Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

This year, we will be spending Christmas as always, with the family... But New Year's eve will be different: We rented a little house together with 4 other people on a beach that can only be reached by boat or 4h hike... It's all very basic, no electricity... no fridge, no ventilators... Just a lot of waterfalls and beaches...

I am really looking forward to it!!

So there will be no posts for a while.. I leave you with a special Christmas tree.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Once the tallest building

Yesterday I had to photograph an event. It was the 25th birthday of a company and they had a dinner at the Terraço Italia. It's a restaurant on the top floor (41st) of what was once Sao Paulo's tallest building. I had worked all day doing food shots so I was somewhat tired, but it was worth it just for the view. It's really overwhelming to see the city from up there. There is nothing past the horizon except buildings and more buildings! A real concrete jungle!

Monday, December 14, 2009

random thoughts

It's cold today. I don't like it.

I want to start painting again.

We are going to spend new years on a beach with some great friends in a place I've never been to. Can it get any better than that?

Yesterday, while cleaning the stove I realized I was exactly where I want to be. (not necessarily cleaning the stove but) Back in Brazil, trying to make it my home, living with my husband, in our own little place, (although not so little or our own yet) trying to make it as a photographer, even if still not quite there, but on the right track... Slowly making new friends, re-discovering this huge dirty, ugly, noisy, so very darn noisy, wonderful city....
Thinking about children but no yet, really not yet.
With still so many plans and wish lists and want lists...

This is where I want to be. This is where I am. Finally.
Thank you!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009


Back when I was living in Barcelona, I had an exhibition at the
Estudio Nomada A week or so ago they had a group show of projections on the ceiling of the gallery and I was asked to participate. Here's what I sent them... and here's a link to their site in case you want to see more:

Fotos - de Barbara Allain from zapato rojo on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I just stumbled upon this and it made me smile that made it all worthwhile. :)

bummed out!

So I had this job interview a while back. It wasn't for photo or cooking but design.
Now I'm not really a designer... and I didn't hide that fact, but they actually liked me because I was called back for a second interview together with 3 other (real) designers.
In the end I didn't get the job. However, what pissed me off wasn't that so much but that the reason I didn't get it was due to my shyness!
Ok, so I am bit shy and perhaps not too articulate when it comes to verbal communication, but damn it I never thought that would keep me from a job!

I guess there's only one way to go: take it as constructive criticism and do better next time.
But I know I could have done well with that job. Shit!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

almost christmas!?!

Time flies. I can't believe it's almost Christmas again!! As summer here reaches full swing and the decorations go up... I try to get that Christmassy feeling from Europe... But in the heat, it's just impossible! Even the green and red and gold don't seam to match the heat!

Last Friday was a holiday here, so we got to go to the beach again after several months of big city. It went by so fast but still we got to enjoy swimming in the sea and a great barbecue...
Life is good when you keep things simple.

Now it'a back to work though.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

new home

So finally, we moved! It was exhausting even though there was hardly anything to move... I mean no furniture practically since we didn't bring any from Europe... just some boxes. But there was still so much to fix up on the house that by evening time we were sooo tired!

Now that was Sunday... A couple of days later, many hours of cleaning and unpacking and things are slowly starting to look better. Still no furniture really, but we did make some work tables out of doors... and we had to buy a bookshelf... A lot of improvising but it's ok.

Now I haven't finished the decorating and this weekend we should get some more furniture from my parent's. They have some things that are not in use so we can take them... So no photos yet... I want it to look as much like a home as possible before posting them...

So just some funny egg eyes instead!
More to come...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blackout and lack of water....

Well, once again I had the chance to see the 3rd World side of Brazil!

The house if finally pretty much ready.. That is paint is done, leaks have been fixed, floors are like new... Only the water company here is taking it's time to switch the water back on!
The previous renter didn't pay the water bill for so long that it was cut off. Now the debt has been settled, but the water company needs I don't know how long to put it back up. Meanwhile we cannot tell if the taps have been properly installed, or the shower or even the washing machine... I also can't clean the place. I'm thinking we may have to push the moving date yet another week forward. Sometimes I wonder if we will ever move in!!! :(

As for the blackout... well, there was a major major one last night here in Brazil. It affected over 10 States from 10pm till 5am... THAT is impressive I think!! Pretty crazy!

What usually looks like this photo 1, was looking more like picture 2!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hot hot hot!

Our room this morning!
Summer is here and after all the rain these past months it's come stronger than ever!
Tomorrow we start the moving process.... I'm very excited about that, we've waited so long for this I can hardly believe it's finally happening!
Photos of the house will be posted soon! :)
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Banking nightmares!!

I hate banks. It's established. Or at least I hate the whole system here! It's absolutely insane.
I had huge difficulties opening my bank account here in Sao Paulo because I don't have an "official" job. Or rather, I work for myself and not in some firm or whatever, I work freelance.
After a lot of hassle I managed with the help of my father to open an account.
Now the problem is my husbands... He's working as a freelance graphic designer for this company and they need to pay him. However they can't pay him because he doesn't have an account. The bank says he can't open an account because he doesn't have a salary.
How on earth can that be? How can we earn money if we can't put it in a bank, and how can we open an account if we can't get paid???
And what about the people who are worse off than we are?? Are poor people doomed to stay poor, work "under the table" and put their money away under their mattress??
Seriously it's driving me crazy!!
Maybe I'll have to look here soon to get inspired!! :

Monday, November 2, 2009

We spent all weekend painting the house and finally it's done!
Now only the floors need to be fixed and a couple of other minor things done...
then a LOT of cleaning and we can finally move in!

