Photography is a passion for me, a way to express my inner world in images.
A few years ago, a friend of mine pushed me to present some of my pictures to the most prestigious professional photography awards in Spain called the Lux Awards. "Really???" I said to myself when she mentioned it. I was not looking at any recognition from my peers. This was not in my thoughts at all. But I finally agreed to do so seeing it as an experience and to learn from there.
Since only the most recent pictures shall be presented, I digged into my photo series and chose to present a few pictures of the Hotel Room story I shot in an ancient mansion called Palacio de Tepa in Madrid, now converted into a hotel.
In this shoot, I recreated in a mysterious and somehow cinematographic atmosphere the story of a woman waiting for her lover, that actually did not come up.
After a few weeks I sent my pictures to the photo contest, I received a phone call from the organiser. She announced to me I was amongst the five finalists of the Fashion & Beauty category. This sounded really amazing to me. She asked me then if I would come to the ceremony to be held two weeks later. Since I was supposed to travel to Dubai for a month a few days before the ceremony I explained to her that I might not be able to come. She insisted. Her insisting was somehow strange, and she ended by saying that she cannot tell me more and that I really have to come.
I hung up the phone, and I realised that maybe I had a Prize. I called my travel agency to delay my trip and then organised everything so that I could fly to Dubai via Barcelona to attend the ceremony.
On the D day I was there surrounded by all the profession. The ceremony started. They first called the Architecture category, and the winner of the Gold Lux had to make a short speech. They called a few more categories, and then finally they called the Fashion & Beauty category. The five finalists were called to go up on the stage. They announced the name of the first finalist. It was not me. The second finalist, neither. My head was exploding inside. Wow... I might have an award, I told myself. Meanwhile I was thinking about it, they announced the Bronze Lux winner, and it was not me again. I was panicking and could not believe what I was experiencing. They announced the Silver Lux winner, and still not me!
“Christèle's hallmark is to create an elegant, classical, mysterious atmosphere in her shots, full of strength, coherent and yet outside of time.” — Jury at LUX 2012 Professional Photography Award Ceremony, Spain
I was the winner of the Gold Lux awards... and I had to make a speech!! Well, I was so moved that no words could come out of my mouth. I had to calm down, and after saying to the attendees that I was so moved by this recognition, then I explained and thanked the team that worked with me on this shooting. I remember being in such a state of mind, like I was gone. I was walking through a cloud. We all left the stage. The press took photos of us, the national TV broadcast was there to record the event.
When the ceremony ended, I went back to my hotel room and called my friend who had pushed me to participate in the awards. Her first question was: "Which colour?". When I answered: "Gold", I realised how happy and proud she was. I could never thank her enough for having pushed me to participate.
I went to bed after a few more calls to friends and family. The day after I had my flight to Dubai. The next morning, my awards and I made our way to Dubai where more photo shootings were expecting us.