Archives: Nice

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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

Behind the Veil in Nice

Promenading under the sun, showing off bronzed limbs and checking out fellow seafront strollers is a popular French Riviera pastime, from Cannes to Monaco. However, strolling is not a pleasant experience for everyone in the South of France. My recent photographer assignment to make an editorial portrait of a niqab-wearing Nice resident – and the Algerian benefactor who pays her fines for doing so – was an eye-opener. Nice looks rather different through a veil. Continue reading…

Close-up photograph of woman in a burqa talking

Art in Nice: Ben, Blues and a Repurposed Abattoir

Art has long enriched the image of the South of France (photographers may be as inspired by the light and colours of Provence as painters) but does a contemporary art scene thrive here today? Or, with so many of its art museums devoted to past masters such as Renoir, Picasso and Matisse, does the French Riviera rest on its laurels? Stern recently came to write a travel feature on art in Nice. The artworks that I saw and people that I photographed during two days in Nice with the writer were all a far cry from the painters normally associated with Provence. Continue reading…

Photograph of an old TV in a garden with 'Faux' ['False'] painted on the screen

french riviera lunch with a finnish economist

Björn Wahlroos is considered to be Finland’s top businessman. An arch-capitalist economist, he has very little time for poets, and not much for photographers either. In fact he has precious little time at all, even when holidaying in his South of France villa. Commissioned by an editorial client to go to Nice and take ‘a quick portrait’ of Björn before the writer conducted his interview, I was thus suprised to find myself leaving over 3 hours later than expected, with a full stomach and plenty of food for thought. Continue reading…

Photographic portrait of Bjorn Wahlroos, seated

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

In the footsteps of painters

It is said that it was the quality of the light that brought Renoir, Matisse and Picasso to the South of France. I’m sure the quantity – and warmth – of the sunshine in Provence helped too. They were not alone: over the last century or so, a host of artists have, through their paintings, immortalised countless scenes of the French Riviera.

Curious to revisit the spots where some of these painters had set up canvases, I recently shot a set of images to put their art back onto the street, and bring their scenes to life today, from a photographer’s point of view. Continue reading…

A couple walks past a blank easel on Quai Amiral Courbet, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France.