I arrived in Paris in April of 2009 with a 3-month work visa and a whole lot to learn about life. Over ten years later, and I'm still here - legally, don't worry - in awe of the direction my life has taken me. I'm living the "new American dream" and loving my perfect Parisian life with my incredible French husband and three French cats. I'm easy to spot amongst the tourists, just look for the photographer with a goofy grin - that's me, Rachael. I never imagined my life would turn out this wonderfully, but I wouldn't give it up for anything! I mean, I've got the best job in the world! I meet people that are excited to see me, and I get to photograph them in some of the most beautiful places in the world! Life couldn't be any sweeter!
get to know
My first apartment in Paris was in the 7ème arrondissement, on the famous rue Cler, within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower. I would watch her light up every night, dine at the local creperie, and learn French over posh picnics in front of the Invalides.
Paris came alive as I studied her through the eyes of my great photography gods: Doisneau, Capa, Cartier-Bresson and Atget. I walked down their streets, drank at their cafés, searched for their angles and fell even deeper in love with this city.
Finding love in Belleville
I never thought I would love anything more than Paris, until Sylvain. I met my husband on the terrace of a café in Belleville, as cliché as it may sound. His French accent charmed me, but we fell in love developing film with caffenol.
Creating a home in Montreuil
Seven months later, we moved in together and quickly adopted two cats. We got married in 2017 and became home(apartment)owners - with a garden. I joke about how although Paris is a transitory city, I'm a Montreuilloise lifer.
Looking towards The Future
If this perfect Parisian journey has taught me anything about life, it's that you can't plan for anything. Ten years ago, I never dreamed I would be here! But I can't imagine anything better. So ten years from now, who knows what's in store for me.
Back to the beginning
There's few things more magical than the sunrise over the Seine river. When I lived in the center of Paris, I would slip out 30 minutes before the sun to catch those first glimpses of light as l'heure bleue transformed into the golden hour and the sun bathed Paris with this warm light that set the neutral-toned buildings on fire.
Montmartre is everything I imagined Paris to be. The winding cobblestoned streets, the artists selling their work at la place du Tertre, sighting the Maison Rose down the street, the Sacre Coeur standing majestically upon the hill - it brings the movie Amelie back to life before my very eyes. This part of Paris holds a charm you see nowhere else.
The Palais Royal was constructed by Cardinal Richelieu - we remember him from The Three Musketeers - in order to be closer to the king. But now, the courtyard and garden of this famous ex-palace is open to the public, and we can wander through the aisles of trees and marvel at the incredible sculpture garden featuring the Colonnes de Buren.
In French, le pont Neuf means "the new bridge." However, Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge still standing on the Seine River in Paris. What an incredible French pun from the very beginning! It was constructed in 1578AD and is lined with 381 mascarons, or stone masks, that represent ancient mythological divinities.
I have spent over ten years in awe of this great piece of architecture, and I can't imagine ever getting sick of it! I still get giddy each time I see the Eiffel Tower all lit up and am transported back to that first night. After sunset, every hour on the hour, you can see her twinkle. It's like Paris is winking back at you, playing this flirtatious game...
History came alive for me in Paris. Every corner holds a new story, but nothing captures my imagination more than the Louvre. Each time I walk through the corridors, around the Pyramide du Louvre, over the cobblestones in the back courtyard, I can see all of the people who have been here before me. It is more than a museum, it's a source of magic!
My heart leaps for joy every time I get the wonderful opportunity to show someone new all that I love about Paris! We create precious memories together as I capture treasured moments of this journey you've been dreaming of. We laugh too much, smile so wide, go dancing in the streets, and all the while, we're creating stories you'll hold dear for a lifetime. We'll become long-distance friends in those few unforgettable hours we spend together. It's not just about getting great pictures, but contributing to your lives in such a unique and valued way - to earn your trust while recording your time here in Paris and gifting you with pictures your family will cherish for generations to come.
Recording your wonder with the majesty of the Eiffel Tower, as you laugh over a warm cup of hot chocolate, dance through the empty streets of the Marais, watch the sunrise on Île Saint-Louis, or wind your way through the cobblestones in Montmartre is my greatest pleasure. I truly believe that everyone has a special relationship with this magical city. And Paris is gracious enough to show each of us a different side of herself!
Timeless and romantic images for the modern francophile