When I first met the wonderful Helen Sloan, she told me that all photographers are creeps. I was a bit taken aback, but she’s right - photographers want to see without being seen, to capture things that wouldn’t necessarily happen if people were aware that we’re there, quietly shooting away. Just as when this sleeping man caught my eye at Le 104 the other day, though I was quickly outcreeped by his girlfriend Agathe, who snuck in for a close-up. She’s also a photographer, of course.
Pascal and Irma Delamaire were friends of my mothers for many years, although I only met them for the first time shortly after I moved to Paris in 2017. Pascal and I quickly discovered that we’d much in common, including that earlier in life we’d both been puppeteers. My fledgling puppetry career was over before I left my teens, but he’d gone on to perform for many years, ending up on the best pitch in Paris – performing classical puppetry from inside a booth directly opposite Notre Dame. When he looked up during the show, all he could see beyond the puppets in his hands was the two bell towers of Notre Dame, and it gave him a great sense of connection with all the other puppeteers who’d performed in the same spot, with the exact same view, for hundreds and hundreds of years. I love that.
L'Absinthe, 1876, by Degas
L'Absence, 2012, by me
A quick visit, but I was able to see something I often pine for when I’m in Paris.
I also got to pick up the Irish edition of Nicole Flattery’s new book, which I’m really looking forward to reading. Nicole is a brilliant, seriously funny writer. I met her shortly after arriving in Paris, and we did some portraits in the Centre Culturel Irlandais that have become her author pictures.
There’s another portrait of her in the ‘Writers’ gallery which is being used as the author picture in the UK edition of the book. It’s out today - highly recommended.
I shot this portrait of Ali, a friend’s daughter, while working in Sri Lanka. I like it so much I made it part of my entry to this year’s lensculture portrait awards. Sometimes the simplest portraits are the best.
After shooting the Gloaming ahead of their show in the beautiful Théâtre de l'Athéné, I stayed on to get some informal portraits during the rehearsal.