Archives: South of France

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Making of a cover portrait

An opera diva, roasting temperatures and vibrant colour… this cover portrait assignment in Aix-en-Provence was a fiery one. My photographer assistant and I travelled from Nice, and the magazine journalist from Finland, to spend a sweltering afternoon with internationally renowned opera soprano Karita Massala on her South of France tour. Continue reading…

Page layout of the cover of Finnish women's magazine Kotiliesi, showing portrait of Karita Mattilia

Construction portraits

Not all the environmental portraits I take are set under the blue skies and palm trees of a quintessential French Riviera. France’s number one construction trade magazine, Paris-based ‘Le Moniteur du BTP’, regularly sends me as assignment photographer to take pictures of the industry’s regional leading lights in & around Nice, Grasse and Cannes. Yet, instead of setting these portraits in recognisable South of France locations, I generally shoot them in factories and on building sites. Continue reading…

Cover of French building sector magazine, Le Monieur du BTP, 11 August 2017

Travel Photographer on Assignment

What does a travel photography assignment involve? How does a photographer plan for a successful reportage away from home? I’m not a full-time travel photographer, but am often sent on commission, be it close to home in the South of France, Italy or Switzerland, or further afield, to illustrate magazine features about a place. Recently, I headed to Provence for a reportage about Montpellier and its medieval past. Here is how I approached the assignment. Continue reading…

Photograph of Montpellier's Arc de Triomphe monument

French wine under threat

The South of France has always been hot in summer. But scientists say that hot is getting hotter, and the effects of a changing climate are starting to be seen in France’s vineyards. What does this mean for the future of French wine? Stern magazine sent me on assignment to various locations in Provence as photographer, with their writer, to find out. While taking portraits and reportage photos for the feature, I learned just how long vines can live, how new grapes might start slipping into famous French cuvées and just how much some people will pay for a bottle of vintage wine. Continue reading…

Part of double-page magazine spread showing grapevines on a vineyard and a panting dog, title text overlaying the photograph

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

Lavender Production in Provence

Lavender is often seen as the quintessential symbol of Provence. Every summer, visitors flock to the South of France to see lavender fields, generating a thriving tourist trade around them. However there are still hidden areas of Provence where lavender growers are left entirely in peace. Last summer, I was chosen as photographer to join Stern magazine’s writer making a travel reportage about off-the-beaten-track lavender growing in France. The assignment involved excessive heat, mud, espionage, getting lost, getting high and pushing a van. Life as an assignment photographer is rarely dull. Continue reading…

Photograph of a 'plaited lavender bottle' being made by hand