Spend a Photography Weekend in Rome - A walk through History

Take a photography weekend in Rome!  Was I free at short notice to go to Rome for a photography assignment?   I had lived there hadn’t I and spoke some Italian?  Yes, yes, yes!  “We are conducting some interviews and planning a feature around the Maxxi museum. We need some shots of the people, museum and a few atmospheric ones, so we hope you can be free to leave on Thursday for a Friday shoot.I replied immediately that fortunately I would be free and could we discuss the details as we were already Tuesday. 

Those kind of photographic assignments used to come through all the time back in the days before the crash of 2008.  Almost every week I would be off somewhere, photographing a new innovatory start up, a factory, an amazing architectural project or even a prize winning chef or restaurant, any one of them being anywhere in Europe or beyond.  

Within a couple of hours it was all settled.  I booked a ticket that brought me back to Paris on the Monday morning.  One of the advantages of having lived somewhere is that I had friends to see who could put me up thus prolonging my trip at no extra cost to the client and to which they agreed to.  I was told that a couple of atmospheric shots of old Rome could contrast nicely with the modernity of the museum.  I was going to spend a photography weekend in Rome!

The museum is a short cab ride out of old Rome and in stark contrast to the old city, a contemporary low concrete structure with interesting forms.  I loved the interior which is very graphic with it’s staircases and lighting using lots of steel, concrete and glass.  The museum was pretty busy which made the sort of pictures I would have liked to take a little difficult but I loved it and would recommend a trip out there to anyone keen on art and photography.

I spent the weekend pounding the streets of the Centro Storico which were absolutely packed with people.  I have never seen more tourists anywhere!  Looking down from the Spanish steps was a thriving sea of people under the watchful eye of military guards and policemen. To take great photos of Rome, you either need to go completely off season or get up and out before dawn.

A great place to visit is the Palazzo Doria Pamphilij on the via del Corso, a dazzling international art collection in a huge 18th century building that is still lived in by the family today.  I also love walking the narrow streets of Trastevere, packed with trendy and delicious tratttoria’s serving wonderful meals.  I used to live right by the old Jewish quarter which is worth a visit and a few photos.

A photographic trip to Rome for any photographer really is  ‘A Walk Through the Ages’. From the coliseum and the forum with it’s statues of Caesar and Augustus to the 2 museums of  modern art,  the Maxxi  and MACRO via the fabulous 16th/17th and 18th century palazzos and it’s attractive streets full of stylish boutiques and elegantly dressed Romans.  Pity about the tourists but there you are!