lacoste, l'isle sur la sorgue, aix-en-provence | provence-alpes-côte d'azur, france

1

I think it's ok to say that good people come to you in the most unexpected places. That would be how I'd sum up a good chunk of our trip to Provence. You might be in a pretty place with breathtaking views and decadent food, but without family and friends, both new and old, your experience will never be as rich as it could be. I don't mind talking to strangers, in fact, I always make it a point to befriend someone especially if they are going to be in front of my camera. If I learned anything with my photojournalism schooling, it's that if you don't speak up you'll never get the shot you want,  because rapport is such a wonderful thing. I've met a lot of lovely people in the past six-ish years who have let me be a part of their story somehow. I'm thankful for the friendships and the photographs they've given me, and the contact that still remains. People and their stories open your eyes to a world that you may have never known existed; and it's with these people and their stories, that your life becomes much richer than it ever was before.

This part of our trip, we traveled to Lacoste, Aix-en-Provence, and L'isle Sur la Sorgue. Each town and city is unique, but united in their laid back, southern-esque lifestyle. We started in Lacoste, another perched village across the valley from Bonnieux. In the village's recent history, it's known for its artistic community and is home to a Savannah College of Art and Design campus. Marquis de Sade's crumbling castle at the top of the town is now an art museum which was started by the fashion designer Pierre Cardin. At night, the castle is brightly lit and is easily seen from across the valley. We jaunted over to this village unknowingly aware of how rich it was in the arts and how steep the roads were. We climbed from the bottom to the top on a sunny late morning in ill-fitting sandals and somehow managed to avoid slipping on the narrow and winding cobblestone streets. We also avoided getting sunburned from the limestone's reflections of the blistering sun. The entire walk, or hike, was met with beautiful art and sculptural aspects of this tiny village. Once at the top, we stood with our mouths open at the view and the art that surrounded us. Once we were back in the town center, we were surrounded with the locals setting up for the Festival Lacoste. We peeked our head into a humble church, St. Trophime, and breathed in all its simplistic beauty. We stepped out only to find a sparkly little shop that caught our eye. Here we met Ruth, who was running a small pop-up shop selling her jewelry. We managed to walk in on the last day within its last hour. It was fate, as some might call it. Ruth was very sweet and allowed me to photograph her shop and make conversation. We talked about our love of treats, pretty jewelry and textiles, and some of the best brocantes in the region. We've kept in touch sharing images and our love for good photography. Her blog, Rubanensque, is a beautiful menagerie of her French lifestyle and a creative outlet of her work, family, and inspirations. My two recent favorite posts are about truffle hunting and a surprise winter snow. Ruth's presence, hospitality, friendly persona and recommendation of the best crème brûlée made Lacoste that much more dear to my heart. I can't wait to return this summer for a visit!

2
3
4

Whoa, y'all, Jerry actually posed for picture without arguing and enjoyed it.

5
6

How'd you like to be that cat with that view? Just a little jealous.

7
8
9
10-2
10
11
12
13-2
13
14-2

Aix-en-Provence, or the Paris of Provence, as some locals call it, always leads to a day of shopping and exploring. Last time, we came upon a quaint little dog shop and searched up and down the streets for the shop again to no avail. We did however, fall back upon the beautiful Cathédrale St. Saveur, which was built upon a Roman temple dedicated to Apollo, and houses a stunning green and gold organ (however, we missed organ practice this time). This cathedral will always take my breath away with it's soaring ceilings, exquisite frescos and stained glass, and it's mash-up of Roman, medieval and neo-gothic decorations and architecture. St. Saveur has been destroyed and rebuilt many times, which accounts for its unique qualities. After cooling of in the sanctuary, we made our way to a macaron shop for some sweet cookies for a soon-to-be featured food shoot.

14
15
16
17
18
19

While staying in Bonnieux, we made a few trips to the old textile town of L'isle Sur la Sorgue, which is now home to some of the best French antique markets, or brocantes, second only to Paris. Some call this the French Venice, but I do enjoy this town better than Venice itself. There are canals of crystal clear emerald green water, brocantes, and hidden gems all over. The algae-laden watermills speckled throughout the chilly canals used to power the silk and paper factories that put this town on the map. Antiquing and tourism are its current industries, the first of which we spent days supporting. After walking around in the Provencal heat, we'd end the day by dipping our toes in the chilly Sorgue River with a gelato in hand. Tucked behind gardens and gates off the main road were shops, galleries, and warehouses of antiques. La Boutique de Francine, was a favorite as it housed hoards of antique linens, silks, and clothing. These brocantes are open only during the weekend and Mondays, with the street flea on Sunday mornings. Each one had its own personality and flare, our favorite of which was where we met Robbie and Nava.

