Daydreaming of Paris is a regular thing for me. I am constantly inspired by the thought of romantic streets, chic women dressed perfectly in simplicity and confidence, and delicious treats waiting to be savored in cozy cafes…ah, a day in the city of love.
It is no wonder that when I came across the stunning photography of Parisian charm by the lovely Anna, from Anna With Love, I was immediately smitten! It always amazes me that a photograph can so magically capture a single moment in time and transport you to places on the other side of the world that call out to your heart as if from next door.
Earlier this year, Anna launched her online shop and introduced The Paris Collection – a stunning array of fine art photographs that exemplify the beauty and magic found in every corner of Paris. Featuring charming rooftops, sparkly chandeliers, classic storefronts, and the most intricate and colorful doors, to name just a few, this collection spoke right to my heart. I love every single one of these photographs!
Being a huge fan of Anna’s work and her “Paris Monday” blog posts, I was over the moon excited when she graciously agreed to answer a few questions about the collection and share some insight into her creative process (how she goes about getting “the shot”!) and of course, her love of Paris. Without further ado, a little Q & A with Anna…
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPH FROM THE PARIS COLLECTION – ONE THAT YOU FEEL ESPECIALLY CONNECTED TO?
ANNA: I thought about this one for a while, it is almost like picking a favorite child. I feel connected to every photograph for different reasons. Some of the fine art photographs I had envisioned before I went, I had a shot list in mind and many were re-creations from my previous trips to Paris (when I didn’t have the best skills and camera). I didn’t plan for a lot of the final fine art photographs, specifically ‘Oui Madame‘ & ‘Le Bicyclette‘, which I found while exploring and almost by accident!
For ‘A French Affair‘ & ‘C’est Bon‘ I was literally hanging out of my hotel window to get the shot in the angle I wanted (my husband was holding onto my leg to make sure I didn’t fall! He wasn’t so impressed with me!) Anything for the shot and definitely memorable for both of us!
If I had to pick one I feel especially connected to, it would be ‘Shall we Dance‘ which is the photograph in Versailles in the empty hall of mirrors. We arrived over an hour before the palace opened, didn’t have breakfast, didn’t have coffee, we were running on empty. I knew the shot I wanted and I needed the hall of mirrors to be empty (if you have ever visited Versailles you will know that this is almost impossible). So, the doors opened and off I went walking as fast as I could to get there, and when I did…that moment nearly took my breath away.
This room is so spectacular. I paused for a moment taking it all in before realizing few more people were showing up. I had about five minutes to get ‘the shot’, talk about adrenalin and excitement! Luckily, the others there were also photographers and we were all respectful with each other before any of us moved on in. There was a line of us with our cameras like the front line of battle! (Maybe I should start a column, “the story behind the photograph”?!)
WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES A MEMORABLE PHOTOGRAPH?
ANNA: The short answer? The feeling it gives you. And the beauty of this is that it is different for everyone. A memorable photograph for me will be different from yours, we have different memories, emotions, references. A memorable photograph is one that makes me feel something (good and bad). One that inspires instantly, stirs up a feeling or longing. It’s different for everyone – that’s the fun on it!
ARE THERE ANY LITTLE WAYS IN WHICH YOU TRY TO INCORPORATE THE BEAUTY OF PARIS INTO YOUR EVERYDAY?
ANNA: Absolutely! I have the collection all over my home and if you’ve seen my INSTAGRAM account, there are mini Eiffel Towers everywhere. When I feel myself missing Paris a lot, I put on ‘La Vie En Rose‘ (and if my hubby is home grab him and have a little dance!)
I LOVE THAT YOU ALWAYS END YOUR BLOG POSTS WITH A QUOTE. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE ABOUT PARIS?
ANNA: I have read many that I love but none gave me chills like this one the first time I read it because it was exactly how I felt when I visited Paris on my second and third trip there alone.
“Sitting there, alone in a foreign country, far from my job and everyone I know, a feeling came over me. It was like remembering something I’d never known before or had always been waiting for, but I didn’t know what. Maybe it was something I’d forgotten or something I’ve been missing all my life. All I can say is that I felt, at the same time, joy and sadness. But not too much sadness, because I felt alive. Yes, alive. That was the moment I fell in love with Paris. And I felt Paris fall in love with me.”
From in the final vignette of Paris, Je T’Aime.
ONE LAST QUESTION, JUST FOR FUN…CREME BRULEE OR MACARONS?
ANNA: Macarons! Specifically Pistachio flavoured, mmmmmm!!
A huge thank you to the lovely Anna for taking the time out of her super busy schedule to answer these questions. It is always such a treat to learn about the process of talented creatives who continuously inspire others through their work. Be sure to check out Anna’s blog for sneak peeks of her beautiful photography and those Paris Mondays posts I am so in love with! To get yourself some beautiful fine art prints, head over to http://www.annawithloveshop.com/ (run, don’t walk!). And while you are there, be sure to check out The Flower Collection too, it is all kinds of amazing!
I hope you enjoyed today’s daydream! And as you go about your week, may you find inspiration and joy at every turn.
Lots of love! XO
Photo Credit: Anna with Love.