Here is the second part of my thirty-sixth short story, enjoy reading!
Make a wish…
The portrait episode…
Today I decided to go to Montmartre to realize my portrait project. Kyla told me that prices are cheaper during winter because people do not have the courage to pose with the cold. Place du Tertre is known to be the headquarters of painters and artists but you should be wary of imposters. A good portrait costs between thirty and fifty euros so it is better to choose your portraitist carefully! Exhibitions are not enough, you have to see them in action…
-“Oh my god, I’m so cold! Let’s have a coffee and a pastry first! Otherwise you will freeze to death, Rhé, and you will get a caricature!
– I don’t think my grandparents would appreciate. You’re right, Kyla, let’s go to a warm place! But we have to go further, this place is full of tourist traps. Look at these waiters with berets!
– Haha! Nobody dresses like that in Paris, I don’t know who invented this myth, it’s ridiculous!…”
Later, in a charming little tea room…
-“It’s good to drink something warm!
– You can say that again! And those cheesecakes are divine, I don’t want to go outside!
– You bet! Why don’t they have heated terraces for the artists?!
– Because it’s a tough job. First, they need a permit just to occupy one square meter of Place du Tertre so I don’t think that heating is a priority for them!
– Are you still willing to pose outside?
– Do I have the choice?
– Sorry to interrupt but I overheard your conversation about portraits…”
When she brought us the bill, Marie-Line, the owner of the tea room, told us that she has a son who has studied at the Beaux-Arts School for a year. While we protest and thank her saying that she does not need to do that, it is too late. Marie-Line has already called her son…who emerges from the back of the room!
-“Liam! Come here, please.
– What’s happening, Mum?
– These two young girls need your help. I’ll leave you to discuss, I’ve got work to do…
– Excuse me, who are you?
– My name is Rhéa and this is my friend Kyla.
– Nice to meet you… So, how can I help you?
– Your mum told us that you can draw and I was wondering if you could do my portrait…
– Haha! Why don’t you go to Place du Tertre?
– Because it’s freezing outside and Rhé needs to accomplish her twelve labours!
– I’m sorry, are you a reincarnation of Hercules???
– Of course not! Don’t listen to Kyla. I’m not a demigod who wants to join Olympus.
– Oh, so you’re human! I’m glad to hear that. What’s with the twelve labours?
– It’s nothing. Really, you don’t need to know…
– But your list, Rhé!
– Which list?
– It’s just a personal project. There are twelve things that I would like to do before March 23…
– Oh my god, are you dying? Is it cancer?
– Don’t worry, Liam, she’s in perfect health!
– Good to know, you scared me! Why the urgency?
– There are things that I swore to do before I turn twenty-five.
– Why twenty-five?
– Because she was born in 1991, it’s not her fault!
– Very funny, Kyla!
– I mean, are you superstitious? Do you think that being twenty-five has a special significance? I will turn twenty-six in October and it makes no difference to me. Age is just a number, you know…
– Maybe… Let’s just say it’s for the taste for challenge!
– In this case, I would be pleased to help you, Rhéa. I can draw your portrait here so you can keep yourself warm!
– Thanks Liam, it’s kind of you. But you have no equipment!
– I still have grit paper, pencil and charcoal in Mum’s place, upstairs. I’ll be back in a minute…
– Would you like to drink something else, girls? I do very good chai latte!
– Yes, please! Thank you, Marie-Line…”
Liam suggests that we go to the back of the room to be quiet. I finish my chai latte in a hurry and dutifully remain motionless while Kyla watches us by sipping her beverage and nibbling a cookie kindly donated by Marie-Line. I think she deserves a good tip. While Liam is working to draw, I take the opportunity to observe him discreetly. Like many guys with an artistic temperament, he is dressed casually and has skillfully tousled brown hair. I like his dexterous hands and his deep blue eyes. Plus, he is half American thanks to his dad. Hence his name.
I can not help but think of my wish of kissing an American but I quickly drive this foolish idea from my mind, ashamed. Twenty minutes later, Liam finally shows us his work and it is incredibly beautiful. I ask if he embellished me but Kyla, Marie-Line and other customers confirm that the ressemblance is consistent. Liam even gave me a carboard tube to protect the portrait. My grandparents will be delighted for sure! Ecstatic, I kiss him on the cheek to thank him and ask his price. He refuses to take money because this is not his job but suggests that I offer him a drink. Kyla gives me a little wink and I can not help but blush.
-“Ok for a drink, Liam. Anywhere you want.”
I have the feeling that Montmartre will become one of my favourite districts… Kyla found an excuse to leave us alone, I followed Liam out to a nice bar and we had a real laugh together. I think we had a good chemistry and I hope I see him again someday. He added me on Facebook and gave me his number, which is already a good sign. Enough dreaming, I still have a lot of wishes to achieve!…
The photo shoot episode…
To whom could I ask a piece of advice for fashion photos? Cerise seems to be the girl for the job and I tell her about my photo shoot project around Signature Hot Chocolate at Starbucks.
