Jillian & James | Sunrise Paris Adventure
A slow, chilly morning in Paris. We lived in Denton (the same place Jillian lives) for three years, and chatted on social media every now and then, but never met in real life. So, of course, we both ended up flying across the world to meet for the first time. They are goofy, and kind, and loving. Two people who make everyone feel at ease around them. It felt kismet, being there with them. There’s something about destination shoots like this that instantly bond me to the people we photograph, a shared experience of being in a new foreign place and trading stories back and forth about hilarious mishaps and moments of surreal beauty.
Before our shoot, we had never done a “trade” shoot before (if you’re not familiar with what I mean: basically two photographers meet up while they’re on a trip, because we are all workaholics and documenting people in a new city is like the BEST to us, and photograph each other back and forth in loose increments), and I was FREAKING OUT. Like, so nervous. I’ve admired Jillian’s work for so long and had so many comparison thoughts of, “omg! What if they hate us!”, “what if her images are way better than ours and they regret doing it!”, “what if we’re boring!”, “what if it’s awkward!”, and from my very first email with Jillian, I knew we were going to be friends. Her energy and joy, and her ability to express those without hesitation, are so contagious and it ended up being truly my favorite day of our trip.
We photographed around Notre Dame and St. Ile Louis, where James had set up an easel the night before (because he’s an incredible professional painter, go stalk his instagrams for his sketches while we were all in Paris they’re amazing). Mid-shoot, we walked to our apartment and freshened up, used the restroom, and then ended up at my favorite alley in Paris. Back story: on our first trip there (the one where we got engaged), we passed by it and the sun was shining perfectly highlighting ‘Librarie’ and I thought, this is Paris. This perfect moment in passing is exactly how I remember Paris. Then, full circle, 3 years later we are there photographing friends while we were in the city for 2 weeks. A dream. A total dream. After, we sat at Shakespeare & Co. and sipped on coffees and ended up sitting next to Dianne Wiest and laughed because the whole day was just so surreal and weird.