Tuesday
Jan172012

Napa artist shows life’s passion through photography

From the museums of France to the Mekong Delta of Vietnam; from the maternity ward at Queen of the Valley Hospital to his woodland studio in Browns Valley, Christophe Genty of Napa has spent the past quarter century fine tuning his photographic talents into his life’s passion.

After proving himself as a photographer for the Albert Kahn Museum at the age of 17, the Paris native was invited by Mission Peace in 2000 to document two humanitarian aid projects designed to bring medical help and hope to Vietnamese children with deformities -- handicapped from polio and ostracized by their own society.

Genty was given the unique opportunity to focus on the culture and villagers who had never been photographed.

“Working with Mission Peace changed my life,” Genty said from his Browns Valley studio. “This is exactly the type of work that originally drove me to become a photographer.”

Genty later fell in love with Nancy, an American doctor, and he moved with her to the Bay Area, where he has  been developing his love affair with photography for the past 12 years.

Using the natural woodland behind his studio as a backdrop, Genty specializes in family photos, wedding photography and telling stories of local nonprofit agencies.

After his wife gave birth to their son, Raphael, Genty became inspired to create portraits of  newborn babies, and the “Bebe Collection” at Queen of the Valley Hospital was born. There, along the walls of the maternity ward, Napans will find a permanent collection of babies during the first year of life.

“I feel fortunate to be able to share my work in such a lovely part of my community,” Genty says.

His photos can be found on his website, www.cgphotograph.com.