Decorative Storefronts in Paris Tell the Story of the City

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Drew Harré, relaxing at the entrance of his fish and wine restaurant.
Drew Harré, relaxing at the entrance of his fish and wine restaurant.

Known for his strikingly beautiful photographs of colorfully patterned floors in Venice, Barcelona, Paris, and London, Sebastian Erras has shifted his lens from our feet to the decorative storefronts of Paris. Understanding and really feeling the vibe of any city doesn’t really come from visiting the most famous and imposing monuments. These, more often than not, come from what you come across and stumble upon any street corner. Erras digs into the bakers, barbers, chocolatiers, cobblers, and merchants who form the tapestry of Parisian society, and the backbone of the city.

He also shoots the owners in front of their shops, in order to give a human face to the establishment. From colorful tilework, to hand painted signs and intricate woodwork, these decorative storefronts bring forth the true aesthetic of Paris through Erras’ photography. As part of Pixaprinting collaboration as well, photographer Marco Valmarana made the exact same thing in Milan earlier this year.

By capturing both the storefronts and the owners, Erras can focus both on the architecture and portraiture, thus making them appear as a unit. He was in a sense able give the person a personality and the store a face.

Alexandre Boyer, surrounded by pictures and posters from the history of cinema
Alexandre Boyer, surrounded by pictures and posters from the history of cinema
Luc Fracheboud and his father Patrick at the front door of their historic restaurant
Luc Fracheboud and his father Patrick at the front door of their historic restaurant
Julia Charvin at the door of the only color factory for artists in Paris
Julia Charvin at the door of the only color factory for artists in Paris
Nathalie Felber stands in front of the dry cleaner’s created by her great grandfather
Nathalie Felber stands in front of the dry cleaner’s created by her great-grandfather
Dave Kouliche, welcoming visitors at his vinyl records shop
Dave Kouliche, welcoming visitors at his vinyl records shop
Alain, at the door of his barber shop, the most famous in Paris
Alain, at the door of his barber shop, the most famous in Paris
Chef Christophe Duparay in front of his restaurant
Chef Christophe Duparay in front of his restaurant
Norbert proudly displays the collection of shoes he designs
Norbert proudly displays the collection of shoes he designs
Boris Lumé, standing proudly at the entrance of his picturesque bakery-confectionery
Boris Lumé, standing proudly at the entrance of his picturesque bakery-confectionery
Bernard Poussin (left) and Diane Junique (right) in front of their two-centuries-old chocolaterie
Bernard Poussin (left) and Diane Junique (right) in front of their two-centuries-old chocolaterie
Vanessa Jacquiot, sales and marketing manager of the boutique hotel that was once Paris’s oldest bakery
Vanessa Jacquiot, sales and marketing manager of the boutique hotel that was once Paris’s oldest bakery
Maxime Hubert, at the entrance of the reference jazz music shop in Paris
Maxime Hubert, at the entrance of the reference jazz music shop in Paris
Dorothée Hoffmann never takes off her apron when she is at her ceramics workshop
Dorothée Hoffmann never takes off her apron when she is at her ceramics workshop
Stefan Perrier, in front of what looks like a hat shop, but is in fact a leading art bookshop
Stefan Perrier, in front of what looks like a hat shop, but is in fact a leading art bookshop
Gilles Berthommier and one of his puppets at the door of his workshop
Gilles Berthommier and one of his puppets at the door of his workshop