COVID-19 France Quarantine: Early Spring

June 11, 2021

Filed in: C'est la Vie

Photographs from the COVID-19 France quarantine.

When the first COVID-19 quarantine lifted last year, I hurriedly threw together a blog post so that I would remember it all. It all happened so quickly as we hastily packed up for the French countryside in the early spring. We were barely out of winter as we bumped down the country roads and lugged our suitcases into the cold stone cottage.

In my suitcase I had packed one camera, a light meter, and a few handfuls of film amongst my clothes. Six or eight rolls would have to last me seemingly indefinitely. There was no end in sight when we left Paris, and we were prepared to be there for a long time…

We were greeted by the throes of winter. Barely a leaf on any of the branches, a barren landscape that stretched endlessly, it seemed, over the undulating hills of Normandy. A beat-down, deteriorating sign (presumably plowed into by a car) signaled our destination from the road. If you didn’t know about it, you would have missed it.

At the beginning of quarantine, I thought I wouldn’t last — it was so cold. The stone walls provided little insulation and the heating was poor. I wore three layers to bed every night, plus socks. Though it never snowed, I wore my down jacket…even inside. The first month passed as we soaked up the golden light that streamed through branches, through windows, and offered shards of warmth. Even the hearth, gargantuan though it was, could not ward off the cold.

We spent those first few freezing weeks practicing archery (they kill the fingers), slugging through the mud of the garden (called the potager), romping through the fields in leaky rain boots, and watching many a sunset.

And slowly, as the days grew longer and the air warmer, we felt it. Hope.

This is the second installment in photographs from the COVID-19 France quarantine. In a series of posts, I’ll be sharing the progression of the seasons as we hunkered down in Normandy. 

A bent, leaning post reads "Veau Souri" as a tangle of vines and branches threaten to overtake it. Left: Morning light casts a shadow on a woven wood chair. Right: Fading sunlight falls on a mess of branches in a wooden basket. A barely-blossoming pear tree catches the golden rays of sunlight in a vast field next to a stone country cottage in Normandy, France. Left: A young French boy, wearing a mud-splattered sweater, careens down the unpaved path leading to the country cottage on his bicycle. Right: The neighboring donkey munches on some grass under a cloudy sky. The hands of a young child pump wooden fireplace bellows. Sparks fly from the fire in the cooking chimney. A young boy plays with a rubber bow and arrow set in a large grassy field at sunset. Left: The mud-splattered front of a young boy wearing a navy sweater, jeans, and rubber boots. Right: The bare willow tree in the large grassy field on a cold March morning. Pink rainbows stand out from the jumbled pile laying on the grass next to the cottage. Sunset in Normandy over the rolling hills and bare tree branches. The golden sunset streams through the branches of the trees that line the gravel path to the stone cottage.

I am a San Francisco Bay Area (and soon Birmingham, AL) film photographer specializing in the floral portrait, children, love stories, and (personal) brands. I’m also always ready to photograph destination portraits in Paris & Provence! Want to work together? Get in touch! I’d love to know your story. If you need fine art prints & posters to decorate your home, check out my print shop.

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Paris & California strolls; plenty of flowers; stories; and looking for the beauty in the everyday. I hope you'll come along as I take the year to document the entirety of my home state!

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