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Happy New Year 2013 & Reflections On The Year Gone By

New Year

I love reading other people’s reflections and thoughts on their year gone by. With less time to read blogs and updates as often as before, end of the year recaps allow me to catch up on their milestones, wishes and achievements.

 In 2012, my inner wish for myself and others was: Live fully. Play hard. Leap and take chances. Tiny or big. Do what makes you truly happy. I did. It shaped the following 12 months and took me on a rollercoaster ride of the best kind. 

Here is a little recap of the year passed. What a year! Lots of great photo jobs, lots of wonderful collaborations. If anything, the last year is for me a deep acknowledgment of my strength and growth as an individual, photographer and wife.


Winter 2012

Winter 2012 started off kind of rough with the loss of my grandfather and uncle within a few weeks of each other. But having my parents visit shortly after helped not feel so far away from everyone while we were going through this time.
It was also really fun to have my parents around while I was busy at work and they could see me in my element.

I shot a really fun book, Marmalades that winter as well as worked with some really different clients such as One Kings Lane for which I shot Heirloom Book Company Tastemaker Tag Sale. 

 I was giddy to have Lana Restaurant and Heirloom Book Co both ask for over a dozen of my photographs to go up as exhibits of fine art food photography in their respective establishments. 

And I was honored to be selected to have my photographs used as a backdrop for Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation event.

Spring 2012

Spring 2012 was definitely one of many preparations. I started gearing up to teach many food and lifestyle photo workshops during the Spring and Summer. 

I also shot two new color lines for Le Creuset and one more campaign for One Kings Lane. 

I started a very productive and fun collaboration for Food & Wine magazine and shot over 100 pictures for them throughout the year. One of my favorite freelancing gigs in 2012. 

I photographed my dear friend’s wedding and wished her goodbye as she moved away to start her new life.
I co-taught an amazing workshop in my hometown of Charleston. 

A group of complete strangers coming to learn and share and becoming fast friends in the process is something I absolutely love to witness and be part of. 

At the end of Spring, it became clear to me that all the hard work and discipline of the last few months to establish my professional goals and stick to them as a photographer were now leaving me less time for blogging. I knew I was gearing us up for some big jobs ahead that would fulfill my love for photography and working with talented creatives. 

I just had no idea of the twist our life would take in the early days of summer.


Summer 2012

The workshop I taught at Squam in June unleashed the inner child in me big time. It also reinforced that I was on the right path with my choices, my friendships, my desires and wishes. 

“Be Bold In The Dreams You Wish For Yourself”. Be that child who dreams and feels lie nothing is off limit. If you do not ask the best of yourself, you will never work for it. If you do not ask for the best from the world, you will never see it is out there.
I needed the nurturing of Squam. Too many airplanes. Too many jobs without rest in between. Too much up in the air that I did not know how to handle.
At Squam, I opened it all up to the Universe. And everything started falling into place. 

I photographed a bunch of fun features for The Local Palate magazine. 

I headed off to Washington, D.C to teach a photo workshop at the USPCA annual conference for the second time. 

I co-taught a fun filled 3 day workshop in Seattle, WA and got to spend some quality time with generous and loving folks. 

I taught an intense and enriching workshop in Northern Ireland. Women from all over the world came to learn and share of themselves. We had an incredible time in an incredible setting at Belle Isle Castle and I can’t wait to do it again! Bill and I took extra days to visit his ancestral grounds in Scotland and road trip along the coast of Ireland and Northern Ireland prior to the workshop. Absolutely gorgeous. 

I traveled to Canada to shoot a cookbook for Le Cordon Bleu

Our couple grew stronger than ever this year and summer as we were faced with pretty big decisions. Questions and opportunities we had to keep for ourselves first and work on as a team. the hard work of the years passed was finally started to shape up for us on an emotional level.

I traveled to Birmingham, AL and secretly test shot for the biggest opportunity of my career, Senior photographer at Oxmoor House. And then started to plan the second biggest moment of our year: a move. Leaving family and friends to start a new life. 

 We are, at the moment, living in two different states doing the long distance thing until Bill can join me once his semester teaching at CofC here is over. Then we can be together and dive together into this new setting. That will be our biggest adjustment of 2013. All the logistics of getting our two lives merged into one again.

Fall 2012

In the Fall, I traveled again Canada to wrap up the cookbook shoot for Le Cordon Bleu.

I shot a massive project for Food &Wine magazine while editing book pictures and packing boxes.

I found a house for rent in Birmingham in between a plane back from Canada and one to New Hampshire.

