Paris Vignettes: The City’s Interesting People

Paris Vignettes: The City’s Interesting People

Over the years, I’ve studied the photography of Willy Ronis, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï and Robert Doisneau at various exhibitions. These legendary photographers taught me the techniques on how to capture the lyrical, fleeting moments lived on the city streets.

While sitting in the park in front of the Musée Picasso, I magically snapped “c’est marrant” where someone reacted unexpectedly to what he was reading. Across town at the 1997 Big Bang Fashion exhibit at the Palais Galliera, I saw someone from the Instagram / Tik Tok generation who knows how to dress, pose and present herself in an artful way (“Big Bang fringé”).

As mentioned in other vignettes, I love doing walks with Paris Greeters and exploring people’s neighborhoods. On one guided walk in Ménilmontant, we met someone who cleans chimneys (“le dernier ramoneur”) but afterwards Josselyne mentioned that burning wood is prohibited so we wandered away wondering a bit.

The “manifs” in Paris are ideal events for these transient moments whether it is some protesters dancing to capture attention (“les manifestants dansants”) or more sudden when a protestor ran and jumped as high as he could to apply a sticker in “manifestant bondissant”. Appreciate the positive vibes from these vignettes which are moments captured in time and will never happen again in the future!

C’est Marrant. Photo credit: William O’Such

En Attendant. Photo credit: William O’Such

En attente d’un feu vert. Photo credit: William O’Such

Le Dernier Ramoneur. Photo credit: William O’Such

Les Manifestants Dansants. Photo credit: William O’Such

Manifestant Bondissant. Photo credit: William O’Such

Traversant un rue. Photo credit: William O’Such

Un chien et un mec. Photo credit: William O’Such

Un homme avec sagesse. Photo credit: William O’Such

Un vendeur de vin. Photo credit: William O’Such

Va et vient. Photo credit: William O’Such

Lead photo credit : Big Bang Fringé. 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