Photographing a variety of people in the South of France for ADAC travel magazine
This has been one of my favorite shoots. It took me close and far from home. I took portraits in Monaco, Nice and Cannes: my usual stomping grounds but also in Arles, the Provence country side, Hyères and the Mont Ventoux. And best of all I got to meet some very interesting people with very different and amazing jobs!
My first assignment was to photograph the cover. The editor’s had a very specific idea of what they wanted for the cover picture so I had to be precise. The location was set in front of a lavender field overlooking a picturesque little Provence village, Aurel. The model was a local artist and he was to be painting the lavender fields. It took awhile to get the shot as the clouds kept rolling in and tourists kept popping in and out of the lavender field. But with a bit of patience we ended up getting the right picture!
Marie Barrué gliding on the sea
This amazing sailor from la Seyne-sur-Mer was really lovely to work with. It was great being able to ask her what to do as she was manoeuvering her little sail boat in the waves of Hyères. She came so close to the rocks that I was actually scared she would crash onto them but she knew exactly what she was doing and smiling and being super photogenic at the same time!
Sybile, Henry and the goats
The next shoot took me to Valensole in Provence to meet a lovely couple of goat farmers. Coming off the motorway I drove trough the lavender fields before finding the farm nestled into the trees. What a picturesque place! Sybile and Henry took me with them to walk the herd of goats through the woods and bushes where the goats happily ate all the undesired shrubs. Goats are great to prevent fires in this very dry area, they eat all the dry bushes that could potentially catch alight. After this lovely walk and quite a few photographs taken we headed back to taste some of their yummy goat’s cheese.
A card dealer in Monaco
Back to my beloved Côte d’Azur and off to the stunning Casino of Monte Carlo to meet Antoine the card dealer. This Casino has a fascinating history. The idea of a gambling casino in Monaco was introduced by Princess Caroline to save the Grimaldi House from bankruptcy. The building that we can see today opened in 1875 after being moved several times and then transformed and expanded to designs of Jules Dutrou and Charles Garnier the architect who had designed the Paris opera house now known as the Palais Garnier. It is not the first time I take pictures in this stunning piece of architecture full of history but always an amazing setting to take portraits. A stunning setting and a very good model! Antoine took his role very seriously as he does when he is actually dealing cards.
Luxurious houskeeping in Cannes
Then it is off to Cannes in the luxurious Hotel Martinez to meet Heidi Loef who runs the house keeping of the whole palace. Opened in the late 1920s and situated right on the iconic Croisette, Hôtel Martinez is known to have a warm atmosphere and is one of the favourite hotels for celebrities holidaying on the Côte d’Azur or attending the Cannes Film Festival. A few set ups with the tripod and Heidi’s very professional cooperation and the shoot is done!
Lionel Tartelin the hardcore cyclist
The next step to this amazing shoot is to meet a very interesting man on top of the famous Mont Ventoux. Lionel Tartelin, 56 years old, goes up and down this steep 1 909m mountain a few times a week. A passion that keeps him fit and makes him happy. He is nicknamed Ventouman!
It was a challenging assignment. Lionel and I had to find a photogenic setting along the road and the most picturesque area of the mountain were on the other side of the mountain… away from Lionel’s usual route. After a few tries and a few stops we ended up finding some nice backdrops for the photograph. And off back down Ventouman went!
Three generations of Arlésienne
Next stop Arles. Within the old roman amphitheater I met Francoise, Manon and Mireille in their beautiful gowns. The daughter, mother and grandmother were all dressed in the traditional costume of Arles. The three generations of woman were a sight for soar eyes.
Marc Chagall Museum
After all these adventures my last shoot of this assignment took me back home to Nice to photograph the head of the Marc Chagall Museum in Nice. Anne Dopffer posed in front of the stunning Chagall mural in the courtyard of the museum. It was not a very sunny day but it did not show thanks to the size of the mural.
So all in all this assignment took me to the cities, mountain, sea and countryside of the south of France. I met all sorts of lovely people and here is the article about them (in German).