My life in New York was filled with a lot of turmoil and bad memories, getting away from that was freeing. I like to think that New York was the city that made me, but Paris is the city that saved me.
Tell us about yourself and what you do
I’m a native New Yorker living and working in Paris, France for the past 6 years, working as a fine art and portrait photographer
How did you get from New York to Paris?
When I left New York, I didn’t have a plan. I was miserable sitting in an office all day and the higher up the corporate ladder I went, the less and less I found myself doing the creative work I loved. I had visited Paris three years before I decided to move there permanently, and I just felt an immediate connection to the city.
When I left, Paris was the only thing I could think of for the next three years, but I couldn’t find a logical way of relocating. I didn’t speak French, I didn’t have any international job prospects and I didn’t have a place to stay.
In the meantime, I had moved on to work at Conde Nast, another publishing house, and hated every minute of working there. One day, it came to an all time unbearably high point and I bought a one-way ticket to Paris on my lunch break and I’ve been here ever since.
Was it difficult starting over in a foreign country?
Yes, but it didn’t really feel like I was starting over, per se. It was more like I was living my life for the first time. My life in New York was filled with a lot of turmoil and bad memories, getting away from that was freeing. I like to think that New York was the city that made me, but Paris is the city that saved me.
Who has inspired you in your life and why?
The people who have inspired me the most have all been teachers. When I was in university I had 2 professors in particular who took a real interest in me, Professor. Carr and Professor. Carli. They saw something in me that I don’t think anyone else would have. They inspired, encouraged and guided to be a better person and to continually work on pursuing education and perfecting my craft.
Not that I knew it at the time, but they changed the course of my life.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
I’m grateful and humbled in saying that I have had many achievements in my life. I’ve had many successful expositions in Paris, have seen my work published on TV, in books, magazines and international literary journals. However, at the moment, I would say it would be having one of my portraits published in the New York Times. When that happened, it felt like everything was coming full circle.
Do you have any tips for our readers that are trying to break in the industry?
Always let your art be your focus, not money, fortune or fame. Find something that you love, that you would do all day every day without ever earning a single penny. If you can find your life’s passion, then follow it to the end of the world. Let what you do be your shining light in your darkest moments. If you can do that, then your life will be filled with so much joy and abundance, you wouldn’t even believe it was possible. Do what you love in life to the best of your abilities and everyday find a way to do it better.
The road to being an artist is long and hard, there is no destination, only a journey. The sooner you learn to embrace that, the easier it will be. Always be humble, grateful and gracious, not many people get to live off their passions.