I couldn’t find a bike station to return my city hire bike, they were all completely full… it was impossible to feel frustrated, I was in Paris!
After circling further and further from my hotel, I spotted another Velib bike station and this one had a few empty spots. Yes! I parked, waited for the green light and “click” to say my bike has been returned and is accounted for.
Right in front of me as I hopped off the bike was a photographer, sticking his plastic sleeved fine art prints to a white painted shop wall. It was an intersection in the small backstreets of Paris, busy with tourists and locals.
I wandered over and the photos, I thought strangely, weren’t of Paris but featured images mainly from Pakistan and India. They were beautiful. I started chatting to Peter, the photographer, and flicked through his smaller prints (it was my last day in France, money was low and I was worried about having a larger print damaged on the trip home – I only had a bike bag and backpack, no suitcase) and stopped at one that grabbed my attention. Ten euros later and we kept chatting.
Peter is part of a collective of photographers who shoot film and work to sell each others photography on the streets of Paris. The photography on display was indeed a collection from the group, not all Peter’s.
I was amazed to learn, the bulk of his income, comes from sales on the street, from displays just like this one.
I loved that!
Especially considering I heard two people wander over and ask if he had any photos of Paris in his collection? Peter politely replied, “no” and said these were mostly from India and Pakistan.
They wandered off, we kept chatting…
These photos were taken over a 12 month trip he and five friends took from Pakistan to the south of India on motor cycles. Old style, retro motorcycles!
The sales from these street side galleries for 3-6 months of the year help fund year long adventures through remote villages on the other side of the world. Amazing!
In addition to the print display, Peter and his photographer friends have started producing a magazine – Heaven. Maybe journal is a better description. They are filled with beautiful photography from the travels of this collective of photographers.
All photographers in the group shoot film and print, not only to fine art stock but onto glass and metal for one offs and special editions.
I could have talked to him all day but he had sales to make and trips to not only dream of… but plan.« Stranger #24 - Henry the Sumo Wrestler Stranger #22 - Anna the Parisian Waitress »