Wednesday, September 3, 2014


I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.

                     Meryl Streep

Saturday, August 23, 2014


"Il faut cultiver notre jardin."

[ Canon: 5D / Lighting duration: 1/250 / Aperture: f/2,5 / Focal width: 50 mm / ISO: 100 / Lighting: no flash ]

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


"Don't underestimate the seductive power of a decent vocabulary."

Books on the bookshelves and stacked on the floor
Books kept in baskets and propped by the door
Books in neat piles and in disarray
Books tucked in closets and books on display
Books filling crannies and books packed in nooks
Books massed in windows and mounded in crooks
Libraries beckon and bookstoors invite
But-book-filled rooms welcome us back home at night.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Florian, Côtes du Rhône, AOC, Saint-Péray, France (August 2014)

"Look to the stars, let hope burn in your eyes."

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Since the trip to Mexico back in summer 2011, I finally got the occasion to travel again. Destination South Asia; more precisely to Sri Lanka, the island country located in the northern Indian Ocean.

Compared to (still and always comparing, some things never change...) my central-american experience, this adventure has been a real backpacking trip including endless bus rides trough the srilankan road anarchy, sweat-soaked t-shirts (...), mosquito battles as is right and proper,...

Backpacking is the art of knowing what to leave behind.
Back to basics has been the slogan on various levels. In a country with 20.277.597 people living , in our understanding, under absolutely "poor" conditions, one must admit what a comfort zone we live in and though we do complain much more than these guys. Buddhism is the most prevalent religion in Sri Lanka and even if you do not know much about it, it is famous for its minimalism and being a less greedy concept.

Besides the lack of needless luxury on a day to day level, you also get a reminder of who and what really matters; which unfortenutaly, in our cosy comport zone, we tend to forget ways too often. In the end, it's not only on a material level that I got to know what to leave behind.

Back in Mexico I found paradise (remember "heaven & hell can wait"); all the pictures were colorful and festive. So is the beginning of this post, all bright and full of light, though in the last pictures a certain darkness dominates. They are not ugly, just different and real and in a certain contrast to the ones before. Sri Lanka is nor heaven nor hell, it is it's own kind of paradise, if it was a person, it would be a beautiful mind.
Why do I say so ? Of course I have been amazed by the beauty of the temples, the miracles nature had to offer,... but formost I have been touched by the simplicity, gentleness and gratitude of the people we crossed. Therefor it is picture N°7 of this blogpost, with the two girls sharing a bottle of water and sharing a smile, that ended up being by favorite one.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

All negativity is caused by an accumulation
of psychological time and denial of the present.
Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry,
all forms of fear
are caused by too much future and not enough presence.
Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness,
and all forms of non-forgiveness
are caused by too much past and not enough presence.

[Koneswaram temple, Trincomalee - Sri Lanka]

Monday, May 5, 2014


Lucky N°5

... because this Capricorn has been very fortunate since the beginning of this month !

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Maxime Willems

Chapter 7

                                                             La  honte! (...) is the least one can say about my inactivity on this blog; it has been one month since my last post and more than 9 months that Chapter 6 has been penned. Since, 3 seasons have passed by. In my defence, I do have a solid alibi explaining my absence. (where is my lawyer when I need him?)

Further to all the recent "marketing spam", some may have noticed that the past 6 months have been about completing a Master's degree an major career changes. Puis, they were about really arriving in Paris (depuis le temps...), and new upcoming projects. Bref! they were about letting go a job, and old love, fake friends,... and making room for the new.

After 6 months of studies in Brand Management I should be able to promote my own brand (not!). So, here's the new, here's the real, here's the life you wished you live, now here's the new girl taking on the world tonight... After 6 months of hard work on a professional and personal level I find myself with an overdose of information in my brain (fortunately I let go enough so there was enough space) and an upgrade on various levels: Herewith I am lucky to finally introduce the photography website matching this blog with a selection of my best pictures including a few previously unreleased treasures :

Feel free to visit, comment and share. I hope this first project will excuse my recent photography and blogging inactivity. Pardon my French, I am just so excited, I am taking on the world tonight.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


You don't make a photograph
just with a camera.
You bring to the act of photography
all the pictures you have seen,
the books you have read,
the music you have heard,
the people you have loved.

Friday, February 21, 2014


Maxime Willems


Master 2 - Marketing, communication et stratégies commerciales
Management de la marque - Marketing opérationnel & fidélisation
Mr Patrice Laubignat - Février 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014



Entering a 5 star luxury hotel always has something magical. By stepping into these splendid creations the customer gets transcended into a world where perfection is norm. I experience the same pleasant state of mind everytime I pass their doors. You'll find me enjoying the impressive interior design while catching the fragrance of the place, getting taken away by the background music and foremost slowing down on the outside and inside, telling myself that I can calm down and relax for a little while in this comfort zone...
... until! (would have been to good to be true), until a very well trained staff member allows himself to burst my bubble in less than a second by disturbing my absence of mind by imposing his service to me.

Herewith I am officially not the easiest guest but definitely not the only one feeling bothered by fuzzy customer service. Though, none of the employees wants to be annoying. Quite the contrary; they follow a well defined code adapted to the luxury industry and each company's values and missions in order to make the guest have the best quality stay. As a former hotel management student with experience within a few of such hotels I remember myself in front of this bible of 227 rules and quotes that I was supposed to follow and preach. Obviously, these standards are supposed to complete this striving to perfection but on the other hand don't they entail a very impersonal level of interaction, turning their guests into a dime a dozen?

Previous summer I finally made a very different experience. The Hyatt company seems to have noticed this consumer insight and has developed a distinguished concept: the Andaz brand. I had learned about the launch of the brand years ago during my internship at the Park Hyatt in Paris, so while planning the weekend trip to Amsterdam, I did not think twice about where to stay. 

I must admit, with their very casual approach , Andaz brings the customer experience to another level. At a time where many actors are still having a hard time with emotional marketing and still think in B to C (business to consumer) instead of H to H (human to human), Hyatt managed to lead the way with this innovative concept.

It is not just the open-space architecture, designed by Marcel Wanders, that enables the feeling of freedom. This principle runs like a red thread trough the entire stay. From the check-in to the departure, they let you be yourself. Instead of throwing all the information at us at the arrival, the receptionist (if you can call him a receptionist as there is no real reception in the lobby) noticed how lost we were on a geographical level and invited us with "hey folks, have a drink at the bar while I'll do your check-in and explain the entire map to you!". He made this moment even more casual and brought it to a personal level by letting us know his opinion and giving some really tailor-made advise. Probably they just let him be himself and his does not have 227 quotes to remember under his pillow (...).

During the entire stay nobody would ever come and disturb us. At the same time they provided excellent customer service and went the extra-mile when we requested their help. Isn't that true luxury and real perfection ?

Simplicity always will be the ultimate form of sophistication.

NB : The pictures above are the evident proof of them letting me be myself; I was feeling so free end ended up picturing the entire hotel, thus combining my passion for the hotel industry and branding with the one for photography. For two entire hours it was just the two of us : the Andaz Amsterdam and myself.
I now understand more and more my emotional marketing class, where we study the love for a brand. I am only dedicating this review to this hotel because of my love towards the place (no commercial post ;) ), a result of their respect and personal interactions with me, during and after the stay. It's not just the place - it's the people.
Yet, another post in the collection of "make your life memorable!".