As I write, the 2013 Cannes film festival is under way. Rainstorms and an unseasonal chill in the air will disappoint any journalists, photographers or film industry visitors who counted on getting a tan during their South of France visit. However, the film festival is not the only event that brings people flocking to Cannes to do business in the sun. Throughout the year, le Palais des Festivals hosts a number of international trade fairs.
mid, map and mip
A dazzling array of acronyms beginning with ‘M’ gives titles to these business events, which never fails to confuse me. Along with MIDEM (for the music industry), MIPCOM (the TV business), MIPTV (can anyone explain the difference between those last two?), MIPDOC (documentary TV) and MIPJunior (for under-16 businesspeople only?), there are also MIPIM (property) and MAPIC (also property – but retail only), among others. I feel a sense of relief as Cannes Lions comes around and I know instantly what’s going on (advertising). Each trade show brings a flood of suits to Cannes, yet each event has a different atmosphere. Earlier this spring I was on assignment at MIPIM… Read More…
Europe is a small place, or so visitors to the South of France from bigger continents often claim. For Europeans, it can seem quite the opposite, as cultural distances eclipse the geographic ones. In any case, the Nice – London flight takes less than 2 hours, so I sometimes pop back on commission for a UK-based client – and get a bonus dose of my homeland to boot. In this interlude from my blog about being a South of France photographer, I’d like to write about a recent portrait assignment that I did in the UK for a cancer charity … and send a message to a particularly remarkable woman I met. Read More…
I daresay Raoul Dufy would be surprised if, raised from the grave, he could see Nice’s Promenade des Anglais today. Known for several artworks that feature Nice and the French Riviera, he painted ‘La Baie des Anges à Nice‘ in 1927; a sweeping view of a quiet, timeless seafront.
But landscapes change. Today, the French Riviera has around 11 million visitors a year – more than any other part of France (except Paris). Together with the permanent population, that’s a lot of people to fit into a narrow strip of land, caught as it is between mountains and sea. Dufy’s distant, green hills are now a patchwork of red roofs. Elegant, parasol-shaded figures strolling across Dufy’s canvases have been replaced by herds of joggers sweating it out in head-to-toe Decathlon lycra.
“La Baie des Anges” in Nice, seen as it is today, from Dufy’s original viewpoint
240 of the planet’s most (Michelin) star-studded chefs gathered together in Monaco earlier this month to pay homage to the godfather of French haute cuisine, Alain Ducasse. Alain was the host with the most at this culinary extravaganza to celebrate his 25th anniversary of heading up the Louis XV, Monaco’s only three-star restaurant. Read More…
François Tamarin is a one-off. A corsetier (corsetmaker), he has a boutique in Paris, where he designs and tailor-makes corsets. Customers come from far and wide to be squeezed into his creations. Indeed he is not just any old corsetmaker. François has earned the title ‘Un des Meilleur Ouvrier de France‘, one of France’s great honours. Read More…
This is a behind-the-scenes tale of two assignments. Shot for different clients at different times, both were corporate portrait commissions for magazine covers. Both subjects were men at the top of their game, photographed on location, by the sea. But the conditions were rather different….
Subject number one was the smooth Swede/Monegasque Mikael Krafft, founder of Star Clippers cruise company. My client, Private Banking Magazine, wanted me to take the portrait onboard his private yacht. The second shoot, for Marketing Magazine, was for a feature on the Auzzie CMO of Mars, Bruce McColl, who’d popped over to Cannes to pick up the coveted Advertiser of the Year award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Both clients wanted to see a French Riviera sunny background.
The French Riviera is no stranger to international events (the Cannes Film Festival, Monaco Grand Prix and last year’s G20 summit, to name but a few) and last weekend, triathletes from all over the world came to the South of France as Nice hosted Ironman France 2012.
2 500 triathletes – heroes, or extra-terrestres [alien beings], depending on your point of view – swam nearly 4 km in the Med, cycled 180 km through Provence’s Alpes Martitmes, and then ran a marathon…all under a scorching summer sun.
A few weeks ago, the International Herald Tribune sent me up into the hills above Cannes in Provence to photograph a keen blogger for an upcoming feature on expat home renovation blogs.
My posts about being a photographer of the South of France are admittedly infrequent, and I follow only a handful of (mainly photography) blogs, so I guess I only dip my toes into the big sea of blogging. It was news to me that a property renovating blog genre even existed. I’d have thought that moving staircases, tiling bathrooms and paint stripping would be enough to keep anyone busy, let alone dusting plaster off a keyboard at the end of a long day with enough energy to write about it. Read More…
When it comes to food, the French Riviera is all about the traditional cuisine of Provence. Juicy olives, oodles of garlic, tomatoes and pungent Provençal herbs grace tried and tested recipes, handed down over generations to delight today’s sun-soaked restaurant-goers.
However, delicious though time-honoured Provençal dishes may be, cuisine in the South of France is not really very ‘now’. Despite many fine restaurants and enough Michelin stars to light it up on a (rare) cloudy day, the Cote d’Azur is seldom associated with cutting-edge fine dining.
Tearsheet from Voyager Magazine article (Issue 69)