There are a good amount of questions that I get asked on repeat so I thought a blog post would be a great place to host all the questions and answers. If you don’t see your question answered in this post, please feel free to comment below and I will try to add it in!
What is your full time job?
I am a full-time travel photographer and blogger. Blogging is a full time job but it hasn’t hit the full time pay. Hard work pays off right?
I started off as a travel photographer when I was laid off from my job in 2008. You can read about how I created my dream job here. I went to Paris in 2010 and I have been photographing the city ever since. I truly believe there is a book in me along with the thousands of photographs I have taken. That is my next big dream.
If you want to purchase my photography you can do so here. All of my Paris trips are fully funded by me. I basically work 7 days a week so I can travel to Paris. I can’t complain one bit. It is a dream job and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Why don’t you live in Paris?
The easy answer is taxes and family. I moved to Paris in 2013 for three months and traveled back as often as I could since my life was in storage. That same year my sister had my niece and everything changed. Being an Aunt to my niece and nephew is such a joy. We Facetime a few times a week and I see them for visits at least 6 times a year. It never feels like enough. Chicago to Florida is far enough. I would miss them way too much if I lived in Paris full time.
I am often asked if I met a Parisian, would I stay? Of course! It makes the family part complicated. I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it.
Since I run my own business, it is much easier to do in the US vs France. I could get an Artists Visa and live in Paris but taxes would be complicated. From my expat friends that live and work in Paris, they tell me that it is much easier and cost effective to live in the States.
Favorite croissant in Paris?
I wrote a post about it! I am always looking for new boulangeries in Paris when I visit. I recently added a new croissant to the list!
How did I end up in Chicago?
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I moved to Chicago after college and I have left and come back. I am happy to call this place home. Right now, I can’t think of another city in the US I would like to live right now. I was a bit hesitant to return to Chicago after traveling but the city has grown on me in the last couple of years. You can read my full list on my favorite spots in My Chicago Guide including my favorite croissant in the city.
5. My favorite arrondissement/ neighborhood in Paris?
My first and second apartment in Paris was in Montmartre. This will always have a special place in my heart. I love the vibe and how it is a little removed from the center of the city. My current favorite is The Marais. I have always wanted to live in this neighborhood and I finally spent a good chunk of time in The Marais in 2017. You can see my adorable apartment I rented in The Marais here. I have a Marais Guide where you can see my favorite places to shop and explore. You can find me here on a Sunday for a stroll and a coffee no matter where I am staying in the city.
6. I am headed to Paris soon, where should I eat?
7. Where should I stay in Paris?
I have had better luck with hotels than apartments lately. Airbnb isn’t what it used to be in Paris. I used to rent from a few independent companies in Paris but the city cracked down on them and they had to close down.
8. Where did I go to school for photography?
I started off in the dark room in high school. I shot in black and white film and would develop my own prints. I watched a family of 4 kids every Summer so I photographed them a lot for assignments and practice. I went to college in 2000 and having a job as a photographer wasn’t something that was on my radar. E-commerce wasn’t even developed at this time. Once I was laid off in 2008, a friend told me about Etsy. I took photographs that I had shot over the years and tried selling them online. I was early to the Etsy platform in 2009 it was just beginning. I used to have to explain to people all the time what Etsy was. Etsy is a huge part of my story because it was my main source of income for years as a photographer.
When I finally started shooting digital in 2008/2009, I had to completely learn how to operate a manual camera from scratch. It has taken years of practice and trial and error to develop my style. I am still learning. It still amazes me that I went from being laid off in 2008 to a self taught photographer and blogger ten years later. I am so grateful for every opportunity and I love what I do every single day.