Street photography in Europe: France

A few years ago I really got into street photography, specifically, capturing portraits of strangers on the street.
I’ve decided to do a series of posts sharing these pictures, going country by country.

First is France.
France is the country where I’ve spent most of my life after Canada. I’ve both traveled and lived there over the last 6 years (in 2006, 2007 and 2009-10).

When I go to Europe, it’s always the first place where I land (the plane tickets are cheaper due both to the number of french people that want to come live here and the Quebecers that want to visit the Old World countries).

Europe, for a north-american gal like me, is a treasure-trove of architectural gems, fascinating museums, poetic languages, varied scenery and gastronomical mastery. OK, so that’s definitely the simplistic, fully idealist portrait of what is a large and complex continent, but it represents how I imagined it when I was a young girl, reading my National Geographics, dreaming of the day that I’d set foot there.

I just want to keep a bit of that beautiful naiveté. So far, I’ve managed pretty well.

These are pictures of people on the street in France.

Let’s start by Paris, the mecca for people-watching.

Stylish people, tons of tourists and loads of adorable children floating their boats on the city’s many beautiful fountains.

Young girl dancing in Paris

Tourist in ParisHandsome man in Paris

Bordeaux is another city that I love.

Like Paris, it is a great place to sit down and just watch the world go by. The first picture shows a young girl playing on a public art installation.

The second image is one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever photographed. I was sitting down at place de la Victoire, relaxing after a long walk. As I played with my camera, trying to be subtle whilst captured the faces of the people surrounding me, I noticed this man. He was just standing there, with a sort of perpetually pissed off look on his face, not aiming it at anything in particular. I was fascinated not only by his attitude but by his very particular physiognomy. Each time I stumble upon this photograph, I study it for a few minutes. It just puts me in a good mood.

GIrl playing in the street Bordeaux


Britanny is where my workcamp friend Sarah lives. We met in Bordeaux in 2006 and I went to visit her in her native region in the summer of 2007. Though the geographical region they live in is rather cold, even in the middle of summer, I must say that Bretons struck me as a warm and friendly population. It also helps that the area is strikingly gorgeous.

Playful girl in Concarneau

Poney and man in Britanny

I never planned on going to visit La Rochelle, I just sort of ended up there when my travel plans got shuffled around. It was a crazy move on my part, because I ended up in this beautiful medieval town during the popular Francofolies festival, with no place to sleep. I worked it out and ended up having a blast. I also got to take some pictures of a few rather famous artists (in France).

The first two images show street performers.

Street performer La Rochelle

Street Performer in La Rochelle France

I caught a free outdoor show organized by local TV station France 4 where artists featured at the fest were invited to play one or two songs.

Some of them were relative unknowns, but others were household names. Here are photos of three of those artists (click the name to hear a song of theirs)

Laurent Voulzy

Laurent Voulzy La Rochelle

Ours (Charles Souchon)

Ours- Pierre Souchon



I hope you enjoyed these pictures. Soon I’ll be posting more from other countries in Europe.

1 thought on “Street photography in Europe: France

  1. Pingback: Street photography in Europe: Spain | A storytelling home

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