Waaaaay back in 2007, you’ll recall we launched multiple video series aimed at presenting the unseen side of professional photography: Chase Jarvis: RAW (behind the scenes b-roll), Chase Jarvis: FRAMES (every image from a shoot sewn together into a video), Chase Jarvis: TECH (tips born from the road and solutions to real life photo challenges), and Chase Jarvis: CURRENT (video recordings of my occasional keynotes and random creative talks from around the world). These are humming along nicely (as are our iTunes versions ) and will continue to grow and develop this year. They’re a fun side-show for me.

Today, I’m stoked to introduce a new series of blog posts intended to shed additional light on The Black Box, the behind-the-scenes world of professional photography. This new series is called Chase Jarvis: ROOM WITH(OUT) A VIEW and its intent is to show the underbelly of the traveling photographer from the road.

While many creatives travel, a larger number don’t. Some who don’t, dream to; and some that have to, wish they didn’t. Personally? I love it. But for many, the grass is always greener. Having logged my 120,000th airline mile for 2007 on 30 December, and having done those sort of numbers for at least 4 or 5 years now (and around 50% of that number for the previous 4 to 5 years), I figured I could help share some light on work travel, and let you decide for yourself if you think traveling –and/or how I’ve portrayed it– is interesting.

So the plan is to deliver this ongoing info/art series of posts in a photo-blog sort of fashion (inspired by some “research”). Specifically, the plan for each RWAV entry goes like this:

1) I post a snapshot I’ve taken from the window of whatever random hotel/motel/tent I’m staying at during my travels (a habit I’ve been in for quite some time) in a Chase Jarvis: ROOM WITH(OUT) A VIEW post. Depending on the day, location, time of year, client, budget, shoot, etc, you’ll see a huge variety–from penthouse suites with striking urban views of the world’s snazziest cities to tent vestibules with NO views during an ice storm, and everything in between.

2) From that snapshot, I’m going to playfully challenge YOU and the quirky, global reach of this readership to try to identify where this snapshot might be from by asking those who are willing to post your best darn guess in the comments section. Some of these locations will be known to some, others known to all, others still known to none. Regardless, it should be a kick in the pants to see just how far-reaching your collective geographic/cultural skills might be. In addition to your best guess at the location, if you’re interested, I’d like you to consider posting your URL if you have a blog or a site or whatever (see #4).

3) After some random length of time determined by my schedule, I’ll reveal the location of the RWAV photo in a followup post all its own titled RWAV: REVEALED! and I’ll post a handful of additional gritty snapshots from the same trip. Expect uncensored crew shots, snaps of broken rental cars and broken gear, out of focus party pictures, private plane$, boring-ass pictures I take of myself without sleep and with a zit or two, macro shots of my airplane food, and of course a few classic tourist snaps thrown in for some cheesy flavor.

4) THE TWIST (and perhaps the most exciting part): From the list of those who guessed the location correctly in the comments section — be that list of “winners” long or short– I’ll select a few of YOUR links (I can’t post ‘em all, but you’ll be in a lottery for posting) to share with the community – perhaps sending a few thousand friends your way. I may also send the occasional gift to you, depending on how crazy obscure and detailed your successful guess was deemed to be. Through these channels we’ll all get to know one another a little better and we’ll continue to expand our horizons just a touch.

So whether you’re a studio pro who is considering becoming a location shooter, an amateur shooter who thinks you might want to do this sort of a thing for a living, or just a creative hoping for some low-pretense visual crack (or none of the above), I’ll hope to deliver an interesting perspective and illustrate what it’s like being on the road. I probably can’t keep up with ALL the hotel rooms and trips, but I’ll do my best. Regardless, at the end of a year or two or three, this could be fun archive.

WHICH brings me to the last point: let’s try this out now. The shot atop this post was from a trip that just wrapped up today. This is the first Chase Jarvis: ROOM WITH(OUT) A VIEW. Where was the photo above taken earlier today?

[RSS reader can’t see the photo? Click here.]

89 Responses to Chase Jarvis: ROOM WITH(OUT) A VIEW

  1. Erik Persson January 7, 2008 at 12:26 am #

    Oh this looks like fun. Well lets see.
    I see European license plates so you’re probably not in Seattle. All the cars have left driver sides so its not the UK.
    I’m guessing France, probably Paris. If it is Paris, then probably Chase Jarvis Inc, Paris.

  2. Erik Persson January 7, 2008 at 12:28 am #

    Oh this looks like fun. Well lets see.
    I see European license plates so you’re probably not in Seattle. All the cars have left driver sides so its not the UK.
    I’m guessing France, probably Paris. If it is Paris, then probably Chase Jarvis Inc, Paris.

