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  • Writer's pictureCourt Richards

Teddy Bears Picnic (Teddy Bears of the Gobelins, Paris)

Teddy Bears of the Gobelins, Paris (Les Nounours des Gobelins)

Have you ever been to Paris? More specifically have you ever been to Paris and found yourself sharing your croissant and coffee with an oversized teddy bear?

These yarn stuffed mammalian toys first made contact in 2018 in the Gobelins neighborhood of the 13th Arrondissement of Paris (Coincidentally a great place for street photographers). A book shop owner by the name of Philippe Labourel is the father of the Teddies. He started posing them in the front window of his bookstore (Le Canon De La Presse, 25av. Des Gobelins – which google assures me is still there) while sharing their exploits on social media.

Soon they were popping up in all corners of Paris. If they were part of my peripheral before the pandemic I quickly became hyper aware of them as the normally bustling streets of Paris came to a grinding halt and we were all told to stay inside. The bears became a common sight and as the months passed I even found myself looking out for them sharing a little smile whenever I saw what mischief they were getting into. Now I can’t imagine Paris without them.

They quickly became the subject of a few of my favorite street shots from those pandemic months, something fun to work into the scene. It was always interesting to see how people interacted with them. Kids loved them of course, parents intrigued and visitors amused by their size and antics. I do think they brightened up a very difficult time in Paris. So thanks to Mr. Philippe Labourel for sharing with us the Teddies of the Gobelins.

Have you seen the Teddy Bears of the Gobelins? Did you work them into your street photography? What was your favorite?

Thanks for reading, If you do have some shots of the teddies please do share them with me. I'd love to see how other people made these a part of their days in Paris.


Court Richards Photography

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