While scrolling through these images I need you to imagine Paris in the boiling heat, because that's exactly what it was like during our 4 days in the city. It was magical, but really hot.
This is a photojournalistic view of Paris through my eyes, I hope you enjoy. As a recommendation 4 days is definitely a perfect amount of time to view Paris. We walked about 12 miles a day, which should be your goal when you go to Paris (perhaps reduce that to 5 miles/a day if you come in the winter). Walking truly is the best way to explore any city, we learned that quickly this summer. Exploring a city by foot lets you see far more than any walking tour/hop on, hop off bus will ever get you. Just walk, OK? :)
Here are our recommendations of places to go while in Paris -
- Ó Chateau was our favorite restaurant that we stumbled upon and went to two nights in a row. The service is great and the food is superb and not too pricey. We ordered Foie Gras both nights, and I still dream about how good that meal was.
- Explore Montmarte! Such a beautiful area, it can get a little touristy but if you give yourself time to wander you can explore streets that are off the beaten path.
- Don't go to the Eiffel Tower, just view it from afar at night when it sparkles. Unless you love touristy things and crowds, then GO!
- If you are a Midnight in Paris fan, do your own self-guided tour of the film locations. You can just google where to go. :)
- Buy Macarons from Ladurée. It's expensive, but truly the best macarons you'll ever have.
- EAT all the pastries, croissants, bread, crepes you can find!! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE.
- Find a Franprix supermarket (they are everywhere) and buy freshly made OJ for real cheap.
- Go to Luxembourg Gardens at sunset, bring a good book and a bottle of wine and read at the many chairs that are available. Luxembourg Gardens is a beautiful garden oasis right in the city.
- GO to Versailles and pay extra to get the fast pass and skip the lines. Whatever it costs for that fast pass it's really worth skipping the lines. Take it from someone who didn't do that and waited in line for 3.5 hours to get in. Versailles is absolutely worth the trip and make sure to commit a full day to exploring the castle and gardens.
Thing to know - Look right first, then left. In order to avoid being swashed by a car, 3 bikes, a double decker bus and the taxi's.
Remembered the joys of walking in this city. I walked 9 miles!
Trying to change our vocabulary to fit in. We are trying to use the words "outrageous" and "grim" more often. Apparently Londoner's refer to our neighborhood as Grim. Thanks to my study abroad program, adjusting to life without seeing Bentley's and Maserati's on each street corner has been hard. Haha, thanks for creating ridiculous expectations study abroad!
On a regular basis I'm always wondering if people think I look like an American, just because of what I'm wearing or how I look. I think I can pass for a local until I open my mouth, and pull out my camera....
Another 5 miles walked. I think I'm getting too ambitious too early. How can I keep this up?
I walked most of the Southbank today, from the Southwark Bridge to the Lambeth bridge (which encompasses Westminster Abbey/Big Ben, The Globe, and the London Eye. Did you know that Big Ben is under construction?? A bit sad, as that part of the city doesn't look the same without him.
London really comes to life in the summer, and today was a lovely example of that.
At the beginning of the day I stopped in to do some work at a Cathedral that has been transformed into a coffee shop!
Oliver and I explored Portobello Road. We had both been there when I studied abroad 5 years ago, but it was fun to go back. The street food is probably the best part.
After walking through Portobello Road we stopped to rest at Holland Park. Such a charming park, but let's be real what park in London isn't charming?? We spent our whole time at the park people watching. Our favorite is listening to kids British accents. They are ADORABLE. They could say anything and we think it's cute. Also, every one smokes here!!! Such a bummer. I keep thinking it must be because week isn't legal? I don't really remember people smoking as much when I studied abroad.
This picture below is a market that's only a 10 minute walk from us. In general there are far more markets in London than I could have ever imagined. Most people just think of the main ones - Camden, Borough and Portobello, but between us and Borough Market (which is only a 20 minute walk) there are 3 other markets! Endless food options here. I was thinking I'd come back to the US fit from all my walking, but I think it will all just even out and I'll come back looking the same.
