Travel writer/blogger, photographer and tour guide Richard Nahem is a native New Yorker who’s been based in Paris since 2005. He writes articles about Paris, France, and Europe for Fodor’s, Travel Agent Central, France Today Magazine, Bonjour Paris, Passport Magazine and The Guardian. He’s been writing his popular blog Eye Prefer Paris since 2006. He’s now turned his eye to Parisian doors, which are featured on his Instagram: @parisian_doors. He had two gallery exhibitions of his striking photos in Paris and currently working on a glossy book dedicated to the glorious doors of Paris. Because we’re crazy about all things Parisian, A+A recently interviewed him via email:
How long have you been photographing Paris?
I’ve been photographing Paris since 2006, when I started my blog, www.eyepreferparis.com.
Your training in photography?
I haven’t had any formal training in photography. When I started my blog, I knew I had to have good photos to support the content. I bought a serious Nikon camera and started to click away. The great thing about a digital camera is that you can take dozens of the same shot at different angles and just delete what doesn’t work. I developed my eye quickly and within a few years I started to sell prints of my photos.
Your design inspiration?
The inspiration is the glorious Parisian architecture, from the 17th century palaces in the Marais to the gorgeous architectural details of the Haussmann style buildings from the late 19th century.
It was a happy accident. One day I was looking to do a new monthly feature on my blog, and I was standing in front of an ornate, highly detailed door on a building in Saint Germain des Pres. I took some close ups of the ironwork and a photo of the door, I thought no one would get this new series, “The Door of the Month,” but it actually became a hit. It’s now the most popular feature on my blog, and I’ve published hundreds of door photos since 2007. In fact, many readers send their photos of doors to me.
Where in Paris are these?
They are in almost every neighborhood of Paris but the majority are in the Marais and Saint Germain des Pres.
What’s the importance of scale and proportion in your work?
It’s a major factor, especially when taking architecture photos. The horizontal scale of some of the buildings in Paris is enormous and there’s a specific way to capture them.
How does the lighting in Paris influence your work?
A lot. I’ve photographed the same monuments and sites many times over, such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, the Seine and the bridges, and because the light and the season is always varying, the shots are different each time.
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