2014 was a year I could never in my wildest dreams have anticipated.. I still remember being back home in the US, dreaming about what life could be like living in Paris, shooting portraits and weddings alongside the Eiffel Tower. It seemed so exotic and far away, something I could never realistically obtain. And now here I am, doing what I love every day, in the most beautiful city on Earth. This year I’ve photographed more portraits, marriages, elopements, and proposals than I can count for clients all over the world, including South Africa, Ethiopia, Ireland, Russia, South Korea, China, Australia, Canada, Brazil, the UK, the US, and of course France! It feels like I’ve taken more photos of the Eiffel Tower than any person on Earth!
Unfortunately I couldn’t possibly blog every session (I would literally never ever sleep if I tried to do that!), but as a thank you to all of the wonderful people who trusted me with their wedding and portrait photography this year, I’ve compiled a photo from each individual session. Click the link below to see some of my favorite images from 2014!
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Called the “Notting Hill of Paris,” Rue Cremieux is a tiny little getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Parisian streets that surround it. Gone are the Haussmannian facades and the endless rows of cards, instead replaced by home after quaint, colorful home. The street is pedestrian only, which conveniently makes for perfect photos, not to mention an amazing atmosphere. Walking down this street, I imagined that I lived in one of the brightly-painted homes, with an old bicycle parked out front beside my potted herbs and flowers, with my children playing ball in the cobblestone street outside. It’s the kind of place that seems to exist only in postcards and fairytales, and yet here it is, right smack in the middle of urban Paris.
The street dates back to 1865, when it was originally known as Avenue Millaud, but it was renamed in 1897 in honor of Adolphe Cremieux, a historic defender of human rights for Jews in France and abroad. The street bears a plaque for the great flood of 1910, when the waters of the Seine River reached nearly 2 meters (6 feet) in height in this area. When originally built, each of the homes was said to have a kitchen basement and two floors of living space, at an annual cost of 700 francs (approx. $133 USD or 100€ EUR). Current rent is hard to estimate as these extremely highly sought-after homes are rarely offered for public sale, but real estate experts estimate them at around 7.000-10.000€ per month.
If you absolutely must get a taste of life on Rue Cremieux, there is one tiny hotel on the road – L’Hotel Particulier – offering a handful of rooms that are as full of character as their surroundings. The rooms are small and bare bones, without many of the traditional amenities, and you should remember that staying on a pedestrian road means that you will have a trickier time arriving by cab or public transport. However, you’ll be treated to a very rare, special experience that few people ever get. Book a room here – rates start at approximately 40€/night.
Although I’ve spent the majority of my 10-year career as a photographer shooting weddings and portraits of couples, and I do absolutely love it, I must admit that photographing women alone is by far my favorite thing to shoot. So much of a women’s self-worth is tied up in how she looks – or rather, how she thinks she looks – and although we can talk about how wrong and misplaced and unfortunate that is (and it certainly is) until the cows come home, it won’t change the reality that the better a women feels about how she looks, the better she feels about herself in general. Given that, making women look and feel beautiful means a great deal to me. Every women deserves to feel good about how she looks, and every woman deserves photos of herself that she loves. That luxury should not belong to supermodels alone! That belief inspired me to open my beauty and boudoir portrait studio Blushd many years ago – see the website and portfolio here. That business took a bit of a backseat when I moved to Paris, but in light of a ton of inquiries coming in from women who are traveling to Paris alone, or with their moms or sisters or daughters or best friends, I realized that now is the perfect time to kick my female portrait business back into high gear!
Given all of that, when I got the chance to meet up with fellow Dallasite Lauren (at the Paris branch of Kate Spade, of course – where else would you find two world-traveling Southern girls?), I practically begged her to be my model for a gals-only portrait session around Paris in one of my tulle skirts. Lauren is an incredibly busy lady: she runs the wildly popular blog Aspiring Kennedy, she serves as a study abroad trip coordinator for an American university, she has a side business doing trip itinerary planning for those traveling to Europe, and she has the most beautiful little family in her husband and her sweet baby girl. I am so lucky that I made it into her schedule and was able to persuade her to step in front of my lens!
Here are a few of my favorites from her session:
We also managed to snap a few “normal” photos are well, wandering around the gardens of Palais Royal.
If you’re a gal (or a guy, I don’t judge!) coming to Paris and you’d love to do some photos like these of yourself, let me know!! I have the black and pink tulle skirts available to you, or I can suggest a wealth of options for you to rent or buy a fabulous gown of your own, or you can create a fabulous outfit from your own closet. We can do something totally glamorous and sexy, or we can arrange a themed shoot, such as a vintage “Midnight in Paris” 1920’s look, or a Baroque-era “Marie Antoinette” or “Pride and Prejudice” look on the grounds of Versailles, or we can have fun with Parisian clichés and ride around the city on a bicycle with a baguette and flowers in your basket wearing a striped shirt and beret. Contact me and let’s get your session planned!