Ohh James…

I had the great opportunity and pleasure of working with my dear old friend James Correa. It was a perfect Spring evening, the light was fantabulous and I was waiting impatiently to try my carl zeiss t* planar 50mm f/1.4 with an FX mount for the X-pro1. Which would be like a 80mm or so on a full frame body. And thus, a love story was reborn!

James_C_ 3

James_C_ 15

James_C_ 5

James_C_ 7

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Some very minor retouching and color correcting were done in photoshop and VCSO film. And I love the manual focus on this cam, I don’t know why so many people bitch about it :)

If you’d like to see more of my work, you can check my recent stuff here or my full website here

Thanks for watching!


Fleeting moments

I haven’t been around here in like forever, I miss blogging and especially taking pictures (with a real camera). I picked up my Contax 645 last week for the first time in like almost a year, I heard the film winding and I felt excited. I never really stopped “taking pictures” just not in the same fashion that I used to. To put myself back in the game and share my favourite shots from last year, here’s a collection of the moments I thought were important enough to capture, this time with my iPhone.

They are not in any particular order, just random moments that I would love to remember.

HipstaPrint-168 HipstaPrint-157 HipstaPrint-156 HipstaPrint-154 HipstaPrint-153 HipstaPrint-152 HipstaPrint-151 HipstaPrint-150 HipstaPrint-149 HipstaPrint-147 HipstaPrint-144 HipstaPrint-143 HipstaPrint-142 HipstaPrint-141 HipstaPrint-140 HipstaPrint-139 HipstaPrint-133 HipstaPrint-132 HipstaPrint-131 HipstaPrint-129 HipstaPrint-127 HipstaPrint-126 HipstaPrint-125 HipstaPrint-124 HipstaPrint-123 HipstaPrint-121 HipstaPrint-118 HipstaPrint-117 HipstaPrint-115 HipstaPrint-113 HipstaPrint-112 HipstaPrint-110 HipstaPrint-109 HipstaPrint-108 HipstaPrint-106 HipstaPrint-105 HipstaPrint-104 HipstaPrint-102 HipstaPrint-100 HipstaPrint-96 HipstaPrint-95 HipstaPrint-94 HipstaPrint-93 HipstaPrint-92 HipstaPrint-90 HipstaPrint-89 HipstaPrint-88 HipstaPrint-84 HipstaPrint-83 HipstaPrint-81 HipstaPrint-80 HipstaPrint-79 HipstaPrint-77 HipstaPrint-74 HipstaPrint-73 HipstaPrint-69 HipstaPrint-67 HipstaPrint-66 HipstaPrint-62 HipstaPrint-61 HipstaPrint-59 HipstaPrint-56 HipstaPrint-55 HipstaPrint-54 HipstaPrint-46 HipstaPrint-44 HipstaPrint-43 HipstaPrint-42 HipstaPrint-40 HipstaPrint-38 HipstaPrint-33 HipstaPrint-32 HipstaPrint-30 HipstaPrint-24 HipstaPrint-21 HipstaPrint-17 HipstaPrint-14 HipstaPrint-13 HipstaPrint-11 HipstaPrint-9 HipstaPrint-6

New life, new camera!

I haven’t loged into wordpress for the longest time. I was somewhat surprised that I still remembered my password, it kind of reassured me also. My last entry dates from Sept 2011, crazy, where does the time go?! Well, for those of you who don’t know anything about my life, my wife and I had a baby boy last Oct and it’s been an amusement park at home ever since, with the occasional haunted house ride during the night, complete with the crying, the screaming and the lack of sleep. But I wouldn’t change it for the world though, for me, being a father is like actually finding a meaning to my life, it’s what I was born to do, completely. Don’t worry, this entry is not about fatherhood or why babies are so cute and yadah yadah… yadah. This entry is about my other baby, the Hexar AF I bought some months ago. First of all, it’s a pretty cool looking camera, not too many knobs, just what you need and fantastic optics!

I’m not going to post any pictures of the camera, it’s pretty irrelevant, if you are curious about it then click here.

I have to warn you though there are a few photos of kids in this one, so if you are not fond of babies and kids in general then at least look at what the Hexar AF can do :) I apologize in advance for the bw photos, I gave my lab one last try and they gave me back garbage, expensive garbage and the scans are even worse. Needless to say I will be trying a new place, I heard some really good things about this other lab + they’re not $$. I’ll rescan them at home, eventually.

