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Archive for the ‘France’ Category

When I entered the portrait studio, huge lights were focused on a high chair in the middle of the room. Then Xavier showed how he wanted me to sit on that high chair. With this photographic session in Paris, I was posing for my portrait photo by Harcourt Studios, the premier photographer in the world of movie stars and famous people.DSC_0194 For a few minutes, I thought I was a movie star on Tauck’s first Paris New Year’s Event tour. It was more than a photograph, it was an experience.DSC_0175  “Stand on your left leg and lift the right leg and lean on it on the high chair”, Xavier Gray, one of 10 Harcourt’s professional photographers, explained, “and rest your right hand on the back of the high chair and your left hand on your right thigh.” Then Xavier began focusing the lighting on my face and upper body by bouncing the light off of a reflecting fabric, adding 2 low lights and adjusting the 4 tall lights to show my character, spirit and personality.DSC_0193 “With lighting, Xavier showed us, “I can make the character of a face or body really stand out and show mood, your soul and personality, Xavier demonstrated as he adjusted lights up, down and left and right adding shadows or subtracting shadows.”I have used as many as 12 different lights on one person to get the relaxed look I want.” The tungsten lighting was like a movie set. DSC_0203 Then, Xavier snapped a photo of me and instantly had a proof of it provided by a machine near him. Xavier was working with no flash and was using only the lights he had shining on me. “Too dark,” he said as he viewed my proof photo so he adjusted several lights and shot another photo and replied; “Now that is what I want.” So he took another photo of me.DSC_0196  “Now I want you to turn your head to the left and look at the camera with your eyes,” Xavier explained as he adjusted my jacket collar and moved several strands of hair that were in my face. And he took more photos. My once-in-a-life time portrait session was over then and my experience of how movie stars and celebrities have their portrait made by Harcourt Studios.DSC_0209  So, I left that high chair and went to the proof machine behind Xavier to view my 4 photos on a 24×30 inch computer screen. And I could only select one. After discussing each photo, the proof man and I agreed on the first photo taken. And immediately, the final black and white print was in my hand with the famous “H” icon logo of Harcourt at the bottom right. I had a priceless souvenir of my visit to Harcourt and Paris.DSC_0210  All 125 guests on Tauck’s first Paris Event had their portrait made on 4 different days and they were as happy as I. Our photographic session began in the make-up room of Jean Cocteau where the makeup artist worked wonders with all the tricks of the trade. She powdered shiny faces so they wouldn’t cause a glare in the photo. Then lipstick, eye shadow, mascara, blusher or eyebrow color was added to make each one of us picture perfect for the portrait session with Xavier.DSC_0179  So, with this experience, we all learned how movie stars, celebrities and prominent clients are photographed in black and white at Harcourt Studios. For 2000 Euros (approximately $2250 USD) each famous client gets to select one photograph just like we did. Cost to photograph a family is 3000 Euros.DSC_0232

June Landrum

June Landrum

Robin Tauck of Tauck World Discovery

Robin Tauck of Tauck World Discovery

Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld

Spike Lee

Spike Lee

Brigett Bardot

Brigett Bardot

 “We have photographed many famous people such as Brigett Bardot, Spike Lee, Charles De Galle, Josephine Baker, Karl Lagerfeld, Salvador Dali, Ingrid Bergman, Judy Garland and many more.” Gorge Hayter, Harcourt Sales Manager, said as he showed their photos and explained the lighting, personality and mood of each one. “We photograph 300-400 people/objects per year.” DSC_0220  When we had lunch at Fouquet’s on the Champs Elysees in Paris after our photography session, we viewed scores of Harcourt’s photos of movie stars and celebrities hanging on the wall all over the restaurant.

Gorge Hayter, Harcourt Sales Manager, with the photo of the polo player on his horse, and a car.

Gorge Hayter, Harcourt Sales Manager, with the photo of the polo player on his horse, and a car.