This British couple transplanted themselves in L'Isle Sur la Sorgue because of the antique industry and the calmer way-of-life compared to London. After interrupting their lunch, we bought some prints and a surprise present for Jerry, cracked a few jokes and realized that they were some pretty awesome people. They were an integral part of Mrs. Donna's antiquing expedition and helped her find an antique stone sink, in addition to letting us know which dealers were solid and which were crooks. We checked out some real estate with Robbie and Nava, then walked around the canals, visited the overly gaudy, but still mind-blowing, Baroque cathedral, Notre-Dame-des-Agnes, and ended our day with Pastis, an anise-flavored apertíf, and sparkling lemonade. I of course, got lost taking photos of a colorful street across from the cathedral with such lovely vintage typography. We arrived the next day to continue our quest for antique tables and sinks, and then grabbed a lunch at Restaurant Le Carre D'Herbes with the lovely couple before we left town. It was one of the tastiest lunches of traditional Provencal fare served with a to-die-for Côte du Rhone. It's hiding inside one of the galleries surrounded by vines and greenery. We then parted ways as our new friends went to go move their gallery to a new site, called Rives de Bechard. You should go visit at the very least to meet these lovely friends of ours. Just like Ruth, we've kept in touch with Robbie and Nava since we've left and hope to meet again this summer.

20
21
22

Hundreds of lovely little ducks speckled the canals.

23

Quirky entrances graced most of the shops and brocantes throughout the town.

24
25

And of course, a daily gelato stop and toe-dip.

26

One of the coolest things were the gentlemen who boated their way along the canal. Unlike Venice, all the bridges were very low, so they definitely had to limbo their way through.

27
28
29
30
31
32

Fig trees graced the edges of the canal as we made our way down to Francines. Some shots of the linen shop are below.

33
34
35
36
37-2

The colors and patterns that surrounded L'Isle Sur la Sorgue got my heart good. I would cage all my windows if cages looked like this.

37
38-2
39

Robbie and Nava were so full of life and hospitable. After interrupting their lunch, she could only offer fresh apricots to us while Robbie cracked jokes about us crazy ambitious antiquing Americans. I love these portraits as they really capture their dynamic and caring personalities. Below are some shots of the trip to the stone mason's gallery, and his dog, who searched for toy rocks in the sinks.

40
41-2
42
43
44

Look at the size of that office chair. Whoa.

45
46
47
48-2

Vintage french typography. Be still, my heart.

49

And Jerry's new favorite photos of us.

50
51

Don't fix it if it's not baroque! Also, don't let people see you taking photos!

52
53

Some really not-so-awesome-but-can't-live-without-them instax shots.

And again, our trip was, of course, chronicled in instagram posts. Below are some from this part of our trip. To see them all, and unfortunately see the nsfw spam that made it’s way into our beautiful hashtag, search #bonnieuxmonsieur.

54

Bonniuex & a lavender distillery are up next! À bientôt!

leila + carol | wedding | albuquerque, n.m.

1

If there is one thing I have learned as I've grown up is that love truly is universal. This summer, I had one of the biggest opportunities and blessings offered to me. I got to photograph my Tias' union ceremony in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Leila and Carol are some of the most influential people in my life, always believing in me, always pushing me to the next level, and always keeping our culture alive while teaching it to all their nieces and nephews. Their union ceremony is arguably the most cultural event I've ever been a part of and I'm so thankful for the traditions and culture they've instilled in me.

From a traditional ceremony to a spiritual ceremony and then a dance ceremony, these two exemplified their Mexican and New Mexican heritage. The calaveras danced ever so carefully on the tables while watching the whole ceremony as if they were Leila + Carol's ancestors, while streamers of vibrant fabric blew freely in the dry New Mexican breeze.  The vibrant color of the entire day was placed on a magnificent backdrop of the Sandia Mountains with a rich sky of pinks, purples, and blues at El Zocalo Plaza in Bernalillo, New Mexico. Surrounded by family and friends, these two were welcomed with a standing ovation as they made their way down the aisle to commit themselves to one another forever (this made it very hard to photograph as tears were filling up my eyes). As their unique ceremony progressed, they were wed both traditionally and spiritually. Their good friends held a spiritual ceremony to wish upon them a productive marriage as family graced them with flower petals, followed by a dancing ceremony that represented their marriage and a living memorial of both Leila + Carol's late fathers. The night continued with much dancing, a La Marcha with Mojigangas, and the traditional dollar dance to help the couple start their married life and business together, as live tunes from local musicians filled the midnight blue sky.

