We arrived at the after party. Jérôme had invited me. I’d looked my hostess in the eye at the gig prior – a glance that said: ‘Is he okay this guy?’ “Oh yes, you should go S, it’ll be fun” she’d replied.
Our jeep ride to post-performance shenanigans had us chatting away about everything from the West of Ireland to my photographic attempts for Conversations with strangers. “Get one of these for a start” Jérôme told me, pointing to his holster-like belt which contained a small camera not dissimilar to mine.
On arriving at a fabled hotel in the countryside, I recognised I was indeed walking in with the photographer of the island as Jérôme continued to fill me in on his work: “I take all the photos of the artists that perform at Ibiza Rocks.” “Gosh, really?” I said. “Yes, and perhaps you’ve seen my book – portraits of the people that live here – it’s called ‘Ibiza People?’”
He showed me a pic of the book cover on his phone. “Oh, you know I think I have seen it in various places.” “Probably” he went on. “And, all the smart villas – they have my photographs.”
A commotion at the entrance to reception interrupted our chat. Suitcases and their accompanying guests appeared with the excitement of arriving finally at a holiday destination. “Sophie, Soph, can you bring that bag here, I need my passport!” Soph appeared, out of breath wearing a hat, short backless dress and flip flops. “Here you go darling.” Then, seeing us – and specifically my handsome companion: “Hello, hello, who are you? Do we know you? Have we met before?!” “I am a photographer. My name is Jérôme Ferrière – perhaps you have heard of me?” “Ahhhh! Enchanté, enchanté! Bonsoir!”
Before I knew it Jérôme was hastening to his jeep to fetch a couple of his books. “Wait for me, I’ll be back” he called over his shoulder. Minutes later we were all flicking through it. “Oh, mais c’est magnifique, ça!” exclaimed Sophie. “Oui, oui, c’est vrai. Ooh la la!”
Two book sales down, we headed inside and I got a guided tour of his arresting portraits adorning practically everywhere you looked.