ANNIVERSARY PHOTO SESSION IN PARIS WITH MARIA & ANDREW - PHOTOGRAPHER IN PARIS

It's 8AM in Paris. The temperature is minus something outside. It’s dark and miserable. Another typical winter day like so many in December here. I don’t want to get out of bed, nor get dressed to face the freezing cold. I have hit snooze on my alarm clock several times already and in a superhuman effort, managed to jump out of bed, get to the bathroom, have a quick shower, dress warmly, and quickly swallow breakfast and enjoy a cup of hot coffee before leaving the apartment to make my morning appointment on time.

When I got into the Parisian metro—fully packed of course (this is Paris), I thought to myself, ironically: "I've chosen to work as a freelancer to be able to choose my schedule, and now I find myself in the same routine as most people who've got a 9-5 job! That really sucks!" Why do people book a photo session in the cold winter, wouldn’t spring be better? No! Because they’re only travelling in Paris then and won't be back anytime soon.

And why that early? Oh, I remember, because I’m the one who suggested it because there are fewer people in the morning, and after 9.30AM the Eiffel Tower is totally packed! Do I kick myself?! :) They’re from the United States and like many Americans it was one of their life’s dreams to visit the City of Lights one day and see the famous and iconic Eiffel Tower. Maria, a tall, gorgeous and sweet woman walked towards me in high heels accompanied by her husband Andrew, a friendly and courteous man. They are already married but Paris was more of an opportunity to capture their memories and intimate moments while on vacation. Both were dressed very elegantly for the occasion even though the temperatures were at the lowest for the season.

I felt a bit disappointed because the light was not very good for a photo session and heavy mist was hiding the top of the Eiffel Tower.  We walked, posed, shot photos, smiled, moved, and talked… They took their winter jackets off from time to time for various pictures: So brave, so much admiration for them! Finally, after 45 minutes, we’d covered the whole area and everything was now in the camera.

I went back home, uploaded the pictures, worked on the post-treatment and surprisingly, they all looked gorgeous. As the light was not very pretty, I had converted most of the pictures to black and white and the fog gave them a very romantic and fairytale-like mood. The black and white images had a sort of vintage style look of Paris in the 20-30's, reminding me of Robert Doisneau pictures' style taken on the same spot. 

I finally sent the final photos to Maria and Andrew the day after, and their first feedback was: OMG! :) Not sure how to actually take it but I never had any complaints afterwards :)

PARIS LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER - A PHOTO SHOOT AT GALERIE VIVIENNE WITH FREYA: PORTRAIT OF A YOGI

Freya is the director of multi-media lifestyle magazine Nourrir, the French word meaning “to nourish”. Not only is she a magazine editor, she is a true and inspiring woman, a fashion lover, yogi, traveler and this time she is in Paris to be the ambassador of Tonic Active Tribe, a Canadian designed and manufactured yoga, active and lifestyle brand.

It's one of those typical Parisian winter days: Chilly outside but the sky is blue and the sun's out which is why we've chosen an indoor location so Freya can practice different yoga poses to promote her outfit. (I have to confess the location is one of my favorites in Paris, and I mainly recommend it to travelers whenever it's cold or raining.)

Our photo session starts at Bistro Vivienne in Galerie Vivienne, with Freya wearing a casual dress. The lighting is not very good, it's pretty dark inside but the deco is amazing and the atmosphere warm and cozy inside the cafe. We are on the first floor, and there's nobody else apart from us. It almost looks like we are in a movie set up. I like the sort of old style and vintage furniture and despite the bad luminosity, I managed to capture some wonderful shots before we continue our session through the gallery.

For the photo session we stay for a while in a long corridor half way between the entrance and the exit, where the light is just perfect. Even though it's freezing cold, Freya is trying different yoga postures in which she sits, stands, falls over, gets up again, falls again, etc. We are really having fun! This is what I love about my job: every location, every customer and every experience is different; no day is the same as another and you never have the same conversation twice.

After an hour, we finally end the photo session indoors and decide to do a few photo portraits outdoors to capture the essence of Paris before enjoying a nice coffee together and having a wonderful conversation about yoga, travel and creativity...

Model: Freya Boulakbeche
Clothing: Tonic Active

 

 

 

LOOKING FOR A PHOTOGRAPHER IN PARIS? MEET ALICIA & MICHAEL FOR A PARIS PHOTO SESSION IN MONTMARTRE

Today, I feel lucky (and happy): It happens sometimes :) I'm not a particularly lazy person but today my photo session is scheduled in Montmartre, right next to my neighborhood. I love this location (not just because it's very nearby and I can walk up there) but it's a nice area which looks like a little village within Paris with its cobblestone streets, cute little boutiques and cozy cafes, typical Parisian bars and restaurants as well as countless bakeries full of delicious pastries that make every passerby’s mouth water just gazing through the window.

In the afternoon I finally meet Alicia and Michael. They’re a young couple I didn't know much about. Alicia's name sounded Spanish and I really thought she was until I had spoken with her and found out she and her partner come from the South of France. They look young, natural, good looking, friendly and above all caring and affectionate to each other: The perfect couple that would give me the perfect pictures!

The only one thing I didn't know before and that I found out when I met them is that the photo session would not include 2 people but... 2.5 or 2.75!  Alicia is very pregnant, almost at her 7th month, and that's the main reason they organized the photo session: to immortalize that special moment with 7 being a lucky number! As we walk around Montmartre, Alicia and Michael tell me they’re getting married the year after in the South of France, sometime during the summer. Alicia feels very comfortable during the photo shoot; she has a very natural and vibrant smile and appears very affectionate and emotional, while Michael seems a little nervous but caring and protective at the same time.

Despite the strong light, we manage to find little streets and alleys with shadows and more quiet locations to do our photo shoot. After a couple minutes’ walking, talking, doing poses and portraits, Michael became more relaxed and Alicia as radiant as ever. I wouldn't say this about every woman I meet, but it looks and feels like pregnancy suits her particularly well!

WHY NOT BOOKING A PHOTO SESSION IN PARIS WHEN TRAVELING TO THE CITY OF LIGHT? VICTORIA & DANY AT ROYAL PALACE

They are young, elegant, gorgeous, and vibrant. And above all they're not worried about looking ridiculous jumping around the park and making silly poses under the rain with their damaged umbrellas. Her name is Victoria and she comes from Russia, her husband is Dany and he's French Parisian. They met at University in Scotland and are both as crazy as each other. Despite challenging weather, they've decided to book a couples’ photo shoot at Palais Royal to immortalize their memories in the City of Lights.

They've been married for almost 4 years and each moment, each pose, each touch and kiss feels like the first one. Whether it’s raining or shining, their vibrant smiles brighten the sky and it looks like time has stood still in this idyllic Parisian background. It's amazing how comfortable they feel in front of the camera and it looks like they are professional models and have been doing this their entire life. I'm really impressed with their energetic mood despite this dreary weather, and I can't understand why some people are so relaxed posing in front of a camera while others feel anxious.

I'm not used to shooting in this wet weather much, and don't feel very comfortable in the cold. The raindrops are a little annoying and the icing on the cake is that the light isn’t very pretty for getting the results I’d hoped for. Despite the bad conditions, I am surprisingly enjoying the experience and having a blast: It feels like everything is set up for a black and white movie from the 20's: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...  ACTION!

There’s one thing I remembered in that very special moment that felt so powerful: "Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... It's about learning how to dance in the rain."

I'm now waiting impatiently for the next photo shoot in the rain...