Back in 2015 I was visiting Paris with my fiancée, my now betrothed Portuguese wife. Me myself being born and growing up in Strasbourg, I suggested it be nice to do a city break in Paris before heading further on our way to my hometown, my origin by birth.

It was a beautiful November day, strangely calm and quiet with blue skies and the sun burning hot. Somewhat unusual for the time of the year in Paris. We decided to roam the streets of the city center, I believe we strolled for no less than twelve kilometers on that day.

We visited all the historically symbolic places, the romantic streets and alleys and of course, the Eiffel Tower.

While strolling through the fancy stores in the famous shopping streets, my wife got surprised by the security guard whom asked to see her bag. As a Portuguese, she’s never experienced such a thing – someone looking through your bag when entering the store, rather than when leaving it. I had to explain to her that due to what happened with Charlie Hebdo, France was really on alert. It’s part of the French routine to live with such security measures everywhere.

I took this photography on the top of the Basilica Sacré Coeur.

With such a lovely day coming to its end, a most magnificent sunset was imminent. I proposed to her that we jump into a cab, only to go the short distance up to “Montmartre” in order to view the whole city in the twilight of the setting sun (such cliché, I know). But do not judge me, at the time we were fiancée and fiancé and the day truly did call for it.

With my camera being in burst mode, the first clicks scared a resting bird that was enjoying the very same view as we. In a way I am happy about, since she flying away made my picture even more awesome. At the moment, I was really happy with my picture and I knew it would be a keeper.

I even remember watching the photo, saying to myself:

“Wow, People may interpret the bird as a symbol of peace… Thank you, Bird!”

I was really happy with my picture.

Later on as we had jumped on the very last train heading towards Strasbourg, around 9 PM if my memory is correct. Some 20 minutes into our final journey to “home” we learned about the horrible news. About the devastating attack that had struck Paris on this day. (Terrorist Attack, 13 November 2015) It was unimaginable, terrible, truly horrific and hard to swallow. We had walked most of those streets during our day visiting the capitol.

We were all crying for the people that lost their lives this day. And I’ve learned a big lesson that day too. Life lesson, but also photography lesson.

This sunset picture of that day in Paris was now historic.
It became, for me at least, the symbol of peace, and how light actually fight the darkness.

Keep fighting folks, we are documenting History
Anytime, every time.

Vive la France