Like many other travellers, I was faced with the challenge of not knowing much French, nevertheless, I armed myself with some basic french phrases that proved to be greatly helpful in breaking the ice when meeting new people.

I relished the time I spent in Paris and Nantes, taking every moment I could to explore as much of each city as my legs would allow. However perhaps it was the locals that I met, and the food (and wine) we shared that gave me a true taste of what it means to be French.

The older I become the more I have come to appreciate the subtle irony that as I grow as a photographer, the need to create images becomes secondary to the stories I wish to tell. Perhaps it would be better to say that there are times when words and experiences trump the potential of images to tell a story. Throughout these last four weeks, there have been many occasions when (consciously or not) I chose to leave my camera in its bag, instead trusting in my memory to serve as a reminder of the special encounters I had.

It’s in moments such as these when I have to put aside my desire to create something more beautiful or meaningful than what is already in existence. For with that ambition to capture the epitome of a moment, to share it with the world, resides the irony that I both steal that moment in time with my camera, yet I loose my own experience of it. And so, it is both my purpose to both capture and observe. To find a balance between my life as a creator and as a citizen of this world.

We should all take the time to steady our pace, to disconnect from our social interactions, mute the music, and put away our cameras. No matter how difficult it may feel to rest from the race that is your life, I know that if you try you can find the serenity that comes from observing the beauty in the mundanity that is life.

Follow the link below to view my images of France: