The transition to summer is always a busy time in my household. My daughter has multiple dance recitals and other school related activities. My wife, a teacher, works tirelessly to complete everything that needs done before the end of the school year. As June turns to July I enter my busiest period of the year, the summer full of workshops, weddings and other photographic endeavours. Somehow, however, we always manage to spend some time together as a family before I get too busy.
In a wonderful moment of serendipity we found ourselves in Paris last week when France won the 2018 World Cup. The energy on game day was palpable, the World Cup capturing the hearts of everyone in the city. During the game the sidewalks were empty, no cars drove by on the streets, and the usual hustle and bustle of a major city was replaced by an eery silence. You could stand on a corner, however, and know exactly how the game was going by the collective sighs or cheers that would suddenly explode, without warning, from all around you.
When the game was over the city erupted, jubilant people flowing out of apartments, cafes, restaurants and pubs to celebrate together. There were no barriers: age didn’t matter, ethnicity was irrelevant, everyone simply came together as one. Cars drove along the main streets honking, masses of people waived their flag with pride as they marched across the bridges, the national anthem was sung time and time again… it was pure joy, uncontainable and contagious.
It was perfect.
Over the last year we have heard “leaders” advocate for discrimination, fear, and hatred. We have seen citizens, emboldened by this misguided leadership, commit crimes against each other purely because of the colour of someone’s skin or because of their gender. We watched as governments ripped children out of the arms of parents, and we saw terrorists attack the innocent. On some days it felt like we were watching the worst parts of history repeating themselves.
But, when the nation came together to celebrate this win you could feel the release of something. You could feel the tension dissipate, like a balloon popping, and all that was left was excitement and joy. To be there as a photographer, on those streets, at that time, was amazing. Once again my camera became a passport to experiencing something wonderful. I am blessed.
I hope you enjoy these impromptu photos of Paris celebrating their victory, all taken with the Fujifilm X100F. I am home now for a month or so before my next workshop so I will be sharing a lot of new content with you: some gear related articles, some new photo essays and, I am sure, a few random thoughts.