26 Sep 2012

Paris… On the Street… Snap Happy

Paris is a city to snap… it is a city of endless surprises, especially visual. I am always snapping when I am in Paris… the camera is around my neck and ready to go.. Strangely enough, I never have the urge to take my camera out in other cities the way I do in Paris. I think it is the unexpected… and it is always the visual for me… For example, this amazing women above… She walked out of an apartment building in the sixth arrondissement, all Lady Gaga-like… hair flowing, cigarette smouldering… her style and confidence off the charts… I had a split second to catch her… and she was far too purposeful to ask for a pose… She is as she was…

Graffiti is another of my snap happies… Paris is full of graffiti… the good and the bad… but never the dull… I enjoy the street art…. the instillations… the tromp l’oeil effects… like the one above… A ‘sign writer’ and his suggestion that we ‘ be wary of words’…

And the dogs… I never get tired of the Parisians and their pooches… this woman, walking the dogs… so smart and chic… no tracksuit and trainers here in the fourth.

‘Praise be to Prada’… I wondered who would have written this… It could have been me… I am a big fan of Miuccia Parada…except that I am no vandal! I can’t imagine the ‘artist’ would be a Prada fan… Contradictions… that is what I love about Paris…. Contradictions, they are everywhere…

I notice that my photographs, over time, have a similar feel to each other… The pups. the women, the bicycles… the shop windows, the graffiti. the architecture and the flowers… there are so many beautiful flowers in Paris… I can’t stop… I click the same subjects year after year. Is it that these visuals resonate with me? Or is it that this is how I see Paris?

I believe that we all have our own ‘eye’… our own way of looking… at the big picture and the small pictures… When we take photographs we are preserving not only our surroundings but some of our thoughts and feelings… Our photographs encapsulate not only our chosen subjects but who we are… a window into our aesthetic, our dreams and our spirit… xv

 

subscribe for updates from vickiarcher.com

68 Comments

Pamela

Hi there! we just moved to Paris and over the weekend saw the same “praise be to prada” graffii! A very cool jazz band was playing there. We had just finished our falafels and were enjoying Les Marais.
I just ordered your book. So happy Amazon ships here! I enjoy your blog..have a great day.

Reply
Pamela

I loved that you photographed them in Black and white. It made the scene more romantic. Les Parsiennes are always so effortlessly chic. It is so natural for them.

Reply
Vicki

I think it’s the simplicity of what they wear… and that they make an effort… that creates this ‘chic’…

Reply
Elizabeth

Well, if you really would like to switch gears….I wouldn’t complain if you took some pics of Parisian men….

Reply
Vicki

On my last trip… I have never seen so many good looking men in one city…Next time, it’s a promise… :)

Reply
Anita Rivera

Bonjour ma belle,

I BELIEVE it was Anaïs Nin who said, (paraphrased here), “We do not see as things ARE, we see as WE are.”

And perhaps your GORGEOUS subjects are a reflection of what you are my dear….a fashionista, a lover des chiens (like me!) and one who cannot get enough of the art of the people. Our camera lens is so connected to the lens of our eyes and mind. And that is a good thing, a very good thing. I have tried to see with the lens of someone else’s mind and at times it has worked, enabling me to grow. But in the long run, we shall always see with our own experiences and that makes us truly genuine. That is why I love FRENCH ESSENCE!!!

Bonne journée,

Anita

Reply
Anita Rivera

Oh dear, did I mess up that quote! It should read:

We do not see things are they are, we see them as WE ARE.

Anita

Reply
Vicki

It is so true… I love to walk around Paris with a friend because we always see two entirely different perspectives… I will miss so much of what they see and vice-versa…

I do look for beauty… I always have… ever since I was young girl… ‘My’ idea of beauty in any case..

Reply
Jess Flett

Wonderful photos Vicki. I can never get enough of Paris. I love your take and thoughts on photography. I completely agree. This is so beautifully written. I have already read this post many times. Jx

Reply
Vicki

The best thing about photography today is that it doesn’t matter how good we are… we can all be ‘photographers’ and capture the moments we love…

Reply
joanna brazier

Hi Vicki,
Like this post a lot, especially as I have just returned from Paris where part of my stay was spent taking a workshop in the Art of Street Photography – I absolutely loved it !
The week long course included some structure with fantastic guest speakers, studies of our teacher’s brilliant photography and critiques of our class of twelve’s work.
We also spent hours on the streets and bridges and in the parks and gardens happily clicking away at what ever caught our eye and captured our imagination – pure bliss !

If you or any of your readers are interested, some of this is on my blog

http://www.thedailybaguette.net

and for some really amazing portfolios of my teacher’s life work
you may like to visit …

http://www.peterturnley.com

I am now planning my next photography workshop – perhaps New York, or Cuba maybe ?!

This entire experience has made me even more aware of the importance of “the photo”…
Happy snapping, Joanna

PS I agree totally about the handsome men !

