You guys, I could just about cry looking at these photos, reminiscing about this morning spent with Kelsey and Talon at sunrise along the Seine. What a gift it was to take these photos, in this truly magical city, of two such refreshing, lovely people! This shoot was invigorating. There are times when I put work out into the world and I really hope that other people like it, that they get what I’m going for, that it’s well received. (That’s the majority of the time and I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I just don’t want it to own me, ya know?) And then there are times like right now when I feel SO DANG STRONGLY about this work being everything that I want it to be, about it capturing that very morning and these very people that I’m happy with it just existing. I’m happy just to have made these photos. I’m happy just to have been there.

In July James and I had the immense joy of visiting some friends of ours who moved to Paris at the end of last year (HI, COLIN AND CINDY!! OH MY GOSH I MISS Y’ALL) and in the months leading up to the trip I saw Kelsey post on her instagram that she and her husband were going to be in Paris THE SAME TIME AS US. Funny story, we all used to live in the same city (Denton, WOO!) but never had a chance to actually meet in person so logically the time to make that happen for the first time was on the other side of the world, at sunrise.

Kelsey and Talon love big and that is for real one of my most favorite things to photograph. Other things to note — it was super chilly and James shivered his way through the shoot, my brand new shoes wouldn’t stay on my feet and kept slipping off THE. ENTIRE. TIME. and my eyes watered so much that Kelsey lent me mascara for the second half of the shoot AND taught me how to curl my eyelashes (HASHTAGfriend material). Also when we were all finished taking photos (Kelsey took some of us too and I love love love them so!) we all had coffee at Shakespeare and Co and sat at a table next to Dianne Wiest (which was especially exciting to me because I had JUST finished watching “Life in Pieces”).

Take me back, take me back, take me baaaaaack. As they say (“they” being Audrey Hepburn as a character in the movie ‘Sabrina’ so like, do I attribute that to the writer?? QUANDRY! I digress.) — Paris is always a good idea. Enjoy some of my favorites from their shoot along the Seine.

As you were reading the opening paragraph of this post you were probably rolling your eyes like, “Yeah, I’m sure that’s reeeeeeeeally hard for you to feel this strongly about photos taken in PARIS, Jillian.” (and first of all, touchè haha) but also I think that’s one of the joys of traveling to a new place to shoot and, in my humble opinion, it’s a reason to at least not rule out hiring a photographer you really connect with to travel to you to shoot.

There’s wonder that comes with fresh eyes.

And please do not hear me say that it’s impossible for people to maintain their air of wonder about the place in which they dwell (Y’ALL KNOW I LOVE DENTON), and there’s certainly something that comes with a photographer who is knowledgable of an area. But all I’m saying is, wonder is a magical thing. It’s an inspiring thing. And I will always, always be open to traveling to shoot in new places and bringing all the wonder with me when I do!

 

You know those days where anything that could possibly go wrong does? That was Kayla and Jeremy’s originally scheduled engagement session day. And in case you think I’m being facetious let me list it out for you — the dress she ordered and paid for rush shipping was the wrong size, her make-up appointment went south so she ended up re-doing it herself (because getting make-up just right is hard, you guys!!) and then we were literally turned away from the gate where we were planning to shoot because they decided to close early. We needed a reset button for the whole dang day.

So that’s what we did. We shook off the bad day and met back up a week later and man, oh man, if we didn’t effortlessly get some of my most favorite photos of all time. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Kayla and Jeremy showed up to the second shoot with an Easter basket full of goodies for my daughter Juniper which was so sweet I could have cried. So now every time I read Juni her Peter Rabbit book I think of Kayla and Jeremy and the best, best reset day.

So, I can’t really put how wonderful Brenna and Forrest are into words. Instead I’m just going to give you a tiny snippet of the e-mail Brenna sent me the day after their engagement session to give you a general idea of what basically ALL our e-mail correspondence has been like since day one:

“If I could send you an auditorium of people all slow clapping and shouting things like “YOU ARE AWESOME,” “WAY TO BE GREAT,” “GOD BLESS AMERICA!” I TOTALLY would. Because that is how I feel about yesterday and you and the whole process of everything. “

Who WOULDN’T love receiving e-mails like that??

Brenna, I’ve loved loved loved bonding with you over tacos, Jesus and how cute Juniper is (duh). Forrest, thank you for taking such crazy-good care of/being the best fit ever for my favorite e-mail pen pal. I adore y’all and can’t wait to meet up for your wedding Friday — WOO!

 

Tamara + Sunil — making winter in Texas look REAL REAL GOOD since 2017.

The day of their session was not only my first time t0 visit Hamilton Pool (aka MARS), but also my first time to meet Tamara + Sunil in person because they were living in London last year. How cool is that?? Every time one of Tamara’s Instagram posts popped into my feed they were in a different country (This is us in Morocco! Oh hey, Barcelona is pretty neat. And on and on, you get the picture).  But let me just tell you, turns out they’re all the more awesome face-to-face than even the Internet made them seem.

I cannot, cannot wait for their Austin wedding next month. But I guess I’ll have to because, ya know, time travel doesn’t exist yet.

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