Along the Côte d'Azur

We didn't spend nearly enough time along the Côte d'Azur. Then again, I'm sure one could spend a lifetime there and say the same thing. Its name translates to "azure coast" due to its striking blue-green waters, but it's more widely known as the French Riviera. This being our first trip (and only having seven days), we focused on the larger towns and Cassis, a smaller resort town.

France as a whole has some extremely diverse geography for being a relatively smaller country. Not to draw any cultural comparisons, but it's a bit like the US in a much smaller package. You can wake up in Paris, a fairly reticent city with a muted palette of neutral tones and occasional greens. Then, by the afternoon, you could be surrounded by brightly colored buildings, vibrant markets, sapphire seas, and so many speedos.

While the Côte d'Azur is a photographer's dream, someone needs to teach me how to beach and how to ocean. And yes, I'm using nouns as verbs to describe the practice of having the beach and ocean near my body. This is not my natural habitat. My two big issues: 1) How do you not get sand everywhere and in every crevice? Am I supposed to enjoy this? 2) How do people so willingly enter the ocean where dreadful flesh-eating creatures are almost certainly lurking? Please send your advice and sunscreen samples to

While I pretended to enjoy the beach and acted like I definitely beach on a regular basis, my cover was blown when my freckled skin turned beet red and my muscles seized up with fear as I approached the water. So I decided to take pictures of men in speedos instead. This is a project I'm calling Summer Boys, which will continue into the foreseeable future.

As always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments. I love talking photo, travel, and gnocchi gorgonzola!