I didn’t take a lot of photographs during my last trip to France, that’s not why I went. I went to Bergerac to research and plan a series of workshops I’m planning for next year, that took about four days. I spent the remainder of the two weeks writing and drinking wine, mostly.
I don’t speak a huge amount of French, I’m certainly not up to conversational standards, so approaching strangers and asking them if they’d like to have their portrait taken can be difficult, to say the least. The French have very specific laws about photographing people without their permission – you just don’t do it. Having said that, once you’ve engaged someone, they generally oblige. I found that carrying business cards helps, if all else failed I’d just hand them a card, point to my web address and smile…”regarder vers le bas de la lentille ..ne souriez pas!”