I feel a bit over exposed in the short interview I did for Resource Magazine, Summer Issue. But then again, part of our job, as photographers, is to highlight and focus on one object while keeping other in the shadow. Same with our lives. There are matters we feel comfortable to share and talk about, and there are those we prefer not to discuss.
However, this is not the first time I am sharing my personal path and what led me to establish a new career for myself (divorce and lay off from work) and most likely, the second time I am sharing my story with Resource Magazine’s readers. The first time was on September 2012, being interviewed about my personal photography project ‘Intimacy under the Wires’. Take a look here.
But let me share some of my Q+A I did right after submitting the images to the Productions of the World; Paris. Here is my favorite part: The First and Last questions in the interview.
Q: What’s it like having your work published in publications like Travel+Leisure, Marie Claire Italia and Conde Nast Traveller?
Me: These are publications that I’ve always wanted to work for and I feel very proud. Now that I’ve been published, I need to pinch myself to remind myself it’s really happening. It feels good because people don’t know how hard it is to shoot. When you see the printed pictures it all looks so perfect and defined, but there are so many things that a photographer needs to do to get the shot. I always feel accomplished when I see the magazines.
Q: Now that you’ve become established in photography, what could you say your biggest obstacles are?
Me: When you go on a shoot you need to think ahead of time about what can go wrong, and when you work in a different country with different people, the obstacle is that you never know what they’re thinking. Sometimes I’ll construct a shoot in my mind and people don’t see it the same way as I do- but this is all part of the job!
For the third time (and hopefully not the last) I am honored to contribute to the series ‘Productions of the World’ in the Photography Trade magazine Resource Magazine. In the previous articles I wrote aboutTel Aviv and Lisbon, and this time it is all about Paris, one of my favorite cities to photograph and visit. I was happy to get an email from Aurelie, the Editor of Resource, who has asked me to share some of my Paris’ pictures. I couldn’t have asked for a better compliment, coming from a native Parisian like Aurelie.
If you are a photographer who is interested to shoot in Paris or have any upcoming production or a shoot there, this article will definitely help you plan it. And if you are not a photographer but still, visiting the French capital, you will find some great tips and recommendations.
When people ask me what I do for a living and I answer: ‘Travel Photographer’ their first reaction is usually ‘Oh, so I guess you get to travel a lot and be in all these fancy hotels, right?’
Well, I DO travel a lot (after all, this is the only way for me to do my work) but being a travel photographer doesn’t necessarily mean I sunbath along the poolside in an exotic island while I am on assignment or stay in those super luxury hotels I get to shoot. Being a Travel Photographer also means following the client’s brief, carrying some heavy equipments (mostly all day on your back) spending a lot of time in front of the computer editing pictures (unless you have an assistant who does it for you) and marketing yourself among magazines, photo editors and potential clients because nobody else will do this for you.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my job! I get to explore a lot of buzzy and brill places, meet very interesting and diverse people from different ranges, see some marvelous interiors and eat delicious and exquisite cuisine. Yes, Just like one of my recent assignment in Paris.
On March I got one of the most enjoyable shooting assignment; To shoot a Patisseries Guide to Paris based on a popular blog in Israel called Paris Chez Sharon. I couldn’t ask for a better assignment which combined two of my favorite things; Patisseries and Paris. When my friends heard I was about to go to Paris to shoot some of the top Patisseries chefs and boutiques, they happily volunteered to be my assistants on board. I must admit, it was a dream assignment but it was also an intense one; Sharon, the blogger behind the book, made sure to schedule all the shoots in advance and it was managed as a well controlled military operation; I shot 32 (!) patisseries in 4 days, running around from one location to another, whereas in each location the Patisserie chef himself was welcoming us with something sweet to taste. As much as I care about my figure (especially on assignments) I couldn’t say No to a famous Patisserie chef or Chocolatier who hands me his best Patisserie in front of my face.
And Yes, I did try MOST of the desserts; after all, not everyday do I get to work with such a delicious client, right?
