Paris was showing off this particular Sunday morning. The sunshine greeted us over the Seine and the breeze was just right, but for me the incredible setting was only an accessory to spending time with Lauren and Chip.
Lauren Carnes is a Georgia-based photographer (and one of the creative/work/life balance queens who’s always impressing me) so of course I was looking forward to meeting her and her husband Chip! She and I initially corresponded via email about a collaboration about two years ago, and since have kept in touch through social media; we never actually met until this fine Parisian morning! Two photographers, in Paris, meeting for the first time- we had everything in the world to talk about and all the fun. Oh and the backdrop!
We began their anniversary session early in the morning. The sun followed us through parts of the Marais, across Ile Saint Louis, into Saint Germain, past Notre Dame, down to La Tour Eiffel, and finally to lunch avec des fromages et du vin. As we strolled and talked it was easy to discover that they are amazing travelers together. I am so amazed at all the things they did in Paris in just their first 24 hours without ever navigating this city before! And they did not even blink when our metro to the Eiffel Tower decided to make us wait longer and go a different route. I think Chip was even laughing, ha! A true testament to the kind of attitude this couple carries. We talked about what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera, cooking, languages, some business, and how the light was unfolding everywhere (of course). But my favorite thing of all that discussed in those hours was their story. I am in love with their story.
I learned that Lauren and Chip met in Spain while studying abroad, which explains a lot about how they travel so well and were so naturally comfortable strolling the streets of Paris. It’s a part of them that is significant and special, and a reason that these images tell of a much deeper part of who they are. It was fun to meet Chip at the same time as Lauren, too. What they share has so much peace, adventure, and support- you can hear it in the way they speak and interact with each other. From the glimpses of social media that would show up on my page, I knew Lauren and Chip were a great match; however, I was reminded that when you really step into someone else's world with their people, a realness comes that is irreplaceable. I could never pick a favorite photo from this session, but the one that makes my heart melt is of them hugging, which was a gesture that happened so quickly in that moment: Lauren was just laughing at something Chip said (obviously just finding him so endearing) and threw her arms around him. So unfettered. So real. And yes- I was so glad my camera was ready!
Lauren and Chip, to walk around Paris with you both was really a gift to me. Thank you for sharing life with me that morning. I love these photographs even more for that reason.