Traveling in Paris

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Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

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A year later and I still ache for this city. I don’t know if I will ever stop aching for it. Every time I see these pictures I am taken right back to the smells, the chill in the air, the light, the laughs on the metro, and how the city just felt so alive. Paris, truly won my heart in our 4 weeks there.

I thought that since it has been one year since our travels there it would only be appropriate the reignite the inspiration this city left me with by not just sharing some images but also finally really opening up about the work we did while we were there. Surprise! We were not just hanging out all the time in this beautiful city…we were actually working.

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

This trip came about in the craziest way. Our friend Jonathan Grant, The Culture Keeper, suggested that we help our Alma Mater, Asbury University to promote their new Paris Semester program that would allow students to come live, experience, and work in Paris for one semester. I couldn’t think of a better way to give to a place that taught me so much than to help more students have similar amazing experiences as I did.

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

So the 3 of us were offered our trip in exchange for giving them all the pieces they needed to show off Paris. We were asked to create beautiful pictures they could use and also to shoot a short little film that would display the experience of what it was like as a student in Paris.

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

So, the whole time we were enjoying our time in Paris we were also working to snap pictures, show off this beautiful city, and capture the true inspiration and importance of Paris. Since we had never been we added on an extra week on the front and back end to really enjoy ourselves. Jonathan was already in Paris when we went last year so it was really fun for him to show us around.

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

Each day we would tour the city, look for locations and then come back and schedule time to shoot with our lovely student, Lucy. It was one of the first times I got the chance to really do work as an on-site art director. I helped cast the vision, Jonathan made sure each shot was well styled, and Mike shot and edited.

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

I really couldn’t have asked for a better team of people to work with on this. Each day was full of creativity and adventure as I am sure you could see by our 16 posts from our days there. We learned so much about Parisian culture and how to blend in.

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

I remember the first day (only a week there) I was asked for directions in French. It made me really proud that somehow in just that week I had become so comfortable with the culture there that others thought I was local to the city. Such a compliment especially in such a beautiful city.

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

Those 4 weeks were pivotal in our business. I have shared that before, but at that time Mike and I were not officially working together yet. This trip solidified that decision for us. Seeing how we worked every day as a team showed us this was what we were meant to do.

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

So, to this day each picture holds such weight and emotion to me because they are all slices of what has transformed me in to who I am right now. Amazing what can change in a year…even now the video we did for them feels different from even our work now, but I still felt it was great to show.

Paris: A Year Later | The Fresh Exchange

One note was that we had to carry the school’s branding on to the video. We could not custom design the brand for them, but it was still a real treat and a lot of fun. I hope ya’ll enjoy.

If you are a student and want to find out more you can head here and apply. It is an amazing program headed by one of our favorite professors at Asbury. A seriously amazing opportunity!

Hello! I’m Megan Gilger,

A strong believer that nature and the seasons are our greatest teachers. We live on a hill in Leelanau County, Michigan just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan. This land we are responsible for is where we are focused on building a life around the seasons and intention. We spend our days here building a regenerative model of living and focusing our garden on native plants and intensive polyculture planting styles. My focus is less on self-sufficiency and more on community-sufficiency through how we grow and connect through the seasons.
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