Paris Engagement Photography | W & K

W & K and I were meant to be.  I met them at my friend's holiday party last Christmas and instantly clicked with W.  She was everything I love about my friends... down-to-earth, genuine, hilarious... not to mention gorgeous.  I hate to admit that I'm pretty jealous of how good looking she and K are together.  How are we not all that lucky?  While chatting it up at the party I discovered that K was actually Parisian! So while asking him for suggestions for my upcoming (December 2012) trip, they told me that they were actually going to be in Paris and the same time as me!  I convinced them to do a portrait session out there and we ended up with some great pictures and a fabulous time.

K's son came to be a part of the pictures and I loved the ones I captured of the two of them.

5am thoughts.

I woke up at 5am.

Who am I?  Who is this person?  I am not a morning person; I am a night person.  I can stay up all night for days and be okay but wake me up at 8am and I'm a zombie.  Ever since I came back from Paris, the mix of jetlag and being sick got me on a "normal" schedule.  In bed by 11pm or midnight and up by 9am.  woot.  The funny thing, sometimes my family can't tell whether I'm up in the morning or just up from the night before. haha.  I actually enjoy going to bed early and waking up early much more than the other schedule.  If I'm up in the morning I usually finish most of the day's work by lunch.  It's great.  I sleep a lot less on this schedule and am much more awake for most of the day.

But even for my new schedule, 5am is early.  Way early.  The sun's not even out!  I woke up this morning from a nightmare.  I was shooting a wedding, and it was running ahead of schedule so I suggested the bride and groom go with me to do some portraits.  I took along my second shooter and the bride brought along one of her friends.  And everything went bad from there.  I remember the bride was wearing a beautiful lace gown with shimmers of gray beading all over the dress (think of a glamorous flapper dress mixed with lace).  When we got to the location I told my second shooter to photograph the groom while I did the bride.  We were shooting in a beautiful mansion and the bride did not want to listen to me.  She just stood there with a scowl on her face, with her friend egging her on and messing up the bride's hair and photobombing the pictures.

These are my nightmares.  I dream about weddings and photo shoots gone wrong.  teehee.  It could be worse, I could be living them!

(the picture above was taken at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.)

Paris | the Palace of Versailles

"Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction,whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments." -Plato

The Palace of Versailles is just right outside of Paris. It's a short train ride out. Like the Louvre and the other tourist attractions in Paris, the Palace of Versailles was quite crowded.  Within the palace there's actually very little room for tourists to wander.  The parts of the palace accessible to the general public could be described as what cattle feel like when they're herded into a very small room to get butchered.  We were sardines.  At times the other tourists and I were smashed up against each other and not even moving.  It was quite frustrating and scary and uncomfortable and odd... odd because most invariably we would be stuck because of some tour group or inconsiderate person in front of everyone just standing there blocking the walkways and exits.

Sidenote: I really would not suggest visiting Paris in December.  Supposedly it's the "off-season", but what they don't tell you is everyone in France is visiting Paris at that time in addition to all the random Americans on holiday.  The lines to get into places were hours long.

Anyway I was really excited to explore the Palace of Versailles.  The actually building and artifacts weren't the most impressive compared to other places in Europe that I've visited, but the sure volume and history of it was fascinating.  It's amazing to me that this palace has stayed mostly in tact through the French Revolution and both World Wars.  The fact nobody plundered this palace despite hating Marie Antoinette for life of extravagance is beyond me.

As I walked around I wondered what it'd be like to live during that day.  The only things I remember was that King Louis XIV was the first to live here, and that one of the King Louis' was so stinky (he didn't like to bathe and supposed refused to let anyone else) that they used perfume to curb the stench.  So I wondered if it was very smelly at Versailles.

The gardens were magnificent.  I was actually more in awe of these than the actual palace.

Paris | the louvre

The Louvre is definitely a place worth visiting... but only in the morning.

The last time I went to the Louvre, I only saw the outside and only in the morning.  Paris was one of the last cities on that first european trip, and after four weeks of seeing museums we were sick of seeing artwork and wandering museums.  On this trip with my cousin, Sam, she and I went to see the Louvre twice.  First to see it at night and then the following morning to actually explore the museum.

We arrived at the Louvre early in the morning and ate breakfast in line.  The line was quite short so we only waited maybe ten minutes to get in.  When we actually started going through the museum, most of it was considerably empty.  We took our time and looked at all the artwork.  Our first stop was the statues.  Paintings are kind of interesting, but I'm really amazed by these carvings.  How is it that people can make stone look so organic?  It's incredible.  I like that area the best.  By the time we reach the other parts of the museum, it was considerably crowded.  Being scared of crowds, I was not the happiest camper.  At one point a grown man pushed me and tried to knock me out of the way.  He pushed me so hard I would have fallen if not for the crowd of people behind me.  At that point I was done, so Sam and I took a break.

And then we extended our break.  I drank a bottle of Orangina and then a bottle of water. I was thirsty.  And it was extremely crowded in the museum.  Imagine going to sporting event and trying to exit from a single exit.  That's what it was like everywhere in the museum.  I kept on imagining getting trampled on if there was a fire.

There were a handful of pieces of art that were of some significance.  I saw the Mona Lisa, but I wasn't that awed.  To me, the statues in my pictures, like the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Venus de Milo, were much more interesting.

So there's a lesson to be learned.  Go visit the Louvre... it is worth it.  But go when it opens to truly appreciate it.

paris | exploring the city

“Not all those who wander are lost.”― J.R.R. Tolkien

One of my favorite ways to see a city is to wander and explore.  Thanks to getting lost (whoops) I saw a lot of paris.  When I first visited Paris it was fall, so I enjoyed seeing Paris in this wintery weather.  I hoped it would snow, but it didn't.  Nuts!  Jonas, who we stayed with, told us that the sun never comes in Paris, but the following day the sun was out for the remainder of our trip.  In fact it rained the first day there but as our trip progressed the weather improved.

Something I never really noticed the first time was the beautiful architecture of the "ordinary" buildings.  I love how beautiful and simply decorated these apartment buildings are.  Most of the buildings I saw were beautiful like these.  Our neighborhood was covered in these beautifully charming buildings.

And Paris was alive with wintery decorations.  It almost felt like I was spending Christmas in Paris.  I loved the holiday feel of Paris.