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  • Writer's pictureLa Nouvelle Orléanaise

Solo Palma Photo Studio


It would have been a shame not to meet Mary, Jorge’s wife. They both are the owners of the Solo Palma coffee shop, located on Place du Châtelet. Marie was not present on the day I spoke with Jorge, and I wanted to meet her. He told me that she was a photographer in addition to being the manager of the company, and that her photos would be exhibited from April 11 on the walls of the café. So I was able to meet her and admire her exhibition called « Luz y Sombra » – which could be translated as « Shadow and Light » – on April 12.

Because of her welcome, her kindness, and some things in common between us, I quickly felt comfortable with her. I wanted to understand her career, her love for photography and her connection with Orléans. With a great deal of generosity, she shared her light with me.

© Marie Ozanne

LNO: Can you explain what led you to the world of photography?

Marie: I’ve always been attracted to sociology, human behaviour… In 2001, through my training at the Political Science Institute in Lille, I had the opportunity to spend a year abroad in Mexico. It was an optional year, so I had time there to practice dance, drawing, and start learning silver halide photography*. Photography was a great tool! It allowed me both to link my interest in sociology and in art. It gave me the opportunity to go out into the field, to travel, to meet people. Mexico also gave me friends, like Jorge. After graduating, I took a Master’s degree in aesthetics and art history at the University of Paris I in 2005, after having gone through the « Contraste » workshop in Belgium, where I was able to improve my photography skills and mount my first exhibitions.

LNO: The artistic dimension played an increasingly important role during your studies. Did you continue in this direction afterwards?

Marie: Absolutely. After my Master’s degree, I went to Quebec in 2006 – I was restless – to do a six-month internship as a participating photographer for the foundation: « Les Impatients », which works with people suffering from mental health issues thanks to a creative process.

After my internship, I went back to Mexico. I missed the warmth, the colours and the people. As I wanted to do a photo coverage of Mexicans, I asked Jorge to accompany me. For more stability, I first worked as a French teacher at the university, then as a professor of photographic technique.

After two years, I started to miss Europe. Jorge and I lived in Barcelona for a few years; nevertheless, I regularly went to Belgium, where I founded the collective « Caravane » in 2009 with photographer friends, dissolved in 2017. The highlight of this experience was my photo-reportage on Turkish women entitled: « Femmes libérées » (or « Liberated women »), exhibited at the French Institute in Istanbul. In 2011, we moved to Brussels, where Jorge was able to learn French as well as the profession of barista.

LNO: You said you were restless. What motivated you to come back and live in Le Loiret?

Marie: In 2017, after the dissolution of the collective, I took a break from my career as a photographer and we decided to settle down here. I am very attached to the Loiret and to the Loire river, which is magical. Basically, I have the feeling that I have always looked for the Loiret elsewhere. Jorge and I opened the Solo Palma coffee shop in 2019, and then I went back to photography after the birth of our second child.

LNO: By opening a café, you continue to discover people in a different way and live your passion for photography. Does the title of your exhibition,« Luz y sombra », have anything to do with the fact that coffee needs both shade and light to grow?

Marie: I didn’t see it that way. Indeed, I must have unconsciously made a bridge between my two occupations.

LNO: Tell me more about your exhibition and photographic business: Solo Palma Photo Studio.

Marie: The treatment of light and shadow is what unites my photos with one another. I like to play with the contrasts. By exhibiting them at the café, I want to reach an audience that would not spontaneously go and look at photos in a gallery.

With the company I have just created: Solo Palma Photo Studio, I both work with professionals and individuals – I have a mobile photo studio. In the future, I would also like to do image education with teenagers. There are huge needs in this area. In addition, I would like to collaborate with other photographers and exhibit their photos at the café along with my own. All information is available on my website: as well as on Instagram.

La Nouvelle-Orléanaise



Silver halide photograph: on photographic film


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