June 10th-15th in Newcastle
Oliver has a travel job here. Our hotel is about 20 minutes from the city, so I ventured out yesterday to check it out. I'm a classic American, so even if a city in the UK is subpar to the Brits, it's still awesome to us because of the old buildings, unique shops, and ALL the accents. Newcastle had it's own charm, and I enjoyed exploring it by foot.
This whole week I've worked in the hotel lobby, getting loads accomplished. I photographed two weddings before we left for London, so my plan is to edit them before the week is done. Doing well so far.
This past weekend after our week in Newcastle, we took the train up to Scotland.
Last summer one of my brides Kristyn (who has turned into a dear friend) moved to Scotland with her husband, Seth, right after their wedding. We have kept in touch through out the year, and when Oliver and I found out we were heading to London for the summer - she was the first person I made plans to visit. Kristyn and Seth live in St. Andrews, that's where Seth is going to school. I had been to St. Andrews once before while visiting another friend 5 years ago when I studied abroad. Ironically I'm pretty the weather was the same the last time I was there and that was in February. The best way to describe Scotlands weather is, an autumn season that never ends.
Kristyn and Seth were wonderful hosts and tour guides of their home and we enjoyed every second wandering around with them (in the rain) and experiencing Scotland and the magic that is St. Andrews. For all you Royal family obsessed people out there, St. Andrews is where William and Kate went to school.
So here are some pictures from our time in St. Andrews.
If only we dressed up this well for American weddings!
After St. Andrews we did a quick trip to Edinburgh. I took mostly film photos while we were exploring Edinburgh, so hopefully those turned out!
Edinburgh was REALLY touristy - beautiful city - just packed with people. My favorite thing about the city is how high the streets are, and how hilly it is. Makes for a dramatic appearance.
We had a full week! This past week was our first full week in London, and it was delightful. Last week the weather was perfect, but this week London is experiencing a HEAT WAVE. The perks of this is that the city is beautiful and comes to life! Blue skies for days, no clouds, no rain - just sunshine and warmth. Feels a lot like summer, and we like it!
This past week I covered a lot of ground in the city walking, and exploring new areas. Last week I walked 54 miles. Here are the photos I have to show for it.
I road on the train with LOADS of people heading to the Royal Ascot one morning. It was a dream.
everyone was taking pictures of Winston Churchill's statue, so I gave these ones some love instead.
when exploring London I've learned to always look down every alley way, because you never know what you'll find!
Apparently this is the alley way that inspired Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. This shot was taken on my phone, the right one on film.
Another peek down an alley way and I walked straight into a photoshoot!
One of my favorite things about markets when I studied abroad was the mulled wine you sipped on as you wandering through the vendors - in the summer the equivalent is sangria. Even better!!
Last night we saw a show at the Globe Theatre! Wonderful venue, and an iconic thing to cross off the list of things to do in London. We stood for 3 hours while watching the show, that's what most people do and that's how you get the cheap tickets. I'll be honest, the first half of the play was pretty hard to follow, but by the second act I think we had it all figured out. While exploring I usually just have my film camera with me or my phone. My camera is a bit bulky to lug around while exploring for the day. In case you were wondering.
That’s how many people are victims of human trafficking today.
As part of the wedding industry, Amanda + Emily want to make the world different for women living under the devastating grip of sex trafficking.
For the men working day in + day out in slave labor.
For the children shackled to a life of exploitation.
And we believe that is possible.
You see, the annual revenue of the wedding industry is $300 billion, double the $150 billion human trafficking rakes in. By mobilizing the wedding industry to be rooted in the empowerment of all beings, we have a lot of power.
Change is possible by incorporating companies doing good. This is a practical wedding day guide for brides, put together by two wedding photographers, to create an inexpensive, simple, and chic wedding. There are multiple honest brands creating products for just about every wedding day need, and we’ve also brought in other inspiration making wedding day decor more sustainable.
But we didn’t just stop at brands making a difference. We’ve also incorporated vendors giving back a portion of earnings from every single wedding to combat trafficking. Photographers, florists, artists, videographers, and more accomplish this through Love Gives Way, a platform rallying wedding vendors all over the country giving to anti-trafficking causes.
