Photographing Provence

I fall squarely into the ‘self-taught and amateur photographer’ category, but I was determined to capture some decent photos while travelling through Provence.

Out of the 2,000-odd that I took, these are a few of my absolute favourites, which I thought I’d share with you.  They’re actually the last things I thought would make favourite photos: animals, food, a car and a stone wall!  However, I found it was these small details of life in Provence that captured the essence of rural France for me.

A butterfly in Lacoste that kindly stayed on its flower long enough for me to frantically adjust manual camera settings in the glaring sun…

butterfly garden provence france-bayside vintageA cat in Arles. There are many cats wandering about villages in France, and some are contented strays that almost become pets by default through residents feeding them.  Every single one I came across was stand-offish, with an air of superiority. Perhaps it’s part & parcel of being un chat Français?

provence cat arles france-bayside vintageFood. Oh, Provence’s amazing produce! I have many photos of food at market stalls and side-of-the-road stalls. But these cherries still on the tree transport me to a winding drive between villages, humid and hot with the window down, the views and these fire-engine red dots drawing my eyes away from the very, very narrow road.

Eventually I found a place to pull over next to a cherry farm. With its rows & rows of cherry trees, and no-one about, I had to take a closer look. The photo below hasn’t been edited: cherries in Provence just all seem to be wonderfully fat, red, and of course, delicious. And for the record, all the more delicious picked straight off the tree, warmed from the sun. I’m sure the farmer didn’t mind…

cherries produce provence france-bayside vintageUnexpected beauty. It’s everywhere, every day, in Provence…from turning the corner to see an even more beautiful stone maison with weathered shutters, discovering a seemingly forgotten set of stone steps, ordering a simple salade provençale and being presented with an artwork on a plate, you are constantly in awe of the beauty of Provence. One evening I was walking around the village I stayed in, and came across this stone wall with a tiny cut hole. The star jasmine behind was growing so prolifically, that over time, its branch bent to grow through the opening.

IMG_8783_2The Citroën. An iconic symbol of France, these pop up quite often, but this one had made its home in a remote field, with rows of lavender just nearby, every part of its body a different colour! It was one of those scenes in Provence where nothing is styled to look beautiful – it just is.

french car provence country-bayside vintageAnd finally, this little dog at the market in Ménerbes… Dogs are well-loved in France. If their owner has a market stall, you can guarantee their dog will be by their side, or somewhere suitably comfortable. This particular photo makes me smile, because he looks so…French, non? And then there’s the one next to him sporting the beret!

puppy dog provence france french market-bayside vintage

Enjoy your weekend,


3 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Tracie says:

    Alison your photos are absolutely gorgeous and you definitely captured the heart and soul of Provence. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  2. Grahametc says:

    Yes, that cat in Arles looks like it would not suffer fools! Perhaps you got off on the wrong foot by greeting its Eminence in English?
    Great photos, Alison. After browsing your gallery, it must have been quite a task selecting the best of an altogether exquisite range.

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