Paris Portrait Engagement Session: Jeff & Mai at Palais Royal

March 19, 2020

Filed in: Portraiture

It had rained all last week and was forecasted into the next. After monitoring the météo intently all Sunday afternoon, I finally made the call the meet Monday morning. Better to be out in a little drizzle than risk pouring rain later in the afternoon.

Ironically, the rain petered out after lunch, but my little adventure through the Palais Royal with Jeff and Mai for their Paris engagement (!!!!) shoot proved that you don’t need actual sun to have the sunshine. They brought it in spades.

Jeff was the real master here: A surprise proposal at one of my favorite spots (the western tip of Île Saint Louis, by the lamppost and on the Seine), and a few weeks of back-and-forth with me to plan these photographs! Wowowowowow, Jeff & Mai, you guys make me fall in love with love.

What was fun about Mai was the fact that we share many interests. The most important ones are flowers and Paris — she has been SIX times! And, she is literally a bubbly ball of JOY!! Mai greeted me with a very American hug full of warmth that is definitely lacking in a grey Paris. If you have lived in France for any period of time as a foreigner, you probably know the pain I feel when it comes to the awkward dance of la bise.

The rain was surprisingly gentle, and for that I was grateful, as torrents had pounded the pavement just a few days ago. It also proved how easy-going and relaxed Jeff & Mai are. We chatted, laughed, and ducked in and out of the drizzle to play under the magnolias. They were down for pretty much anything, didn’t let the rain get to them, and made the best! So cheerful and a joyful start to my morning.

Merciiiiiiii, Jeff & Mai, and encore félicitations!!!


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Paris & California strolls; plenty of flowers; stories; and looking for the beauty in the everyday. I hope you'll come along as I take the year to document the entirety of my home state!