These mindful weddings begin with the couple’s story + end with someone else's. When couples partner with Love Gives Way, the message of hope + action continues with a common goal of seeing people set free. The vision of Love Gives Way is simple–you will always need vendors for your wedding, so why not choose ones who are giving back to world changing causes, for the same price.
Everything you see in this styled wedding is fairly traded, ethically made, and changing the world. We included potted plants as table decor because, unlike most floral accents, they survive long past the wedding day! You can borrow them from your plant-crazy friend, invest in new ones for your home, or use them as gifts for people who helped out with your day.
The name cards placed on each dinner plate were torn from an old thrift store book. The options for decor with these adorable vintage pages are endless!
Whatever decor style you’re going for, there’s a furniture rental company suiting it. Rental companies support sustainability through the reuse of material goods. You can take pride in knowing none of your decor is ending up in a landfill.
Passion + character. Those were the ideals of this extravagant cheeseboard, bringing the ultimate color bomb to your wedding decor. Fair trade chocolate + wholesome ingredients from your local natural grocer create a mouth-watering centerpiece that guests can snack on during cocktail hour.
The ultimate goal of this ethically-styled wedding was to activate the wedding industry toward good. We are promoting the idea that fighting injustice begins with what we buy into. When we choose to shop fair trade + purchase from brands employing artisans for a fair wage, we are killing slavery. When we buy ethical products made by women, we are rescuing them from sex trafficking.
So we put our money where our mouths are–we stand up for fair trade, ethical business models, and products benefitting more than the consumer. We give back. And we hope for justice.
*written by Emily Coffey with Sweet Justice Photography
The invitations we used for this shoot are from @farmettepress who employ refugees to make their invitations, and all of their paper goods are environmentally friendly. Our calligrapher, Abbey Ratcliff, is a Denver based invitation designer who has a heart for the fight against sex trafficking. Abbey gives back a portion of her proceeds to a non-profit that fights sex trafficking.
The items included in this photo start with the wedding ring from Sarah O. Jewelry. This is an ethically sourced Sapphire. The earrings are from UNCVRD, a California based jewelry company that seeks to bring hope, freedom, and restoration to women and girls living in slavery. The perfume included is from Give Scent the proceeds from this perfume company go to empower all women!
The image above is inspiration for bridesmaids gifts. Eleventh Candle Co employs women who have once been trafficked in Columbus Ohio. The candles themselves are made in a small village in Ethiopia. By purchasing these candles you are empowering women both in US, and overseas.
United by Blue are a great for groomsmen gifts. United by Blue is hands down one of my favorite companies. I love their mission, but I also love their clothing. For every product sold, United by Blue removes a pound of trash from the ocean. They are very outdoors focused, and all of their patterns have a very outdoorsy theme to them. Great for the men!
For our table decor we tried to keep this very practical, to make it so a bride could replicate this idea without spending thousands. A sustainable way to decorate your wedding tables without breaking the bank is using potted plants. You can borrow potted plants from a friend, OR you can consider the potted plants you purchase your new home decor. You can never have too many plants in your home!
We also accessorized the table with larger candles from Eleventh Candle Co.
If you'd like to offer your guests a party favor, Eleventh's smallest size candle (2oz) is a great option for that!
As mentioned previously, we worked with a wedding rental company. This is such a great way to make your wedding simply sustainable. We worked with Plank & Pearl.
For place cards, Abbey, wrote the guests names on a section of a book page. This is a creative way to change up the name cards, and reuse something. You can easily find an old book at a thrift store to use. Try not to use a classic though!!
The shoes! The brides shoes are clogs from Lotta From Stockholm which is another one of my favorite companies. These clogs are handmade in Sweden, the base is 100% Alder wood from sustainable forests in Sweden. The leather is chrome-free and vegetable tanned. Lotta's clogs are perfect for casual wear AND for dressing up. It's nice to choose a shoe for your wedding day that you can wear again and again. Lotta's clogs are also very comfortable!
The grooms shoes are from Nisolo, another phenomenal company. Nisolo's shoes are all leather and ethically made in Peru. Nisolo has a large team of producers in Peru who make their shoes from every area of the supply chain, because of their ethical policies they are able pay their artisans a very fair wage.
