Sunday, December 30, 2012

Non Madame, pas de photos!




Yesterday, some of my readers asked me if I'd ever been refused photos in Paris.  Today seems like the perfect time for this story.


I arrived in Paris last January with "my list" clenched in my fist.  I had researched several specialty shops in Paris Made By Hand,  that I was dying to photograph.  Alexandra Sojfer's parapluie shop was at the top of the list.  After a very long first day in Paris, we finally arrived on the doorstep after dark.  I walked in, greeted the gentleman at the counter and asked to take a few photographs.  He apologetically  told me that I could not take any photos inside the shop. With that, the designer herself breezed in from the back and made it very clear that there would be none, although I pulled the "I'm here from the U.S. to take photos" card. Sadly I was then forced to press my lens against the glass and get only passable photographs.

Since 1834, this family has handcrafted exquisite umbrellas. If you get caught in a Paris shower without your umbrella, expect pay the price for one of hers!

Alexandra Sojfer
218 Blvd. Saint Germain
75007Paris
Métro: Sèvres Babylone

17 comments:

Harriet said...

Could Peter shed some light on why the shop keepers in Paris do not allow photos? Perhaps they don't need/want free advertisements? They want to maintain an air of mystery around their shops...you must come in and see for yourself? They don't care to be in a collection of souvenir photos taken by a tourist?

I think you did a great job with these photos. The gentleman seems a little dumb-founded that you would take his photo through the window!

Virginia said...

Harriet, I can't answer the first question. I guess it's the same here. Some allow and others don't. Maybe it's a control thing.

I took his photo as I walked in, hence the surprised look. I was so outdone that I couldn't take them inside the shop, I took one step outside and tried it. That didn't work either. Needless to say, it was a bit frustrating after the long walk there. Phffffttttt !

Starman said...

I got the same reaction from a pastry shop...but I took some anyway. Of course, I made a point of telling them I would never buy anything from their shop!

Kristie Franklin said...

For the life of me, I can't understand why they wouldn't want you to take photos of their shops?? It would seem that they would like the exposure of having their photos advertised in the US via blogs and other outlets.

I think the photo you snapped is great despite the fact they wouldn't let you into the shop to take a few. :)

Terry said...

On the other hand, it's their right to say oui or non. Is it not?

Joe said...

I wonder if you told him it would result in free advertising for his shop if the response would be different. I guess the are concerned someone will steal their designs.

Lynette said...

Fine photos. I'm glad you stuck with it, Virginia.

Jack said...

Good for you, Ms. Miscreant. Sneak a picture first and ask permission second. I (nearly) always ask permission, but if I don't get it, I take photos anyways unless they tick me off, in which case I loudly huff out of the store, making sure all other shoppers know I think the owners are d-----bags.

FigMince said...

Supreme arrogance and insensitivity.

On your part, and in all but one of the above comments.

Virginia said...

Terry,
Of course you're right about that, but I when I photograph shops I always ask for a card or website so that I might feature them here and on my FB photography page. I"m not up to "no good", by trying to copy their work etc. It doesn't happen often, but after yesterday's questions, I thought it would be a fun post today.
V

Anne said...

It doesn't make sense... its not as if the goods are secret or something. The look on his face is priceless!

martinealison said...

Quel dommage !... mais vous avez réussi tout de même quelques clichés!
Il faut que vous alliez à Cherbourg ma chère et vous y découvrirez les véritables parapluie de Cherbourg. Des bijoux!...

gros bisous

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Happy New Year Virginia.. May you be blessed with good health and joy.
I would love to have one of those umbrellas.. They are exquisite!
bisous!
Penny

Jeanie said...

Simply adore that first shot! And the other too, but his expression is magnificent!

Esme said...

I love this story. I am finding more and more that store owners do not want us taking photos.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

As I was one of those who asked the question Virginia, this has been such an interesting post. It happens here in Perth also, sometimes in places where you think you probably won't be allowed, like the art gallery' they say yes go ahead, but no flash and then in other places where there seems no reason at all for a problem, they get all 'precious' about it..who can understand it..shrug!!

Louise said...

I don't understand this attitude either, they should be flattered, and pleased, not upset. I'm sure the vast majority of people would be taking photos to be generous- yes there are exceptions to everything, but how many people could reproduce this sort of work? Almost noone.