Paris Vignettes: People Watching Galore

Paris Vignettes: People Watching Galore

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

With the sun warming everyone’s spirits in the summer, it’s hard not to find smiles as you walk through Paris or watch happy dancers along the Seine (“les danseurs le long de la Seine”, “salsa le long de la Seine”) benefiting from those long days. Music adds another dimension to this happiness whether wandering along the canals (“musicien du Canal Saint Martin”) or stumbling across someone just playing their harmonica on the small streets of near Mouffetard (“fredonner près de Mouffetard”).

Even with some hot days, there are still stylish dressers (“bien fringé’) heading towards their favorite restaurant (“ma Bourgogne”) for a relaxing Parisian lunch. Though it is always good to be prepared for that unexpected downpour (“echapper la pluie”) and not get caught like me under an awning for over an hour with my camera. But the eventual return of the sun can be so strong that some people even need two sets of sunglasses (“deux lunettes de soleil”).

However, when you wander through Paris’ streets, serendipity tosses up an opportunity like when colors are magically synchronized (“rouge et rouge”). Finally, though not really “people”, these two balloons (“un couple près de les halles”) were very interesting and seemed to dance in the summer sky like many of the people in Paris.

Un cyclist. Photo credit: William O’Such

Fredonner près de Mouffetard, Photo credit: William O’Such

Joie d’aout. Photo credit: William O’Such

Ma bourgogne. Photo credit: William O’Such

Quelles lunettes de soleil. Photo credit: William O’Such

Musicien du Canal Saint Martin. Photo credit: William O’Such

Rouge et rouge. Photo credit: William O’Such

Salsa le long de la Seine. Photo credit: William O’Such

Un couple près des Halles. Photo credit: William O’Such

Bien fringé. Photo credit: William O’Such

Echapper la pluie. Photo credit: William O’Such

Lead photo credit : Les danseurs le long de la Seine. Photo credit: 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