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a sea of stars at Cannes Film Festival party

Photographers don’t usually get anywhere near the Vanity Fair party during the Cannes Film Festival. It is considered THE social event of the festival calendar, and is held near Antibes, in one of the most luxurious hotels on the French Riviera. On assignment for New York Times Style, I was one of very few privileged photographers invited to take reportage pictures of the A-listers at play. Continue reading…

Photograph of Arnold Schwarzenegger and a friend lighting cigars

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

pocket of resistance in the french alps

The border to Italy marks the eastern end of the French Riviera – and the doorway to a new life in Europe for immigrants coming the other way. Increasing police checks on roads, train lines and in towns such as Menton, Nice and Cannes to catch new arrivals without permits mean that some now walk inland, up into the French Alps, to avoid detection. Yet they are seriously unprepared for the conditions. As photographer, I was recently sent on an editorial assignment to a valley close to the France-Italy border where locals have been standing up to the authorities to give hungry, cold and exhausted refugees food and shelter in their homes. Continue reading…

Photograph of a group of African men sitting around a fire playing cards outdoors in an olive grove

How to Sell a Superyacht

How would you like your new boat customised? A glass motorcyle garage on deck? Perhaps a leather-bound staircase leading to the cabins down a wall of backlit onyx? Contrary to what some might expect today, the designer superyacht market is booming and the French Riviera is where its at. Two magazine clients commissioned me this summer to photograph international superyacht trade fairs held annually in the South of France. Photographers were welcomed with open arms at the Cannes event, but at the Monaco Yacht Show, an aversion to press photographers made my assignment challenging. Continue reading…

Girl in white dress walks between two superyachts

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

Transhumance: A Story of a Journey

Summer is well under way in the South of France. On the French Riviera, the cool waters of the Mediterranean provide respite from the heat. But, far from the bustle of the Côte d’Azur, sheep farmers have other ways to keep their flocks cool. A few weeks ago, they travelled from farms across Provence to the cool climes and green grass of summer grazing grounds up in the French Alps: an event known as the transhumance. As photographer, I joined a transhumance on foot, in the hills above Nice. This extraordinary ritual journey has changed very little over the last 2000 years and, lulled by the sound of bleating and bells, I felt as though I were stepping back in time. Continue reading…

Photograph of guard dog watching over a flock of sheep