One of the things we value most at HEX is community. We enjoy being with people and specifically creative people. Through this involvement, we are seeing a very positive trend in the photography space. We are seeing many more female photographers behind the lens these day, not just as models in front of it. Don't get me wrong, models are very important and this is not to knock what they do. For anyone who has ever done a photoshoot, you know what a difference a good model makes. But this is a growing in the ranks of female creatives who are stepping into their own as artists in this space.
Claire LeJeune definitely embodies this spirit of progression. I recently met Claire through mutual friends and have already worked with her on a couple projects. She is an LA transplant originally from Paris and she hustles with the best of them. These are Claire's thoughts of her recent trip back home, her travel journal of sorts. Enjoy the pics and thoughts of @LadyBaguette below:
Hi! My name is Claire, also known as @Ladybaguette on social media and I’m going to take you along on my most recent trip back to my hometown, Paris.
Being a full time professional photographer, going to Paris is like going to a candy store. I am originally from Paris, but moved to Washington D.C. with my parents when I was young. I used to go back to Paris fairly often as a child but this became more rare as I grew older and plane tickets got more expensive.
The last few years I’ve made it a point to go “home” and not only view it in my Franco-American way but also with my artist eyes.
The raw, unfiltered and historical beauty of this city is mesmerizing. There’s something breathtaking about walking through the streets of Paris, realizing all the incredible moments that have taken place there throughout the course of history. You can sense the deep and rich cultural progress that has happened everywhere you walk. From the old moss covered cathedrals and cobble stone roads, to the tiny mom and pop owned bakeries that have been selling baguettes and pastries for hundreds of years. One of my favorite things about Paris is that for the most part it has stayed true to its deep roots of culture, art and beauty. The buildings are hundreds of years old with intricate details on every part of the architecture. Being from both Europe and America I have experienced the raw yet very different beauty of both continents. The old, untouched, architecture and relaxed lifestyle of Paris is incredibly different from the modern, innovative and fast paced lifestyle of America, especially Los Angeles, where I currently live.
For me, going back to Paris is an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and excitement. I not only get to relive some memories from my travels to France as a child but I get to experience it now as an adult and as an artist. Every street I saw was an opportunity for creating. I was able to connect with some incredible models in the city and shoot them in places that visually inspire me such as La Defense, Palais de Tokyo, Pont Alexandre 3 and many more. My style of photography is heavily influenced by modernism, technology, emotion and edgy futuristic fashion. This styled combined with the soft, historical and old streets and buildings of Paris was an exciting creative opportunity for me to play around with old and new styles all at once.
Being in this industry it felt very powerful and inspiring to be able to travel to my hometown and explore it as a female artist. Being able to create whatever I felt like without having the pressures of Hollywood watching and perhaps even judging my every move was refreshing. Being a woman in a very male dominated industry can feel overwhelming and difficult to make a mark on an industry that so heavily relies on popularity to gain a sense of value. I didn’t feel this at all in Paris. The city is more relaxed, people take the time to be together everyday, talking, discussing, living. Whether it was while shooting and getting to know each model, meeting up with other photographers to explore rooftops or plan business ventures, or just sitting at a cafe smoking cigarettes and drinking a glass of wine with friends, the sense of freedom and self expression was more apparent in this city. People cared less about social media and showing their every move on stories. People wanted to really live in the moment and relish each passing moment with the people they were with. I find traveling to be one of my sources of pure joy that keep my life peaceful and full of meaning. Shooting during traveling just adds to that feeling of peace.
It’s crucial to take the time to be free in your life. Free from social media, free from expectations, free from work, free from standards. This is why traveling to Paris always refreshes me. I find myself valuing the small moments all over again, something that can be difficult to do in our fast paced and on the go American society. My home is in America, but my heart is in Paris and that will always remain the same.
@LadyBaguette with her HEX Ranger DSLR Sling
For more on Lady@Baguette click here