An Unexpected Paris Photo Shoot

April 4, 2017
An Unexpected Paris Photo Shoot

During my sophomore year of college, I realized I wanted to spend a year abroad. Unfortunately, time was not on my side (or so I thought at the time) so I settled for a summer program to study Italian in Florence.

That same summer, my cousin was set to study in Paris, so I decided to head to Europe for a month before my classes started in order to explore and score some free accommodation at my cousin’s dorm.

A week before leaving, I went to see my prosthetist. It was really hot and my leg was not looking great. I needed a new cover if I wanted to rock shorts and mini shirts. Apparently, a prothetic cover-up takes two weeks and since I was pressed for time (mostly procrastinating), I was faced with the choice of wearing tights and long pants to cover a not so great looking prosthetic leg. Otherwise, I’d have to take out the old cover, exposing the metal leg. I had already bought short dresses so I didn’t have much of a choice.

I was faced with the choice of wearing tights and long pants to cover a not so great looking prosthetic leg.

I knew it was going to be a tough summer with all the stares, comments and ridiculous questions. But mostly, I was afraid that no one would even approach me. As I predicted, I had a hard time adjusting to my new look and wouldn’t go out without a friend or two to avoid unsolicited remarks.

One day as I was getting off the metro near Cité Universitaire, a guy approached me. His name was Frédéric Bussière. He told me that he was a photographer and that if I didn’t mind, he would love to photograph me. I took his card and promised to get in touch with him. I was set to leave France for Italy in a couple of days so we made plans to meet the next day.

Paris Photoshoot
Photo credit: Frédéric Bussière, An Unexpected Paris Photo Shoot

First, we went to a museum for a exhibition on fashion and fast cars and then we had coffee. Then we went to Jardin de Luxembourg for him to photograph me. As I was being photographed, a guard approached us only to inform us that taking pictures for professional purposes was not allowed, so we pretended we were a couple. The guard was amazed by my leg and proceeded to tell us stories of an amazing South African Runner who has two prosthetic legs (Oscar Pistorius, a Paralympian who later became my role model until he killed his girlfriend in 2013).

Frédéric and I remained friends and three years later, I met up with him and his girlfriend at a small Brazilian restaurant in New York City for a drink. We vouched not to wait more than three years for our next drink, Wherever he is now, I have a feeling I’ll see him soon.

Cheers to making friends abroad.


An Unexpected Paris Photo Shoot photo credit by Frédéric Bussière and Unsplash. 


About Mama Cax

Born in Brooklyn but raised in the beautiful mountains of Haiti. I moved back to New York at 15 after I was diagnosed with bone and lung cancer. After my first solo travel to Costa Rica in 2008 I set a goal to travel the world. Since then, I have visited 13 countries throughout 4 continents.
I currently live in New York, a city that definitely quenches my thirst for travel with its diversity…until it’s time to catch my next flight.”

2 thoughts on “An Unexpected Paris Photo Shoot

  1. Lynda
    May 30, 2017

    Amazing such a lovely story Good Luck and God bless x

  2. May 30, 2017

    Stunning! I love this! You’re an inspiration. I’m also in New York, don’t hesitate to look me up if you ever want to have coffee with a fellow writer/traveler. 🙂

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