Philippe, an executive chef and a self-taught photographer, received a green card through the INS lottery in 2002 and seized the opportunity to go to the U.S.A. In May 2003, Philippe arrived in Miami and knew immediately he would like it there. A week after he arrived, he found a job as restaurant consultant and began working in the food industry, preparing dishes for many celebrities and officials.
When Stella, a professor of accounting and logistics at Lunéville in eastern France, discovered the United States (and in particular, Miami) during the summer of 2003, she decided to change her career and do something new. She attended the international student community college in Miami in 2004, where she spent two years improving her English and taking classes in design and digital image editing.
Sharing the same passions and tastes, Stella and Philippe married in 2006. In 2007, husband and wife moved to Houston when an affluent family hired Philippe to be their private chef.
Stella has always been in love with photography, but upon her discovery of digital photography, she wanted to liberate the creativity that lay dormant in her. Philippe built Stella a home studio, enabling her to offer portrait sessions, participate in workshops, and improve her skills in different styles of photography. The quality of Stella’s work and her perfectionism allowed her to become a mentor for Texas Photo Shoot Workshop, consisting of more than 4,000 members.
In 2009, Philippe drew upon his extensive culinary knowledge and experience to write a cookbook, “Sinful Delights.” Although it was a rewarding experience, it also served as a challenge for the couple. Food photography was new to both of them, as was editing and publishing, but the book was the exciting result of their individual passions combined.
Stella and Philippe now travel around the world, photographing the landscapes and their inhabitants. Most photographers dream of glamorous models. Of course, Stella loves to shoot fashion models, but what she enjoys most when traveling is to photograph elderly people. Older people make great photographic subjects, according to Stella. Without knowing their language, she will sometimes take pictures of them to capture their emotions, showing shy smiles or tears of joy rolling down their wrinkled cheeks.
While continuing to create portraits and participate in workshops, Stella chose to work with Philippe once again to create something fresh—something exciting and new for both of them. By experimenting and learning, they created art together.
In 2014, Philippe and Stella collaborated in playing with liquids and exploring movement. With Philippe’s background in culinary arts, the experience he gained from being a saucier made him a natural choice to help Stella sculpt the liquids used to create their artwork. Stella’s background in photography allows her the knowledge to use traditional aperture techniques, capturing still images that reveal vivid colors and unique shapes. Both Stella and Philippe are fascinated by the way two liquids meet, splash, and form—for only one instant only—a beautiful abstract sculpture. These ephemeral sculptures are the subjects of the couple’s art.
By taming the movement of these fluids, sculpting and enhancing them, the Coupés create and capture unique works of art that would never be visible to the naked eye otherwise. They call this process Splash Fine Art Photography.