I consider myself a pretty friendly guy. But how do you express friendliness amongst people who don’t speak your language? Big. Giant. Smiles. And a business card, broken french, and international sign language for taking pictures, and a portfolio on your smart phone doesn’t hurt, either :)
Often, most of the french folks I met in Paris spoke enough English to chat a little bit – but I wasn’t always so lucky. Occasionally I would run into someone who spoke very little English, or they were a tourist themselves and were from somewhere entirely different (China, Russia, etc). But when I pulled out the camera, folks started to understand what I was trying to offer them. In fact, I don’t think there was anyone who flat out denied me the chance to take their picture. I had some people only take one or two frames and then have to be on their way – but most people were really excited about getting their photo taken in the ‘city of lights.’
So I began taking photos with my friends, Timothy and Christina.
And it was AWESOME. We met some amazing people full of personality, stories, advice for travel, and all very happy to smile and pose for our cameras. One day while exploring the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur we saw CiCi, a gal all the way from China walking around in a pretty rad boho-bride gown – so I just had to ask her if we could take some photos – you’ll see some of those below!
If you visit the Eiffel Tower (from pretty much any vantage point) you’ll find couples hugging, taking selfies, kissing under the tower – all just begging for a professional photographer to take their picture :) So we decided to walk up to folks and simply ask, “may I take your photo?” I handed them my business card, showed them a few examples on my iPhone, and away we went. We ended up meeting some incredible people, some dressed to the nines about to go on elaborate dates, others just traveling through with their loved one, super pleased to get a photo in front of the tower.
It’s amazing what a smile can accomplish. It was a joy to meet so many amazing people, and I can’t wait to go back to Paris and do this all over again.
If you’re thinking of visiting Paris – I’ve got a few picturesque places up my sleeve, and I would love to document your travels :) enjoy the photos!