This quartz ring is another piece from UNCVRD Jewelry
The brides dress is from Wear Your Love
All of their dresses are made in the US with organic cotton or silky soft bamboo.
Finding formal ethically made clothing for men isn't easy, therefore I would stick with these brands. The blazer, is from Apolis it's wool and made in the USA. Apolis is mostly known for their market bags which supports female artisans with each purchase. The groom's navy button down is from Taylor Stitch, and all of their clothing is sustainably made. Most of their shirts are made with organic cotton and recycled polyester. They are very transparent about the process of how their clothes are made on their website, so you can read all about it. The grooms bow tie is from Kathrine Zeren. They sell bow ties, pocket squares and ties, and all of their products are handmade in the US with sustainably sourced materials.
My hope is that this blog can be a practical resource for brides and grooms planning a wedding and want to be more conscious about the things they are purchasing and the people they are hiring to capture their wedding day.
Let's change the wedding industry for good
Pyne & Smith is one of my favorite dress companies, let me tell you why.
Joanna, who is owner of the company, is dedicated to ethical and sustainable production of her dresses. Her dresses are zero-waste, which means that the scraps left over are donated to recycling facilities to be repurposed, and she gives them to schools, quilters and crafters. So cool!!
Joanna's dresses are made with 100% flax linen. She gets her linen from other ethical sources.
Pyne & Smith dresses are made California by Joanna and her incredible seamstresses.
I own two Pyne & Smith dresses and my favorite thing about them is their versatility and how comfortable they are. I own a black dress that I wear when photographing weddings, and then a very summery one that I could easily dress up or down. Pyne & Smith dresses look flattering on everyone. I feel like I can truly say this because I've photographed these dresses on many women, and each one looks like they were made for the dress. GO check out Pyne & Smith, her dresses are worth every penny you pay and more. Be a conscious consumer, and know WHO MADE YOUR CLOTHES.
*As usual I did a collaboration with some other wonderful brands for this photoshoot. Read between the images below to see the brands and products.
Pyne & Smith just added button downs and skirts to their collection. There are so many ways one can accessorize the button down, with or without an ascot, and skirt, with or without a belt.
These chukkas are Cristha Design. Handmade leather shoes from Guatemala. She is an incredibly talented shoe maker, check out more of her leather boots and shoes in the link.
Cristha from Cristha Design makes handmade shoes in Guatemala. Her shoes are all leather, and made with love. As you may know I'm quite committed to supporting and photographing for companies that ethically/sustainably make their products. Cristha is a perfect example of that. These boots are beautifully made and have a very unique pattern on the back, which makes her boots really stand out from other leather booties. She is currently crowdfunding, please go check it out!
This shoot also included a pair of clogs from Lotta from Stockholm . These clogs happen to be mine, and I adore them! They are so comfortable, and so cute to wear with jeans, skirts, dresses you can dress them up or dress them down. Lotta's shoes are also handmade in Sweden!! Go check them out!
This maroon dress is from Due South Lafayette. Due South, is an adorable boutique in Lafayette Colorado.
Fall shoot with Mata Traders!!
All of the dresses shown are from Mata Traders and so is the jewelry. The bags that are featured are provided by ShopJoyn.
The purpose of this photoshoot is to showcase Mata Traders fair trade dresses, and to give inspiration on how to layer them for Fall and Winter.
This shoot is also great inspiration for the Dressember campaign that happens in December, to fight sex trafficking. The goal is to wear a dress every day in December, to raise money for anti-trafficking efforts. This shoot can help you see how to accessorize and wear short sleeve summery dresses, and wear them comfortably for the colder weather. The hashtag during Dressember is #youcandoanythinginadress to show that girls can wear dresses every day of a month, no matter what you're doing - you can do ANYTHING in a DRESS!
These are dear dear friends of mine, and it was a complete honor to photograph their engagement session, even more so to get to photograph their wedding this December. Which I'm so excited for!!
Thanks for adventuring with me Colin & Brittany, you two are champs for braving the cold.
**Brittany's three dresses are from awesome ethical companies, don't forget to check those companies out!