I believe cities have souls and you tend to know pretty quickly if you vibe with a city or not. Then there are some cities where you just feel at home and it speaks to the best parts of your soul and brings you a little extra peace. It’s no secret that Paris is my favorite city. When I’m there, I feel no pressure, because even the most random wandering leaves me inspired and creatively filled. The standards for food seemed to have slipped over the years in the more touristy parts, and I have to venture further out of the traditional arrondissements as people and the places they frequent move to less touristy and more affordable arrondissements, much like every city, but you slowly learn the gems still left in the area. And let’s face it, I could live off of cheese, croissants and scavenging the farmers markets around town!
My last trip to Paris was for a workshop with Olaf Sztaba and you can read about my experience with his amazing workshop here. It helped me to see the city in a different way. Although at the time, I felt frustrated with the growing pains, after some reflection and distance I love the imagery I created in Paris before, during and after the workshop.
While reflecting and organizing my work from the weekend, it lent itself to three categories: Reflection, Portraits, Shadow / Light. All photos were taken by me with Fuji X-Pro 2 and 35f2. So, without further ado, enjoy my Paris!
Street Portraits — Posed
Shadow / Light
On a funny note, Olaf is known for his imaginative and unorthodox “street photography” images, really pushing the boundaries of a street photo and he aptly refers to his work as “street poetry,” because it’s derivative of the environment and somewhat abstract, not so on-the-nose “street photography.” That is what I was really hoping to practice seeing and the type of images I was hoping to generate from the weekend, but as the photo gods would have it, I ended up with more street portraits than I have shot in the last 6 months. It just goes to show you that you have to be open to what the street gives you or you are in for a disappointment, which is part of Olaf’s philosophy, just walk out the door and look for the light!
I was also beyond lucky to meet two other educators and photographers, Ibarionex Perello (Street Photographer & Host of The Candid Frame Podcast) and Sean Tucker (Photographer & YouTube Educator). I met Ibarionex during the workshop and I met Sean at a photo walk he hosted in Paris while he was there. It was an inspiring, demanding and fulfilling photo weekend that I desperately needed. It was particularly inspiring to meet a lot of new people and the whole experience pushed me past some boundaries I was struggling to overcome.
Following the light one day at a time!