Some of the shots are from beginning of March until April, hope you enjoy!

Montreal, Jarry Park

The few next shots were taken with the Ilford Pan F 50, one of my favorite films and on this camera I think it’ll be even lovelier.

A perfect day for sliding, no wind and a gorgeous March sun!

Nice day for skating also! I have to say, I was pretty impressed with this 35/2 lens!

Probably not the best spot for this kid to stand in!

Ok, I know it’s a boring shot but I really wanted to see how this camera/lens would react, impressive! The scans and developing, not so much :(

Pretty clouds

I warned you it was coming! I finished my roll at a friend’s house who lives up north, we spent a very nice Sunday with his family and I brought mine, of course.
I don’t think my son was having a great first few minutes. Four adults, one giraffe and no hope.

Then things got much better! :)

Seriously, nice lens! I’m still amazed that my lab would give me back scans like this one, horrible!

Ok now switching to color and much better scans! Portra 160 by the way.

I don’t know what’s funnier, my wife’s expression or my son’s face :)

Yeah, that’s you!

My friend Seb and my boy. Two great guys! :)

Having fun with Camille. It was really great seeing them all and especially getting out of the house for a change :)

The next few shots are random from different days and nights.

Supper at a friend’s house

I love taking a picture of a kid with a film camera and then having to explain why they can’t see it right away. I always get the most perplexed look from them, always!

It’s all about having choices in life :) Like having the opportunity of using such a fine camera and seeing what it does wide open.

A familiar sight I won’t be missing anytime soon!

My dog is weird!

Perfect day for a run!

This cat was not at all impressed with my dog!

My sister’s birthday! My niece and my son :)

If you think this shot is out of focus, think again.

Bonne fête chère soeur!

And yet another birthday party, kids this time, of course! All these bw shots were taken with Fuji Acros 100, nice film!


What every one year old kid needs, a signing potty trainer! :)

Cute little family

I love Sunday afternoons like this one!

It’s incredible how unimportant adults become once kids enter the picture. Now whenever we go see friends or family, it takes a while before anybody even says hello, it’s all about the baby. I’m not complaining, it is just so different!

It was a very warm day, unusually warm for March, somewhere in the mid 20’s (celsius).

The mamas…

… and the papas.

A perfect day!

My son discovering what everything tastes like.

Back home!

Then a cold front moved in. And what do you get when warm humid air suddenly meets cold air? Yes, gorgeous fog!
Had to shoot all these in MF, the fog was actually driving the AF bananas, B.A.N.A.N.A.S. :)

Fuji pro H 400, by the way

Lovely tones!

Last but not least, I really like how this film behaves in the Hexar! And on such lovely subjects, even more :)

I honestly don’t think that I’ll be shooting film as much as I used to, I just don’t have the time… and the $$ I have to spend is not inspiring but I still love the medium.
I came across a great website VSCO film  , I’ve never been really “in love” with digital photography but I downloaded this software for Aperture 3 and the results are quite amazing! Sure you need to teak here and there but it does what it says it does. Heck, if it’s good enough for Sean Flanigan, it’s good enough for me :)

In a future entry I was thinking of showing you some before and after pictures, I especially like the Portra filters and the grain, they are quite accurate.

Thanks for watching!

Better late than never

Let me begin by thanking all the people who wrote a comment on my last entry. When I saw those emails come in I thought for sure I had a virus :). I was delighted to see how many people found it useful and it made me also think about the importance of the subject as a discussion. This entry will be much different from the last one but is more in line with what I usually post here. I was very busy for the last three months with work and especially since I added a grueling exercise routine in my life… which is worth every painful moment :) I actually see and feel the results and I love it. But the most important thing over everything else is that my wife and I are expecting a baby :))))) It’s been great so far! Things are going well and she’s already half way there, so my time has been divided in to many wonderful new chapters. I still managed to shoot some photos during the last few months but I’ve only gotten to them now, a few shots are really out of season. Nevertheless, I thought I would share them here.

They start somewhere in Feb 2011 and end in May 2011.

Feb 2011 I spent the weekend with my wife at my friend’s house in Quebec city. Was great to see him and all the family. It was the first time I actually managed to catch the winter carnival!

