A FAMILY PHOTO SHOOT AT JARDIN DES TUILERIES WITH ANA & SYLVIA

Looking at them you’d think they’re Scandinavian, but they're not. Tall and slim with blond hair, you can tell the Lagos sisters are definitely Latino listening to them talking to each other in Brazilian Portuguese. Ana has been living in Paris for over a decade and her older sister Sylvia has been in London for more than 20 years. Sylvia and her kids, 11-year-old Clarissa and 9-year-old Daniel, are enjoying the school vacation to visit Ana and dog Frère Jacques in the City of Light. And it’s the perfect moment to capture family memories.

 We meet at the entrance of Jardin des Tuileries in front of the big wheel on Place de la Concorde and I recognize Ana immediately, whom I met couple of years ago. But this time, something has changed for sure. She’s not the same, she looks very different. If I had to describe her in 3 powerful words, I would say: stunning, happy and PREGNANT! She is big but not enormous for being a pregnant woman, now at 6 months and you can tell all the weight is concentrated on her belly. And no wonder why! She’s expecting twins! :)

I'm so excited, this is just the kind of photo shoot I dream to have more often: adults, children, a pet and—above all—a pregnant woman! What more can one ask for? And what do you think the icing on the cake is? The weather's been terrible the whole week, but this morning the sun is out and the sky is blue. I'm lucky and must have been good in a previous life! :)

We start our photo session around the terrace garden, as dogs are not allowed inside. We have fun posing during the walk and really connect. I'm so touched seeing how close the whole family is. You can see the love bursting between the sisters as well as the kids! We talk together a lot during the photo shoot. We take little breaks sometimes and laugh and tell each other stories in a whole mix of languages. I speak French with Ana, English with Sylvia and the kids; the sisters speak Portuguese with each other and we all mix the languages up talking to Frère Jacques the dog! :)

What a morning! Lots of walking, making great photo shots and having nice chats. Laughter and a great time in just a couple of hours. I wish every day could be like that, but sometimes bad moments don’t hurt so we can enjoy and appreciate the good ones. I went back home really looking forward to seeing the results! I send a few pictures to the family in the afternoon and the reply is short but says it all: “we LOVED it!”. How else can one feel after that but incredibly happy? 

The one lesson I’ll remember from that session is that success cannot only be measured by the amount of money you make by selling a service, nor the quality of the product or service you provide. Above all, it’s the impact, emotions and happiness that you create through connections with people! Photography is for me the best job in the world.

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 :)

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!

A BIRTHDAY PHOTO SHOOT IN MONTMARTRE WITH A PRIVATE PHOTOGRAPHER

Even though it's summertime, it feels like the weather outside isn’t good when I wake up. I look through the window and it seems it's raining: Bad as today we haven't chosen a covered passage. I immediately text Judlyn, who's booked the photo session as a birthday gift for her sister Jessy. It's supposed to be a surprise photo shoot to celebrate Jessy's 25th birthday, so she doesn't know why she has to travel to Paris so early in the morning with her sisters. Little does she know the surprise that’s waiting for her.

It’s only when I get to Anvers metro station and meet them for the appointment that Jessy realizes what we’re planning to do for an hour in Montmartre. Suddenly you can see her excitement, as she’s always wanted to do a professional photo shoot. When you look at her, she looks like one of those self-confident women that have done it their whole life. Great! I thought to myself, as I needed someone who’s comfortable in front of the camera to get wonderful pictures in order to build my portfolio.

Jessy seems very relaxed walking all around Montmartre chatting with her sisters. She does everything I ask her to: posing, smiling, and playing! She is the perfect model every photographer would dream to have. We are extremely lucky, as the rain had stopped when we started the walk, and even though the sun is missing, the light is not too bad! Everyone's having a great time and Jessy looks so happy with her special gift; It's her unique moment, an experience she can truly enjoy and keep as a wonderful memory.

Not only did Jessy enjoy the photo walk but her sisters also realized how much they appreciated being able to discover Paris at the same time, as living in the suburbs doesn’t give them the opportunity to visit and enjoy the City of Light that often. A photo shoot, a beautiful walk in one of the most beautiful areas of Paris, family time combined with good weather, and above all eternal memories: What else could you ask for to celebrate a 25th birthday?