I taught two more 3 day workshops in Charleston with fantastic women and forged inspiring and creative bonds with all of them.

I learned a ton about my own resilience and mental strength by moving and living by myself while Bill remained in Charleston. I grew. Lots. I am so looking forward to letting all the pieces of this new life fall in place. 

 It is Winter again. My family from France, parents, brother, sister-in-law and my two nieces came to the spend Christmas and New Year’s with us. We did not know when they booked their flights and we rented a house on the beach for all of us that I’d be in Alabama now but we all made it and had a fabulous time.

Whatever you wishes are for 2013 – go for them. Make them happen. The year is yours for the taking.


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Bea January 3, 2013 um 8:36 am

Quelle année incroyable! J'admire ton courage, ton travail et bien évidemment – ton talent! 🙂 J'ai adoré 'Pixel to Plate', puis j'ai acheté 'Basic To Brilliant Y'all' et maintenant 'Marmalades' – juste pour voir ton superbe travail 🙂
Je te souhaite que cette Nouvelle Année soit encore meilleure que la précédente et que tous tes projets se réalisent. Que la nouvelle vie t'apporte bonheur et harmonie 🙂

Meilleures salutations!

Averie @ Averie Cooks January 3, 2013 um 8:38 am

Thanks for the beautiful & wonderful recap of your year and the trip down memory lane on many of these posts and events. Wow, time flies. All the best to you in 2013, Helene!

london bakes January 3, 2013 um 11:01 am

Happy new year! 2012 sounds like it was a pretty crazy year for you – I hope 2013 brings you all the happiness and peace you could want.

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy January 3, 2013 um 11:58 am

Happy New Year! You had a great year – so busy! 🙂

Here's to 2013 😉 Maybe we'll get to meet one of these years – you'll have to post your travel schedule as soon as you have it.

Vicki Bensinger January 3, 2013 um 1:10 pm

Wow Helene what an amazing year you've had. Have you calculated just how many days you've traveled?

It sounds like you've been on an incredible journey and have found your destiny. Congratulations! You do beautiful work and work hard at it – you deserve it! All the best to you and Bill in 2013.

Helene January 3, 2013 um 1:24 pm

Bea: Merci de ton suivi! Ca me fait chaud au coeur!

Averie: your daily dose of enthusiasm never goes unnoticed!

Vicki: thank you for following along on my adventures!

Sara: meeting you would be the highlight of any year! One day soon I hope!

london bakes: it was all worth it 🙂

Asha @ FSK January 3, 2013 um 2:01 pm

Helene, You are one of the most amazing persons I have met and I absolutely respect and adore your work!! You are an inspiration even more so, for the lovely, real person you are despite your incredible success…

Wishing you so much more in 2013 and much Hugs from me and hoping to see you again soon! :))

Applemama January 3, 2013 um 2:03 pm

Love your photos so much !
Happy New Year !

sylvia fountaine January 3, 2013 um 3:46 pm

Your words and photo's continue to inspire me. Thank you and…. all the best to you this year.
Sylvia January 3, 2013 um 3:49 pm

What an amazing year! Your story is such an inspiration–work hard doing what you love and rewards will come to you in spades. I will attempt to take your words to heart as I continue in my quest to follow my dream.

Santa brought me a f1.4 50mm lens and I pour through "Pixel to Plate" almost daily as I learn how to the create the beauty you so successfully achieve in your work.

Kristina January 3, 2013 um 4:15 pm

Whatever you wishes are for 2013 – go for them.
Make them happen. The year is yours for the taking.

Thanks Helene – I think I will. 🙂

You already know how thrilled I am for you. I'm so glad you're
getting your chance to shine. It couldn't happen to a nicer
person. May 2013 be just as awesome as you.

Radhika @ Just Homemade January 3, 2013 um 5:54 pm

Wow! That was quite a year for you..

You are an inspiration and I love how you say “Be Bold In The Dreams You Wish For Yourself”. That will be something I need to inculcate for myself.

Wish you a blissful New year 2013! and wishing that this new year brings better possibilities yet!

Helene January 3, 2013 um 5:54 pm

Asha: same to you dear! All the best for 2013!

Applemama: thank you!

Sylvia: thank you! Very kind 🙂

Katie: "Plate To Pixel" – sorry to correct… Thank you for the lovely words!

Jaime January 3, 2013 um 5:55 pm

Happy New Year Helene! It's been a great year following your travels, photos and recipes. Wishing you another fabulous year in 2013! x

Karine January 3, 2013 um 6:00 pm

Bonne Année Hélène, J'admire ta créativité et ton talent. Je te suis depuis 5 ans et je trouve ton blog extraordinaire. Ton livre Pixel est mon guide de photo. Il m'inspire chaque fois que je prends des photos pour mon blog. Merci pour être ma source d'inspiration. Happy New Year 2013!

