A girl with a camera, Paris
and a dream
Carin Olsson is a Paris-based photographer. Her blog ‘Paris in Four Months’ has created an international sensation; inspiring people to pack their bags, quit their jobs and move to Paris, well at least for a weekend! Carin moved from Sweden to Paris two years ago to pursue her dream of becoming a photographer. She began by simply photographing the things she loves about Paris to share on her blog with family and friends back home.
Two years later, she is shooting high profile fashion shows such as Dior Haute Couture and her photographic talents are in high demand by international style icons! Over coffee, I recently met with Carin to chat about her fashion week schedule and her inspiring story! In celebration of Paris Fashion Week, who better to welcome than Carin as this week’s fashion insider.
You moved to Paris to follow your dreams, has Paris lived up to the expectations?
I moved to Paris mostly because I felt as though something was missing. I wasn’t satisfied with my life back home and needed a new challenge. I wanted to take on something I could be really excited about. I guess you can say that my dream was to be inspired, challenged and excited about my everyday life again – something Paris has certainly managed to do for me. It hasn’t been all fairytale, Paris is a challenging place to live and like anyone, I have had my bad days. It’s fair to say that I have had some pinch-me moments where I feel like my dreams have come true.
Paris fashion week in 3 words?
Stressful, exciting and fun.
Describe a typical day as a photographer during fashion week?
No day during Paris fashion week looks exactly the same. However, to give you an idea, this Friday will look like: 08am – call time to shoot a story backstage, 12pm – photographing the runway show, 1pm – quick change in a café nearby, 2pm – attend next show, 3pm – a photo shoot with a blogger, 4pm – back home to edit photos and work, 6pm – cocktail event, 8pm – dinner, 11pm – crash in bed.
How do you survive such a busy schedule? What’s your Paris Fashion Week survival kit?
My camera, of course, a Clarins lip balm that I can’t live without, a pack of Kleenex tissues, a second lens, memory cards, a pair of flats (in case I’m in heels, which rarely happens), my portable iPhone charger (thank god for this!) and gum/mints.
Your go-to pieces to wear during fashion week?
I’m almost always in jeans! As I need to be able to move quickly, get the shots I need and not have to worry about a skirt flying up or a dress being too short! I wish I could be one of those beautiful ladies perfectly trotting around the city in high heels all week but for me that’s impossible when I have to be flexible and shoot the entire day, so flats are my best friends during fashion week.
As a photographer and blogger what are your biggest challenges during fashion week?
As a young female photographer it’s a bit intimidating since most people in this profession are male, and over the age of 35. It’s something I’ve gotten used to now and I’m not as scared as when I first started out a year ago.
You favourite fashion show so far to shoot in Paris and why?
Dior Haute Couture this July. Simply because it was one of the most beautiful shows, sets and environments I’ve seen so far in my life. Completely mesmerising!
When you get a chance to relax, what is your favourite Paris Fashion Week hang out or favourite thing to do?
My favourite thing to do when I get a few minutes away from the fashion madness is to go to my favourite pizza place Grazie or grab a burger at Le Camion Qui Fume with friends – something to contrast all the superficial glitz and glamour of fashion week.
A favourite café?
Best place for people watching?
Jardin des Tuileries during the shows being held in the park.
A post Fashion Week treat?
Just yesterday I stuffed my face with an almond croissant so I’m not exactly the person who goes on a diet during this time. I must be the only one who eats during Fashion Week! I always enjoy a few treats with friends when the week is over and you can relax a little bit again.
What are you looking forward to about this Fashion Week?
I’m looking forward to so many things but a few highlights would be shooting backstage (something I haven’t done that much of), seeing all of my friends coming to Paris for fashion week, attending a few shows here and there and getting to be creative and do what I love – photographing, non-stop for an entire week!
Photographers who inspire you?
What’s your next big dream?
I think I’m living it right now. I want to be a full time professional photographer and that’s what I’m trying my best to make happen right now. It’s hard to make it work all year round but it’s what I want to do.