Carin, in Paris
“You only have one life, so why not make the most of it?”
A native of Sweden, CARIN OLSSON’s career as a photographer and writer took off when she decided to pursue her dream of living in Paris.
Last year, Carin left friends and family in Stockholm and moved to Paris for four months to learn French and to embrace the city that she’d always loved. Soon after arriving, Carin, a former editorial assistant at Elle Decor Sweden, started a blog, Paris in Four Months to document her everyday adventures in the city of light and the rest, as they say, is history.
Carin’s creative images coupled with her through-the-looking-glass prose about her new discoveries, observations and life-in-the-city challenges led to a fashion feature in Elle Sweden and a recent internship with Diane von Furstenberg.
When the four months were up, Carin moved back to Stockholm, but found herself longing for Paris and has since returned to Paris permanently. Fortunately for us, Carin found time in her busy schedule to talk about her inspirations, Parisian style and what it’s like to live your dreams.
Tell us about Paris in Four Months.
I started Paris in Four Months when I moved to Paris in February last year. I started it so that I would be able to share my new experiences with my family and friends back home but also because I wanted to share my photographs. And since then I haven’t been able to stop!
What’s your first memory of picking up a camera?
During every family occasion or vacation I always used to snag my father’s camera and photograph every single thing that I saw. I just thought it was so much fun!
What attracts your eye and inspires your photography?
It can be different things every single time. Sometimes it’s the obvious and sometimes it’s hidden details. It can be anything, really. And especially in Paris! Most things make beautiful photographs here.
Which artists or photographers have most influenced your work?
My two favorite photographers at the moment are Garance Doré and Jamie Beck.
What would be a dream collaboration for you?
Oh gosh… I would love to do something connected to fashion in one way or the other. I’ve always admired the fashion world so a collaboration with fashion in some way would be a dream come true for me.
Describe a typical day in Paris.
Since I’m a freelance photographer and writer I don’t have that many “usual” days actually. It depends on what I’m working on at the moment but I always try to get out with my camera sometime during the day. I always start my day with a big breakfast and then I love to spend the mornings walking around Paris, photographing the things I see along the way.
Paris fashion week! What were you most surprised to learn?
What surprised me the most was the craziness actually. Since street style photography has become such a huge thing it’s really total madness outside the shows and I wasn’t really prepared for that. Although I loved the fashion chaos!
What’s a misconception about Parisians that you’ve found not to be true?
Everybody says that Parisians are rude, which isn’t true at all! Most people are really friendly and nice if you’re polite and initiate the conversation in the right way. Always start with “Bonjour”!
How does your Stockholm style differ from your Paris style?
The Swedish fashion is actually influencing the Parisian fashion a little bit at the moment. Swedish fashion is known for its minimalism and a lot of black and white, which I really think goes quite well with my Parisian style.
What are your French pharmacy beauty essentials?
I can’t live without the hair products from Rene Furterer. There’s something special about their shampoo, conditioner and hair spray. I love it!
Name one unforgettable place you’ve traveled to.
Rome. It seems like I’ve been there over a 100 times by now but the city still manages to blow me away every single time. I love everything about it and I can never get enough of that city.
Name one place you’d like to see before you die.
There’s a bunch of places that I would love to see before I die… On top of my list: Florence, Corsica, Australia, New Zealand and the US west coast.
What advice do you have for those who may be afraid to follow their dreams?
You only have one life so why not make the most out of it? I took this chance and moved to Paris – without friends, family or any job and it was the best thing that every happened to me. You never know how it’s going to turn out if you never try. And what’s the worst thing that could happen? You try and it doesn’t work? Well, then you can always go back home again!
Ask to write your memoirs, what would the title be?
That’s such an important question for me, Yolanda. Can I get back to you on that?
Interviewed January 2013 by Yolanda, editor of Zavvi Rodaine.
Photos: Carin Olsson and Paris in Four Months
© Zavvi Rodaine.com 2013. No part of this interview may be used or reproduced in any manner without the express written consent of the Editor of Zavvi Rodaine.com.
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