I have had a long love affair with Paris - my first trip was with my husband for my birthday (at Robert and Loiuse's) but have made many trips since, made firm friends and dream for the day I can spend longer periods of time there . . on one recent trip a number of people told me I had to meet Cecile, they thought that we would do a beautiful collaboration together and they were right!!  Cecile welcomed me into her home, which she shares with her husband and four children, on the left bank, we drank tea and she chose her favourite linens, some she shot in Paris and others in her home in the french countryside ..

Like so many friends, you started with a different path before you found photography ..

You are right! I have studied law, have a PhD in comparative law (especially about the US Supreme Court jurisprudence) and worked in the french Senate for the French living abroad. One day I had the opportunity to quit this job, and with 4 children, a super busy husband… and it was the perfect time for me. I had been taking photos since I am a teenager, when my dad offered me camera when I was 16. But I had won my first camera at a drawing contest when I was a little girl. After leaving this job at the Senate, and with growing children (Eglantine my last one was 4) I had more time for myself. I start looking at others photographer’s work and share bits of my life and inspiration on instagram.

Do you remember the moment when you decided that photography was going to be your path?

Yes I remember it precisely! It was one year after I left the Senate and they called me to work for them again. I realized that I loved the freedom that I had gained and the quality time I had for my family and community. Plus the creative side of this life, the new connections… all this was so fulfilling! So I refused and the following day, a dear friend who owned a antiques gallery asked me to work for her and it has never stopped since then!

Your took Two Dawson to the French Countryside ..

Yes, this is our family home, It is one hour drive from Paris and we go there very often (nearly every weekend). My favorite thing about the country is the different pace, life is slower, nature is really something I deeply need and watching the seasons change is pure joy. In Paris, you have all the cultural life, exhibitions, shows, new cafés and creative people, plus the city in itself which is truly beautiful when you see it as a tourist :)

What are your favourite places in Paris?

First it has to be a garden and the nearest one for me is the Luxembourg garden; I need to see bits of nature in the middle of a city.

Second : a museum as I find a lot of inspiration there. I like Antoine Bourdelle’s studio a lot but I really need to see paintings too and Musee Rodin is a wonderful place. (I hate to queue in the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay…)

Third : I like Palais Royal a lot, or Montmartre, for a walk.

Fourth: Paris’ bistrots in the morning, when people stop by before going to work for a quick coffee.

What do love about the area you live in in Paris?

I do like a lot of things about my area. We have been living in the 5th arrondissement since 20 years now and I have never regretted it. The area is full of families, open minded people, very welcoming. We are close to 2 beautiful gardens (Luxembourg and Jardin des Plantes). This arrondissement is very diverse, you start from the river banks, facing Notre Dame and Ile Saint Louis with all the touristic effervescence and a part of the quartier Latin with the Sorbonne and all the bookstores and you end up at the top of the hill with the Pantheon, all the roman remains of Paris and a more residential area with lots of families.I like daily life here which is totally different during the week days and the weekend when it gets more quiet. I am thinking of writing a little personal guide about my area via Pathport A newly opened coffee shop « La bête noire » is the perfect place for a healthy  and creative lunch.

Photographers, who inspires you?

I am inspired by photographers who can make you dream, who see life differently and also the humanist ones who take you out of our comfort zone. I love Jacques Henri Lartigue for the lightness, Irving Penn, Sabine Weiss… So many others whose name don’t come to my mind right now; I always try to go to photographs exhibitions in Paris or where we are.

Music, who are you listening to?

Right now I listen to Marvin Gaye a lot. I like « Abraham, Martin and John » song very much. I like the soundtrack of «  the Shape of Water"

Favorite french artist: so many talented but I recently discovered « L’Impératrice » and their music and songs are easy and pleasant to listen.

Books; Most inspiring women biography?

Simone Weill « Une vie »She was a fighter, a survivor from the concentration camps, a feminist in a very positive way, a brave and fair woman. I am a huge fan of Toni Morrisson and Siri Huvsted work among others! 

When are you the happiest?

I am the happiest when everybody around me is happy! Making others happy is the best thing or when I take a very good photo that captures a moment or a scene exactly as I had expected it !

photography @cecilemoli

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