Bridges of Paris

Paris has more than 350 bridges with just 37 cross the Seine River.
But they are far more than just places to cross a river- each has its own story, history and personality.
These bridges are the subject of a beautiful coffee table book Bridges of Paris by US photojournalist, Michael Saint James.
Artist, educator, and world traveler, who has been taking photos for 30 years says his curiosity is always getting the better of him.
In May 2013, following stints in Japan, Cyprus, Croatia, Burma, the Himalayas, and the Antarctic, Michael visited Paris.
Entranced with the bridges crossing the Seine as symbols of the city and its history, as well as vital components of its infrastructure, he decided to become a “Parisian for a year” in order to record them as fully as possible.
He says each of these bridges represents a joining place between two unique neighborhoods.
“Each has a special beauty. Each has its place in history. Experience the bridges of Paris as destinations rather than unnoticed thoroughfares. Find your own favorite bridge. Take the time to let it reveal its beauty to you. You’ll never see Paris the same again,” he says.
Collectively these bridges weave a unique and remarkable tale of the city’s history.
Bridges of Paris is a kaleidoscopic collage that shifts focus from the monumental to the minutia that make up daily life of the beloved French capital,” he says.
Themes explored include Paris bridges as destinations, the history of Paris as told by the bridges, experiencing a Parisian state of mind, the joy of human differences and how bridges help connect diverse communities on either side of the river.”
Michael has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 25 years, though he rarely stays put. Fortunately, his wife owns a travel business.
“I stopped counting after I visited my 40th country. Travel had become a state of mind,” he says.
Michael’s artistic pursuits include graphic design, book design, film editing, and sound recording, as well as his first love, photography. He says he also paints when he is “feeling courageous.”
Michael loves sharing what he does and what he has learned. As an educator with California teaching credentials, he has taught media production and technology arts as well as photography. He has also taught art history and visual storytelling, and is an expert speaker on Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. Indeed, he walked in Vincent Van Gogh’s footsteps through the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in order to immerse himself in that troubled master’s vision.
The father of two grown children, Michael once owned a café in Berkeley, California. He has bicycled from Las Vegas to Washington, D.C. and is rumored to play a mean blues harmonica.