So here are few images that reflect my love to Patisseries and Paris.
Stay tuned for more delicious images soon… meanwhile, make sure to check the previous of the book here.
Tel Aviv vs. Paris is an on going photography project I’m shooting. These are two cities I visit quite often and observe them as an outsider.
I must admit that I was very inspired by Vahram Muratyan’s project ‘Paris vs New York, a tally of two cities’ so I decided to pull my photographic eye into it and see what comes up. I’m choosing a phrase/a location or a word (in bold) and see how it interacts in these two cities.
Image above: City Spikes Notre Dame vs. Dizingoff Center Tower
Image above: Common Bread Cheese Rolls at Du Pain et des Idees vs. Soft Bagels at Abu-Lafia
Image above: Water Fronts Tel Aviv Hilton Beach vs. La Seine
Image above: Young Love Sitting along the Seine and watching the Notre Dame vs. Sitting in front of a pool in Rabin Square
Image above: Vintage Old Books along the Seine vs. Old Postcards in Jaffa’s Flea Market
Image above: Coffee Break Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville vs. Rotschild Blvd
Image above: City Overview Montmartre vs. Tel Aviv Beach Front
Image above: Holly Places The Big Synagogue in Alenbi st. vs. The Notre Dame
Image above: Street Art Know Hope vs. Jef Aerosol
Image above: Trendy Hoods Gan Hachasmal vs. Canal st. Martin
Image above: Columns The Big Synagogue in Alenbi st. vs. The Pantheon
Image above: Shoes Window Display in Rue Rue Saint-Honoré. vs. Designer’s Studio in South of Tel Aviv
Image above: Business Centers Business District of La Défense. vs. Azrieli Towers
Image above: Night Lights The Notre Dame vs. Agam Fountain in Dizingoff Square
Image above: Lucky Charms Padlocks on Pont l’Archevêché vs. Hamsa in Shuk Hakarmel
For the last couple of months, I have visited the French capital five times(!). Each time, I discovered another part and aspect of the city, I got to know more new people and I experienced Paris in a different way, depends on the season, the weather, the locations I was staying in and things I got to discover.
It seems that every visit surpassed its previous one and exposed me to more exciting things.
Like as in my recent visit to Paris.
In the beginning of October, I flew to Paris for eight days to photograph a group of ten amazing women who took part in a life transforming seminar French Kiss Life, led by an inspirational woman, Tonya Leigh. Tonya, who came up with the idea, rejoined forces with Kayce Neill, an event planner from New York, who can plan events in any location on the planet.
French Kiss Life.
I instantly loved the name. Where else if not in Paris can someone learn how to fall in love with oneself?
As a Master Life Coach, an admitted hedonist and internationally trained sommelier, Tonya Leigh has a simple credo: French Kiss Life. Cherish Yourself. And The Rest Will Follow.
She is the founder and CEO of French Kiss Life, Inc., a company that teaches the art of living to the modern-day woman. With chic travel retreats, solo and group coaching, and her infectious blend of joie de vivre and practical mind-play techniques, Tonya inspires dynamic and driven women to live each day as an elegant and beautiful adventure.
The Inspiration Behind Le Voyage Paris
It’s one thing to read about the French way of life; it’s another to actually experience it. As much as Tonya had studied the French Lifestyle, the concept of joie de vivre and the elements of personal style, it was only when she stepped off the plane in Paris a decade ago that she really got it. ‘Since that day, I have visited France a dozen times, and each time my life shifts more to what’s really important, living each day with passion, love and style‘. She admits.
Tonya wanted to share the Paris that changed her with a group of women who desire to learn how to French Kiss Life. Their Lives.
