Set in one of the largest and most gorgeous parks in Paris, our vintage Victorian photoshoot at the Jardin du Luxembourg was a dream come true.
In the most photographic city in the world, I knew I had to put together the best photoshoot of my life (yet). The problem was I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t speak the language or knew my way around Paris, and transportation was a complete mystery to me.
The preparation for this shoot started weeks in advance while I was still in Houston. Since I didn’t know anyone in Paris, reaching out to collaborators were a shot in the dark. I emailed a few modeling agencies and a few HMUA, and I twiddled my thumbs until somebody got back to me. During this period, the thought of rejection was very real. Every email that was sent and never replied to hurt just a little.
Here in Houston, if I need anything at all for a project, I could always rely on my network. In Paris, I had no one. All I had was Google and Instagram.
Many of the agencies that I sent emails to were big deals, international brands with fabulous models, and here I was, a little photographer from Texas trying to get a model for a personal project. The scale seemed so tipped, I had contemplated many times on giving up. However, I knew that if I didn’t try hard enough, I’d be kicking myself later. I had to remind myself over and over again, it was not about where anybody stood status wise in the fashion/photography world, it was about the project. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Persistency paid off. Mademoiselle Agency graciously sent me Nell Spitzer, and I was so thrilled when Harold James came on board as our HMUA.
The vintage concept for the shoot was ultimately decided while I was in New York City en route to Paris. Once I decided on the Victorian theme, I hopped around various vintage stores in NY until I found the dress from Hamlet’s Vintage. Hamlet (the shop owner’s real name) was so friendly and helpful. If you are ever in want of true vintage pieces, his shop is the go-to destination.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find the hat that I wanted in NY, so I actually spent a few hours my first day in Paris visiting vintage shops until I found the darling hat you see in the photos below. Communicating with French shop owners was an interesting experience. Luckily, I had learned a few key French phrases from a wonderful Parisian man I met on my flight to Paris. I’ll tell you more about that in another blog post. In the mean time, allow me to share with you one of my favorite photoshoots I have ever done.
The above photograph, as well as a few others, were shot with a new lens I recently purchased – the Petzval 85mm. It’s a vintage style lens, completely manual focus, and it gives off a painterly watercolor effect that was perfect for the vibe I wanted. I’m look forward to incorporating this lens with my senior shoots.