Helene January 3, 2013 um 6:11 pm

Kristina: best to you in 2013. I know things will get the way you want them to be in this new year. Yes, it is yours for the taking. I firmly believe that!

Radhika: thank you! Happy New Year 2013 to you too!

Gigi: thank you! I am honored!

Zoe January 3, 2013 um 9:32 pm

I enjoy your "Pixel to Plate' book and LOVE your photos. This 2012 montage is great too. You are very inspirational.
Happy New Year

blog kulinarny January 3, 2013 um 11:25 pm

Happy New Year 2013

Tricia January 4, 2013 um 2:39 am

It sounds like you've had a very full year. I always love visiting your blog…your photos are so beautiful 🙂

Anonymous January 4, 2013 um 9:15 am

Buon anno!
I love your photos and your book.. and I hope to take part to your workshop in Northern Ireland! 😉
Ciao, Marco

Tiffany @ Savor Home January 4, 2013 um 2:05 pm

What a fantastic year! I could just look at your photos for hours. My year was made better when I met you and Clare. I am still excited from the workshop and implementing the things I learned. I wish you and Bill the most wonderful 2013!

SkinnyMommy January 4, 2013 um 3:18 pm

You are so gifted! More good things are in store for 2013. I am sure of it!

Carol January 4, 2013 um 7:39 pm

As if your photos weren't inspiration enough, your words and sentiment really affect me. Thank you for sharing.

Rocky Mountain Woman January 4, 2013 um 9:30 pm

How exciting! Happy New Year to you. I'm sure 2013 will be fabulous!



Pilarh January 5, 2013 um 1:46 pm

You are awesome! Happy New Year.

Magda January 6, 2013 um 4:21 pm

I wish you all the best for 2013. More leaps, more chance-taking, more beautiful food and even more beautiful photographs and last but not least, more time with your family. Living in two different places with your significant other is hard.
Happy New Year, Helene.

Alex in Leeds January 6, 2013 um 7:59 pm

What a beautiful way of sharing your highlights and favourite photos of the year! Here's to 2013. 🙂

Rose January 6, 2013 um 8:54 pm

Thank you for sharing a bit of your story of 2012. As a pastry chef and bakery owner, I now face the challenges of closing my bakery in its old spot, and relocating to a new state! Your words and photos inspire me to celebrate my successes and intuitively listen for the next steps. All the best for 2013!!

argone January 6, 2013 um 9:25 pm

Quelle année bien chargée ! Tu dois avoir hâte que Bill te rejoigne pour de bon … enfin ensemble pour vivre cette nouvelle vie ! Tous mes voeux !

from point of sale australia January 7, 2013 um 8:06 am

What an amazing year you had Helene. I really love your story and it inspires me. The photos are fantastic! I love them! All the best for you this 2013. Happy New Year!!!

Gwendolyn January 11, 2013 um 7:04 pm

Simply lovely.
I am on a one-month vacation by the beach, trying to deal with a chronic illness. I have been trying to set similar goals to yours, without finding the right words. Your lovely words gave me a pattern to help me to articulate my own goals.
Thank you so very much.

I have moved many times with my husband and family. I send you loving thoughts that you may make fulfilling friendships in your new neighborhood in addition to the ones you continue to establish worldwide.

le petit chef January 12, 2013 um 8:02 pm

What a wonderful recap of the year, I loved seeing so many gorgeous photographs in one post. Congrats on all of your accomplishments in 2012 and wishing you even more success this year!

Karen January 17, 2013 um 4:12 pm

Helene, your personal recap of the year makes me feel breathless – and inspired. I admire your resilience and creative energy.

It was a huge highlight in my own year to attend the workshop in Seattle last summer, and now when I visit your blog I can hear your voice in the beauty of the words and images.

Thank you for sharing it all, and best wishes for what's to come in 2013.

kelly January 23, 2013 um 12:14 am

A beautiful collection of photos.

Happy New Year


Seanna Lea January 24, 2013 um 5:56 pm

I saw bits and pieces of this either through your blog or during Squam, but seeing it all written out like this as one litany makes it all the more amazing and impressive. You had a huge year, and it looks like 2013 is going to be an awesome one as well!

Jonah Henderson February 18, 2013 um 3:02 am

I have to say, your photos are amazing and I am deeply inspired with how they look and what emotions every image evokes.

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