And why Paris? Because it is the place that has inspired artists for hundreds of years, it is the mecca of style and fashion, the city of love, food and wine. ‘In 20 arrondissements, you have the chance to see life as a grand fairytale, full of history, art and charm. It also inspires a woman to live with passion, style and romance’
The Intentions of Le Voyage Paris
Le Voyage Paris is not only about spending an amazing time in the City of Love, same as it is not just another visit to Paris. Tonya was planning it very carefully to make sure the following intentions will be accomplished; To expose women to a culture that savors life – the food, conversation, style, art and culture, to give women permission to indulge in life – fine perfumes, designer lingerie, fine food and wine, to show a direct correlation between how you feel about yourself and how you treat yourself, to offer women a chance to connect, share and support each other as they create lives they love and to see and enjoy Paris with other women, while also giving them an opportunity to ‘get lost’ on their own
Kayce made sure to craft the seminar in style and beauty and chose the best of the best of the Parisian vendors to serve well the seminar’s intentions;
One of the most prestigious stores in Paris with a wide collection of rare and limited edition perfumes. We were all smitten by the charm of François Henin (I wish all men were like him) who explained us about the different kinds of perfumes, told some stories and shared some secrets of what kind of perfume a woman should use if she wants to seduce a man. We enjoyed great champagne and some French deserts along sniffing the best perfumes. All of this wouldn’t have happened without Viviane, the PR person of Jovoy, who managed all the details.
This was actually my third time I visited Jovoy and its amazing crew. It is always nice to make friends when you least expect it. You can read more about my visit to Jovoy here.
Shopping in Paris with a chic Parisian image consultant. This is why Tonya and Kayce contacted Cécile Hasroyan who joined the women for a busy afternoon at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche and explained the importance of choosing the perfect lingerie. ‘Lingerie is important because it’s the first thing you put on in the morning; it sets the tone for your day’ she explained. Afterwards, Cécile joined the women to a salon talk followed by champagne and chocolate and shared the top ten items every French woman should have in her closet, and the ultimate ways to wear chic Parisian scarves. After spending an afternoon with beautiful Cécile, I give more thought to what I wear. These insider’s tips are priceless.
On the day devoted to food and wine, the women spent an antire day with the talented chef of La Cuisine Paris, a cooking school located across Hotel de Ville, that offers various cooking and baking classes in English. A morning start in an outdoor French Market in Saint-Germain-des-Prés to buy the perfect ingredients, followed by a few hours cooking class, ended in a delicious three course meal and great wine. Even I, lacking any sense of cooking, sinned in making the finger licking chocolate mouse. The staff includes skilled international professional chefs (French and non-French). Highly recommended: Come hungry!
Lunch in La Maison Angelina seems for some as a dream, as waiting in line for a table might be long. Once you get in, consider yourself lucky, as this is one of the best places to dine. It is known for its ridiculously rich chocolate milk and the best Mont Blanc cake. If you are a chocolate lover (like me) don’t skip the chocolate milk and the delicious choux pastry headed by a golden layer of chocolate delicately combines with the strength of dark chocolate crémeux and sweetness of milk and white chocolate.
Its perfect location just across Jardin de Tuileries allows you to wonder these beautiful gardens once you have a sugar rush. If you are interested in dining at the restaurant, you must make a reservation, but the line to buy a delicious pastry is open to all.
A private chef cooking a five course dinner, while sipping great wine in a nice Parisian Apartment, is always a great idea. On the 6th day Tonya invited the women over for a dinner and to raise a toast for the future and for the women they have become or want to become. As a photographer and an observer, it was great to see how some of the women changed their outward appearance and they way they were carrying themselves.
The last night in Paris was all about celebration. Therefore Kayce made sure to book in advance a long table at Kong restaurant, one of the stylish and trendies places in Paris. Some of you might recognize the place from one of ‘Sex and the City’ final episodes. Its glass rooftop on the second floor allow the diners to overlook Paris’ lights at night. Very hip and trendy location, which made the last night in Paris very magical.
The women who join Le Voyage Paris are also carefully chosen; Through an application process Tonya is looking for women who have a love to France (even though they may not have ever visited), successful women who haven’t given themselves the opportunity to enjoy what they have created, women who want to explore their own personal style and femininity and those who want to be a part of a brilliant group of women.
