One of my favorite Lady Bosses in Paris, Carrie Anne was one of the first friends we made back in 2014 just before moving to Paris. We have had many shoots together through the years and I can never imagine getting tired of photographing her. American born, but Parisian at heart, Carrie Anne is a social media darling who shares French life in all its forms and uses Instagram and other apps/mediums to teach the French language itself. She is a modern ambassador of French life, food, words and style.
Earlier this year during Spring, I met up with Carrie and brought along my Canon EOS3, a roll of Kodak Gold (thanks Carmencita Film Lab for the lovely scand) and my 5Dmk4 for a walk in the city and captured these portraits.
For those who don’t follow you on Instagram or haven’t had the pleasure to meet you in person, who is Carrie Anne James?
I’m an American Parisian who is passionate about creativity, culture and realizing one’s dreams. I moved to Paris in 2015 thanks to the online French school that I created, French is Beautiful. What began as group French classes online and French inspiration on Instagram has since evolved into a digital universe for aspiring francophones and inspired Francophiles.
When did you fall in love with the French language and French (or Parisian) life in general?
Paris kissed me as soon as I stepped off the train at the Gare du Nord when I was 20. Life in France seduced me after spending time in the south. The combination of city and country life here is unsurpassable. I can create from within the inspiration of Paris and reconnect with my connection to nature in a short train or car ride.
Why France, the French language and Paris?
I fell in love with French piano music and the French style of playing while studying music at U.C. Berkeley. When I was accepted to L’École Normale de Musique in Paris to study piano, I only spoke Spanish and made it my mission to learn to speak French as fluidly as possible before I left. Voilà pourquoi Paris et le français. ;)
Who are your favorite French icons to be inspired by?
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette and Yves Saint Laurent.
What is your favorite French brand?
I don’t have one favorite, but I definitely have favorite looks and products from beautiful French brands.
I love everything vintage from Yves Saint Laurent. I also love the women’s suits from DA/DA by Diane Ducasse, a contemporary Parisian designer.
My favorite French beauty products include: Clémence & Vivien’s natural soaps (my favorites are the argile rose & ylang and eucalyptus & patchouli scents), Sabé Masson’s solid perfumes (perfect to travel with or keep in my purse), YSL Beauty’s Touche Éclat illuminator/concealer and Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt shampoo.
I have two places in Paris for my most-loved pastry, the chausson aux pommes: Du Pain et Des Idées and Poilâne. They are each different and perfect.
Describe your perfect day in Paris
My perfect Parisian summer day includes lounging on the grass at the Place des Vosges with a friend or a book, finished by a walk along the Seine, stopping at whichever point pulls me the most to watch the sun set.
In the autumn or winter, I love cozying up by the fireplace at the Pavillon de la Reine (also at the Place des Vosges) with a glass of red wine or enjoying the comfort of a warm and classically French meal at La Poule au Pot.
I hope this feature on Carrie does her justice, it is a challenge to condense such a wonderfully talented and culturally rich person into black and white letters on a blog post. So, if you are thinking about French classes regardless where you are in the world, make sure to follow Carrie over on Instagram and get yourself one of her courses - or just follow her and learn about Parisian life through her stories and posts.