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Quest for Bouillabaisse

Provençal fish stew bouillabaisse is no longer the poor Marseille fisherman’s food it once was. Some say if you don’t pay at least €75 per serving, its not the real deal. Other experts on France’s food scene argue that with cheap imitations, changing availability of ingredients and preparation shortcuts, it is no longer possible to find the genuine article at all. As photographer, I was sent to Marseille recently on assignment from Nice, with a Paris-based writer and a an eminent French food critic, to investigate. Continue reading…

Close-up photograph of a dish of fish stew bouillabaisse

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

London calling

I’ve been living in the South of France for over 10 years, and as an enthusiastic fan of France’s cuisine, I can say unequivocally that food doesn’t figure in the list of things I miss most about England. However, last month a corporate client commissioned me to cover a press trip to London for a group of travel writers from India, and so it was through fresh eyes as a travel and food photographer that I saw my homeland. In the event, I was happy to discover that the British food scene has been changing. Continue reading…

Photograph of a lounge with colourful cushions and curtains

Food photographer’s cover story

Its probably best not to read this post if you’re hungry. On a recent magazine assignment, I left the French Riviera and headed to Marseille with a food & travel writer to investigate the city’s vibrant, migrant-influenced cuisine. Working as both food and portrait photographer, I had the privilege of photographing – and tasting – some extraordinary dishes that combine South of France flavours with African and Asian influences, and meeting the Marseillais who created them. One of the courses, from a lunch with no less than 23 of them, made the magazine cover. Continue reading…

Cover of Aramco World magazine, showing a photograph of an haute cuisine starter

morocco: on assignment in cinema city

Do writers have an easier life than photographers on travel assignments? Yes – and no. Earlier this year, I journeyed far from the South of France with a good travel writer friend on an editorial commission. Close to the edge of the Sahara desert, we made a reportage about Ouarzazate, Morocco’s moviemaking headquarters, for an Aramco World magazine feature. Continue reading…

Photograph of a giant sculpture of a film production black and white clapper board on a roundabout

From Russia with love

The phone call came out of the blue one evening. “Is this Rebecca Marshall, South of France photographer? I would like to invite you to Russia”. Photo Parade Uglich, a prominent Russian photo festival, was being planned and with ‘France’ one of its themes, organisers were looking for a France-based food photographer to give a workshop there. So it was that I left Nice for an unexpected adventure that was to involve food photography, portraits and much, much more. Continue reading…

Photograph showing silhouette of a Russian church on a riverbank at sunset