A Paris Christmas Photoshoot

I wanted to remember our year in Paris without one person missing from the photos (namely me, holder of iphone). Plus the Vancouver Sun had commissioned me to write a feature on Christmas in Paris (to be published December 24) so we needed some shots of everyone together, enjoying the sights and lights of Paris like we do every day.

I’d written about Flytographer.com before, a Victoria, BC-based company that hires local photographers to shoot you while on vacation. Now that they’ve also been featured by Oprah, it seemed like a good place to start. 

In Paris, there are several Flytographers to choose from, and I pick Olga, for her candid style. (I later learn that she shoots celebrities for the Russian version of Hello! which explains her quick shutter finger.) Olga started working with Flytographer in January, and now she shoots for them twice a day, capturing real-time marriage proposals in front of the Eiffel tower (I’m at Trocadero almost every day, she tells me), cosey couples at cafés, and fun shots of kids running across the gold-flanked bridge, Pont Alexander III.

Olga arrives at our apartment early, just as I walk in the door from collecting Emmanuelle at school.

Something seems wrong.

I’d hung the Christmas lights (even though it was still November) but they weren’t on. Where was my twinkling olive tree and sparkling brass garlands over the marble kitchen fireplace?

Ahah. The power had gone out – a semi-regular occurrence in our anciently wired residence. 

No worry, at 4pm there was still lots of natural light, as we’ve had a bright, sunny winter in Paris and our apartment is full of French doors, so we went ahead. Murray, in bed with “The Paris Flu,” (apparently an ex-pat right of passage), bravely got up to join us.

Our 90-minute package included two locations, so we all jumped into an Uber van, and headed to the nearby Tuilleries Gardens with a view of the very controversial Ferris Wheel “La Grande Roue de Paris.” The city wants it taken down, but the septuagenarian owner-operator insists he has a lease through 2017. At various times the workers have gone on strike, their trucks blocking the entire Place de La Concorde and the riot police called in. Tonight, though, we we’re in the clear. We get that obligatory shot with the Eiffel tower in the background, eat some sugary snacks at the Christmas market, and head up the Champs Elysées to capture the Christmas lights with a view straight through to the Arc de Triomphe. I especially love the final shot of us in the middle of the road. “The Bancroft family, right before they were hit by the tour bus,” Murray captions it. Even with the flu, he’s always good for a laugh.  Happy holidays to all!

All photos by Olga for Flytographer (www.flytographer.com)

NB A Year in Paris will be on holiday in Ibiza next week. Next post: 12pm, Friday January 6, 2017