  3. Alteredo January 7, 2008 at 12:31 am #

    Paris, France.

  4. Adrian Spender January 7, 2008 at 12:38 am #

    Using my amazing powers of deduction, I’ll say Paris as well after looking at the filename of the photo ;-)

  5. Nathan January 7, 2008 at 12:44 am #

    I just cross-checked with my fiance my recollection of our last Scandinavian adventure – she concurs.

    We believe thats: Copenhagen, Denmark.

    It may be Paris, France – but a) that’d be (potentially) too obvious, and b) it looks like Denmark

  6. Jay McLaughlin January 7, 2008 at 1:19 am #

    I was going to say prague initially based on the shape of the rooftops, but then I also noticed the filename, so I would have to say Paris, although that could be a trick! hahhaa

    Shot on a Canon G9?

  7. Philippe January 7, 2008 at 1:55 am #

    I would also say the too obvious, Paris, France, though I can’t spot an old, yellow number plate. So I change my mind and ask purely speculative, if you went south to Italy?

    Florence, Italy.

    Greetings from north (or east;-) of it, Switzerland.

  8. Manuel Zamora-Morschhäuser January 7, 2008 at 2:18 am #

    Definetively Paris/France. I know this place, it’s hotel right near the Place des Vosges in the Rue Birague. I’ve been here in October and took a shot of that gate. At least I’m very very sure this is the place ;-)

  9. shelbywhite January 7, 2008 at 2:33 am #

    Hmm the file name says paris, so i’ll say paris.

  10. Joshua Meador January 7, 2008 at 2:34 am #

    Looks I got beat to the “Paris” punch… That is my guess still though. The name of the file makes it hard for me to guess anything else.

    That said, I think this is a great idea Chase and everything you are doing is of great help to me as a student who wants to get into doing exactly what you do. I have been reading your blog for a long time now, but just now am commenting. Thanks for all the great information and can’t wait to see more from this series!

    Joshua Meador

  11. Stephen Barnes January 7, 2008 at 2:43 am #

    t’s the Rue de Béarn, Paris, looking south towards Square Louis XIII.

    Know it well :-)

  12. laphecetche January 7, 2008 at 2:44 am #

    Hum, that could be Vendôme, France.

  13. unkarl January 7, 2008 at 2:54 am #


  14. Anonymous January 7, 2008 at 3:08 am #

    I’d have to say by the cars, weather, shape of rooftops … Paris, surely.

    Rob Birrell – Rob Birrell Photography

  15. george January 7, 2008 at 3:34 am #

    Paris with a hangover – I too looked t the photo label

  16. Ant January 7, 2008 at 3:39 am #

    Gotta go with Paris! File name does say it all ;-)

  17. Nathan January 7, 2008 at 3:42 am #

    Drat – filename shmilename…
    Assuming it is Paris… where in Paris? Anyone?

  18. mmdesign January 7, 2008 at 4:18 am #

    Hey, that’s my apartment here in Louisville! You should have stopped by for a Heineken.

  19. brian faini January 7, 2008 at 4:30 am #

    You should change the file name to something that isn’t the location…
    it is Paris…
    F4/ 400th at 400iso 7mm (does that get me extra credit?)

  20. Antoine January 7, 2008 at 4:31 am #

    I would say Paris, near “Place des vosges” … maybe “rue de birague” ?

  21. Eric January 7, 2008 at 4:32 am #

    3rd Arr. in Paris.

    I’m pretty sure you are about 3 stories up on the corner of Rue Saint-Gilles and Rue de Béarn.

    C’mon, make this harder :)
    (license plates, filename, and of course the green trash/recycling bins

  22. Alex Van Boxel January 7, 2008 at 4:44 am #

    Well this is fun. I recognized the photo because we went to Paris in June so I searched my photo collection. The photo that I found was not a 100% match so did some research and it was the building across the “Places de Vosges”.

