I first became interested in Photography three years ago. I was (and I am still) travelling a lot. I thought it would be nice to create better pictures than the ones I could produce with a phone. I bought my first camera and it just clicked! As a tech person, I watched all the technical videos I could find to learn how this new machine works. So far, I think this is my most satisfying activity.

My name is Thomas Bianchini, I am 28 years old and I live in Paris, France. I have been a Product Manager at talent.io for 1.5 years. My job is to help great tech people find their dream job and to help companies build an amazing tech team.

I am from the South of France, a small city called Toulon near Marseille, and I keep moving up to the North – I hope it will stop at some point! I have studied in Grenoble (close to the Alps), moved to Lyon for my first job (Lyon being the biggest city close to Grenoble), and then landed in Paris, as I felt it would be nice living in the most beautiful city in the world (plus, this is where there are the most start-ups in France).

Prior to my current job, I was a Software Engineer, and my favourite technologies were Ruby and Javascript. I wanted to move to a Product Management role to participate more in the strategy of the company and to work closely with other teams. The idea was to have more impact on the business and still stay very close to the technical world.

Outside of work, one of my main pastimes is Photography, particularly Landscape/Nature and Street photography. My main camera is a Nikon z6 with a 50mm 1.8 lens.

What I love the most about photography is that it allows me to take my time. When doing photography, I am in a “meditation” mode where my mind is only focused on my surroundings. Every detail, every ray of light, every person my eyes cross can become an interesting subject to photograph. It allows me to stop this fast life we are kind of stuck in, take a minute to pause, and really grasp what is happening and how beautiful my environment is.

Plus, I have always had a hard time expressing my creativity because of my lack of skill in painting or drawing. I find that a camera is quite simple to master – it allows people to have quick access to creativity without having to spend hours learning the technique. A camera is very practical to carry, and you can have it with you every time you are going out.

I also love the process of photography. I am mainly outside when taking photos, so I spend time walking and discovering new places. Then, I go home and I take the time to process what I have done during the session. It allows me to remember a detail or a moment that my mind would have forgotten otherwise. Then, there is the edit, where the creativity is pushed to the maximum. Lastly, there is the sharing. Sharing this passion is very important to me as I put my heart into what I do. My photographs really reflect my mood and my person. I think it helps others better understand the way I am, and I love this!

Looking at my other activity, I am also interested in Cooking – I have been cooking since I was a student. I tried to eat all the prepped meals I could find, but they never tasted great. I thought to myself that it would be nice to be able to cook for friends and family, so I started to buy books and learn.

My grandmothers would be my biggest inspirations when it comes to cooking. They are both amazing cooks and I have so many memories of watching them cooking delicious meals for hours. I am still learning a lot from them, as they are teaching me the secret family recipes. In the professional world, I am very inspired by the chef Ottolenghi, and I hope that one day, I will be able to master the knowledge of spices the way he is mastering it!

I love preparing Italian food. My signature meals would be handmade potato gnocchis with roasted feta mushrooms and onions, and a homemade tiramisu!

Firstly, what I love the most about cooking is that I love to eat (like, really love it). Hence, it is very sad for me when I have to eat a boring meal. In order to avoid this, I cook for myself! Secondly, it is another great way to develop creativity. Cooking is a journey with a lot of small steps to achieve a meal: from cutting, to cooking, to dressing. Every step matters and has its own set of techniques. It is a real pit of knowledge where you can always improve and find resources about new techniques.

Lastly, when you cook, you are taking care of yourself and others. You are giving your time and a good recipe to friends, family, or love. It feels so good to see people happy, asking for what is the secret or to share the knowledge. Cooking is always the first step leading to a happy moment!

I have a few future goals with my Photography and Cooking (but they are a dream!). I hope that I will be able to travel for at least 6 months abroad soon and focus mainly on photography – I’d then come back to France (or not!) and start to work as a Freelancer in Product Management and Photography. In the long run, I see myself as the owner of a summer restaurant near the sea for half the year, and a freelancer for the rest of the year.

My advice to anyone who wants to start Cooking is to find a dish that you love to eat and try to make it all from scratch (mine was pasta carbonara). Take the time to pick the proper ingredients and do the meal over and over – you will learn the basics of cooking very quickly, and you will be so proud to create something from your hands!

My advice to anyone interested in Photography is that if you have a modern smartphone, you can start right away. Take an hour where you live and just look around you – find details that you like: flowers, shapes, textures, anything (even the meal you have just cooked). Pause for a moment and snap it! Review your work and think about what can be improved. Repeat until you’re happy. I bet you won’t see the hour going!

Overall, as a famous brand would say, “Just do it!”. I think that it has never been easier to learn stuff with all the knowledge spread across the Internet.

I definitely think that Photography and Cooking have been a benefit to my technological career. These activities are creative and require a bit of technique to fully enjoy the moment. It is also a constant effort to learn and discover new things in order to improve yourself and deliver results that you are proud of. I also think that taking a break from work with creative activities is always beneficial. It creates new connections and allows me to discover other patterns to find solutions.

There is always more than tech. I think that it is crucial to show that tech people are not those clichés pictured in most of the media. Tech people have a common trait, and it is passion. They are people who can dedicate a huge amount of time to some part that most people would find useless. And when this passion is unleashed to other areas outside of the tech world, they apply the same thought process – most of the time, it creates great outcomes!

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