So as you all know from reading A Photographer in Paris Part 1, Jake and I made a trip to Paris for our 10 year anniversary.
Jake and I did all of the touristy things of course, but some of our favorite things were not on the tops of those “10 best places in Paris” lists. We loved the Musee d’Orsay and we had a dinner in a little restaurant off the beaten path that almost had Jake in tears it was so good.
The Printemps was an amazing place to spend a few hours. High end shopping, all the top luxury brands in one amazing mall. The roof top has a panoramic view of the city. It didn’t cost anything to go up there, but the sight is worth a million dollars. Oh, and side note – the bathroom here isn’t free, it is well taken care of, with attendant on hand, but avoid if you don’t absolutely have to go. Otherwise, get your monies worth!
We traveled the true Parisian way, by the metro – with Jake in the lead of course! So when we got to the d’Orsay we were at the back entrance to the building. Right at the exit of the metro there was this tiny newspaper stand that had an almost un-noticeable handwritten sign saying “museum tickets”. Jake and I both looked at each other, shook our heads and headed for the front of the building – thinking that there was no way this was the box office. When we got to the front of the building our eyes grew wide as we see a mile long line of people. We even over heard a couple saying how it was going to be a few hours wait still. So Jake and I headed back to that newspaper stand figuring we had nothing to lose. Still skeptical when we asked for admission we were surprised to receive actual tickets. The man then pointed to the VIP entrance of the museum – the one that had no one around. We walked right up to the doors, had our bag checked and we were in. It almost felt like we were doing something we weren’t supposed to. Once we were in, Jake and I laughed at each other because it was just so unbelievably lucky that we would see that tiny little sign on that newspaper stand. All of the artwork was amazing, much easier to absorb than the Louvre. As we weaved our way through the old converted train station we would stop every few minutes: “remember when we didn’t have to wait in line for 2 hours” we’d say, laughing.
We spent our actual anniversary at Disneyland. Jake had never been, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the happiest place on Earth (in Europe). We enjoyed it so much we went back for a second day, taking in all the two parks have to offer.
In the end we were anxious to get home, two weeks is a long time in a foreign land (and a foreign bed). We loved it immensely and plan to return as soon as we can afford to.
Bring a water bottle. Bottled water is cheap at the local market, it is not cheap around the touristy areas. Bring your own, save a buck.
Don’t bring too much gear, you really don’t need it. You should be enjoying your trip first, then taking out your camera to capture the moment. I took my Canon 6D and my 35mm lens and at no point did I wish that I had brought more stuff.
This past September my husband and I spent two weeks in the City of Love for our 10 year anniversary. Neither of us had ever been to Paris but I have always had a love for places or things that have history, and it doesn’t get more historic than Paris! Every building had a story to tell. Every window had black wrought iron designs that twisted every which way. I even found myself taking photos of doorways because of the intricacy of each entry. Everything just made my heart swoon.
We rented out a beautiful flat from a couple on Air BnB close to the Eiffel Tower. We would walk to the quaint little shops; the boulangerie, the fromagerie, the chocolatier, and purchase our meal for the day. My husband Jake and I don’t speak French but we would always give a full hearted bonjour to everyone we met. We were always greeted with a smile and a friendly hello, we weren’t fooling anyone with our accents but we loved it all the same.
One of our first stops was at the famous Louvre museum. Everything was organized and easy to get to, but there was just too much to see in one day – so we only did 2 of the 3 sides. We paid our respects to the Mona Lisa – from a distance, paid $7 (Canadian) for water and watched countless others file in and out to of the world famous museum. Jake would always wait patiently for me to change my settings in each different room and let me composite my photo just right. When I saw the figure of Virgo we waited almost 5 minutes for people to clear out just enough to for me to get a shot with no one in the way. She was my favorite statue by far, and it seemed so fitting to have her at the very top of a grand marble staircase…
The Eiffel Tower & a romantic boat ride
That same day we wandered over to Bateaux Vedettes du Pont Neuf for an evening boat tour. The hour long cruise showcased the best of Paris from the river: the museums, the landmarks, the young couples drinking wine by the river’s edge. The lights bouncing off the bridges and the ever-present sight of the Eiffel Tower lit up like a Christmas Tree made it all so magical.
The Eiffel Tower itself was something to see. Standing underneath the tower, taking in the grandiosity of the structure can really take your breath away. We didn’t make it to the top, but we’ll save that for our inevitable return. Our Paris trip was broken up by a brief jaunt to Venice, but that’s a story for another day.
A photographer in Paris will continue in part 2…
Get some sort of toiletries bag that you can hang up on the back of the bathroom door as there is usually zero counter space in the tiny apartments/hotels to put anything down on.
Wear comfortable shoes. They say it’s best to blend in with the natives – dress as they dress, but frankly there are so many tourists (most of which aren’t hard to distinguish) it’s not worth the blisters and pain for the sake of being fashionably camouflaged.