-“This is a wonderful project, honey, but I know nothing about photography. All I can do is giving you advice on how to get dressed, do your hair, make yourself up and accesorize your outfit!
– It’s already great, Cerise! Could you do this for me?
– Of course, Rhéa! What did I just say?
– Awesome! Now I have to find a photographer!
– Market prices are astronomical in Paris: a professional photo shoot costs at least one hundred euros for two outfits, a few retouched photos and around fifty unretouched photos. And makeup is usually not included in the package!
– Oh my god, it’s too expensive for me!
– The more the photographer is known, the more his prices will be high, it’s normal! We have to find someone talented but not famous yet. A photography student or a passionate guy whose photograph is not the job would be perfect!
– Not a bad idea! And how will I find this gem?
– Try to do some research on the Internet and around you, I will ask my contacts.
– Deal, thanks sweetie!…”
Cerise finally managed to convince a former student of her class to do the job. We organized a group discussion with Emilien and agreed to do the photo shoot at my place on the following weekend. Cerise will be my stylist and makeup artist, I am so happy! Plus, Emilien allowed me to choose three different outfits.
I made an inventory of my wardrobe with Cerise and we went shopping in Asian fashion shops in Châtelet district. This is the reference address for the girls who are looking for stylish clothing and shoes without breaking the bank. After several fittings approved by my friend, I chose a navy blue lace dress with three-quarter sleeves, a headband and silver sandals. My second outfit will be a red strapless dress and black shoes with open toes. For the last outfit, I decided to wear a light pink skater skirt, a white Halter Top and matching Converse.
-“A romantic look, a sexy look and a casual look… Perfect, I validate all your outfits! With the blue dress, I suggest you wear the headband like a princess while keeping loose hair. I think you would be gorgeous by wearing the red dress with an updo hairstyle, and for the last outfit, a high ponytail will give you a dynamic and sporty look. What do you think about that?
– I love it, Cerise! What about the makeup?
– Trust me, you will be beautiful. I can even lend you handbags and jewelery if you need more accesories!
– Wonderful! I’ll send an email to Emilien to tell him…”
D-Day finally arrived. Emilien came with his camera, canvas sheets, halogen lamps, an umbrella, two wooden posts…and hair clips.
–“Why did you bring hair clips? Is it for me?
– Haha, don’t worry, I’m not gonna touch your hair, you already have your official hairstylist. Hair clips are cheaper than pliers, I will use them to fix my equipment!
– I see… You’re fully equipped anyway, this is awesome!
– Thank you. I’ll let you finish preparing yourself while I am arranging the photo studio! Do you have a preference for the background? I have white, blue sky or black!
– Blue sky please!
– Rhé! I still have to do your hair and finish your makeup!
– I’m coming, Cerise!…”
Ten minutes later…
-“Wow, you look great!
– Thank you, Emilien. It’s thanks to Cerise!
– Come on, I only did what I had to!
– Haha! Good job, Cerise. Let’s start the photo shoot now! Rhéa, it’s up to you!
– How should I pose?
– As you wish, be creative! Forget that I’m here. Have fun so we can make great pics! Play with your hair!… Good. Continue… Awesome, stay like this, don’t move!… Ok. Now, give me a smile, a real smile, not a frozen smile… Yes, like that! It’s beautiful.
– …Haha! Sorry, Cerise made me laugh!
– To help you de-stress, honey!
– She’s right, Rhéa. Look at the great shot I took when you were laughing!
– Haha, I look crazy!
– Honey, you look great! Well done, Emilien!
– Thanks Cerise. Seriously, Rhéa, look at this. It’s beautiful, expressive and natural! I like that. Now, let’s try something else. Turn on yourself… Yes! Let’s try a side view, turn yourself a little more…Perfect! Can we pass on the second outfit?
– Ok, we’ll be back in ten minutes!
– Fine. And take accessories such as a purse or sunglasses to have fun! I’m changing the background…”
The rest of the photo session continues with joy, good mood and creativity. Emilien is very nice and talented. He is passionate about photography since he is sixteen. He has a blog with a portfolio of his best shots, makes regular photo shoots for friends for around ten euros per session, and invests his money in the purchase of camera equipment.
At the end of the session, Emilien shows us the pictures he took. There are a hundred. He will send me the forty best shots and offered to edit my six favourite photos like a professional. As he really did a good job, I give him twenty euros and invite him with Cerise to stay for dinner.
Two weeks later, I finally get the long awaited pictures and enjoy my heyday on the social networks. When Liam left me a like and an admiring comment, it was literally the climax! With my agreement and because I want to support his work, I let Emilien publish some of my pictures on his website.
Now I have taken a likening to pose for pictures, I feel more confident and I even agreed to participate in a charity fashion show with Cerise. Emilien is now part of my friends since Cerise started to date him after organizing other photo projects with him. Maybe my time will come one day with Liam. For now, my priority is to achieve my other wishes before the fateful date…
Hope you enjoyed this second part. I’m at half the story and will publish a third part during the week. Have a nice evening 🙂