Reply
Vicki

That would be my idea of heaven… I need to learn more, study more with photography… but finding the time…

Reply
Karen in CT

Lovely and to true on everything … I think it may be easier now to get a pose on the well-turned-out femme … between Bill Cunningham and Scott Schuman, they seem to like to pose when asked. You’ve seen the video of Scott asking? Excellent, as always Vicki .. thanks

Reply
Karen in CT

.. well it would take some practice, and some guts (which would stop me, maybe, maybe not) … but you are a legit blogger and can say what Scott says .. “I have a style blog and would like to take a snap of you, would that be ok” .. in French of course. The road to doing this might be a journey, but I suspect very rewarding, given your eye.

Reply
Heather in Arles

Oh, this just made me so happy. Not only the lovely photography–and that first one truly made me gasp, bravo–but having the feeling as if I were there with you, seeing what you are seeing and yes, feeling. I couldn’t agree with your final sentence. Absolutely.

It can be an interesting experience taking photographs next to Remi, a pro because at times he will want to insist that I take something too but what I have come to realize is that if I don’t feel it, I can’t see it!

xo,
h

Reply
Vicki

It’s all in our ‘eye’… and I agree… if it does not resonate, neither will the shot….

Reply
Cindy McDonald

Chère Vicki, my last time (too long ago) in France was happily spent photographing les chiens. People, usually so reticent about being photographed themselves, seemed to love having their pets pose for pix. I really like the black & white, and j’adore your books…perhaps you’ll do another? Merci!

Reply
Vicki

Thank you , but I am not a photographer… just snap happy… my technique is woeful… but I enjoy myself and my subjects… and sometimes I think that is enough… :)

Reply
Vicki

I sometimes wonder if one day i will wake up and say… no more Paris… but I can’t imagine… and so far I have loved Paris since my first trip at the age of ten… That’s a lot of visits… :)

Reply
Vicki

Probably because there are so many ‘grey’ days in Paris. Strangely enough, I prefer Paris grey…

Reply
Dianna

Vicki,

I just recently found your blog and have fallen in love with every image you’ve posted. I have yet to have a Parisian adventure though I am nonetheless a francophile at heart. My husband and I may possibly be moving to New Orleans soon, another city dear to my heart, so I guess for the time being I will just have to get my French kicks from NOLA.

Amicalement,
Dianna

Reply
Vicki

NOLA is a photographers dream I believe.. That is one city where I know that I would be glued to my camera…

Reply
La Contessa

Off to PARIS tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!BUt no time to snap photos headed to BORDEAUX!Your photos are just perfect!I have a favor to ask again!Will send you an e-mail!
xxx

Reply
Cathy

I love the “griege” of the photos. Even though have been to Paris in both summer and winter, I see it in my mind’s eye as a lovely and often drizzly grey.

Reply
Beth Anderson

LOVE this post. “Or is it that this is how I see Paris?” In your photos I see a happy person, drawn to beauty. I love the idea that what we seek out in photography is a window to our soul.

I’m an avid “snapper” too.

Reply
Vicki

Thank you Beth,

If there is no personal connection I can’t see why we would want to take the photograph at all… Everything is about connection, isn”t it? … The beauty, the challenge, the appeal… there is always a reason for what we shoot…

Reply
Hallie

Lucky Pamela and yes to Elizabeth! Good idea, let’s see those fellows!

I love these shots Vicki, it’s really how Paris feels when one is there. The elegance of the dog walker and the beauty of the flowers on the round table, the bicycle parked nearby, I’ve enjoyed each of the pictures above.

Reply
Karena

Vicki I so wish American women would dress to go out; keep the gym attire for home and the gym itself. I really does not take that much to pull it together. Even with jeans, it is the accessories that complete the look and make it oh so chic.

Yes more images of the fabulous Italian Men!

xoxo
Karena
2012 Artists Series

Reply
Irina

Yes indeed, as dear Anita quotes Anais Nin…I think we see the entire world as “we are”….and what YOU see is beautiful!
These are great captures, Vicki…
I know that I certainly would be photographing Paris differently now, than when I was 20, even 30!
Thank you for a little whiff of La Vie Parisienne!
xoxo,
– Irina

Reply
BARNALI GUHA

What resonates visually via the camera is subconsciouly what you look for even without looking. Its your signature! Love the pics and the graffitti.

Reply
Garden, Home and Party

Vicki,
I love the black and white images. Do people ever look at you as though their privacy is being violated. That is the only thing that keeps me from taking pictures with people I don’t know in them.
This is fun and I love being on a tour with you.
Karen

Reply
Vicki

I generally snap from a distance and from behind… For personal shots… I would always ask first… :)

Reply
Mary Jo

I love all the photos you took Vicki, and the description. It’s interesting the places we’re drawn to photograph versus other places where we bring cameras and never snap. Hoping that one day you will compile these into a book on Paris!
xo Mary Jo

Reply
Rosanne

Wonderful pics. I was also drawn to the graffiti in Paris, the good and the bad as you have stated. I was especially fascinated by Serge Gainsbourg’s residence on rue de Verneuil.

