One of the things Americans seem to believe about Parisians is that they are reticent, aloof, hard to approach.
In some ways, that's true, but it's just that they aren't Americans. Smiles here are earned, not just passed out freely. You know that ubiquitous yellow happy-face that first appeared in the U.S. in the late Sixties? Parisians keep their Metro faces on until you've said or done something that earns a happy face.
As for being hard to approach, if you walk up speaking English, and just speak louder when you're not being understood, you're not going to make friends in any land. But if you approach the French with some phrases in their language, like "Hello" (Bonjour) and "How are you?" (Comment ça va?), you're likely to get a smile and a Ça va bien, et vous? in return.
As a photographer, Richard is out in the streets for hours a day most days. His French is improving, but he's still shy about using it, and even shyer about just sticking his camera into people's faces.
But often the Parisians are not equally shy. Richard will take a photograph of some object, like these clouds above the Luxembourg Gardens, and a group of boys will run up and clamor to have their pictures taken.
Such "intrusions" happen surprisingly often, and people love to smile for the camera. Even more surprisingly, they don't ask for a copy. It seems to be enough that they got their picture taken.
This week's Paris Play is dedicated to those non-reticent Parisians, who, with gesture, word or deed, asked or demanded or cajoled Richard to take their picture. These are the people who chose to pose--some of them literally jumped in front of the camera. His notes on the photos are in the captions.