I have known about the Shoot and Share photo contest since last year, 2015 so I got to see firsthand what kind of photos were rated top in the world for this contest. At first it discouraged me, because the caliber of the photographers was more than just amazing – it was unbelievable! Instead of letting these feelings of discouragement overpower me I let them drive me, teach me and give me a mile marker to strive for.
In my journey I found that the photography industry was actually very open. Photographers who have been where I was were willing to help, to teach. Photographers here in Kelowna weren’t worried about losing business or clients to an “up-and-comer” because they knew that they had something that I couldn’t replicate. Their photography style and the thing that sets them apart from everyone in the industry is themselves! That is why it is so important to choose your photographer carefully, take the time to chat with who will be sharing your special day, and capturing your families special moments.
Connection is key, whether it’s to me as your photographer, or for me to connect to another photographer to further my education in the world of freezing moments.
It has truly been an honour to be in the Shoot and Share contest with 225,207 photos from hundred of other photographers around the world. In a world where it is so easy to overlook the things that are important, I want to thank the team at Shoot and Share for making a contest that helps professionals such as myself learn, share and connect to other individuals wanting to help better others.
Connect and share the love!
I will keep everyone updated on my progress in the contest as it progresses throughout the next week or so.
Decorative Chalkboard Signs have been a popular addition to many modern weddings here in the Okanagan. They add a little personal flair and can be charming additions to table decoration, guest lists, signage, and countless other things. Since we’re all about DIY, I’m gonna give some tips on making your own chalkboard(s), and some practical uses for them.
Be Budget Conscious
Making your own chalkboard signs is sensible if you plan on integrating them into the decorations or have need for multiple signs. If you feel you only need one, you may get lucky at someplace such Home Outfitters, but will likely pay a lot of money for it. When you DIY you can get exactly what you want, and hopefully save money for other things.
My chalkboard sign began its life as a mirror purchased from HomeSense. The store has a great selection of inexpensive mirrors and pictures in beautiful frames that can be re-purposed to house your chalkboard. Thrift stores and garage sales are always great places to search for inspiration.
Home Depot has most everything else you will need. If you’re lucky, the picture or mirror you found will have come with a solid backing (something more substantial than cardboard). You should be able to use this as your chalkboard surface, otherwise you’ll need to pick up some other material. Anything flat and rigid should work, as long as it has a nice smooth surface to paint on. The paint we’ll be using is Rust-Oleum Specialty Chalkboard Paint (about $25 for 887 ml), this one can goes a long way and can be painted onto practically any surface.
Decorating Your Chalkboard
Don’t be afraid to use stencils if your freehand game isn’t great. It’s a lot of work cutting out the perfect stencil, but it makes for a great effect, and eliminates a lot of the guess work.
You can use any font for your print off template that best suites your wedding, but here are a few of my favorites:
How to Make a Beautiful DIY Wedding Chalkboard Sign
Buy and prep your frame/sign.
Paint the sign using Rust-Oleum Specialty Chalkboard Paint.
Print off what you want your sign to say.
Cut out each letter from your print off (AKA Template).
Tape the stencil to your chalkboard.
Draw in the stencil with chalk.
Archer gives you his Shiba of Approval!
When you go to plan your big day you will sit down with your soon to be hubby and discuss your wedding timeline. When will you start getting ready? Where will the getting ready photos be taken? What time do we cut the cake and when we we do the first dance? It can all be a little overwhelming at first and it’s easy to get a little flustered, but rest assured that you will do fine – you’re marrying your true love and that’s the most important part.
I have photographed, and been in weddings that each did something a little different, so there really is no one way to do it.
One of the big deciding factors to your timeline is whether or not to do a First Look. You may even be asking “what is a First Look?” or “why should I do a First Look?”
A “First Look” is when the bride and the groom set aside a few minutes just before the ceremony to capture the moment when they see each other for the first time. Usually the groom hasn’t seen their bride-to-be before this and because it’s just the two of them sharing an intimate meeting together, it allows emotions to flow freely. It’s a little outside of the box, but it’s one of my favorite parts (if the bride and groom are up for it) because it portrays such raw unfiltered feelings, and the two of them can just be themselves.
I’m a big advocate for First Looks, especially if either party is a little nervous – a secret rendezvous to calm one another works wonders.
If you do opt for a First Look at your wedding you open the door for more candid photo opportunities. It allows you more time with family once you have said your vows because your wedding photographer will have captured most of the bride and groom portraits beforehand.
I personally have photographed the wedding party shots immediately after the First Look – this is great for summer weddings especially, because this is when every one will look their best. These Okanagan Summer Weddings can be scorchers. Ideally, your wedding party photos can be taken right after you have all just had your hair and makeup perfectly applied, before enduring hours of heat.
Now keep in mind a First Look isn’t for every couple, because it’s a little less traditional, but I encourage you to discuss this option with your loved one to see if it’s right for you.