Tag Archives: Paris

(At Long Last) Impressions: Paris

Happy New Year, Blog Readers!  I hope that 2012 is a wonderful year for all of you.

I realize this blog post is long overdue.  I got back from my trip the 1st of December and was planning on posting the first of my Parisian adventures a few weeks ago, but between work responsibilities, holiday festivities, traveling, and family weddings something had to give, and blogging didn’t make the cut.

But, I’m back home now, my Christmas decorations are put away, the newlyweds are on their honeymoon, and I’m dying to share some of my photos of my first trip to Paris!

Let me start by saying every good cliche you’ve ever heard about Paris is 100% accurate.  The light is soft, romantic, and constantly changing.  The food is mouth-wateringly good.  The history and charm is rich and full.  The architecture, art, and grandeur was literally breathtaking.  And to top it all off, I awoke every morning to the bells of Notre Dame and heard an accordionist play La Vie En Rose while walking the bridges of Paris on a Sunday afternoon.

I’ll have more in-depth anecdotes later on, but for now I give you just a few impressions of the City of Light.

Musician playing along the Seine

I will dedicate a whole blog post about the music of Paris.  So many skilled musicians all over the city, from the metro stations to the churches and along the river.  On one memorable night we were serenaded by a clarinet as we dined at a street cafe near St. Germain des Prés.

Dawn on the Ile de la Citie

I had to get up early to capture this shot.  It was totally worth it.  After I shot pictures for about an hour I sat near the river and watched as Paris woke up around me.

Notre Dame

This view of Notre Dame was a two minute walk from our hotel on the left bank.  Seeing it every day just added to the fairy tale of being in Paris.  I blended the image with an aged paper to give it a vintage feel.

Approaching Twilight: Eiffel Tower and Pont Alexander III

One of my favorite bridges in Paris was the Pont Alexander III.  I fell in love with it when I first saw Julia Ormond (with her apple) write in her journal here in the Paris montage of Sabrina.  

That’s all for now!  But now that the new year is upon us, I hope to be able to start making regular updates now!  May you all be blessed with a wonderful and exciting new year!


In November the Snow Starts to Fly…

Well, not in Seattle it doesn’t but in my old stomping grounds back in Boston it sure did!  I have to say, I was a little jealous of all my friends back east when I saw all their pictures on Facebook last weekend.  Though not so envious of the power outages–I’m very thankful for the blessing of electricity.

I was supposed to post some of Brent & Michelle’s wedding pictures a couple weeks ago, but life suddenly got ridiculously crazy.  Between work (I put in more than 60 hours at the office last week), the upcoming Paris trip (17 days for those who are counting with me), photos to develop, and holiday planning, life just seems to be a whirlwind right now!

I do have my priorities straight, however, and took time last Saturday evening to get out my Christmas tree and ornaments.  It was up and decorated on October 30th!

I know there are many people out there who believe that Christmas needs to wait until after Thanksgiving, but I’m of the persuasion that the season should be enjoyed for as long as possible, so my tree goes up very early, and I start buying eggnog as soon as it hits the shelves at the grocery store.

This does not mean that I ignore the other holidays, though (okay, that’s a lie, aside from dancing to the Purple People Eater song a couple times, I completely ignored Halloween).  Thanksgiving is still one of my favorite holidays for a myriad of reasons–family, friends, great food, and a chance to reflect on all the many, many blessings I have in my life.  And while my observation of Thanksgiving this year will be slightly untraditional, I still feel it’s important to remember to give thanks for the people and opportunities that enrich my life.

And speaking of enriched lives, I think it’s high time I shared some of those wedding pictures!  Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Brent Gunnell!!!


It may have been a blustery day, but the wind sure did pretty things to Michelle's veil!


Just Married!


Michelle gets a hug from her new mother-in-law.


The Wedding Party: Our variation on the "So Long, Farewell" pose.

Les Miserables and Photogenic Tenors

My brain operates in a weird, circular way.  Playing word association with me would make psychiatrists cry.

