Update from James, 19 Rivoli French Riviera Photographer

Hey everyone! 

It’s been a long time since I have done a personal update on my blog. I’m not really one to open up that much about my private life. Mostly because I don’t think it’s that interesting for people to know every mundane detail about my life. However, I figured I would take the time to update everyone on what I have been up to over the last months and what lies ahead! 

Social Media Hiatus: If you area reading this, chances are you follow me on Facebook or instagram or both. You may have noticed that I have spent very little time on social media the past year. This is a very intentional decision. After the presidential election I got so tired of seeing so much negativity on Facebook. The news in general is always looking at the world through an exaggerated lens with a lot of emphasis on the negative to sell stories and advertisement. I am not a positive person by nature. I actually don’t think humans are wired to be positive “by nature” I think it’s a real discipline to stay positive. I think I struggle with this like anyone else, that’s why I try to remove as much unnecessary negativity in my life. I have slowly started to return to social media, but with a different mentality on how I approach it. Sorry, but it’s very unlikely that you will see me liking and commenting on things, it’s just not how I use the platforms. I normally go on with a purpose in mind. I post and share my work, but then I am off. I don’t spend any time browsing through people’s profiles. Maybe I suffer in popularity because I don’t play the game, but that’s my choice.

Social (not media) hiatus: Besides social media, in real life I have also been much more unavailable. There are a lot of reasons for this but overall I will say that it’s about preserving my energy and using my time in a more meaningful way. There was a time when I wanted to spend every night out having dinners and going to events. That was a fun time but I’m not in that head space at the moment. 

Fashion: The last year I decided to spend the winter months focusing on fashion. The fact is that 19 Rivoli is definitely a seasonal business. With a huge influx of clients in the summer and a much lower demand in winter. This imbalance causes me to work to exhaustion in summer and die of boredom in winter. I have been trying to balance this difference by focusing on shooting fashion in Paris, Milan and London in the winter. The fashion industry is a completely different beast and it’s been an interesting experience this last year to meet new people and contacts and get more insight on how the industry works. Also city hopping between these fashionable destinations hasn’t been to bad either!

Paris: This one goes hand in hand with the above. I have been spending a lot more time in Paris this last year. Mainly because I have been focusing on fashion but also because I can extend my busy season by a couple months if I work in Paris in the spring and fall. The photography industry in Paris is much less seasonal than on the French Riviera. I have absolutely loved spending so much time in Paris. It’s a large dynamic city filled with interesting people and young professionals hustling their way to the top. The energy has been like a re-birth. 

Creativity: I’m very happy to say that with the subtraction of  social media and more time at home has lead to a rebirth in creativity. I’m spending more time drawing and painting than I ever have. My head is really buzzing with a lot of ideas and the only problem I have is sorting through these ideas. I am spending my time developing skills and looking at the long term results. 

Personal and professional lessons: Along with all of the above, I have been going through life learning a lot of lessons and always trying to improve myself. One of my biggest challenges for the upcoming busy season is to NOT BE A PEOPLE PLEASER and to learn how to set (and stick to) my limits. This is for my personal and professional life and is probably my biggest challenge for the upcoming year. I like going through the world with a smile on my face. I believe that life should be a pleasure. However, people are quick to take advantage. Afterall, I do love my job, so I SHOULD be happy to shoot an hour longer! 

The future of 19 Rivoli:

So where does this all lead me? In a very exciting place! I’m looking forward to a very busy summer season the French Riviera. The beautiful blue waters of Nice, the palm tree lined Croisette in Cannes and the white sandy beaches of St. Tropez. This summer promises to be filled with interesting new clients in beautiful locations. Hopefully this summer I manage to balance everything much better than last summer and I don’t end up and exhausted blob… stay tuned!

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