Veg Out Paris: Leave It to the Professionals Edition
The original motivation: Sheer laziness. Shocking, I know.
I wanted some nice photos of the two of us. But I did not want to tote gear. I did not want to adjust aperture. I did not want ask fellow tourists to take just one more photo of us in front of the Eiffel Tower. I was post-wedding-happy-but-exhausted, and I needed a break. As they say in France when they watch Sesame Street Creature Feature reruns, Vive le sleepy sloth!
In addition, there were practical considerations. How was I going to operate a camera with baguettes in both hands? Did I really want to get flaky croissant bits all in the inner workings of my DSLR?
So I hired a professional photographer to take pictures of Jules and me on our honeymoon in Paris. I googled around and found a Paris-based photographer whose portfolio I liked. I read her blog. She had just recently gotten married, too, and she had traveled to Seattle on her honeymoon. I hired her.
And then I started ruminating. Is this vain? Surely this is vain. Will sharing the photos online automatically make me a person who is insufferable on Facebook? What exactly does one do when one is being followed around town by a photographer? This sort of thing would never work in my natural habitat. There are only so many glistening hero shots you can get of someone whose main daily activities include intense curl defrizzing, trying not to spill coffee while standing on the bus, and microwaving oatmeal.
I almost called the photo shoot off. But luckily, in this case, sloth triumphed over anxiety. (Vive le sloth!) Hiring a photographer to take vacation pictures was the best idea ever. (Except for the fact that it has ruined me for all other forms of travel documentation.)
It helped that said photographer was the lovely and creative Rhianne Jones. Our photo session with her was like taking a walking tour of Paris with someone who just happens to speak English, who just happens to know lots of cool places, and who just happens to take awesome photos.
Having recently posed for wedding portraits, I was well aware of my near irrepressible urge to Make A Silly Face and/or Flash My Jazz Hands in every shot. (Again, shocking, I know.) Rhianne did a great job of honoring my nervous wackiness while gently encouraging me into a few poses that were a bit more … Parisian.
She also was happy to tailor our photo shoot to our interests. Before arrival, I told Rhianne that we wanted to do something food-related. She researched a bunch of markets before leading us to the Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris.
I loved watching Rhianne as she worked, ducking behind piles of ripe tomatoes, peering through pastries piled high. And I admired her chutzpah. It’s amazing how many unique shots she composed after delivering a quick, “Hello. I am a photographer, and these are my friends. Can I take a photo?”
On the way to the market, we ambled down myriad cobblestone streets. We stopped by the Louvre, the Pont des Arts, a tiny park, and some Tiffany-blue apartment doors. Everywhere we went, Rhianne spotted something beautiful or interesting or fun to photograph. Her enthusiasm for graffiti was infectious.
So much so that I may or may not have been able to control my jazz hands.
All of the photos in this post were so not taken by me. But you knew that already. They’re Rhianne’s, and you can see more of her work here.