Do you have secret, extravagant wishes, ones you would love to pursue, but know you won’t because well, the idea is rather frivolous and too expensive to take seriously?
I have such a wish. It’s not a new desire. It’s almost as old as my arrival in France when I should have fulfilled it. At that time the franc to the dollar was very much in my favor and I was considerably younger, which is to say the results would have been more attractive.
If I had 1900 Euros at my disposable income disposition today I would right-this-minute make an appointment to have my photograph taken at the renowned Harcourt Studio in Paris. (The dollar today is about 80 cents to the Euro.) But I don’t and I won’t.
|Karl and his Mini-Me.|
|French philosopher, Bernard-Henri Levy.|
Recognized and celebrated throughout the world for its strikingly dramatic, stylish, glamorous black and white photographs of celebrities, Harcourt commemorated its 80th anniversary this year.
For a studio known for its black-and-white portraits to be as revered today as it was decades ago, you can be certain there is a secret to its success. The secret is: Everyone looks gorgeous and mysterious. Light and shadow sculpt the face creating dramatically arresting images. Furthermore, no detail is left to chance. A makeup artist prepares the subject’s “canvas.”
If you’re looking for a good time, please go here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGKDlaiq1ks.
For generations, to be photographedchez Harcourt was a sort of right of passage for many bourgeois families. We have two of My-Reason-For-Living-In France’s mother. Always in the corner of the photos is the Harcourt signature.
Celebrities do not pay for their portraits, in exchange the studio keeps the negatives and has the right to use the images for its promotion.
|Dita Von Teese (Heather Renée Sweet)|
|Julie Gayet, the actress and supposed paramour of French president François Hollande.|
The other day MRFLIF and I were buying shiny white boxes for my little office — I’m arranging and tossing — at IKEA. While standing in line for coffee, a tall, slim, stunning blonde woman started talking to me. She was taller than I am which rarely occurs in France so I decided to just say it: “You’re not French are you?”
“No, and neither are you,” she said, laughing. “Are you Swedish?” We were speaking in French.
Again, something that seems to happen often in France, I was in one of those magical, serendipitous moments. We finished our coffees together and exchanged our cards. She works for Harcourt studios.
She told me that if I had a foreign address, which I do, that a photo would cost a mere 1700 Euros. I am quite capable of remarkable rationalizations for spending money, but I’m still not seeing this expenditure in my future.
However, in a world of make-believe, wouldn’t it be thrilling to be photographed to look like an actress, or an actor, from the 1930s or ’40s?