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Flower Power on the French Riviera

Yellow mimosa blooms bursting across the hills above Nice and Cannes herald the arrival of spring on the Côte d’Azur. Aside from the age-old fun of lobbing bouquets around at Nice carnival, the cultivation and use of flowers has long been important to the French Riviera and I’ve been assigned to photograph several editorial stories on the subject. I was one of very few, lucky photographers to be granted access to a secretive perfumery in Grasse last summer, just before an event that generated international press curiosity. A few months later, I faced rather different challenges when photographing French Riviera flower businesses for an in-flight magazine. Continue reading…

Photograph of a green vase of pink flowers on a table in an empty room

From Russia with love

The phone call came out of the blue one evening. “Is this Rebecca Marshall, South of France photographer? I would like to invite you to Russia”. Photo Parade Uglich, a prominent Russian photo festival, was being planned and with ‘France’ one of its themes, organisers were looking for a France-based food photographer to give a workshop there. So it was that I left Nice for an unexpected adventure that was to involve food photography, portraits and much, much more. Continue reading…

Photograph showing silhouette of a Russian church on a riverbank at sunset

Floating Whisky Palace in Cannes

During the international duty-free trade fair that comes to Cannes every autumn, movers and shakers in the perfume, cigarette and hard liquor businesses get together to buy, to sell and to party. A leading Scottish whisky brewery commissioned me as a Cannes event photographer to capture a rather special evening aboard a superyacht. I was told that “being a photographer is like being a fine malt whisky distiller” and warmly welcomed into the world of fine whisky by a man whose nose is insured for €2.6 million. Continue reading…

humble pissaladiere of nice

For a food photographer, South of France ingredients such as basil and sun-kissed tomatoes can make for colourful, highly photogenic subjects, especially when shown off in dishes created by fine French Riviera chefs. I wouldn’t count the subject of a recent food reportage that I did in this category. Pissaladière originated as a humble pesant’s dish from Nice, and isn’t ever going to win first prize in a food beauty contest . But there is more to the preparation of this tasty, no-nonsense dish than meets the eye. Continue reading…

Photograph of Niçoise speciality dish 'pissaladière

food photography: the wonderful world of sprouts

I have been living and working as an English photographer in France for over 7 years and am no stranger to the phrase ‘lost in translation’. However, it struck me afresh at a recent photoshoot what a difference just four missing letters can make.
My assignment was for a German book publisher who wanted a food photographer in the South of France to illustrate a rather special new recipe book. From the very first email, a key misunderstanding ensued. Continue reading…

Vegetable smoothies, photographed from above

saffron harvest

What flower may be grown and harvested to obtain a product worth more than gold? The saffron crocus, long forgotten in the agricultural traditions of the South of France, is today making a quiet comeback. I popped a macro lens into my photographer’s bag and drove up towards the mountains north of Nice to make a reportage about one organic farmer’s delicate harvest of ‘red gold’. Continue reading…

Close-up photograph of hands separating the stigma from the rest of a pruple saffron crocus
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