Paris Through The Eyes Of Cape Codders

By: Debra Lawless

Topics: Arts

“Paris” by Jennifer Stello.

Local Photographers Exhibit Photos Of The City Of Light

by Debra Lawless

Two well-known Chatham photographers will be featured in a dual show, “Images of Paris,” opening on Sept. 24 at Chatham’s Gallery Antonia.

“It’s going to be fun,” says gallery owner Domonic Boreffi. The gorgeous photographs of Paris by Kim Roderiques and Jennifer Eldredge Stello will offer something a little different to Cape audience.

And who doesn’t love Paris?

Roderiques and Stello met at the Cape Cod Viewfinders Club in the early 1990s. “We both had photo businesses, and just kind of hit it off,” Roderiques recalled in a telephone interview last week. Both family portrait photographers, they began meeting for drinks and dinner, and taking short trips around the Cape. Later, they learned that they were compatible traveling companions—both stop “every seven seconds” for a photograph. Their first trip was to New Zealand, which Roderiques calls “the trip of a lifetime, our barometer for every trip from then on.”

Three years ago in February the pair flew to Paris. It was bitter cold, and the city was experiencing its first snowfall in many years.

Roderiques speaks rhapsodically of their visit. “It was quiet. The beauty of that time of year—the bare trees. Wonderful silence and calm. It was just beautiful. So peaceful. No craziness.”

From sunup to sundown the energetic pair was out and about photographing the beloved City of Light.

One of Stello’s photographs depicts a street scene that most people would immediately recognize as Paris. Paris’s characteristic four-story gray stone buildings are in the background, with a gray cobblestone street in front. Yet what draws your eye is the color of the wooden front of a restaurant—it’s almost a Maxfield Parrish blue, with the restaurant’s name spelled out in a contrasting yellow. Next to it is a cherry red storefront. Five red chairs are set at tables outside the blue restaurant.

“The colors of Paris are so magnificent,” Roderiques says. “Even in the dead of winter they pop.”

While this is their first joint show, both women have published books of their photographs.

In June 2015 Roderiques released her book “Dogs on Cape Cod.” The book, which was two years in the making, features 225 color photos of 205 different dogs in outdoor settings from Sandwich to Provincetown. Roderiques, who manages her family-owned business the Trading Company on Main Street in Chatham, has photographed families and their pets for over 20 years.

And in June 2008 Stello published “Chatham At Its Best.” Stello, an 11th generation Eldredge, grew up in Chatham and, except for stints away for a part of high school and at Green Mountain College in Vermont, where she majored in art, she has always lived here. (Her husband Robert owns Stello Construction.) She is well known now as a family photographer, and has been a feature photographer for this newspaper.

Last April the pair approached Boreffi about a show. The previous November, Boreffi had moved his gallery from a storefront on Main Street to a space south on Route 28 in the Cornfield Marketplace. Here he has a space with natural light and tall ceilings. They all agreed September would be the ideal time to open “Images of Paris.”

So here’s the question: Since Stello and Roderiques were both visiting the same place at the same time, can you tell which photographer took which picture?

Boreffi believes so. “I think the personalities come out,” he says. Roderiques often emphasizes architecture. One of her shots is of a magnificent building in a classical style across the Seine. In contrast, Stello cast her eye on landscapes, figures and street scenes.

“I look for the kids roaming in the towns,” Roderiques adds. While children and dogs are her favorite subjects she did not photograph as many dogs as usual because they were all bundled up in coats and scarves in the cold.

“We both enjoy getting the flavor of the environment and the people and encapsulating what the country is about with our photos,” Roderiques says.

The pair also left Paris and traveled in the Loire Valley among the castles. Many of the photographs depict castles and details of windows and doors, evening shots, rivers and people as well as the neighborhoods of Paris.

“They’re all candid photos,” Roderiques says. “We never pose people.” Both photographers use Canon digital cameras.

“Images of Paris” will open on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 4 to 6 p.m. “Nibbles and beverages” will be served. For those who can’t attend the opening, the gallery will be open on Thursday, Sept. 22 and Friday, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show will remain on display through the end of October. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is on the second level at the Cornfield Marketplace. Handicapped parking and the gallery’s entrance are easily accessed at the rear of the building. For more information visit galleryantonia.com.