When Colors Rule on the Street!


Some photographers decide to shoot all in black & white or all in color. Although I do prefer B&W for the most part, I also know how to recognize a subject that would lose all interest in monochrome. Sometimes the color is such a big part of the story that removing it would almost be a crime.

I used to shoot RAW and made the final decision in post processing, but this year I’ve only shot JPEGs and embraced the limitations. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that I was making the decision to put a roll of color or monochrome in my camera and lived with that decision.

I do believe that shooting color is often more challenging, you have to be more aware of the many distracting elements that can overpower your subject. Making quick compositional decisions to tell your story while eliminating distractions from the frame before you press the shutter is a balancing act.

I made a selection of recent pics to illustrate that colors often rule on the streets!


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-28


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-15

New York

©Valerie Jardin -  Color-12


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-6


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-2


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-4

New York

©Valerie Jardin -  Color-9

Los Angeles

©Valerie Jardin -  Color-18

San Francisco

©Valerie Jardin -  Color-26

Mont Saint Michel

©Valerie Jardin -  Color-22


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-27


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-3


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-10

New York

©Valerie Jardin -  Color-8


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-23


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-14


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-5


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-21


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-16

New York

©Valerie Jardin -  Color-17


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-20


©Valerie Jardin -  Color-11



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County Fair Folks

County fairs offer a very unique experience in the United States. Walking through a County Fair is a bit like going back in time.  They are nothing compared to the giant State Fairs. It’s local and authentic, people know each other and they take the time to slow down.

I don’t like crowds but I really enjoyed the Washington County Fair in Minnesota with my camera for the first time. I was there for just a couple of hours on a Saturday evening early August. It was a perfect evening for silhouettes🙂

Here are a few of the pics I came home with. All shot with Fujifilm X70.

©Valerie Jardin - County Fair Folks-3

©Valerie Jardin - County Fair Folks-2

©Valerie Jardin - County Fair Folks-7

©Valerie Jardin - County Fair Folks-4

©Valerie Jardin - County Fair Folks-8

©Valerie Jardin - County Fair Folks-9

©Valerie Jardin - County Fair Folks-5

©Valerie Jardin - County Fair Folks-1

©Valerie Jardin - County Fair Folks-6

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Normandy Beach Goers

Ah, lazy days at the beach…

Here are a few pics snapped near my family home during my wanderings this summer. Enjoy!

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-11

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-6

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-9

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-5

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-8

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-4

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-12

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-2

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-3

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-1

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-14

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-13

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-15

©Valerie Jardin - Beach-7

Au Revoir!

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At the Beach with the Lensbaby Velvet

You probably know by now that I’m all about creativity in the field. I get bored with post processing, photography for me is all about being out with my camera, not spending hours in front of a computer.

I recently acquired a Lensbaby Velvet 56mm lens for my Fujifilm XPro2. If you’re not familiar with Lensbaby, they’ve been making really fun creative focus lenses for many years. I used to play with the their Composer system during my Canon days. The Velvet is definitely not a lens you absolutely need, but it sure is a ton of fun! It is quite challenging to use, all manual focus, it will definitely slow you down and make you think. It’s about being very discerning and finding the right subject to fit the look. It’s also about finding the right balance in the aperture you choose and making sure the eye of the viewer is drawn to the subject(s) most in focus. Not too much softness, not too little… And, more importantly, forgetting your preconceived idea that sharpness is a must and embracing the dreamy soft look that you can achieve in camera without spending any time in the digital darkroom.

I found that the dreamy look is particularly suited for the beautiful Classic Chrome film simulation of the Fujifilm cameras. So I set out for a walk on the beach near my family home in Normandy and saw it in a new way.

Just remember that… Sharpness is a bourgeois concept ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson😉


©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-3

©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-14

©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-6

©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-10

©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-12

©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-9

©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-17

©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-18

©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-11

©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-13

©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-16

©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-15

©Valerie Jardin - Velvet soft-7

Paris – Bruxelles

It’s vacation time! I just spent the past 3 weeks at our family home in Normandy with two fun side trips to Paris and Brussels.

As you know, during family time photography takes somewhat of a backseat. After all, it’s what I do the rest of the year so I can take a little break once in a while, or at least try… My camera is always with me, I couldn’t live without it. So I get to snap a shot here and there along the way. It always makes for an interesting challenge. There is no time to wait for the shot, it’s all about reacting quickly to whatever is happening in front of me.

I believe that the limitations keep you sharp and I feel that I always learn a lot from the experience. The key is to embrace the limitations and not let the lack of photography time become a frustration. Do you experience something similar while on family vacation?


