French Riviera a Photo Book by Renata Haidle
Recently, Montana based photographer Renata Haidle published a French Riviera her first book. Well perhaps not exactly true, she says she has done a few photo books for her kids in the past. This book – French Riviera – includes 92 stunning images from Haidle’s travels around the region. Narrowing her image bank of thousands of pictures to this smaller collection was the hardest part of the process.
Med School to Photoshop
Renata Haidle began taking photos as a teenager but wasn’t serious about photography at the time. After graduating from medical school, she practiced medicine for a short period. However, a trip to Paris in April 2014, her first time in France changed the course of her professional life.
“I went to Paris for the first time, and I photographed everything in sight for six (6) days straight.” ~ Renata Haidle
She returned with some 2000 photos. Like many of us, Haidle taught herself how to edit photos. It took a friend’s encouragement for her to display the images publicly. Her first show was in October 2014. Perhaps that was the real launching pad as more trips to France followed along with photography and photo editing classes.
“I shoot with a Canon 70D and with my Google Pixel 3 phone, and I favour a wide-angle lens. It seems to be the best for the type of photos that I take. My editing is done in either Photoshop or Snapseed – sometimes both.” ~ Renata Haidle
Haidle’s work has been displayed at Barnes and Noble, featured by Google, The London Evening Standard, The Resident London, France Today, The Good Life France Magazine, Join the Dots, and Mountain Living Magazine, and others. She is also a two-time participant in Google Pixel digital installations at The Meadows at the Highline (New York City, May 2017), and The Radical Luxury exhibit at the Old Selfridge Hotel (London, England in May 2018).
French Riviera Photo Book
This book contains little text allowing the stunning images of the Côte d’Azur to speak for themselves. In a meandering journey through the cities and towns of French Riviera, Haidle’s photos pop with colourful accents. Her images of villages in the Alpes Maritimes including La Turbie, Gourdon, Tourrettes-sur-Loup and Èze draw your imagination through narrow alleyways bordered by limestone buildings and weather-worn shutters. Many of us are fascinated by the Mediterranean coastline, including Haidle who captured the famous centres of Nice, Antibes and Villefranche-sur-Mer in her photos. The idea of a photo book evolved after a second trip to the French Riviera, by the end of a third visit she had accumulated over 2000 photos.
“I’m an indiscriminate photographer. I shoot as much as I can in a limited amount of time. My Instagram followers unknowingly helped with selecting the final images.” ~ Renata Haidle
Exploring the French Riviera
What were your first impressions of the Côte d’Azur?
My first trip to Nice was a quick three-day stopover on the way to Genoa, Italy. I thought it would be a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. I had the misconception that the French Riviera is very expensive and exclusive, a celebrity playground.
After arriving in Nice by TGV on a rainy Sunday evening I strolled from the train station to Place Masséna, which was glowing with colourful lights and wet pavement reflections – it was love at first sight! The air was warm, and it smelled of the sea. By the time I reached Promenade des Anglais, I was already scolding myself for allowing so little time to explore.
The next days were packed with trips to Saint-Paul-de-Vence, La Turbie, Èze-le-village, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and Monaco. That first trip was a whirlwind! I promised myself I would return to explore further and get to know this part of the world better. I find it incredibly photogenic, and I can’t help wanting to share it all with the world through my photos.
Do you have a favourite spot on the French Riviera?
It is a hard question answer because I love all the areas for different reasons. Nice has the most to offer, being the largest, and overall a lively and friendly city. Villefranche-sur-Mer is a crowd-pleaser with its candy-coloured houses and beautiful promenade. My favourite though is the little medieval town of La Turbie. It is small, the least touristy of all, but to me, it holds a charm that can’t be explained. It touched me at an emotional level. There are a few paragraphs in the book that might explain it better.