House renovation in Provence

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.

Yet Nicole Bekdache has bags of get-up-and-go. Apart from structurally overhauling and DIY-decorating her 6 bedroom villa, she has written all about this dream home renovation project on her blog ‘Live. Love. Conquer.’ Here, visitors can find posts and photographs about everything from house-hunting in the South of France to recovering old wooden Provençal shutters and transforming them into wardrobes, or giving a facelift to a terracotta lamp base.

More real estate than real mess

Page of the International Herald Tribune showing the article about Nicole Bekdache's home
Properties section of the International Herald Tribune, 4 May 2012

It had been some months since the writer had interviewed Nicole. There had clearly been a lot of progress in the meantime and, apart from the kitchen, the house was pretty much finished when I arrived to do the photography. So it turned out to be more of a real estate photography shoot than a question of dodging plaster dust to document property renovation in action. Having had a scout around ‘Live.Love.Conquer’ beforehand, I barely needed showing round – I certainly knew the place better than a photographer usually does when they arrive on assignment.

A dizzy spin of blogs and photos

Silhouette of me photographing Nicole's terrace
Credit: Nicole Bekdache. Didn’t realise I stood with my legs quite so akimbo

As I worked, Nicole took some shots of her own. It didn’t occur to me until I saw it yesterday that the images were, of course, for a blog post – about the photographer being photographed while photographing.

So now its my turn. Blogging about a blogger, who blogged about me.

I feel dizzy.

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  1. MamaB

    Rebecca I love it, love the words and love the picture. Thanks again for a wonderful experience X

  2. Lisa | Renovating Italy

    Hi Rebecca, just wanted to say hi and love the images you took. I am one of the other bloggers featured in the article that went into the NYT. I noticed your stance straight away as my husband and I met studying photography.

    Funnily enough I also follow photography blogs and we are more rustic renovators, so plenty of dust, dirt floors and hands on. It’s been interesting now adding blogging to our life, great to meet you and will send you some pics when we finish the house in Liguria, ciao lisa

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    Great to hear from you Lisa. Shame I couldn’t have come across to Italy to cover your more rustic renovations for the article! Look forward to seeing your finished house…. x Rebecca

  4. Ozaki Makoto

    Beautiful home, great job!


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