©Valerie Jardin - Paris en Scene-1©Valerie Jardin - Paris Seine-1©Valerie Jardin - Love-1©Valerie Jardin - Lost in Le Louvre-1©Valerie Jardin - Meanwhile in Paris-1©Valerie Jardin - paris-2©Valerie Jardin - paris-3©Valerie Jardin - paris-1©Valerie Jardin - Love-1©Valerie Jardin - paris-5


©Valerie Jardin - high tech nuns-1©Valerie Jardin - pretzle man-1©Valerie Jardin - the hat-1©Valerie Jardin - walking in-1©Valerie Jardin - the bicyclist-1©Valerie Jardin - EP-1©Valerie Jardin - Grand Place-1©Valerie Jardin - street dog-1©Valerie Jardin - Friendship-1©Valerie Jardin - metro love-1©Valerie Jardin - mirrored me-1

Street Photography: First Steps and Beyond


I recorded this short video to give you an overview of my ebook, Street Photography: First Steps and Beyond.

Big thank you to my friend Shawn Brezny for the video production!

To download the ebook, click here.

Thank you for your support!


Classic Characters

I don’t have much interest in cars, old or new. But I love people, old and young!🙂

The Back to the 50s event in the Twin Cities attracts very interesting people from all over the world.  I rarely do street portraits these days but I enjoyed spending an hour at the car show on Friday night, stopping car as they were cruising down the street and taking quick portraits of their drivers. People are always willing subjects if you tell them they look cool or handsome.

©Valerie Jardin ~ Classic Characters-6

©Valerie Jardin ~ Classic Characters-4

©Valerie Jardin ~ Classic Characters-3

©Valerie Jardin ~ Classic Characters-7

©Valerie Jardin ~ Classic Characters-8

©Valerie Jardin ~ Classic Characters-1

©Valerie Jardin ~ Classic Characters-2

©Valerie Jardin ~ Classic Characters-9


Charlie was my favorite, I love his VW bus and his hippie demeanor!!

©Valerie Jardin ~ Classic Characters-14

©Valerie Jardin ~ Classic Characters-10

©Valerie Jardin ~ Classic Characters-13

As the rain started falling, people started leaving. Until next year!

©Valerie Jardin ~ Classic Characters-5


Paris Je T’aime ~ A Photo Exhibit

Last Saturday was the grand opening of my photography exhibit Paris Je T’aime. It was such a successful event! Hundreds of people filled the Mpls Photo Center for several hours on a very hot Minnesota night. It was an evening of art, music, food, wine and great conversations with like-minded people.

My good friend Shawn Bresny put this video together for those of you who could not attend. Please note that we are planning an exhibit closing party on August 26th, I hope to see you there!

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Instants Volés ~ Paris

Les instants volés are the precious moments in time stolen in a fraction of a second. Moments that never happened before and will never happen again. It’s the responsibility of the street photographer to immortalize such moments in a respectful way, without disrupting them.

Moments of daily life become powerful in their uniqueness. They tell a story, which is often left for the imagination of the viewer.

Here are a few of those moments of everyday life ‘stolen’ in Paris just a few weeks ago…

©Valerie Jardin-4©Valerie Jardin-9©Valerie Jardin-12©Valerie Jardin-3©Valerie Jardin-5©Valerie Jardin-1©Valerie Jardin-17©Valerie Jardin-21©Valerie Jardin-23©Valerie Jardin-27©Valerie Jardin-37©Valerie Jardin-26©Valerie Jardin-36©Valerie Jardin-35©Valerie Jardin-34©Valerie Jardin-33©Valerie Jardin-32©Valerie Jardin-20©Valerie Jardin-14©Valerie Jardin-13©Valerie Jardin-29©Valerie Jardin-28©Valerie Jardin-7

©Valerie Jardin-19©Valerie Jardin-16©Valerie Jardin-15©Valerie Jardin-25

Thank you for visiting my blog! Please visit my website to see a list of my upcoming photo workshops and get your copy of my new eBook!

©Valerie Jardin-30

La Pétanque

La pétanque, or Boules, is an old favorite game played in most city parks throughout France. Many take it very seriously and play in leagues several times a week, others play it only during summer gatherings with friends and family. It’s always fun to watch and listen to the interactions between players. The goal is to throw the steel balls as close as possible to the small wooden ‘cochonnet’. Here are a few snapshots from the courts at Jardin du Luxembourg yesterday…

©Valerie Jardin - La petanque-3

©Valerie Jardin - La petanque-5

©Valerie Jardin - La petanque-8

©Valerie Jardin - La petanque-7

©Valerie Jardin - La petanque-1©Valerie Jardin - La petanque-2

Shot with the Fujifilm X100T at 23mm.

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