Man I love Paris. It's one of those places that's so iconic you feel you already know it long before you make your way there; it belongs to all of us. The trouble with that is that the reality often fails to live up to the dream. That's been the case with several of the places I've travelled to in my life; once you've seen a thousand pictures and watched a hundred movies, it can feel a little underwhelming to stand there in real life. Not so in Paris.
I first went to the French capital for my 31st birthday (after a lost-passport fiasco put the kibosh on my plans to go there for my 30th), and I was immediately smitten. I went to all the usual spots: the Louvre, the Trocadero, the Eiffel Tower. I got a birthday discount on an awesome sheepskin coat in a vintage shop in Le Marais. I indulged my teenage self by visiting the graves of Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde in Père Lachaise Cemetery, and I did my very best at being terribly sophisticated and grown up by eating escargot at Chez Toinette. But mostly I wandered around the streets of Montmartre, pretending that I was Amélie Poulain. When I first stood in front of the Café Des 2 Moulins, I'll admit I had a bit of a moment.
Now this was before I became a wedding photographer, and so all of my photographs were taken on an iPhone 3GS (remember those!). It will come as no shock that they haven't stood the test of time. For years I'd been dying to go back to Paris and create some beautiful photography with my fancy new camera and fresh, more experienced eyes. And that's how I ended up walking around Montmartre early on a Saturday morning with Jess and Charly. I was already in a pretty romantic mood as I had just got engaged earlier that week, and so that combined with this dream photo shoot in Paris sent my loved-up feelings to eleven.
I usually prefer meeting in the morning for a couple or engagement photoshoot as you can generally avoid the crowds. This was Paris, however, and so of course there were some people around, but we managed to have most of the lovely side streets and alleyways to ourselves. Another reason for meeting so early is that wonderful morning light. Ask any photographer and they’ll tell you the best time for light is an hour or so after sunrise and before sunset, that magical golden hour.
One thing that couples often ask me is 'what should I wear for my photo shoot?' When it comes to wedding photography, the question is pretty much moot, but with couple and pre-wedding photography the possibilities are endless. I always say that being comfortable is the most important thing; you want to feel relaxed and like yourself, not someone else. That said, I do love a good look, and will often advise my couples to wear something that will work well in the location we've chosen. Colour and lines are very important to me in my photography, and so I love it when people wear something that will complement the environment. So when Jess showed up wearing a bright red skirt, I did a little happy dance. The little pop of colour looked so good against the pale Paris architecture.
I'm itching to get back to Paris and to photograph some lovely couples there, whether it be engagement or pre-wedding photography, or destination wedding photography. If you've been thinking about a European destination wedding, hit me up! I have a lovely new suitcase and a new(ish) passport that is crying out to be a little more well-worn. If you think we could create beautiful and authentic wedding photography together, I would absolutely love to be your Paris wedding photographer, so say hello and let's chat!