Violette Valois - Chasing Light in Paris

Overcoming The Blues


Peter Pickering

4/30/20242 min read

It was one of those Parisian mornings when the city seemed to wear a cloak of melancholy as snugly as Violette Valois wore her own sense of blue. No particular reason, no specific cause — just a shadow that sometimes crept upon her with the subtlety of the dawn. It was on such mornings that her bed felt like an island in the middle of a vast, cold ocean, and the sheets like chains, heavy and unyielding.

Yet, in her heart, Violette knew the cure. It was out there, in the lanes and along the Seine, in the smiles and the sighs of the city she adored. "Il faut que je me lève," she whispered to herself. She must get up.

With a resolve that felt as fragile as the morning light filtering through her curtains, Violette pushed back the covers and rose. She dressed mechanically, donning her favourite scarf — a soft, grey piece adorned with subtle fleurs-de-lis, a quiet nod to her heritage. Grabbing her camera, a vintage Leica that felt like an extension of her very soul, she stepped out into the awakening streets.

Paris, even shrouded in her early blues, was a muse like no other. Violette made her way to her beloved little café, a stone’s throw from her apartment, where the scent of freshly brewed café noir and warm, buttery croissants soon began to seep into her senses, mingling with the crisp morning air. The familiar, comforting routine eased the tightness in her chest. With each sip of her coffee, the weight on her shoulders lightened, melting away as the caffeine awakened her senses and the city's gentle buzz revived her spirit.

Camera in hand, Violette wandered without a destination. Her lens, her gateway to the world, guided her through the familiar dance of street photography. The first click of the shutter felt like a deep, cleansing breath. A young couple sharing a quiet moment by the Fontaine Saint-Michel, unaware of her lens, were her first subjects of the day. The way the water reflected their silhouettes, the softness in their smiles — the scene whispered of love, timeless and serene.

From there, Violette moved through the streets like a leaf carried by the wind. Each face, each fragment of daily Parisian life, became a note in the symphony she played with her camera.

Violette Valois: Chasing Light in Paris

A street performer, his face painted like a statue, frozen in an eternal smile. A woman, her elegant hands wrapped tightly around a book as if holding onto a secret. A child, laughter bubbling over like a melody, chasing a dog down the lanes of Le Marais.

With every shot, Violette felt her spirits lift. What had started as a day shrouded in the echoes of unspoken sorrows transformed into a vibrant canvas of human experiences.

Photography was her therapy, her salvation; through her lens, she not only captured moments but also connected with the very essence of life that ebbed and flowed around her.

As the sun climbed higher, casting golden hues over the city, Violette found herself by the banks of the Seine, the waters glinting like scattered jewels. She paused, letting the beauty of the city sink into her bones. This was Paris — her Paris — and in its streets, she always found pieces of herself reflected back.

In the end, what had begun as a struggle to escape her own shadows had turned into a celebration of light, of life. Violette Valois, with her camera slung over her shoulder and a smile touching her lips, had chased away the blues with the colours of Paris. And in her heart, she carried a simple truth: in the pursuit of capturing life, she had rediscovered her own.