    So the photo is takes in the “Rue de Birague” towards the “Places de Vosges”. I think you where hanging at this location:

    Latitude: 48°51’16.69″N
    Longitude: 2°21’54.98″O

    My Flickr photo (across the sequare):
    My photoblog: (stylesheet is not finished,just started ;)

  23. Nicolas January 7, 2008 at 4:53 am #


    I just saw that you named the file in order to help us or not… But I know it’s not a trick. I know this place very well it’s just a street near Place des Vosges in Paris. As I wasn’t sure about the street name I checked on of my photo book:
    “Paris vu du ciel” by the well-known Yann Arthus-Bertrand. If you look at the page 6 and 7 your hotel is just in the right bottom corner of the picture.
    Book here:
    So according to my book and my memory it’s here:;=fr&geocode;=&time;=&date;=&ttype;=&q;=Place+des+Vosges,+75004+4%C3%A8me+Arrondissement,+Paris&sll;=47.15984,2.988281&sspn;=18.622407,48.164063&ie;=UTF8≪=48.8547,2.36524&spn;=0.00055,0.00147&t;=h&z;=20&om;=1
    Rue de Birague, Paris 75004.
    Watching carefully your snapshot and the map, I found the hotel.

    Hotel de la Place des Vosges 12 rue de Birague.
    Description here:

    After all I could find it easily by just using “hotel place des vosges” in

    Ok I thought about calling them to find the number of your room, but I’m not sure that they will give me this info !

    You probably had some great time here.

    I was in Roissy Airport this morning as my girlfriend is going back to the Canada with a connection flight in Phili. Maybe we were close.

    Cheers and happy new year.


  24. PURE Studios January 7, 2008 at 5:40 am #

    Hmm…it’s not the fine city of Paris, I’ll guess the “other” Paris.

  25. Gordon January 7, 2008 at 5:44 am #

    Paris, Texas. Hmm, no. Well, then maybe Paris, France.

  26. Joost van der Borg January 7, 2008 at 6:27 am #

    Well, it’s obvious now, but still, it’s in Paris, france. This is what it looks like from above:;=en&geocode;=&time;=&date;=&ttype;=&q;=Rue+de+B%C3%A9arn&sll;=48.85952,2.351074&sspn;=0.106838,0.32135&ie;=UTF8≪=48.856472,2.365974&spn;=0.000835,0.002511&t;=h&z;=19&om;=1

    And microsoft shows this lovely view:

    Obviously, when they make PhotoSynth available linked to web search, it would take mere seconds to pinpoint the exact window from which you took this shot, and any other place other people with cameras visited sometime in the past :). Luckily, that’ll take some time, so until then this will be a fun thing to follow (and slightly scary, since it takes so little time to find an exact location, even though this seems to have been relatively easy).

  27. <b>Carl F. McKinney</b> January 7, 2008 at 6:51 am #

    I want to beat this dead horse until it almost comes back to life by saying Paris but you seem to be way more cagey than that.
    Definitely Eastern Europe though.
    Hell, I’ll stick with Paris final answer no life lines, whammy’s and stop!!!

  28. Carl F. McKinney January 7, 2008 at 6:56 am #

    The limb I was standing on to post my previous comment just broke! OUch! Definitely Chase Jarvis, Inc.- Paris.

  29. Trancept January 7, 2008 at 7:15 am #

    Seeing this photo I think “Hum, this is the entrance of -Place des voges-“.
    And Nicolas do the things I was about to do… Good job Nicolas ;)

  30. pouhou January 7, 2008 at 7:22 am #

    No Doubt it’s in “Rue de Birague”
    I lived for 25 years in Paris and this road in one side goes to “Places des vosges and the other way “Rue St Antoine”

  31. Dominic January 7, 2008 at 7:42 am #


    Far be it from me to add to the already 30+ people who pointed out the image file name indicating Paris, etc.

    I will point out, however, that the “Map it with Google Maps” links from do not work – at least not for me.

    Anyway, I will have to agree with everybody else on this most likely being your offices in Paris. :)

  32. Harry January 7, 2008 at 8:16 am #

    As it’s so obviously Paris I’ll say it’s Oxford, UK, in the French quarter

  33. Perttu January 7, 2008 at 8:20 am #

    Everyone guess Paris, as it says in the filename, so I’ll make a really obscure guess: it is Belgium. :-D I’ll lose this time, definetly.

  34. Jacob January 7, 2008 at 8:26 am #

    I was really hoping it was Hotel Chevalier, comlete with Peter Sarstedt playing in the background and Natalie Portman on the balcony. “Want to see my view of Paris?”

  35. Juan January 7, 2008 at 8:38 am #

    Oh La la… Le Paris….

  36. momentography January 7, 2008 at 9:00 am #

    Ah, Paris. Though, mad props if the filename is intentional and incorrect…

  37. Douglas Boyce III January 7, 2008 at 9:28 am #

    Are you kidding me people. This is NO WAY even NEAR Paris.

    Common Chase, it’s a dead give away.

    Dubuque, IA.


    I just needed to bring a smile to your face.

