Rites of Passage

 

Last Wednesday marked my penultimate photo-journee in the Passages. I expected Paris to be a bit quiet – everyone knows that Parisians take their holidays in August – but it seems that tourists do now, too! Many shops and cafés were closed. The vast majority of shops in the Passages are laissez-faire, sole-owner outfits, and the hand-written notices were everywhere: Fermé au 2 Septembre.

In some ways, the emptiness of the Passages was not all bad news. Of course, the sheer nature of my photography requires a human element: I need people in my shots. But they need to be the “right” people, and in just the “right” amounts – too many figures and the image can become over complicated. Hence the hanging around that is involved, waiting for just the right moment.

And then you need a bit of luck. As I approached the entrance to Galerie Vivienne, I noticed a taxi pulling up, and out stepped a newly married couple with a photographer – the bride complete with white dress and bouquet; the groom in a smart suit. These were to be the post-wedding photographs taken in a picturesque location. So I hot-footed after them, (hopefully) capturing the bizarre scene of the newly-weds posing among the few tourists, diners, and shoppers, as the tranquilty of the Passage was shattered by the whirring of the photographer's motor-drive, hammering out its digital frames.

I hope I shot some good frames too, though obviously I don't have the benefit of “chimping” the back of my camera to check, as he did!  I await the development of my negatives in anticipation...

Photo: Charlie Gardner

Photo: Charlie Gardner