:) I love them!

Vincent taking the road less traveled.

Bonhomme Carnaval… the official mascot.

From this photo you can’t really tell but it was damn cold that day… around -25C. My fingers were frozen.

Little fella needed a coat to make it through that day.

Probably the only ones staying warm that day.

I wonder if he was thinking about the end of the run.


She’s such a cutie

After such a painfully cold day what better than a little cheese fondue to ease the pain Mmmmmm. Was great to see Ian again, always a pleasure to spend time with his family :) Skip forward about a week, my wife and I decided to continue our steak of courage and go see the “festivals des lumières” in our own town, Montréal.

It wasn’t as cold as Québec city but nevertheless pretty damn cold!

This is how we keep warm in -20C :)

Still, I’m a big fan of open spaces and especially during winter when everything is so quiet.

Slippery as hell also… had to watch my step here.

The fun part abut winter.

I took a very similar shot in bw a while ago, its just funny to see how I love this angle :)

Saddest dear I have ever seen.

Another pitstop to get the blood flowing.

Another reason to freeze your tush, stop for some maple syrup on a stick.

Another heat source which is actually used to cook sausages… maple smoked ones mmmmmm

Kids have fun in any type of weather… not me.

I enjoy shopping in unusual places :)

Ok now skip forward another couple of weeks and here we are at the St-Patricks parade!

I took some shots in bw with my Nikon F3 and some Kodak Plus-X 125.

Some of the odd things you might see on a Sunday morning downtown. :)

This girl made me think of Madonna for some reason.

“That’s right honey, take some pictures while daddy sips his beer.”

A story about a man and his stick :).

I’m sure he has seen many St-Patrick parades.

This time it’s the stick that grabbed the dog.

One of my favourite shots from this year.

I love people!


If walls could talk.

These kids were just to cute to ignore. As I snapped this shot the mom turned around and gave me one of the dirtiest looks I have ever seen. Should have shot with a rangefinder instead :) All the color shots were taken with my Canon 5d and either the 28/1.8 or the 50/1.4. I think my future dream is to get a 35/1.4 looks like a winner lens for street.

Fast forward again… a week or two. We got another snowstorm before Spring decided to stay for good.

By the time I took this shot I was really, really sick of winter… But I don’t hate this shot.

It is nice to look at though and photograph.


I was so captivated by this shadow. Its a very dramatic tree!

Ahhhhhh and Spring is finally here! This one was taken with my Contax 645 80/2.0 Zeiss Planar and Kodak Portra 160NC

Have more shots in the upcoming days but wanted to share these few for now.

Hope you’re all having a great week so far! I’m leaving for Québec city with 4 of my friends this w/e, hopefully I’ll get a chance to shoot :)

To HDR or not to HDR

I’m going to start by expressing my true opinion on most of the HDR work I see on the net, to sum it all up, I really don’t like that particular effect on photos… well, not when its overdone and especially on street photography. I’ll go as far as saying that HDR could never be street photography to me, it just makes everything look like a painting or a very detailed pencil work, in my opinion it defeats the purpose. I’m not saying that my word is golden, it just feels and looks that way to me, that’s all.

But like with many things in life and especially food, if you don’t try it how can you say you don’t like it? True, so I tried it and although I didn’t enjoy modifying my pictures to that extent it actually made me think of another way to incorporate this effect/look without losing to much of the original essence.

Feel free to express your thoughts on this manner and of course on my photos. HDR won’t be something I’ll be incorporating into my future work but sometimes, depending on the client, I’d like to have a little more flexibility when it comes to retouching the final product.

I found that the HDR effect worked best on scenery, on portraits it just made everything too… there, like there’s no more room for any mystery or latitude.

I have to admit though, it was fun to play around with it and especially find a happy medium.

In this particular scene I really gave it a little more of the HDR effect and as you can see its starting to lose that photographic feel and it’s almost crossing into a painting or illustration category.

Here I really wanted to keep as much detail as possible but without overpowering the whole mood.

In my opinion it worked best on structures and pictures which had some sort of textures, like clouds or wood.

Bricks were fun also…

… So were buildings.

I wouldn’t say that I have converted myself to liking that HDR look or effect but I will definitely keep my mind open to certain possibilities when working on new projects. I don’t think that this type of photography could ever save a project or an idea, I think that it could become complementary to it if it has its place.

