfort zone to follow my heart. I’ve even spent time living in Brussels. One big difference however, I do surf 😉

    From another poorer but happier soul with a taste for Duvel & Kwak.

    Love

    V

    Thanks V! I am not at a stage where I can thank my family just yet. Hopefully I will get there in my lifetime.
    The surfing must have been really difficult in Brussels! Are you familiar with Bruxelles-Plage? Sometimes I miss Belgium tremendously, then I check the weather over there, put on a bathing suit, go do my crossword puzzle outside and suddenly I feel a whole lot better!
    Thanks for your lovely compliments. I applaud your courage as well.

  30. You may never thank your family, the best I managed was to stop blaming them and let them go. Theres no doubt though that my unique perspective is a product of family influence for good or ill. Only time will tell.

    Surfing was impossible in the years I lived in Brussels. I visited the North Sea coast a few times and couldn’t bring myself to put on a 7mm neoprene wetsuit to get in the freezing dirty water and fight with the locals over a 2 inch wave.

    Bizarrely, instead I let a friend talk me into that other well loved Belgium pass time – scuba diving. Of course you will know that Belgium is world famous for its clear blue balmy water and interesting reefs – snort!

    I miss it too sometimes. A good beer in Chaloupe D’or on Grande Place in front of the open fire. The fish restaurants at St Catherines.

    I visited last year and couldn’t believe how it had changed. The place was empty of tourists and nearly every shop is now a choclatier or lace shop. It was so sad to see.

    Love

    V

  31. I only drove through Belgium, but the view sure was nice. Enjoy your photography, btw!

  32. Nathalie (with an h),

    Brilliant photos. Thanks for sharing your gifts!

    cmajor7.wordpress.com

    Thank you! I really appreciate this!

  33. How’s …

    this?

  34. Hello, Nathalie!
    Just I saw your blog at website google (I wanna search something about my work) I am a girl in South Korea.
    You know.. Your photos are really great!!
    I will visit your blog at short intervals. See you.

    Well, thank you very much mushroomprincess! I attempted to view your blog but there is the slight problem of the language barrier! The fence is way too high!

  35. Now that, that is the way to write a bio! Bravo!

  36. Thats a really interesting story. I see myself doing a similar thing of just wakeing up realizeing I hate my job, and then switching photography from a hobby to a job.

  37. Hi ! I really like your work! I also left my comfort zone some years ago and became a photographer. I still have the start-up blues but will keep following my heart :).

    Thanx for the great images 🙂

    Marcel

  38. Really enjoyed your stories and photos! Will come back often!

    pardnerlardner.wordpress.com

  39. Nathalie,

    I am wondering if you are the Nathalie who was dating Martijn when I was doing work at Belgcom back in 2000.

    -dan

  40. I love your site. Keep it up !

  41. Glad someone is following their dream and doing something they love instead of the “responsible” thing. I’m envious. I’m still being “responsible”

  42. You go, Woman! I think you made the right choice.

  43. Trading the one for the other. I did the same, only to paint, but love photography as well. Congratulations and keep at it. Your photos are great! Keep seeing the world and people through the lens how you do!

  44. hi, do you happen to know what breed/ breeding the stallion with the misbehaving member is? he looks lovely, shame he was gelded…

  45. I’d scanned through several pages before it struck me how superb your work is. It kind of snuck up on me. I’ve seen some pretty fancy photography on the Internet – but yours captures every scene as it really is. Nothing is pretentious: But right on the button.

  46. Love ya!
    What a cheer sense of humor, and what a character on your own!

  47. Met you next thursday in Paris. Just fantastic moment. Hope we will met and discuss again. Cheers. Stéphane

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