Chasing Light. Telling Stories. PARIS…
Every time I make an image, I capture a moment in time that has never happened before and will never happen again. It’s the blink of an eye, a moment in the life of a stranger. Unprovoked, unstaged, unposed, unaltered — just beautiful and candid everyday life.
The camera is an extension of my vision. I thrive on searching and waiting for just the right moment when a story unfolds in a single frame. I am happiest when I get lost on purpose, and let the city reveal its magic to me. Some days I follow the light and use its power to make dramatic compositions, other days I am more in tune with emotions, expressions, and gestures. The streets are always surprising me with new stories that unfold throughout the day and into the night.
This collection of black and white photographs of daily life in Paris is a homage to the most beautiful city in the world and its people.
This book is filled with 138 full page photographs. The introduction and biography are written in French and English.
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In “Chasing Light. Telling Stories. Paris” Street Photographer Valerie Jardin takes us by the hand to places in her heart and ours.
I shoot pictures, therefore it's a given that I collect books of photographs. Maybe you do too. I won’t go into who is on my bookshelf here, but invite me for coffee and I’ll talk for hours. I love the pictures, and I truly love photographers as people, professional or not. As a songwriter, my tools are different, but my aim is the same; capture a moment.
Valerie Jardin, known around the world as a brilliant “Street” Photographer, teacher, podcaster, endorser, influencer, sometimes heart-on-her-sleeve-wearer, who dances across countries and continents practically non-stop with her students in tow, has landed just long enough to produce a first-in-a-series photographic art book of her own work. It will not look out of place on your shelf alongside anyone who is already there. Honestly, it’s a wonder she has the time to shoot for herself, but thank goodness! Her rich inner curiosity, an eye that never seems to tire, her clear-cut storytelling and no doubt sensible shoes and clothing choices, combine to make us the viewer richer for the result.
The book has heft, like a great camera. The design purposely does not intrude, and the B&W pictures, some spread over two pages, are a pure delight. A bouquet of emotions spilling onto page after page, as if she had invited you to spend the day “purposefully getting lost” as she says, in a city that is gracious, charming, and above all, gloriously different, from one doorway, one cafe, one street to the next.
Have you been to Paris? Fantastic! You are about to go back. You’ll know some of the places, but you’ll see them with added detail and introspection, and frankly, in ways you or I haven’t thought of yet. Never been to Paris? Well, that’s a pity, but if you look at Valerie’s book as much as I have in the short time it has been available (It’s selling like mad) once you put your feet on those streets for real, possibly with camera in hand, there is zero chance of having culture shock. Everything you’ll need to know will be familiar to you. Paris is your home and welcomes you, with Valerie Jardin as your guide, all exquisitely French. Don’t worry about the language barrier, her photo interpretation is enough to get you around. You simply don’t need any words.”
“I just received my copy of Valerie's new book; Chasing Light. Telling Stories. PARIS. I have looked through it at least 10 times since I did my private box opening. I don't like to refer to this kind of work as "pictures," because they are more deliberate than just a snap of the shutter—more so to the seasoned photographer than the casual viewer or holiday planner. A great deal of thought goes into street photography, and clearly, it shows in this book.
For the new photographer, you can quickly grasp onto the compositions and timing that is portrayed in this body of work. This kind of research will help you take your images from just snapshots to deliberate arrangements that are perfectly timed. To put it another way, it's not just the "decisive moment" we need to look for. This body of work doesn't forget the "decisive composition." You really can't have one without the other.
As you look through the book, ask yourself, where did Valerie place the subject in this image? Brake it down to where the important parts are placed in the frame; it is deliberate and not by chance. What prompted her to take the photo when she did? Could she have taken an equally powerful image a second before or after this one? What happened that this was the right moment to trip the shutter? You have to submerge yourself into each image to understand these kinds of things, study them. Also, ask yourself if there are any other relationships between the subject and other elements around it, because there are.
The seasoned photographer will immediately see the underlying themes which support the story of each image because there's no ambiguity. I wish all fine art photography books were this clear. For me, one of my favorite images is the woman with the balloons across from the "Tour Eiffel." The balloons support the story so well, but it's the shape of her dress and her hair draped over her collar that echoes the shape of the tower that caught my eye. That is what we look for in great street photography—the unexpected. Something unplanned and well timed. There are so many images in this book that just work. I will enjoy coming back to this book many times over in the future.
That said, this book is not just for photographers! Imagine that. It captures the sense of everyday life in Paris (without the cliché images we've seen time and time again) and should have a place in the hearts of people who will one day visit this magnificent city—a Paris vacationers visual prep guide so to speak.” Mark Gilvey Commercial photographer (and street photography maniac)
Mark Gilvey Creative, LLC. Woodbridge, VA.
“I have a few photo books focused on Paris, but I will, without reservation, say that I love Chasing Light. Telling Stories. PARIS. by Valerie Jardin. The photos bridge from the timeless to the sublime. Valerie has really captured a special feeling of the city, its landscapes and more importantly its people, spirit and culture. That’s a big claim, but I guess that’s how it makes me feel. I feel like I’m at a cafe, with a French espresso and a croissant, ready to be in the city. Absolutely wonderful.”