Two friends, a work meeting and the Luberon.
Luberon ticks all the boxes of overtourism, of being one of these exquisite locations blighted by hordes of visitors who think that tourism amounts to getting in position for quick Instagram-destined snaps. Point of entry is the legendary city of Avignon, once residence to popes, and today of a fantastic festival of theatre. It can easily be reached by TGV express train from Paris, and is close to other major tourist attractions (Nimes, Arles, Montpellier, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille). Moreover, it being located in Provence puts it on the world map for tourist attractions. Needless to say, with all the above, Avignon did not sit high on our list of to-shoot places, as Pascal and I sought a suitable meeting place.
The second attraction of Luberon is the swank villages and small towns that have long made it a summer residence of choice of the rich and ritzy, such as Lourmarin, Oppède, Apt. Very un-DearSusan.
The third reason is Gordes, a village recently named “world’s most beautiful village” by the US magazine Travel + Leisure. Enough to sound the death knell of any location, as it is the mating call of the frenzied Insta crowds.
So Pascal and I selected a location, which, while still in Luberon (technically in Vaucluse), kept us away from the saturation. Pascal, wise as ever, suggested L’isle-sur Sorgue. And, over the course of a 3-day shoot-and-work, we radiated from there thanks to his trusty Doudou car. Having eschewed the month of August as toxic, we went there early September, less crowded, less hot, but still lovely weather, and better light, too.
And I am happy to report that not once did we have to wait in line, or forsake a shooting spot or an eatery due to over crowding. We even dared to go to Gordes, but chose to do so early in the day, and then ran away before the buses invaded.
The yield? A pot-pourri of church images, landscapes, but mostly a hodge-podge (some would say ragtag) collection of unspectacular-but-delightful small je-ne-sais-quois. And a lot of enjoyment, fun, good food and lovely memories while shooting. This earns the secondary locations of the Luberon a highly-recommended-un-destination rating.
As for the rest, images speak louder than words. Especially those shot by DS-Master Pascal, whom I have the priviedge to call my friend. And what a friend!
Working with Philippe is a rare piviledge. Some people offer shallow ideas throughout never-ending meetings that drain my will to live. Philippe provides the exact opposite experience. We are both consultants who happen to occasionally work for the same clients. When a new project emerges that requires intense neuron-firing, and this one is helping save 1200 jobs, we tend to meet up in somewhere where the scenery is as pleasant as the food, work in intense bursts of around 2 hours, then spend the rest of the day walking, shooting and eating the most delicious food available. While that doesn’t sound like much work, it produces a good plan without fail, after which, we each go home to work much more intensely on our respective part of the execution. It also typically leads to a treasure trove of photographs which we can later share with you 🙂 Here’s a sprinking of mine from this 3-day intensive 🙂
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