The Beauty of Inner Life, Le Voyage Paris Schedule
As a Master Life Coach and an admitted hedonist, Tonya tailored the schedule of Le Voyage Paris in a luxury way that touches all senses and thoughts.
‘I believe that our inner world (thoughts and beliefs) create our outer world (style, how we nourish ourselves, how we communicate, how we carry ourselves, who we hang out with, etc.), so the schedule was created around both our inner and outer worlds’
The schedule was quite busy and dotted with great assignments in amazing locations. I was running around with my camera every morning from Avenue Victor Hugo (I stayed in a beautiful apartment in the 16th arrondissement) said Bonjour to Arc de Triumph and continued to the day’s activity and assignments, somewhere in Paris.
But beside the beautiful locations, insightful assignments and the elegant vendors, the women had the chance to meet some inspiring women who moved to Paris and started their lives there. One of them is Lindsey, a writer and the author of Lost in Cheeseland, one of my favorite blogs, as Lindsey is one of my favorite bloggers.
‘During Day One, I asked the women to go within and explore their desires (what they want to experience, feel and enjoy in their lives). Day Two looked at our outer world, particularly tending to the details of our lives, specifically our lingerie and perfume, discovering our own unique scents and the underthings that made us feel tres sexy and confident. One day was dedicated to food and wine, exposing women to beautiful and thoughtful food preparation, the joy of wine and why food is important to the human experience. The day of joie de vivre started with an assignment, where the women were each given a word and had to go out and fetch a food that symbolized the word for our picnic in the Luxembourg Gardens. This day was about getting lost in Paris and finding the joy in each moment. Our final day was all about celebration – celebrating the women we are and the women we hope to become, celebrating our time together and celebrating Paris as the backdrop to beautiful self cultivation‘
La Voyage Paris was definitely a different way of travel and visit for me. I can’t wait for the next one and for my next visit to Paris.
It all started with a random shot of my sister when we were visiting Paris on June for my Birthday. We were walking in Montmartre and we found this beautiful Parisian cafe in Rue Gabrielle, with its amazing red doors and facade. I knew it would be the perfect backdrop to take a picture of hers.
Well, actually this is not exactly when it started.
A few months ago I have launched a new photography service in Manhattan (where I live) called ‘New Yorker for a Day’ in which I offer a photography session for tourists who come to visit the city and want to experience it in a different way and leave it with a long-lasting souvenir. As this service became quite popular among tourists and even among New Yorkers who want to have their pictures taken in the city they live, and since I am visiting Paris few times a year, I have decided to expand it to Paris as well and offer my service in the City of Light.
What can be better than feel like a real Parisian, at least for one day?
For more information and to find out when I am in Paris, drop me a line or send me an email.
Before I start this post I have a confession to make: I don’t know how to cook.
Do you find it shocking? Not really. For someone who was born into a family where the men love to cook and even do it better than the women, my lacking in cooking skills is quite understandable. In fact, I am quite lucky to be surrounded with men who know how to cook, do it well and actually love doing it. Most of the guys I’ve dated belong to that category. The truth need to be told that I might be creative in other rooms in my apartment, but I am not creative in the kitchen.
Therefore, I was quite excited to take part in a real authentic French cooking class while visiting Paris early June. Cook’n with Classis the name of this fine school, located in 21, rue Custine in Montmartre. I am a true believer that Once in Paris, act and cook like Parisians do, I have joined a Morning Market class, which took place in one of Montmartre’s outdoors markets, in order to shop for the meal’s ingredients first and then learn how to cook them. We met with the wonderful super nice chef, Constance, who was extremely patient and answered every question we asked. She took us to various vendors in which we could find top quality products such as cheese, bread, fruit and meat. The local merchants were actually quite familiar with the school’s activity and were willing to answer our questions. Constance explained us on how to choose cheese, what is considered a good cheese and how to match its kind with other ingredients of the meal, for example. After that we walked to the school, where aprons, chopping boards and chef’s knives were waiting for us, ready to be used. We learned how to cook from scratch a starter, main course and even a dessert. It was all very inspiring! In the room next door, there was a baking class in progress and I could only hoped I had extra time in Paris so I could attend this class too. I have counted at least three people who got inside the school just to inhale the warm sweet smell of the buttery brioche.
