Some days ago, I was lucky enough to visit Paris for two days. A visit to the European House of Photography, one of the photography museum of the capital, gave me some tips and inspiration to start taking pictures of what was around of me. I find Paris to be hard to photograph as everybody has seen at least once a picture of it from every angle. Famous buildings are now déjà-vu, and I find it hard to think outside the box.
The museum opened my eyes and put back a focus on the human component. What makes a photo interesting is the scene that's going on, at that precise moment, and often humans are good to put things in perspective. Documenting 2017 for those who won't get to see it, at that specific time and place.
Taking pictures of people in the street puts me out of my comfort zone as I carry a big camera and it is far from being discreet. I have to be seen and I have to be ready to overcome the "is this okay to take a picture?" question in my head. It is difficult to be candid when someone is staring right back at you at the sight of your camera pointing at them.
Most of the shots I took were from the back, where I find it easier to compose and create a scene with it.
There are also the missed opportunities where I'm not fast enough, like this time around midday where a nun passed by, smiled at me and disappeared as fast as she appeared in the first place. Not everything can be photographed at the right timing.
I'm happy I tried to push myself a bit and take pictures where before I'd just walk past thinking: "that'd make a great shot."
Even more when you are in your own country, where daily scenes feel just banal and not that exciting.
Yet, I have to say that living abroad, for now three years, made coming home more and more feel like an exotic trip. I go back to France, I look at the food, the pretty buildings, the good weather and I feel like I'm on some amazing trip where I can communicate effortlessly! It's easier this way to still be surprised by what I was once used to.
Things change quickly too, and places do not wait for people to start morphing. How strange it is to become a tourist in your own country?