Leila + Carol, I wish both of you the best and thank you for keeping true to your culture and teaching us children the ways of our heritage, in addition to creating open minds hungry for opportunity. You are truly an inspiration in my life and the rest of the family! Your love is huge and unforgettable! Thank you, thank you for allowing me to capture your wedding day and tell your love story. ¡Viva las Novias!

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9-2
9-3
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23-2
23-3
23
24-2
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
34
35-2
36
39
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66-2
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
88
89
90
91-2
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99-2
99
100
101
102
103
104
105-2
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112-1
112
113-2
113-3
113
114-2
114
119

england & ireland: pt. 4

castledip10 After our couple days in Dublin, we caught a train and headed out to West Ireland in County Limerick. We hopped in a van, drove through some tiny villages and ended up at Springfield Castle in Dromcolliher. A. Castle. Sleeping. In. A. Castle. How awesome! We stayed in the tower house of the castle, which had been in the gatekeepers' family under the name of Lord Muskerry since 1281! The castle's decor and knickknacks are even family heirlooms that date back throughout the 19th and 18th century. That, my friends, is an old castle! The grounds were stunning. The woods surrounding Springfield were enchanting, the farm land was beautiful, and you could literally just walk around the property for days. At night the temperature in July is just absolutely pleasant, and you can sit to watch the sparrows fly around the grounds feeding on bugs in the air. Such busy little birds. Springfield is just such a peaceful and relaxing place. On the grounds, Jonathan & Betty have horses, raise deer, raise trees, grow shitake mushrooms & other organic produce, and brew their own beer. Betty is an avid gardener and her rock garden in the front of the tower house is amazing, even Pete the Peacock thinks so, too. Jonathan is an all around handyman and they are currently working on restoring the 2nd tower of the castle. And their dog, Fitzy, just follows along behind them during their day. Jonathan & his wife, Betty, have such a beautiful piece of history in their hands & were such gracious hosts!

I have just a handful of photos of Springfield here today, because believe me, I couldn't quit taking photos of how beautiful it was. I have a solid mix of digital, black & white film, and colored film for you guys! Enjoy! 

20130804_allen_ireland-412i

castledip6

 

Pete the Peacock was our dear friend while we stayed at Springfield. He ate homemade french fries, steak, lots of lettuce, and would surprise us in the most peculiar places. Such as a second story window sill, the back kitchen door, or even on top of our car.

20130825_allen_film015i

20130804_allen_ireland-510i

20130825_allen_film075i

20130804_allen_ireland-618i

20130804_allen_ireland-741i

castledip11

20130825_allen_film028i

20130825_allen_film023i

20130825_allen_film081i

castledip2

 

The wall behind the bronze dogs was probably my favorite that included receipts, papers, and posters from Lord Muskerry and his family. So amazing to be able to have all these antique documents from your family!

20130825_allen_film034i

castledip3

20130825_allen_film002i

castledip1

 

20130825_allen_film079i

20130825_allen_film080i

castledip9

20130804_allen_ireland-451i

castledip7

20130804_allen_ireland-468i

castledip8

20130825_allen_film027i

20130804_allen_ireland-536i

castledip4

castledip5

20130804_allen_ireland-832i 20130804_allen_ireland-826i

20130804_allen_ireland-840i

20130825_allen_film036i

If you ventured far enough out on the trails around the property you came upon a little cemetery. Some tombstones were new, while others were hundreds and hundreds years old. Tess & I found the "Kneel & Pray" tombstone to be our favorite.  20130825_allen_film005i

20130825_allen_film007i

20130825_allen_film009i 20130825_allen_film059i You know, gotta take a selfie in a castle, right?

20130804_allen_ireland-1483i

The outstanding sunset our last night in Ireland. This shot is from the top of the tower and you can see the sparrows flitting around. I shot this on digital, film, and my iphone and got different colors with each. This was the most accurate, although throw in a little more magenta, just a tad, and that's the true color. Beautiful, nonetheless, and definitely makes me thankful for the traveling opportunities I had this summer.

And what would be a blog post without some instagram's!

instadipcastle

 

Up tomorrow-our excursions in Cork, Dingle, & the Cliffs of Moher!