By the way, I used HDR EFEX PRO from Nik software (the trial version) I think they have some great products and even though I don’t think I would ever buy this one, I can see it working for some people who enjoy this type of photography. It’s a great complementary tool when working in Photoshop. I loooove their Silver Efex Pro software, made me almost fall in love with BW digital photography… almost :)

On a completely different subject now, I’m on my 5th week of P90X and its incredible how my body has changed, not only from the outside but also very much from the inside. My energy level has increased and I especially feel that my core is where it should be. It really is very very difficult to follow especially the YogaX but worth every painful moment :)


Street is serious… if you have a sense of humor

How to sum up three joyous days of photography, meeting really great talented people and everything in between? Well, if I was a creative writer I would be up to the task but since I’m not, I choose to let my pictures speak for themselves. Street photography is rather new to me as a concept, I believe I’m more familiar or should say comfortable shooting documentary and portraits. I guess that is the main reason why I wanted to take part in this workshop, to get a better understanding of what street photography is… the essence of it that is. You can theorize street photography all you want but what really did it for me was seeing all these guys in action. It made a whole world of difference to me.

“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away”. ~Eudora Welty
Not my favourite photographer but I sure like that quote.

Friday before the workshop, since I had the day to myself, I decided to go down to Venice beach and shoot some frames.

Wide spaces, gray or sunny make me feel good. All the color ones, unless specified otherwise, were shot with the Contax 645, 80mm 2.0 and 160NC film.

I was here about 10 years ago during Summer and it was great to see it under such different circumstances and weather. It also made me realize how photography has changed the way I look at things and experience them.

I love old cars… and how they set time lines in a shot such as this. Of course that dish bring you right back to reality.

This guy was really amusing! He just bladed up and down the beach playing his guitar through a mini amp, which was surprisingly loud! A couple of days later Nhat Nguyen told me a great story about this guy and another dude which involved a book a bout rollerblading, some heated discussions/altercations and about 25 years of stubbornness. ;) But I’d digress!

I want a house like that!!!

Lots of different people and things going on in Venice.

This skate park must be really cool to shoot when its active. Although I still liked the emptiness and concrete shapes.

More bikes

All kinds of characters

I love pelicans in formation!
Its too bad I only had a few hours down in Venice, that morning I couldn’t make up my mind… it looked like it was going to rain but at the same time I didn’t want to be stuck at the Hotel all day long, I only had one day before the workshop and I totally didn’t want to waste it. I’m glad I went down! The trip back though was a different story. Taking the bus back to the Hotel (which was about an 1h 1/2 ride) was an adventure in itself. It was around 4:30 pm on a Friday so you can imagine that it was close to rush hour and everyone was on a rush to get somewhere. But it didn’t bother that much, I wasn’t home and just being somewhere new, experiencing the moment, the smells and sounds was captivating. It really started raining hard by the time I got off the bus, I only had about a 5min walk back to the Hotel so I didn’t mind that much. I went in to a 7 eleven and picked up some beer and wine… which by the way was a third of the price we pay back in Montreal for the same wine. Fucking government run liquor stores are a gold mine. So anyways, I was on my way back all happy and still floating on a cloud from the whole day when this asshole in a Hummer looked straight at me as he was going up the hill and went for this huge puddle of water right beside me. I mean he really swerved into it and I just saw a wall of water coming right at me. Needless to say I was soaked from head to toe, even my plastic bags with the beer and wine were filled with water. I hate Hummers, but even more I hate assholes in Hummers… which kind of go hand in hand.

Sexy legs right? Minus the socks of course… and some really wet clothes in the bathroom.