Reply
Carolyn Bradford

It’s always fun to see Paris through your eyes since it is so far away from me! One of these day though I intend to be back! I am truly enjoying your book, by the way! So glad I found it in Anthropolgie that day!

Reply
Lee

I’ve followed your blog for quite some time but admit to not having the time to read a lot of your posts. However, recently reading a few in a row I am now madly addicted and cannot wait for each new post to surface.

I love the images you have of Paris, black and white images seem so suited to such a fashion conscious city. I have traveled the world and been to France but only the South, I think I will always feel I have missed out on something in life if I do not visit Paris so it is first on my “bucket list” with Africa being my second as I do so much want to see wild life as they should be, free and running.

Thank you for this post.

Lee (New Zealand)

Reply
Vicki

Lee, if you can… you must see Paris… for no other reason than her beauty. And Africa… I was fortunate to go on a family holiday last year and I would say it was the trip of a lifetime… 2000 photos later… :)

Reply
Veronique Savoye

I see Paris – et les Parisiens – continue to inspire you Vicki. Lovely shots. I have just linked my new story to your blog. Hope that’s ok. Stop by when you get une minute. A bientôt. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Reply
Suzanne de Cornelia

Love the blonde woman in all black. I love simple and can wear black all the time outside, and white indoors. Even my cat is black and white.

Love your photographs, Vicki. Now that you mentioned it, I realize I snap the same things over and over too.

The sea, interesting church interiors, beautiful nature, textures is what I seem to do–casually just for me. No intention.

A book with the most unforgettable photos was Norman Cousins ‘Human Options’. I was fortunate to meet him at UCLA…lovely, lovely man.

Reply
miss b

I understand exactly what you mean about Paris. I often feel like a meerkat looking this way and that – so much to admire at every turn. The quirky, the stylish and the beautiful. You have captured all aspects of Paris here in your lovely black and white shots. ‘Il faut se méfier des mots’ – interesting quote too.

Reply
hopflower

I have to agree with the comment on wishing American women would dress up, to go out at least. It seems that they look so sloppy compared to the rest of the world. One can sit and admire the French but one has to get up and actually do something to imitate them. In California, a lot of women actually look the same; there is almost no variation. And most are now tattooed, wear cropped shirts and tonnes of makeup! Even more mature women do not seem to grow out of a trendy look; they seem to let real fashion sense go. Interestingly enough though, there are almost no good shops left from which to choose a good wardrobe. Shopping is just not the same anymore. Shopping online can be fun, but I still like to go into a brick and mortar place and look around.

Reply
Lauren

I love these photos. I believe I know where you took the photo of the woman with the 2 dogs – very close to the hotel where we stayed last June – near Notre Dame??? If it’s not the same intersection, then Paris has four intersecting streets that look exactly the same.

One thing that has really bothered me has to do with Parisians and dogs. I read someplace that the Humane Society in Paris is trying to stop Parisians from turning their dogs in every summer when they go off on vacations. It’s apparently quite common for people to just abandon their pups because they can’t take them alone and they can’t leave them behind. It just crushed my heart to read this since my pups are an integral part of the family.

The HS is trying to make Parisians feel guilt in doing this in hopes people stopped the practice.

For some reason I never thought Europeans would do this – they are always considered so “forward-thinking”. Really sad.

At about the same time, on my last trip, I saw a man near Notre Dame begging on the street. Next to him was his dog and her little puppies. The pups were so cold and unprotected, it broke my heart. Again, had no idea French would allow this – I just can’t imagine that would happen in the US. Someone would call animal control pronto!!

Guess each country has it’s own issues, but this one really surprised me.

In any event – thanks for the lovely photos. I’m jealous of your trips!!!!

Reply
Victoria Ruiz

Hello,

I returned from Paris Sunday, 10/12. I have been in Paris before, but this time I did not see many french women as chic as before; it is too bad that most women don’t wear skirts, or dresses anymore. French women are famous for wearing beautiful scarfs, however, this time I did not see that. I still love Paris and will return someday again.

Victoria

Reply
Debbie

I love your photos Vicki. They show the charm and character Paris has.
How is it in Paris these days? Without being indelicate. Are there areas tourists should not go to? I’m mostly speaking of the illegal camping that is springing up in the streets.How is it affecting businesses and the Parisians? I feel sorry for the refugees who are sleeping rough especially with winter coming but what does it mean in the long run for Paris I wonder. People are carrying out their daily lives in full view of people passing by. Rubbish is everywhere I could not believe what I was seeing. Will the number of people doing this increase and will expensive neighbourhoods soon have this problem. We will all love Paris and France still of course, but just curious how France will deal with it all and how badly it will affect tourism.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Screen-shot-2012-09-24-at-09.14.24
Isabella Rossellini: All In Black

Close