    - D3

  38. MaCanuck January 7, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    You are here

  39. SnapFactory January 7, 2008 at 10:24 am #

    Paris for sure. This looks much like a shots I took a couple of years ago:

    I love the blog, keep it up! Your work is terrific. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Mark Wallace

  40. Rafael Ibáñez January 7, 2008 at 10:24 am #

    I will say, Paris!

  41. Anonymous January 7, 2008 at 10:38 am #

    My vote is Prague,

    Matt Brush

  42. Terrence January 7, 2008 at 10:47 am #

    Love this idea.

    I stand on the shoulders of those before me. With some aid of Google maps and the hotel’s web site you took that picture from Hotel de la Places des Vosges, 12, rue de Birague, Paris, 75004. I’m just confirming what quite a few before me deduced.

    Here’s a view from the street:

    Terrence Randell

  43. scott neumyer January 7, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    Very cool project! Can’t wait to see more.

  44. Barak January 7, 2008 at 12:01 pm #

    Ahhh… Paris.

  45. Sally January 7, 2008 at 1:05 pm #

    Oh! Others beat me to it! I stayed in the Hotel de la Place des Vosges in May ’06, and remember this view well. I hope your stay at the specific hotel was better than ours…

    :) Here’s two other views from that hotel:

  46. Marcos G. Meider January 7, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    That’s Paris. Hotel Place Des Vosges in Rue de Birague; bedroom 51….. ;-)

    That’s fun!!!.

  47. Austin Joffe January 7, 2008 at 2:08 pm #

    Rue de Birague, Paris is my guess as well. Temperatures appear to be in the mid 40’s, and a slight drizzel (my nizzle)… Maybe looks as if this was mid to late day. Not shot with Canon G9; Nikon. Was probably take just before leaving the room for some food or possibly to the airport to head back to the US.

  48. jim January 7, 2008 at 2:12 pm #

    It’s new years day, shot with the G9, file name contains paris, all adds up to a fun day at the Chase Javis headquarters in

    Paris, France

  49. Dov January 7, 2008 at 2:50 pm #


  50. John Leonard January 7, 2008 at 3:03 pm #

    So, the easy guess would be Paris due to the file name. But the file name would also have us believe it was taken on 1-1-08, possibly with a Canon G9 (the only Canon I would own). However, your post said it was taken today. This leads me to believe the file name to be unreliable. So My guess is going to be Prague if only due to the architectural details. I would also say from your hotel room on the back side of the hotel. No front facing vistas on this trip!

  51. Austin Joffe January 7, 2008 at 3:46 pm #

    REPOST: Paris as well. Third floor. Temperatures appear to be in the mid 40’s. Maybe looks as if this was mid to late day. WAS shot with Canon G9. Was probably take just before leaving the for New York.

  52. Rémi January 7, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    Like everyone said, it’s clear it’s Paris. Even David from Strobist said you where going to Paris on his december 31th post… :)

    Même si je parle français, ça fait plusieurs génération que mes ancêtres sont partis pour la Nouvelle-France… so, I’ll leave it to the others for the details.

    Anyway, great idea Chase. Can’t wait for the next one.

  53. Stephen January 7, 2008 at 5:02 pm #

    this would be at “Plaza De Vosges”
    in Paris, France.

    the oldest quarter in Paris

  54. Carlo January 7, 2008 at 6:43 pm #

    I would say Paris, 1er ou 4eme arrondissement. It looks familiar … I stayed in Paris in the 1er this summer. And whenever I see those green trash bags I can’t help but think of Paris (don’t ask, long story).

  55. Dave(id) January 7, 2008 at 6:48 pm #

    Paris, France

  56. Sean Winslow January 7, 2008 at 7:31 pm #

    I was going to say Paris even before I saw the file-name.

    A bit disappointed than when I happen to be right, it is easy to find the answer.

    Looking forward to the next one (with a mystery filename!).


  57. ingalbraith January 7, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    the outskirts of paris…

  58. Jasmine Marie January 7, 2008 at 9:59 pm #


  59. John Lewis Photography January 8, 2008 at 7:17 am #

    central Paris

  60. Dan Speicher Photography January 8, 2008 at 7:46 pm #

    I am going to go with Paris based off of your photo tag. but i would have gone with germany because of the left hand drive.

  61. Ian January 9, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    Manuel nailed it with this – ‘Definetively Paris/France. I know this place, it’s hotel right near the Place des Vosges in the Rue Birague. I’ve been here in October and took a shot of that gate. At least I’m very very sure this is the place ;-)’

    Nice hotel as well you flash sod ;-)

  62. Anonymous June 5, 2008 at 12:29 am #

    ill go with quebec canada

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