Emily in Paris IRL — Paris + Destination Photographer Courtney Bowlden


December 15, 2022

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picasso, the million dollar napkin and live painting
I create timeless heirloom paintings for couples looking for an original and intentional way to capture their wedding day, and I do it live.

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While Julien does NOT appreciate the assists from Emily Cooper…

In season 3 of Emily in Paris she makes it abundantly clear that she believes good work happens with a team.

She gives up her own ideas for the sake of others— just to ensure their success.

As I was looking back on insights (literally, from Instagram) for 2022, I saw my most popular post was this one:

bride running through Tuscany

And I must say, I’m not surprised.

The art is beautiful— truly one of my favorite pieces I’ve painted maybe ever because it captures all the things I love — story, light, movement. And I’m not belittling the time and skill it took to create this piece.

BUT — it wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing TEAM behind the painting.

From makeup to florals, to jewelry, beautiful brides and grooms, elegant planning, stunning venues, magical photography and more —

every detail comes together to make this painting a harmonious, distinctive, and personal way to remember your wedding day.

It takes a cohesive and masterful team of creatives that care about YOU, YOUR desires, YOUR aesthetic and design to make YOUR unique painting possible.

An experience that isn’t inspired by a homogenized Pinterest board or social media in general, but personalized and intentionally curated, inspired by YOU.

Creating beautiful paintings live not only requires skill and efficiency, it requires a team of incredible vendors to bring the painting together.

It requires an understanding of everything that’s happening and being able to react in real time. It’s a high bar, but it can be done, and it’s worth it.

So let’s hear about one of the team behind THIS BEAUTIFUL PAINTING! Courtney Bowlden Photography.

Tell me about what you do and why it’s important.

I am a wedding and portrait photographer. I love being a photographer because it freezes a moment in someone’s day to where they can look back and remember everything about that moment. I value making memories and I feel photographs and videos are just the best way to do that. Memories are fleeting but photos and videos are forever.

Where are you based out of, and what do you love most about weddings? 

I started my business in Seattle, WA but recently moved to Paris, France. I am still taking clients all around the world. I love traveling and love being able to meet people from everywhere in the world.

Why do you work in weddings?

I think from a young age I have always loved weddings. I love the emotions and excitement around it. I love the pretty dresses and dances. It’s really fun to be a part of someone’s special day and be a part of the memory making. I love getting messages or reviews back saying that they remember every emotion of the day in my photos. That’s such an honor and privilege. 

What are your top 3-5  favorite venues to photograph weddings at and why?

Hmmm, that’s so tough! It depends where I am in the world to be honest. I think there are so many incredible ones. One that I really love is in Santa Ynez in California. It’s Sunstone Winery. I also love Cetinale in Siena, Italy. It’s breathtaking! I think the last one that stands out to me is Vizcaya in Miami, Florida. It’s like you are in Italy but without being in Italy.

 What’s your wedding style/aesthetic?

I’ve been told by my couple’s that my style is “honest,” which I interpret as timeless and authentic. I also do a lot of editorial and candid type photos. It really depends on the couple. If they are more playful, I lean a little more towards doing candid/photojournalistic. If they are artsy and more modern, I’ll lean towards more editorial.


What’s one trend in the wedding industry we should pay attention to?

I love when couples make their decor very personal. I saw these name tag holders that were little guitars because the groom played guitar. Their decor was very music oriented. 

You’re photographing a wedding in Paris – what are three things you must do?

I’d get there a few days early and do a photoshoot with your photographer for a pre-ceremony session. I love taking my couple’s around Paris and showing them some places to go and enjoy with their wedding guests or family. I would also recommend doing a wine tasting class, which is so much fun and delicious. Last, go to a museum! There are so many to choose from so pick which ones suits you and your style of art. I personally love Monet and there are a couple in town. 


You’re photographing a wedding in Tuscany – what are three things you must do?

Definitely a wine tour or wine tasting somewhere. I’d also rent a car and go for a drive. The views there are stunning! I also would say to go eat PASTA!!!! Their food is incredible! Maybe even take a pasta making class. 

What’s your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

Spare time? What’s that? Just kidding… I love going out with friends for a drink or meal. I enjoy watching movies or shows from my bed with some wine or ice cream. I also love traveling. I love to explore new places because it helps inspire me in my work.

Words to live by?

Choose kindness. Be the love and light the world needs. When you treat someone kindly, they will most likely treat someone else kindly and it’ll become a ripple effect. THIS is how we make the world a better place.

What advice do you have for couples planning a wedding in 2023?

Book all your wedding vendors at once. Then the little details can be planned along the way. 

Drink of Choice?

I love Coke Zero or a Passionfruit Martini


What’s one thing you’re most excited about for 2023?

My new life in Paris. Making new friends and hopefully finding the love of my life (although I do know love takes time sometimes, so I am not rushing that one- but it would be nice)

What’s one word to describe 2022 for you, and if you have a word for 2023 please share that as well!

Every year I have a word that I keep with me instead of a goal. 2022’s word was HEAL. Which I feel I did and am still doing. 2023’s word is STABILITY. Moving to a new country, getting my finances and business in order over here. This is all a part of that word. I am excited to finally have a bit of stability in my life. /

Courtney is so very talented, and I’ve gotten the opportunity to paint this above painting for her which is just magical.

Get in touch with Courtney here: www.courtneybowlden.com

Bringing your wedding day to life, thrilling your guests with a show-stopping live wedding painting experience, and creating a timeless keepsake that honors your sacred bond and will warm your heart every time you look at it – it’s what I do best.

Hey, I'm Courtney.

From behind the easel, I serve timeless brides who still embrace the unexpected by creating heirloom painting experiences that are immersive, one-of-a-kind, and thrilling to watch.

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Live wedding painting: an awe-striking guest-experience unlike anything else in the wedding industry tied with a stunning heirloom to be treasured for generations