Paris Vignettes: Social Interactions

Paris Vignettes: Social Interactions

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

As you wander through Paris, you’ll witness unique social interactions that you only find here, whether it be late evening dinner discussions (“vendredi en plein conversation”) or groups assembling along the banks of the Seine to talk through their week’s adventures (“samedi soir devant la Seine”). Though you’d think that the fast pace of a big city would mean less time for its busy denizens to stop to chat, Paris actually fosters all kinds of leisurely social occasions. Whether it is a good joke that one missed (“trop amusant”), a moment of doubt at a café (“je ne suis pas sur”), or a unique way to get from the Bastille to République (“transports en commun”), there are interplays every minute. The cafés are a central hub where waiters welcome you (“bienvenue”) and ensure those chats continue for many drinks (“j’arrive”). Sometimes the interchange can be quite unique as when a crowd of people were shocked by a “sapeur-pompier” diving off a bridge (“un, deux, trois”)- as part of training in a very stylish way. Walking home, the umbrella in front of me said it all (“trop vrai”) as I got caught in a rain shower, having forgotten my parapluie at home.

trop vrai, Photo credit: William O’Such

un, deux, trois, Photo credit: William O’Such

trop amusant, Photo credit: William O’Such

transports en commun, Photo credit: William O’Such

samedi soir devant la seine, Photo credit: William O’Such

je ne suis pas sur, Photo credit: William O’Such

j’arrive, Photo credit: William O’Such

bienvenue, Photo credit: William O’Such

Lead photo credit : vendredi en plein conversation, 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