Friday, October 30, 2009


I have been busy with painting the new house and also caught a cold, so no time to take new pictures... But I did find this old one from back when I lived in Paris...
I remember I was actually trying to take a photo of the sky and moon... (One doesn't see such blue skies very often in Paris) when this guy crept into my frame just as I pressed the shutter!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Today I spent most of my day waiting... in the end it was in vain. Frustrating really. I hate to wait... and yet I find I end up doing it a lot. You see, I'm one of those people who is never late. I remember when I was in high school and being late was a sign of coolness I'd consciously try very hard to leave the house late so as to have to walk in to the class once it had already started, at least once. It never happened. Instead I was usually one of the first. It's a bit of a sickness I guess... but that's just the way I am.
I'm also always the first to arrive to a meeting.
Today's wait was at a hospital. Particularly unpleasant. Usually I have no problem with hospitals. My mother has spent a lot of time in them and I was there with her sometimes. Today though, for some reason I just couldn't stand it. It was overwhelming.. I felt claustrophobic. There was a woman screaming in the next cubicle it was just awful to listen to.

Dealing with sickness is really hard, and I felt really bad for not being able to handle it better.

I made some doodles while I waited and later I found this website:

Friday, October 9, 2009

pretty hidden details

in case you forgot...

As you can see, I decided to change my blog's name. I figured I'm already home... Well, actually, I don't think home is necessarily a physical or concrete place. It's inside of each one of us... and I suppose I may be still looking for it.
But that's not really what I wanted to talk about today.

This morning we went to the center do get some paperwork done. AGAIN. Yes, well, anyway, as usual when I go to the center of Sao Paulo I realize how wonderful and at the same time messed up this city is! (I know I've mentioned this before too).
Today there was a man playing a home made drum set. It was built out of paint cans and wood...
I think that really summarizes the brazilian spirit in a way. It's a great example of how we brazilians learn to get by. It's also about the creativity... and how even with little or nothing there is always a way. The man set up his drum set on a street corner with a sign next to it saying: "I come from Bahia in search of my dream. Please help me to buy my drum set."
This man probably earned a lot today sitting there... at least I saw a lot of people putting money in his little can. Maybe he doesn't even want to buy a drum set... But I admire the creativity he had and his sense of humor!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


We went to the center of Sao Paulo today to get some paperwork done. I love this city center. It was (and still is) very beautiful. However, now a days there is so much poverty and mess there that you have to detach yourself a bit. It's a big mass of people and amongst them some of the poorest ones I've seen.
Still I think there is beauty to be seen even in the ugly. A very different kind of beauty than that of my previous home towns (Barcelona and Paris) of course, but even so it's there, we just have to look a bit harder!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


We went to the salvation army today to look for cheap furniture and other stuff like that for our new place.
We got two chairs and some lovely old dishes... One of them I used in this photo.
Now we just need the house to work out...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fresh Starts...

I know I've not been around much lately.
First I got obsessed with scanning and re-photographing my old family photos. I really want to get that done. But it's a huge huge job and I'm perhaps about half way only after almost 6 months of work!
Second my computer was dying and I wanted to get the most photos done possible before it dies.

The good news is that as of today I have a brand new computer... Yay! So it's much faster and easier to work now...
The other good news is we may have a place of our own soon. It's still not 100% sure but if it works out we will be out of my parents home and in to a little house (actually quite big for my standards).
It's a long story that I won't get into just yet...
And it will take a lot of work, painting and stuff but I'm really looking forward to it and will surely post lots of photos of the progress we are or not making when the time comes.
But, enough for now... I will stop here and try to post some photos soon, I promise.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


We had a national holiday... and as most people do we went to the beach. It was great... lots of fun things to do. This time we went on a very fancy motoboat of friends of some friends... and got a feel of the good life...
We also went sailing on my father's sail boat... not as glamorous as the giant motorboat, but a lot more quiet and peaceful.
We stopped off at an island where there was once a prison and visited it's remains... It was frustrating because I didn't take my good camera, just the little point and shoot. I got a couple of nice shots anyway.
I intend to go back there with proper equipment some time soon though!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


It's not easy going back to one's roots. Hell, I've been back home for 6 months now and there's been a lot of head butting going on. I believe once you've left home, don't go back... Unless it's to visit of course. But here I have no choice. We have started to look for our own place, but small apartments within our budget range are very very hard to find at the moment here in Sao Paulo. This city is crazy.... Why are there SO many people living here?? Sometimes I ask myself why on earth did I ever come back?! I don't regret it. I know deep down it was necessary, but still. On Sunday we went out with some friends. They took us to a great Chinese restaurant here in Liberdade (Sao Paulo's China/Japantown)... It was so nice on the way back to drive in normal traffic that I said: "hey on Sundays I feel like I could actually live here!" Because on any other day, you have to be crazy to choose to live here!! I guess I am!

Anyway, I was walking around the neighbourhood today, staring at all the buildings I could imagine myself living in and looking for "for rent" signs when I came across these amazing trees. They are all over Sao Paulo, bursting up the sidewalks with their incredible roots. Aren't they just wonderful?