 Harcourt also photographs animals and objects. “We have photographed a polo player on his horse, Barbie on her 40th and 50th anniversary, the Energizer Bunny, Hedwig the owl in Harry Potter, Minnie Mouse, buildings inside and outside, weddings, motorcycles, cars, planes, and the soccer team in Paris,  explained  Hayter. “Many clients want a photo with their precious cat or dog also and dogs are easier to photograph because they usually pose and hold still and most cats don’t. And we will go to locations outside of our studio if need be and set up the same lighting as in our studio.”

Cosette Harcourt, founder of Harcourt Studio

Cosette Harcourt, founder of Harcourt Studio

 Harcourt Studios began in 1934 when Cosette Harcourt, an industrial photographer who was fond of the Parisian and aristocratic ways of life, noticed her friends didn’t have the time to sit for a painting but they did for a photograph. So she began her studio that has grown to 10 professional photographers, all in Paris but moving on command. “It takes 3 years for a photographer to learn how to manipulate light according to the unique expertise of Studio Harcourt,” Hayter explained. And it was very unusual for a woman to begin a business in 1934.

Our photography session was over for all of us and we left with wonderful memories, the experience of Harcourt and the joy of being photographed by the top portrait studio in the world. It was exhilarating and fun experiencing how celebrities are photographed by Harcourt Studio. And that high chair in the middle of the studio waits the next movie star or celebrity.

Photo Copy ©  2015 carolyntravels.com 

 
   

     

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Suddenly without warning, a black bull bolted into the arena  from a gate, followed by 4 young razetour men dressed all in white. And thus began the 45-minute bullfight, the French way.

And the bull was mad and hollering and foaming at the mouth and ready to kill. And when he spotted one of those razetours who was calling and  tormenting, he charged full speed after him. But he couldn’t catch him because the man had jumped the 40-inch high fence inside the arena and was hanging on the 7-foot high arena wall.  So, the bull had to stop suddenly from his full throttle charge or crash into the 40-inch high red fence.

The bull was fairly slender and young with white horns sticking straight up. A gold metal cap was on the tip of each horn. The Lauren Family in the Camargue delta region of South France breeds these bulls to be mean and they have won many awards on the quality of their bulls. And this bullfighting, French style, has been going on since the 1700’s and the object was for a razetour to get a rosette off one of the bull’s horns in 15 minutes.

After missing a razetour, the bull huffed and puffed around the arena and spotted another razetour and gave a full speed chase for him. But again, he disappeared from the arena and was hanging onto the arena wall. Now, the bull was really hollering and huffing and puffing and found another razetour  and chased him. This time, the bull nearly caught him. And the crowd was  cheering and screaming but didn’t know if the razetour would clear the fence  this time. But he did and the bull stopped at the fence.

Now, the bull was tired as he has chased all 4 razetours and lost so he left the arena, alive to see another day because the French don’t kill the bulls. Then, in bolts another new, fresh bull that was hollering and pawing the ground so hard he made a cloud of dust. And he was mad and went after the first razetour he saw. In fact, a lady in the crowd was standing at the upper fence taking photos and this bull went after her until he realized she wasn’t the enemy. Everyone cheered her “victory” as the bull turned for a razetour who again jumped the fence to hang on the arena wall. But this time, the bull came right after him and jumped the 40-inch fence. The crowd roared as  the bull’s front legs cleared the fence but the back legs didn’t. After several  wiggles of those legs and body, the bull had all 4 feet on the ground. And, the crowd applauded him.

This bull continued to chase a razetour and the bull continued to jump the arena fence. And the crowed made funny macho comments and roared every time. This bullfighting, French style, where the bull is used for entertainment, was a great show for the audience.

The third and final bull entered the arena and he was the maddest of all. He was so mad, he not only chased the razetours in the arena, he also chased them over the arena fence and tried to gore a razetour as he clung to the arena wall. One time, the bull even went over the fence head first and then came back into the arena head first doing a total 360-degree flip. After a few
seconds, the dazed bull finally got up and stood a little longer until he
came too and then took off after another razetour. The crowd went wild.

So the French bullfight was a win, win, win. The razetour lived to see another day, the bull lived to see another day and the Tauck River Cruising audience had a roaring good time watching.

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