Gloria Villa is a professional boudoir and portrait photographer based in Paris. Coming to Paris was always her dream but she almost didn’t make it …
Growing up in Colombia – Latinamerica, coming to Paris seemed imposible at some point. With the very week currency of my country, it was difficult to think I could come to Europe, let along living in the city I was obsessed with since I can remember.
It took a full life crisis (I’m talking about 2 weeks in the hospital very close to not making it, a heart break, a professional career failure and depression) to actually realize life is too short to be afraid and when there’s a will there’s a way…
That’s how I ended up as a student in Paris, in a public university with the determination of becoming a photographer, and that’s just what I did.
I’m not going to say there were not difficulties but along the way I found amazing people like Fran Boloni (the Paris Photographer) and Cengiz Ozelsel (from Kiss me in Paris) who helped me become the professional photographer I am today.
Currently I manage my 2 businesses: myparisboudoir.com and gloria-villa.com
I specialize in boudoir photography in order to give women the ultimate Parisian experience with sensual photographs that would make them feel and look fantastic and that would boost their confidence and self-love.
With my portrait photography I seek to capture those special memories created in the most romantic city on earth (guess which? That’s right… Paris: The city of lights)
So there you go, a true Paris fan who never get’s tired or used to it’s beauty and that is eager to share it with the world.
Why is Paris so special to you?
What I love about Paris is it’s capacity to always surprise me. Going out for a walk is an adventure and you never know what you’re going to see.
Other cities can be very predictable… You go to the same bars, meet the same people and talk about the same things because everyone has a similar background.
Paris is a melting pot, here are people of every nationality, with different religions, ideas, occupations and passions. You never know what you’re going to get and I LOVE that.
Also, the obvious… Do I have to talk about how impressive the architecture is? I mean, after living here for 7 years I still walk though the Seine river and it takes my breath away. EVERY SINGLE TIME!
Tell us about 3 most exciting places to visit in Paris…
1. Visit the inside of the Opera Garnier:
Seriously, so many people that come to Paris skip this and it should be mandatory, more than standing in line for hours to see the Mona Lisa for 2 minutes.
2. Societé General Bank next to the Opera Garnier:
What? A bank? Are you kidding me? I kid you not! That’s one of the most impressive architectural interiors I’ve seen in my life. It’s mind blowing and it’s free! (you cannot take pictures, though, it’s a bank after all)
3. The rooftop of Printemps: One of the best views from the city, it’s really amazing and also free (thank me later)
Tell us about your favourite Parisian Brands
I love food so, for me restaurants would be my favorite brands. I’m specially fan of the Publisher in the 17th arrondissement, the Beuf Thai is to die for (if you don’t like you meet too cooked, if you do, don’t ruin your meet and order something else, like the Guinness cheese burger, it’s amazing as well) Although I have to say this is France, give it rare meat a try, the French are right regarding this 🙂
Anything funny that happened to you in Paris…
I’m a professional photographer shooting people from all over the world. I have thousands of stories.
Although, one that comes to mind was from a couple from India, they were both college students in the US and their parents arranged them a blind date. They went to get off the hook, thinking OMG this is so boring our parents trying to get us a partner.
When they met it was instant sparkles… 9 days (yes… you read right) got married and even their best friends from college didn’t come to the wedding thinking it was a prank!
I met them because they wanted to celebrate they’re 10th year anniversary with a photoshoot in Paris, along with their little girl, and let me tell you, they were madly in love. Now they live in Canada and have an other boy.
What do you like and don’t like about living in Paris?
As I already mentioned I love the variety that Paris offers as well as the architecture. What I don’t love is who limited spaces are.
I love big apartments and big houses and of course that’s a luxury most people cannot afford in the city.
What is on in Paris that is worth a visit?
I would say, go for a walk and let the city surprise you. I specially love Saint Germain, Le Marais and the Opera area… Ohhh and almost forgot, there’s a rooftop bar in the top of the BHV department store called Le Perchoir, totally worth going there to see the sunset and have drinks.
What would be your advice to anyone who wants to settle down in Paris?
To live in Paris you have to have a thick skin.
You’ll find amazing people but you also will meet the rudest people you’ve seen in your entire life.
So don’t take things personal, be a mirror. Understand that everyone has it’s own struggles and that you’re just a mear accidente, you just happened to be there and they were just throwing all their own frustrations at you, but that actually has nothing to do with you.
So go to your inner peace and keep going, that’s the way to survive in this city.
Thank you Gloria for sharing your Parisian story with us! To connect with Gloria follow the link below: