It was our first weekend away together. Our first 'proper' date.
We were in Paris, the city of love, and we were totally smitten with each other. Taken from opposite sides of the planet, we had been drawn together like moths to the light.
Said to be the most romantic city on earth, I wanted to charm the woman who would eventually be my wife.
I spent weeks planning the short break. Coordinating with work colleagues based in the French capital, developing our itinerary, and keeping the event a secret from my beloved. I remember being incredibly nervous. I also remember how excited I was. This was a golden chance to reveal the true depth of my feelings for her.
I had almost no money to my name. I was laden with student debt, saving every available penny for the future, and earning a basic wage in my first job. The weekend was an extravagance I couldn't really afford but I'd fallen head over heels in love and I wanted to show her how much she meant to me.
This photo of us on our weekend in Paris was taken 12 years ago this month.
|Us in Paris - my 'bad' photo.|
The photo doesn't do justice to that moment in time. It fails to capture our feelings for each other in those early days of our relationship and it understates the beauty of Paris.
We had no decent camera of our own. The photo was taken with a cheap and cheerful disposable camera. The focus was poor. The camera had no zoom and we stand too small in the picture. It was a typically grey day in Paris and the colour and light of the photo is dim and washed-out.
Poor quality as it is, this photo signifies the beginning of our life together. Young and in love, we went on to live in three countries on three continents, own three houses, take care of two dogs, and recently announced the impending arrival of our first child. We married beside Sydney Harbour seven years after this photo was taken, having celebrated our engagement in New York with a diamond ring purchased in Ottawa.
For no good reason, we never returned to Paris.
We travelled far and wide over the years yet, of all these travels - adventurous, glamourous, out of the ordinary - Paris is the place we remember with the fondest of memories. And this badly-taken photograph is the one that puts the biggest smile upon our faces.
I wish I could go back to the city of light and lovers, to this point on the Champs Elysees. I wish I could stand there with my wife of five years - my partner and best friend for the past twelve - and with my soon-to-arrive first child.
I wish I could recapture that special moment we had and show you the family we will soon become. This time, I'll make sure we have a better camera and, this time, there will be three of us, not two.
My wife recently handed me a postcard bought in Paris on that memorable trip. It's a photograph revealing a young couple embracing in front of the monumental arch. The subjects are in sharp focus in the foreground, while the famous attraction in the background is deliberately blurred.
The postcard is adorable. The young lovers are the centre of our attention.
On our weekend in Paris, the disposable camera had no special features to take such a shot. If I could recapture our photo, I'd want it taken with an optical zoom to focus in on us and an intelligent auto function to shoot us with a soft background as they did with Amour De Paris. I'd have that defining moment in our relationship recaptured on the Champs Elysees and I'd have it done in the spirit of this beautiful postcard we later found.
I'd show you the essence of this city of love, the most romantic of places. And I'd show you how, twelve years on, my wife and I are as in love now as we were then on that grey day in June in our favourite city on earth.
Paris, j t'adore.
Now it's your turn.
The reader competition
I'm running a reader competition here on In Search of a Life Less Ordinary related to Sony Australia's own No More Bad Photos and they've kindly provided the prize.
So here's what you have to do to enter this reader promotion here on ISOALLO:
- Pick one bad photo from your travel experiences or expat adventures ('bad' in terms of poorly taken, over-exposed, or simply very dated).
- Share that bad photo and explain why you wish you could recapture that moment again (you don't need to talk technical about camera specifics, but I had to for my post above).
- If you have a blog, you'll need to write a post on that bad photo and link back to here. If you don't have a blog, you can email me your entry with the attached 'bad' photo to here.
- Then leave a comment below to tell me you've entered and direct me either to your blog post's URL or to my email inbox so that my wife and I can judge it on its creativity, stand-out writing, and all-round uniqueness.
- There's no word count limit but one paragraph probably won't cut it!
You have until the end of Friday, 29 June (your time) to enter and I'll announce the winner on Monday, 2 July on the ISOALLO Facebook page. To find out who the winner is, make sure you've liked the page here beforehand.
And the prize for the winning blog post or email entry is...
...a brand spanking new Sony Cyber-shot HX20 camera valued at $499.
The camera has 18.2 Mega Pixel, 20x Optical Zoom, Intelligent Sweep Panorama, GPS and High Definition Video. Also, the camera battery charges through your computer via the USB cable so there are no country compatibility issues. For more info on the Cyber-shot HX20 camera, head here.
No need to worry if you're entering the competition from outside Sydney or overseas as I'm happy to cover the cost of mailing it out to you in return for endless future blog support/love.
If you have any questions, ask away in the comment box below.
And the best of luck... because the competition has officially begun :)
Disclaimer: This blog post is my entry into Sony Australia's No More Bad Photos blogger competition. Sony also gave me a Cyber-shot HX20 to try out and it really is a fun camera to use.
Note: This competition has now closed - details of the winner can be found here.