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Cannes: an ‘impossible’ photographer brief

Sometimes, the gap between a picture editor’s vision of how to approach the photography for a feature (dreamed up in doodles on a desk in London) and the reality of what a photographer can actually achieve on location (at a giant trade fair in the South of France, for example) can be rather large. At the latest MIPIM, an annual real estate event held in Cannes, my magazine client’s photographer brief for a portrait-led feature verged on impossible to realise. However, “impossible n’est pas français”. Continue reading…

Sketch of a building with

King of the Cannes Jungle

A magazine assignment recently led me to Cannes, to photograph none other than the King of Bling. Hot young fashion designer Philipp Plein may be German but he is utterly at home in his sumptuous villa in the South of France. As a property photographer, I couldn’t dream of a better subject that the self-styled ‘King’s Jungle’ that consitutes his workplace, home and playground. As a portrait photographer, I would have liked my audience with the king to begin a little earlier and last a little longer. But in any case, my experience was memorable. Continue reading…

Portrait of Philipp Plein

keeping the ‘real’ in real estate photography

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a property on the market for €3.35 million in Monaco would be a pretty plush pad; a joy to work with, for a photographer. Monaco’s status as a fiscal paradise and its resultant real estate prices means you’d be wrong. The ‘dream home’ I was sent to photograph recently, right on the border between Monaco and much-cheaper-France, was underwhelming, to say the least. Making it look spacious and desirable, without resorting to photographers’ post production tricks, presented a real challenge. Continue reading…

Photograph of bathroom and bedroom with bath and glass partition separating the two spaces

Monaco: a quiet king among estate agents

Individual estate agents may or may not live up to it, but the profession does have a certain reputation. When I was sent on assignment to Monte Carlo by a Dutch photographer agency to take the portrait of a top Monaco real estate agent and do some villa photography of his Côte d’Azur portfolio, I was apprehensive. Would this king property broker to Monaco’s super-rich be a larger-than-life version of the estate agent stereotype? Continue reading…

Portrait of Pieter van Naeltwijck

House renovation in Provence

The IHT recently sent me on a real estate photography shoot – with a twist. I’d never been near this property on the hills above Cannes. Yet before I arrived, I knew it well. Far better than a photographer normally would. Why?

The owner of this newly-renovated villa was chosen for the article thanks to a hobby: blogging. Nicole’s South of France dream home had become reality bit by bit, and she had blogged about it from start to finish. Continue reading…

Child's bedroom at Nicole Bekdache's home near Cannes, showing low wooden ceiling beams

Tower of a Thousand Bottles

Well, 1,200 bottles actually. After the festive period of over-excess, this 2.5 metre high representation of alcohol consumption could be an interesting January reminder to anyone who has been struggling with New Year’s drink-less or drink-never resolutions. Continue reading…

Artist Mike Marshall with his Bottle Tower at dusk