Willy Ronis Tour

Professional photographer, Jean-Paul Lefret (www.jplefret.com) will lead you in the footsteps of well known Parisian photographer Willy Ronis, who was part of the humanist movement and who died on September 11, 2009 at the age of 99. This “encounter” will be based on the book “Belleville-Menilmontant” published in 1999 by Hoebeke. True lover of this neighborhood, situated between the XIXe and XXe arrondissements in Paris, Ronis never grew tired of photographing its streets, alleyways, passages, staircases, terraces, and other backyards as well as the sweetness of life of its inhabitants in post war France.

Jean-Paul Lefret who has been living in this neighborhood for the past 20 years, is offering you to go on site where Ronis lived and died: from the Rue Sorbier to the Parc de Belleville, from the Buttes-Chaumont to the Cours de Vincennes where he will help you to recreate several gorgeous black and white snapshots with your own camera.

In this workshop you will catch unusual, funny moments, or just scenes of the daily life in Paris just like Willy Ronis used to magnificently do. A one-day walk in the heart of a colorful working-class neighborhood during which you will be given professional photographic advice. This is an original way to discover Paris and to pay tribute to an exceptional photographer.

Tentative Itinerary for the full day workshop:

9h – 10h: Typical French Breakfast in a loft, which is also, a photo studio used for many publicity campaigns and fashion shoots (www.studiosdb.com). Situated near the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, this will be our starting point. Jean-Paul Lefret will not only tell you more about Rony Willis’ work, he will also give you a brief framing class based on snapshots extracted from his personal collection (with pictures by Franck Horvat, Werner Bischof, Shoji Ueda, Jean Larivière, Xavier Martin, and Yang Yi amongst others).

10h-13h45: First part of the journey, walk through the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont then the Villa du Parc, to go to the Avenue Simon Bolivar and the Rue Piat. First shooting.

14h-15h: Lunch in a typical Parisian bistrot to stay in the particular ambiance of the book “Belleville-Menilmontant”. Viewing and commentary on the pictures taken during the morning on a laptop.

15h-17h: This second part of the journey will take you from Menilmontant to the Rue Sorbier, to end Rue de Lagny where Willy Ronis spent the last part of his life. There will be a group photo and you will be given a certificate asserting your participation to the “Willy Ronis workshop” as well as a short biography of the photographer.

During the entire journey, I will be your coach to help you in your composition, the choices of your foreground, to enhance the details. We will walk through places that for some are almost identical to Willy Ronis pictures. But we will not forget some surprises like the reference to Edith Piaf’s place of birth. Without forgetting, of course, the possibility to capture some daily life scenes in the streets or insides a craftsmen’s workshop, just like Willy Ronis used to love doing. See you soon.” Jean-Paul Lefret


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