Next morning walking to our meeting point in Chinatown. I was thinking about this whole trip and what exactly we were going to do that day, I then realized I had to just live the moment and stop thinking so far ahead. One of the great things I took back from this trip. I tend to over think things too much and question my decisions, its really annoying. 2011 will be the end of that as I know it… for many reasons ;)

First shot in Chinatown… glad I brought the Electro 35. It still surprises me from time to time.
Got to the meeting point and recognized Chris Weeks right away amongst other talent people. It is kind of surreal meeting someone who’s work you’ve followed and admired for a while and are used to only communicating via internet. Back in the days when he was on Deviantart I was doing a lot of painting and hadn’t really touched photography in a while. Through Chris’s journal entries I got to discover Severin Koller’s work as well as Arthur Mola’s, to only name a few. I won’t get into a whole discussion about how and when but if you haven’t seen their work you SHOULD take the time to look at it, really. In fact its because of these talented photographers that I fell back in love with photography. I really found the whole concept of street photography liberating. Here I was painting for the last 4 years and was filled with frustration from the lack of time and skill I needed to create the images I so wanted to create. That isn’t to say that street photography, when done well, is any easier. In many ways its even harder but the whole aspect of painting with light, looking for the moment or like Frank Jackson would say: “Letting the moment find you” was very attractive and inspiring.

After some tasty entries and a few words exchanged we headed to a quieter and sunnier spot where Chris, Frank and Severin talked about their work and the story behind some of the shots.

I found Frank’s approach to photography very poetic.

What I enjoyed the most about this whole experience is getting very different point of views from each one of them. There’s no wrong or right way in which you have to approach street photography, you have to find your own way. So to me its kind of like a ship that will never reach its destination but rather keeps on collecting experiences from all of its voyages.

Ok no more ranting, here are the shots from both days and some from the last night. First I wanted to select only the ones I thought were the best but since this is a blog entry and not only a street entry, I decided to show you more of what I experienced as it flowed.

Oh yeah, the leica guy! ;) We had the opportunity to shoot all day with some Leica M9s
and I chose a nice 35/2 . First time I ever held or shot a LeicaM camera. At first I wasn’t comfortable at all, it was very different and really smooth. I’m so used to my Nikon F3 and the Electro that this was like ridding a Ferrari for the first time. I think I only got the hang of it by the end of the day ;)

Snipers getting into position!

One more way to use an umbrella

Destination crisis

The M9 is really quiet

One size fits all

I like this moment

Mr Jackson

We then changed locations and headed down to Olvera Street

We all wear masks from time to time ;)


This was right before we went in for supper and Severin let me use Chris’s Nocti, bad idea, now I want one and an M6 :) But seriously what a lens!!! Its either I get a car or buy one of these but I still haven’t decided.
Next frames are with the Nocti on the M9 and files converted in Silver Efex 2.0

I was very glad to also have met Andy Bond from Vancouver. Another great guy and very talented as well.

Chris Weeks, who hadn’t yet realized I was shooting with his Nocti ;) Or had he?

Severin Koller

Andres Izquieta

Paul Posadas who’s calm energy I enjoyed very much and who reminded me… and others too I’m sure, that it isn’t really the camera that makes the photographer. I’m still amazed but what he shot with a little point and shoot. Nice work Paul!

It wasn’t too long before the guys were at it again! :)

We then had supper and talked about our day, the food was pretty decent.

Later that evening I hooked up with Arthur and we, innocently enough, decided to walk down Sunset thinking we would see some action. What we didn’t realize is that we were pretty far from any action and it was getting pretty cold, even by Canadian standards. But nevertheless it turnout to be a fun stroll to nowhere with some pretty interesting topics of conversation. Man, he really made me laugh with his stories!!! It was great killing some time together. I really only managed one shot from that night.

Cute though, right?

That night I got a text message from Nhat and we decided to hook up the next morning and have coffee before meeting back at Chris’s place. I was really happy we actually had a chance to meet and chat for a while, one of those talks that I wish would have lasted much longer. Which reminds me, somewhere in Severin’s negatives there is a 1/2 roll of pictures I took of Nhat that morning with my Contax 645. I will have to come back to that one day. I have a feeling our paths will cross again… I’m pretty sure.

Almost ready to go.

I’m glad Severin used my Contax, its always interesting to see how other people use one’s camera, and in this case I was sure he was going to enjoy it! I saw him shooting some crazy stuff which I can’t wait to see!

We started out at the farmer’s market

A lot was going on there! Great starting point!

I wonder if that is his real name.

Sometimes it’s right there!

And then other times you let them find you ;)

Urban camouflage

We split up into three groups and decided to hit Hollywood boulevard. I was with Frank Jackson and Paul Posadas. Here Frank is consciously or not giving me the thumbs up, can’t even remember taking this shot.

I think I had a much better second day than the first day, and it had a lot to do with the fact that I used my own cameras + I was more into getting the shot.

