Friday, December 2, 2011

Need a Photographer?

Everyone has a great camera these days but there are times when you need—or should use--a professional. I’m often asked if I know a great photographer here in Provence and the answer is mais oui!

Based full time in Arles, Remi Benali began his career in 1989 after receiving a law degree in Grenoble. He worked with the legendary photo agency Gamma for 12 years, including three years as a press correspondent in New York. He’s been freelance since 2002 and living in Provence since 2005.

Known as one of the world’s top travel photographers, Remi has journeyed to work in more than 80 countries, from the North Pole to the Sahari to the remote jungles of Sumatra to the plains of Tibet. His magazine clients rely on him for technical expertise and attention to detail; for his ability to capture exquisite traditions, tribal cultures and man’s relationship with nature; to tell a story in a sensitive, compelling  way.  Remi has worked for all the top publications including Life, The Sunday Times, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Paris-Match, Le Figaro and others; he also shoots for corporate clients such as Apple and Disney.

Most recently, Remi has been hired by the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. to document thousands of splendid Roman treasures being pulled from the murky depths of the Rhone in Arles, things like a 2,000 year-old wooden Roman boat, delicate gold rings, coins the size of a dab of mustard, thousands of amphorae and a leather sandal that still bears the imprint of the owner’s foot. It’s a big, impressive two-year gig and his best images will appear in 34 editions of the magnificent magazine in 2014.

But Remi still has time for other clients so definitely consider him for your next job, here in Provence or elsewhere in Europe. He’s especially excited about a new technique he has developed for shooting real estate (interiors and exteriors), so call on him if you’re trying to sell or rent your house…or if, perhaps, you own a hotel, restaurant, shop or gallery and need great shots for your website. Despite his world-class resume, Remi loves working locally too.

"It took some maturity for me to understand a saying we had at Gamma,” he says. “You don't have to take the plane to go to a faraway land…adventure and wonders can be found waiting on the corner of your street." 

For info, a price quote or fine-art prints:

Photos from top: Remi and his dog Ben; Mursi girl in the Lower Omo Valley of Ethiopia;  Amarvilas Resort, near the Taj Mahal; Balinese girl during preparations for rare Pedusan Alit ceremony; three homes in Provence.


  1. Gorgeous work! What a treasure to have a photog like him in our area. Alas, I have no property to photograph. I suppose he could take pictures of my new Ford Fiesta!
    Cheers from Paris!

  2. Well, gosh....thank you for this posting, Ms. Mautner. I'd say that you have spectacularly good taste and a admirably discerning eye in pouncing on Remi's work, but that would be a bit self-congratulatory....since I, just this past month, bought two of Remi's pictures for this house in North Carolina.

    His work is just wonderful. Suffice it to say that, in this old house, we have hundreds (literally and for the predictable reason) of pictures....but we saw Remi's work online (courtesy of his partner, Heather Robinson's, fine and entertaining blog, "Lost in Arles"), and we immediately decided that, come hell or high-water, we'd find a way of getting two of Remi's works on a wall here.

    I should emphasize that we've never actually bought any photographs before this month....but Remi's are special (an over-used word these days, but I mean it). The amusing aspect of the whole transaction is that, for once in our usually over-opinionated lives, my partner and I couldn't agree on WHICH photographs we wanted. We each wanted four different ones...amounting to eight. We finally agreed to whittle our respective choices down to two apiece (having been able to agree on which two pictures already in this house would go down), leaving us with only four pictures to bicker over.

    In a transparent bid for Moral Superiority in this household, I finally told my partner (a French epidemiologist, which goes a long way towards explaining why I spend a third of each year in France) that HE COULD DO THE CHOOSING....whatever would make HIM HAPPY....but could we just go ahead and pay patient-Remi before we tired him out with our dithering? That was about six weeks ago. My partner finally settled on the two pictures he wanted. Your posting's reminded me that I've yet to have told Remi and Heather which pictures we want (I'll do that as soon as I hit "send" for this message).

    We'll be at my in-laws house in France for a couple of weeks at Christmas, so Remi's photographs will be our Christmas presents to each other.

    In any case...what fun to read your posting this morning. I remain impressed, on a very regular basis, by the number of genuinely innovative and talented folks who end up "connecting" on these "french" blogs. I wonder if the Italo-philes have such engaging blogs?

    P.S. for those folks who happen to like good blogs?....go to "Lost in Arles" at:

    Level Best as Ever,

    David Terry

  3. Fabulous post! Thank you for introducing me to his gorgeous work.

  4. I just enjoyed some wonderful time taking in the splendor of Remi's work on his website. What an incredible talent. Thank you for a beautiful post!


  5. really lovely - always so nice to find new inspiration!

  6. Hey Ms. Mautmer,

    Thanks for the intro to Remi's work - Amazing stuff. I've been trying to get some good pictures with my new camera.

    I just went for a visit last weekend to Chateau La Coste and got some great pictures on the walk around their domain. If you haven't seen the project there, it's well worth a look - Lots of major contemporary art and artchitecture works integrated into their massive vineyard.

    Plus they have a cafe with fresh food so that might interest you!
    Some photos on their website and facebook...

    Keep up the good work with the blog! Great stuff.

  7. Just tried to write a comment but seems to have diassapeared?

    Anyway - just a quick thanks for introducing me to Remi's work. Beautiful stuff.

    Also, keeping with photography, I got some great shots at Chateau La Coste the other weekend. Obviously not as good as Remi's, but their walk around the domain is really spectalar especially with all the art and artchitecture that is there now - Especially the Frank Gehry pavillion.

    If you have not already seen it, I'd recommend it. Also has a cafe with fresh food which might interest you!
    Some photos are on their site and facebook:

    Anyway, thanks again! And keep up the good work. Great to hear about all these things in Provence!



  8. Julie, thank you for the reference!
    I'm considering writing a book about French olive oils and pictures are instrumental for its success.

  9. That most be fun for him to take pictures of Roman treasures. I wonder if he likes to take pictures of animals?

  10. I really like it when people get together and share thoughts.
    Great site, keep it up!