How I love those French Girls…

Briefly, before you delve into this entry I’d like to say I’ve been away for so long simply because I’ve been snowed under with real life and work! This does mean I have a slew of updates coming your way. I also realised that my site wasn’t working in Internet Explorer (cough), but it should be now. Should you use that browser and still experience any problems please do let me know!

One last thing before I let you get on with discovering who the beautiful woman below is - if you were having withdrawals while I was busy, I’ve set up a SpillingLight “lite” (harr). There will be more frivolous and brief stream-of-life updates there: another place to spill all over

On with the show…


How do I love those French Girls? I would count the ways, but I’d be here forever, unfortunately…

It wasn’t until I became an adult that I finally grew up and realised how beautiful French culture as a whole is. These days I’m so intrigued by it that I dream and dream of visiting. It seems absurd that I lived so close and I only ever passed through France and didn’t once stop to take it all in. Now, in my heart I’m trying to go back. That old cliché of not missing anything until it’s gone is wildly true when you move thousands of miles away from the land that you grew up in. Let me just say, though, that it has very much brought to my attention how much I took for granted.


Why, yes, I really also love French girls. There’s something about their intelligence and wit that is so exotic to me without being so far from who I am that I don’t understand. We (the Brits and the French) actually have a lot in common and it’s not really that surprising when you come to realise just how much of our history we shared (once upon a time). We definitely appreciate the same sarcasm; that dry humour that’s becoming slightly more popular in other lands these days. Yet, the French deliver it with a lot more class and elegance that as a common English girl I could only ever clutch at straws to match.

Of course, the French also have that superior fashion and art sense; in this I only admire. I don’t even try to compete with that. In fact, I would say it is this style and vision that I admire in French women.


Maybe, I should introduce this particularly beautiful woman that I’ve slowly been drip feeding to you in between my fan-girl ramblings. Her name is Purdey and she lives in Nantes (a city with a humble Celtic beginning in 70BC). Apparently Nantes was invaded by both the Saxons and the Britons at one time or another. So, I really may be clutching at straws but it seems a little like the area I’m from.

I first met Purdey in 2005 in Tuscany, Italy at a filming for a SuicideGirls DVD. Over the next few years we would occasionally exchange brief internet comments in a way that I’d be left wishing we could have longer conversations. It wasn’t until Las Vegas in February of this year that we really got to spend some “real life” time together. Once again, we found ourselves in the same place for the filming of a DVD. I wasn’t about to let her escape from my attention this time.


We both share a love of birds and so when she came to me with the idea for her shoot it just kind of happened with very little pre-planning or big production. The whole week went by until we found the perfect spot, and little did we know it would be anything so mundane as the reception/office area of a photographer’s studio. One aspect of my job that I really enjoy is creating mild fantasy out of reality. I try to throw as much honesty as will fit into my photos but at the same time show people how such regular spaces can be mysterious and beautiful too.

If you were to spend any length of time with me you would soon realise how I consistently walk around as if I’m dazed by my surroundings. I often feel like I have a sensory overload, and it’s this vision that I play on and bend to my will. It goes without saying that I’m unusually lucky to work with such incredible subjects on a regular basis. Working with Purdey to bring her to concept life is what truly made me appreciate the delicacy of her presence in a room.


While it might seem banal to say that I’m proud of this body of work, there are no other words I would offer. If there could only be one group of photos I could show you to illustrate my obsession with light, beauty and the raw honesty behind a person’s mind it would be this one.

The privilege of being a creative person, of course, is that these kinds of statements could change at any moment, with any new body of work. How’s that for frivolous? The only thing I can promise you is that I continue to bring you my fascination with light and those people and places that occupy it.


In the meantime my curiosity and love for the French burns strongly in my heart. It’s only enforced by the fact that now I live in Canada and read French every day I discover just how many British English words have really been French all along…

… and yes, it makes me laugh every time.

Purdey can be found at her blog kittensoup, on flickr or twitter.

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  1. Posted June 28, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Permalink


    Cherry. How can I say ?
    I was, already, deeply in love with the adorable Nya. But seeing this photo, I’m now smitten by a un-healable deep obsession, I guess.

  2. Posted June 28, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    “these photos”, I mean, even “these breathtaking pictures”, if you would excuse my poor grammar.

  3. Esmerine
    Posted July 1, 2009 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    “One aspect of my job that I really enjoy is creating mild fantasy out of reality. I try to throw as much honesty as will fit into my photos but at the same time show people how such regular spaces can be mysterious and beautiful too.”
    This is how your photography is so special.You don’t try to turn reality into magic but to find the magic in reality.These pics are gonna haunt me for a long time i think…Thank you.

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