May 232012

Here are some luscious photographs of Paris, not your tourist Paris, but the Paris streets, and not just the Paris streets but a selection of photos that are in many ways a homage to the history of Parisian street photography, that is, photographs with a particularity, an edge, derived from history and impersonation. These are from the Montreal poet/novelist Mark Lavorato (see his poem in the last issue) who started taking pictures as a moment of research for a new novel. He impersonated a 1920s Parisian street photographer who would be a character in his book, and, Lo! he became a photographer himself.



I was researching my third novel, Burning-In (forthcoming), in which one of my characters is a photographer in the 1920s. What I soon learned in my research is that the art of street photography came before the advent of photojournalism. This was astounding to me; that the art aspect of photography came well before its utility.

I picked up a camera and took to the streets to learn about how my protagonist would feel as a street photographer, and I found that, surprisingly, it was me, and not my protagonist, who was doing all the feeling. So I dove into street photography with all the fascination and intensity of someone discovering a new and rich medium.

— Mark Lavorato



— Mark Lavorato


Mark Lavorato is the author of three novels, VeracityBelieving Cedric, and the forthcoming Burning-In. His first collection of poetry, Wayworn Wooden Floors, had just been published. One of the poems from that book was published in a previous issue of Numéro Cinq. Mark lives in Montreal and is currently seeking galleries to exhibit his work.


  4 Responses to “Paris Street Live: Photographs — Mark Lavorato”

  1. Wonderful photographs! As a full-time resident of Paris it’s always great to see the city from a fresh perspective. I also love that Mark started taking photos as a way to get deeper into his character – and then became a photographer himself! Maybe I should start taking up my characters’ pursuits… ; )

  2. Ahh, Paris. I particularly respond to the shot of the kids playing in front of the church. Great movement and narratives.

  3. Lovely, thanks for these! It’s so easy to get hooked by the shutter bug, I’m glad you did!

  4. These are terrific! I love the interaction of Parisians with the art and architecture of their space!

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