Jeff Hargrove is a professional photographer and owner of Fringe, a café and event space in the Marais neighborhood of Paris, France. Jeff grew up in the United States, but has spent most of his career living and traveling around Europe and Asia.
“When I sit in a coffee shop, my mind wanders and I dream. You see the people walking by and all of a sudden you’re not looking at them, and stuff starts happening in your mind. That’s where I get all my ideas and inspiration.”
“I first had the idea to open a café when I came to Paris as an exchange student, and the idea has been following me around for twenty years since.”
“I was getting tired of doing commercial photography. I wanted to do something else but not give up photography entirely.”
“The question I asked myself was, ‘What do I like most about photography?’ It wasn’t exhibitions, or posting them on websites.”
“About 10 or 16 years ago I started a magazine in Asia, and I loved connecting people with some kind of concept. When you make a magazine, you have an object, something that you can keep. Exhibits are just temporary.”
“I’m attracted to making coffee because in a lot of ways it’s a craft, like photography. You can print an image a hundred different ways. It’s still the same image, but there will be something different about it. Coffee is the same. It’s the same coffee but it’s different every time – the taste, the acidity, and so on is different.”
“I learned in that past that when I made compromises, I wasn’t happy. I would attract customers that didn’t think like me and get jobs I didn’t like. So, this time, I had a very clear vision of what I wanted. It took me 3 years to refine my idea. It’s exactly what I wanted and I didn’t make any real compromises.”
“Photographers are very independent people.
“Paris has this aesthetic where all the buildings are the same but slightly different. There’s a rhythm to it. If every building is totally different, I think it’s a little aggressive.”
“I just wanted the cafe to be a reflection of myself.”