as some of you might have noticed I was in paris the whole past week attending the leweb 09 conference and let me tell you it was a blast. I’ll get into details in a bit, but first I have to say that I fell in love with this city. no idea why paris never clicked with me before… and it actually doesn’t really matter because it did now. obviously not everything is gold that shines and for example I still don’t like the fact that you have to wait or search for a cab for at least 30-45 minutes :-), then again you have these wonderful small streets in the center of this huge city with these small beautiful shops that could just have popped out of a tim burton movie. as for the food you obviously have to be careful, but with a little research you can find some of the most amazing places for food, which I really miss in this amount here in cologne. and here I have to give some credit to the hotel I stayed at. until now hotel experiences in paris were very similar to london ones, as you either had to pay a lot of money to get something fairly decent or you would ask yourself what you were doing in a place like that and paying even money for it 🙂
well by chance and the power of google I found this amazing hotel called mama shelter. designed by phillipe starck and created by the guys that founded club med apparently. it is a very chic place, but not too posh. starck designed the place basically with stuff out of ikea and gave it his own, brilliant touch. nothing feels cheap, or somehow generic. the people are very friendly which also is not a common thing. the prices are very reasonable and the best part is that the hotel seems to have one of the best and also affordable restaurants in the city.
well besides all this, which was very cool, leweb was an amazing experience and made the whole trip as good as it was. it was my first leweb and first conference of this scale I would say. the organization by geraldine and loic le meur and their whole leweb team was very nice and I found that most people were very satisfied with the whole event. funny enough as apparently all people were complaining how cold it was last year and this year people complained about it being to warm… hello? take off your jacket maybe… 🙂
you can always tweak things on the organizational part and maybe the lunch part could have been a bit… well.. better portioned?! those piles of cheese and cold meats were maybe a bit… difficult to eat/transport without a proper plate and cutlery.
the speakers I saw were very cool and the program in general wasn’t all to shabby 😀 and I obviously couldn’t get to all the events, but what I saw and attended I liked. especially the speech by her majesty queen rania al abdullah of jordan was very imspiring and touching. also two of the most interesting people in general for me were tim ferris, chris pirillo and gary vaynerchuk, who really crushed it out there. and special thanks to gary for taking the time to talk to me as you were very busy and so many people wanted to talk to you.
but the most important part and the one I am most thankful for is that I got to meet up with some old friends, some even I didn’t know they were there, but also get to know some amazing, interesting, creative and stunningly friendly people. some where introduced to me through my friend andrea vascellari who himself is one of the coolest and nicest people in the world (besides being extremely good at what he does. and I know as we have worked together before), and others I met by accident or we “knew” each other via the web, like gonzague dambricourt. he is a well know tech blogger and consultant in france who is just about to start his own company. I followed him for quite a while now eventhough I speak no french and most of his tweets and blogposts are in french. well… in paris we finally met up and with him also I am amazed how very very nice and cool he was. meeting up and just having a great time.
then there were these two italians :-), where in the beginning I thought were a couple, but turned out to be good and old friends. livia iacolare and luca sartoni. first class bloggers, photographers, videographers, artists, strategists, writer, etc etc. (hope I didn’t get these wrong :-D) and just super nice and wonderful to be with. definitely worth checking them out!
I really can’t wait to meet you guys again and spend time with you as it was one of my greatest pleasures and an honor!!!
oh and I am forgetting people… mostly we just did not have a lot of time to spend together, but here also I am looking forward to meet again! tracy apps, the wisequeen donna jackson, sandra hayon, nancy williams, gemma young, margot hulings, sharel omer, henri kaufman, eric ingragiola, gary shainberg, mihaela draghici, kevin de mulder, erno hannink and so many more.
I really hope I haven’t forgotten anyone and if please forgive me as my head is quite full with all sorts of stuff that I better should not forget right now 🙂
besides mentioning all the cool people I met I am probably forgetting half the things I wanted to say, but hey… enough talk for a photography blog anyways right?! well well… below you’ll find 3 slideshows of all the pics I took in this week and by clicking on them you should get to my flickr stream if you want to leave any comments to fav them etc… or just comment below if you like.
and I’ll also add the pics of the models I shot with in paris as soon as possible. it might take a while as I still have some photos to go through and edit till I get to those, but here also a BIG thank you to misti and christine for two very cool shootings and can’t wait to shoot with you again…
wishing you all the best, be safe,