Some are just moments I want to remember for personal reasons.

Others just made me smile.


Because of the oscars, they had closed a portion of the street which was great for changing directions at any time.

There were some quiet moments…

… some loud ones…

… and some unexpected ones.


… they could be anyone…

… so yo better make a lasting impression.

I really enjoyed watching Severin in action, I was surprised at how close he got to people and actually got them into it.

Just another moment

Open for business

Helping the business

Taking care of business?

Are we missing what’s right in front of us?

Waiting for something

Met up with the rest of the gang and we headed to the rendez-vous point. Luckily there was no shortage of stuff to shoot.

There were even other guys looking for some moments… I’m not sure what this guy was looking for though.

That’s one cozy looking dog

I remember when I used to smoke how frustrating it was when I couldn’t find a light… it drove me nuts. Quiet desperation!

Yes, I love old cars! Don’t see many of these back at home.

Don’t see any of these back at home.

Waiting endlessly

Like I said, I like old things… that includes buildings and details.

Where is this guy going dressed like that?

I was actually looking for Spike Lee but this is close enough :)
We then headed back to Chris’s place where we did our final selects and had some really tasty pizza!
But not before getting some last shots.

A dangerous gathering… no one knows who might get shot

The again, some of them might actually enjoy it.

Back at Chris’s place everyone was pretty busy making their final selects.

Felt really good being around people who shared the same passion about photography…

… and also being out of the cold.

That same night we shot down in the echo park area.

Night encounters

She was nice, in a freakish kind of way

You will probably see what was on the other end in one of their entries :)

Strange how pre-concieved notions get challenged sometimes.

I wonder what George Lucas would think of this setup, then again who cares, I liked it.

Everything looks different at night and in bw


Michael Hacker reviewing

Where do you go from here?

We stopped at a dinner and had a snack before calling it a night.

I’m happy with how this shot turned out.

We walked down Sunset and said our goodbyes. By the time I packed and was ready to go to sleep there was about an hour left before my cab got to the Hotel, so basically I didn’t sleep. This trip sure was a blast in every way, I definitely learned a lot about myself and others through photography. Now the exciting part will be to put my new perspective into use. Thank you Chris, Severin and Frank for your knowledge and for putting together this workshop. Would be great to see you guys in Montréal one day… who knows.

À bientôt!

LA street is serious day 0

So I totally lied when I said I would post an entry a week… but I had a good excuse for it. I was preparing for my trip to LA for the “Street is serious” workshop. More on that in the next entry, I can’t talk about it without having to show you some pictures. Which reminds me, I should either start looking for a lab that doesn’t take more than a week to process all my b&w or just develop my films at home and get a good scanner, decisions… decisions :)

In the meantime though I wanted to share some pictures I took with the Hipstamatic my first day there, Friday Feb 25th to be exact. It was pretty much a terrible day weather wise, cold, rainy, windy and just not what I expected LA to be like, but compared to -20C it was a blessing!
It did take me a couple of hours to decide if I was going to risk it (with the rain) and go or just hang around my neighbourhood, it was going to be a least an hour bus ride. Finally I just told myself : “Its not like you’re here every weekend, just go already!”

So I went :)

In between rain falls I was able to take some quick shots.

This pay phone has seen better days I’m sure! This one dude was ripping of taxi stickers on putting his own. Taxi competition looks pretty fierce there!

This guy really likes to wear black. He looked like an off-duty swat team member.

Waiting in line ;)

We all need it!

And finally…

… Venice beach!

I also took this one with the Contax 645… looks much better ;)

Yeah, sure!


All I need, right in front of me!

Very different than what I see back at home.

I think I also shot this one with film… I really hope so! I enjoyed the details.

On my back from the bus I saw this foam costumed person like the statue of liberty advertising for income tax services.

Had supper by myself, yes, like a big boy at a great little Thai place right beside my Hotel, it was called Mae Paylan, honestly one of the best chicken currys I have ever tasted… and damn spicy also!!!

Good fortune, I guess ;)

After the rain…

… the sun must shine!

That’s it for this entry. Next one will be a tad longer ;) to say the least! Hope I got some good ones on film! I’m still kind of floating on a cloud, not only from the trip but from other things I will be sharing with you… in time, all in time ;)

Hope you enjoyed the preview!
À bientôt!