Case in point: I’m planning my trip to Paris, so have had all things Paris & French on the brain at the moment.  Paris makes me think of Les Miserables (both the book and the musical, but in this case, we’ll focus on the musical).  This sends me to iTunes to listen to the soundtrack.  The soundtrack makes me want to watch it.  Hello Youtube!  I watch the 10th Anniversary cast.  Then I move on to the 25th Anniversary concert.  I cry.  I get goosebumps.  I discover Alfie Boe.  This sends me to Amazon where I download his new album, “Bring Him Home.”  This sends me into blissful delight as I play it over and over.  I start YouTube-ing like mad.  I find Alfie Boe singing Christmas songs in a church.  I start thinking of Christmas.  I start thinking of Christmas trees.  I start thinking of Christmas trees that can sing like Alfie Boe.  I decide to take a break.  I come back from my break to the same YouTube video of him singing in a church.  The church reminds me of the Sainte Chapelle that I plan to see in Paris.  I’m getting excited for Paris.  I once again go back to planning my trip to Paris. I read about Victor Hugo.  I want to visit his house.  I’m in the mood to watch Les Miserables again.

There you have it.  I am just a little nuts (but in the good way, like a DQ peanut buster parfait).

However, during my recently discovered Alfie Boe obsession (and now I will forever associate him with my first trip to Paris, which, my friends, is not a bad thing to be associated with) I found these INCREDIBLE publicity photographs, and I fell in LOVE with this photographer.

The sad thing is, I don’t know who the photographer IS! 😦  I can’t find the photo credits anywhere!  If someone can, please let me know, because I need to be their friend (plus, I need to put their name here).    The lighting in these portraits is GORGEOUS!  Theatrical, but subtle.  Just enough background to allude to the theater, while still keeping the subject as the main focus.  The costuming is perfect–adding to the character without overwhelming him.  Sorry.  I’ll stop gushing now and let you see for yourselves!

Besides, YouTube is calling for me again…

***UPDDATE: Thanks to a reader, Fin, I now know the photographer!  His name is Ray Burmiston.  His website can be found here: www.rayburmiston.com  I just followed him on Twitter. 🙂  Thanks, so much Fin!

The staging of this is beyond brilliant: putting the actor in the balcony for a change. Plus the pose is just so languid and reposed.


The use of light and shadows is BRILLIANT. Also, love the expression that was captured here.

I love the detail of him playing with his cuffs, and the shadow in the background... so atmospheric!

Bonjour Paris!!!

2011 has been a pretty awesome year for me in terms of being able to cross things off my bucket list.

In February, my friend Abbie and I went down to Seaside, Oregon for a much needed weekend getaway.  We stayed in a gorgeous old inn that was built in 1892.  Each room had a unique theme, and the lobby and main floor were filled with antique furniture.  Plus they had freshly baked chocolate chip cookies each afternoon!  It was right on the beach and absolutely perfect for curling up in and escaping the real world.   Item #12 on the Bucket List? “Stay in a fabulous hotel.”

#14 on my list was “buy a fabulous bed,” which I did this spring.  I LOVE it.  And so happy to be sleeping in a huge, comfy, queen sized bed after spending 4 years in college with a twin and another 6 years moving all over the country with a twin bed my parents bought me when I moved into my first “real” apartment.

The BIG check mark came in May when I flew down to San Francisco for the weekend to see Hugh Jackman in Concert!  #18, “Watch Hugh Jackman perform live” has been on my list since about 2006.  I had 3rd row tickets and they were worth EVERY penny.  The weirdest part of the whole experience though was standing by the stage door entrance just like the real groupies and actually touching his arm for maybe 1/2 a second before I got scared his security guard would break my hand.

But the next item to come off my list–in less than 3 months, thank you very much, is one that’s been on there since I was about 9 years old and saw Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant walking along the Seine and eating ice cream in Charade.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, your faithful blogger is going to PARIS for Thanksgiving!  But shhh. I still haven’t told my mother yet! 🙂

My friends Abbie and Kris are coming with me, which is exciting because I usually travel alone, and now I get to share the experience with two fabulous women.  Our hotel is on the left bank with a view of Notre Dame.  And we get to spend a full week enjoying and exploring the city of lights.

Of course, one of the things I’m most excited about is getting to photograph this beautiful city that I’ve seen in movies and read about in books all my life.  So, in the words of Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astair, and Kay Thompson… BONJOUR PARIS!!!

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