Since it was a rainy day in Paris, especially quite unusual for June, Constance suggested we cook something with Spring seasoned vegetables such as potatoes, chanterelle mushrooms in a chicken stock. We also cooked meat with potatoes and pears (perfect for the weather) and the highlight (at least for me) was the fruit tart with roasted apples and caramel salted butter. And in case you missed something or want to try it at home, or maybe try something that was taught in a different class, I highly recommend to check the recipes section on line.
At the end of the hands-on cooking session, we sat down around the dining table (we could also invite a guest for lunch) and enjoyed the four-course meal. Everything was accompanied with various kinds of cheese we bought previously and wine. together with a fine selection of cheeses from the market and some great wine. The school has a quite busy schedule, diverse classes and an international staff of chefs, all speak English very fluent.
I don’t remember when was the last time I was almost four to five hours straight in the kitchen, but I was so intrigued and interested in the French ways of cooking that I didn’t even noticed the time.
It was one of my best experiences in Paris. In fact, I was quite surprised by myself as I usually lose track or anything. This cooking class was something quite a complimentary to all my Parisian experiences this visit.
There is a big difference between visiting a place as a tourist and visiting a place, but feel like a real local there; feel like you are at home. This is mainly the reason why I prefer staying in a real local apartment and not in a hotel, as fancy as the later can be when I am traveling. (and I travel quite often). I’ve been to Paris a few times recently but in my latest visit I really felt like home there. Maybe because I can already find my way around in the Metro, I already recognize streets and locations, but it may also be because I stayed in one of the great apartments of Feels like Home in Paris, Fleur du Petit Thouars, to be more exact. I’ve heard about the company through a local friend who was following my Paris’s photos, and the company’s motto Hotels give you a Room, We give you a Home, really hit what I was looking for.
Beside the fact that the apartment is located in one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Paris in the Northern Marais (NoMa) it is also located in a street named after a well known vineyard, Chateau du Petit Thouars. Where else in the world could I live in a street with a name like that? Here is more information about it from FLHP’s blog. Not to mention that a bottle of wine from the winery was awaiting for me when I stepped into the apartment! I loved it from the first moment! On a side note; the apartment has great big windows overlooking the inside court yard of the building, and the view of Parisian rooftops was a perfect view for me when I was sipping my morning coffee, sitting on the roof.
Staying at the Northern Marais, which is a bit quieter than the Marais area itself, but still, buzzing with so many cafes, boutiques and galleries, was ideal. I think it is the equivalent to what Nolita in Manhattan used to be when it was just ‘re-discovered’ a few years ago; Hype, Fashionable, Trendy and the place to be seen. I loved walking around this vibrant neighborhood and photograph its different characters; from the Jewish crowd rushing in or out from one of the synagogues in the area around rue des Rosier, or the Gay crowd who was filling the streets with vivid colors.
I was only steps away from Centre Pompidou, where I met Fred le Chevalier, a local Graffiti Artist who took me on a private tour around the streets, following his art (He deserves a separate post)
I shopped for local cheese at Le Marché des Enfants Rouge, the oldest food market in Paris (1615) which has a great variety of local food and some side tables where people can eat, and I walked to the well-known Du Pain et Des Idées Boulangerie, mainly for the L’escargot chocolat pistache. (Thanks Anne!)
From there it was just a matter of minutes to get to Canal St. Martin just to have a picnic lunch on one of the benches with Anne, who knows Paris and blogs about it in so much grace and details.
I did my morning runs along the La Promenade Plantée thanks to a personal recommendation from Yetunde Oshodi, the owner of Feels Like Home in Paris. This made me even feel even more like a local in Paris, as it seemed to be a hidden gem off the beaten track. And even though I was trying to avoid the touristic destinations, I could easily walk to Hotel de Ville, cross Pont Louis-Philippe, then Pont Saint-Louis just to buy an ice cream at Ile de La Cite and from there to walk to Saint Germain. For someone who is always looking for the less touristic spots and for the less traveled paths, this new location and experience really worked out.
