Paris Vignettes: People in Crazy Color

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Paris Vignettes: People in Crazy Color

The Paris Vignettes series features the inspired work of street photographer William “Bill” O’Such in themed installments

As you’ve seen in many of my vignettes, I typically capture interesting people in black and white. After a couple days of street photography, as I triaged my photos, many of the people looked much more interesting in color than in black-and-white. It all started while I was sitting along the Seine chatting with a neighbor who also does photography. As he departed, I turned around and saw someone staring at a large map of Paris but then took a double take and realized there was something colorfully weird on the map (“monstre de Paris”). Heading home I then passed a very brightly colored bouquiniste (“bouquiniste jaune”) before the rain started falling, umbrellas came out, and new colorful images appeared (“parapluie jaune” and “evitant la pluie”).

A few days later during an inspirational walk through Popincourt, we visited several shops and the owner of one of them (“l’art dans popincourt”) happily shared the history of the local art made from reclaimed garbage (e.g. bottle caps). Meandering back to Le Marais, I passed through the Place des Vosges and found an art sale with one artist that echoed his art (“vendeur d’art”) and another where his dog was clearly trop envious of his sandwich (“elle a trop faim”). However, my favorite opportunity was very close to home as I meandered past a local restaurant and a woman, elegantly dressed, passed me reflecting perfectly the colors of the restaurant (“marianne”).

Balade dans parc de Belleville. Photo: William O’Such

Bouquiniste jaune. Photo: William O’Such

Cadeau des fleurs. Photo: William O’Such

Elle a trop faim. Photo: William O’Such

Evitant la pluie. Photo: William O’Such

L’art dans Popincourt. Photo: William O’Such

Marianne. Photo: William O’Such

Monstre de Paris. Photo: William O’Such

Parapluie jaune. Photo: William O’Such

Vendeur d’art. Photo: William O’Such

Vers le haut. Photo: William O’Such

Lead photo credit : Colour sur Pont Neuf. Photo: William O'Such

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William was introduced to silver halide photography by his father, Chester J. O’Such, via the family’s Ansco reflex camera and home darkroom. After college, William worked as a photographic engineer at Eastman Kodak, where he began to learn the art of photography. With his first SLR, a Canon AE-1, he photographed his inaugural voyage to Paris in 1982. This early spark turned into full passion when William became a Kodak expatriate in Paris from 1995-99. Before returning to the USA, William and his future wife Ineke bought an apartment in the Marais district. Inspired by Bresson, William continues to visit Paris at least twice a year to wander the streets, camera in hand, looking for the next vignette. His photos are available for sale by visiting


  •  Hazel SMith
    2024-05-04 03:54:15
    Hazel SMith
    Oh, it's great to see some colour! I'm guessing the ensemble in peach must be as fantastic as her hair!