But wait, there is more! Feels Like Home in Paris has 17 properties. Most of them are located in the Montmartre, but also in the 9th, 10th and the 3rd (where I stayed). Rest assured to have a Welcome basket upon arrival including wine, coffee, tea and lots more, Wireless connection, Mac computer, unlimited phone calls to the US (was really useful for my work matters) and up to 50% off French cooking classes at one of the great schools in Montmartre, Cook’n With Class. (Delicious post is coming soon)
I’m not sure when will my next visit be, (Life can be so unplanned most of the time) but one thing I am sure of; I will feel like Home in Paris.
I’ve always wanted to follow a Street Artist. I mean, I follow quite a lot of them with my camera. Or when they come to New York, I do my best to follow them or even meet them, as it happened to me with Mr. Brainwash, JR, Shepard Fairey and Mr. Andre only recently. I’ve always wanted to follow a Street Artist in REAL time, when he sprays, pastes, colors or glues his Art on the walls.
I’ve been following Fred Le Chevalier for a few months now. I took a random picture of one of his characters in a previous visit to Paris and since then I got hooked. I started following him on his facebook page, just to realize how active he is and how the characters which he pastes on the walls of Paris (and recently Berlin) are cute and quirky at the same time. So I was very happy when Fred has agreed that I join him in one of his walks in Paris one afternoon of early June.
Here are a few facts about Fred Le Chevalier that you didn’t know:
* Le Chevalier is not his real name. It is just a nick name which means ‘The Knight’ in French
* He has a completely different day job than what people might expect of a Street Artist
* He adds poetry to his characters and glues it as a signature with his name
* He pastes his characters during day time
* He started drawing six years ago but he has been sticking and pasting the characters on the walls, only for the last three years
* He started drawing bigger characters in September 2011 and since then more people are noticing and discovering him (before that he was drawing smaller characters)
* His first exhibit was in March 2012 in a cafe in Paris where he invited most of his friends
* He claims to have two different lives
* He draws new characters every day but pastes them on walls only three times a week or when he has time
* He sees a wall and decides on the spot if he likes it or not
* He has a few favorite walls to put his Art on: Namely in Montmartre, and in Rue Saint Merri around Centre Pompidou
* Some characters he draws are based on people he knows (I’m still waiting to see a character with a camera)
* He sometimes tries to paste the character close to where his friends live, as a personal present
I was watching quite a lot of French movies recently. Was it because a conversation I had with one of my friends, as we were both evaluating the pros and cons of the French or was it due to the the fact that French movies are quite realistic and don’t necessarily have clear cut endings. One of the movies I watched the other day on my laptop was Paris. (I highly recommend to watch this trailer to understand what I am talking about)
The movie is about a young guy who is waiting for a heart transplant which may or may not save his life, and since he has nothing else to do but wait, he started looking at the people around him from the balcony of his Paris apartment. While I was sitting in my New Yorkish apartment watching this movie, I kept pausing on the scene where the guy was looking at other people’s apartments from his window. It fascinated me, maybe because whereever I travel, I keep wondering how does it feel for the people who REALLY live in that place. How do their lives look like.
So when I stayed in a real Parisian apartment in my last visit to Paris, I could swear I was seeing almost the same view the guy from the movie saw from his window, or even a better view…
What is it in these apartments’ views that makes us so curious about the lives of others?
For three days and three nights in a row, I woke up and fell asleep to these views from the kitchen’s window and the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur views from the bedroom’s windows.
If I didn’t have work to do or meetings to attend, I would stay all day at the apartment, watching the breathtaking views from the windows, or just staring outside. However, I set my camera for that, and took some pictures at different times of the day and night.
Merci beaucoup PerfectlyParis for allowing me to see Paris from a different angle this time!