PHOENIX (KSAZ) - "Our plan was to you know, do the tourist kind of thing, I'm a photographer so shooting the Eiffel tower was important, and Notre Dame and you know seeing all these sights and hanging out with our friends was the original plan, up until Friday night," said Andrew Pielage.
Last Friday, Pielage found himself not only in a foreign city but also in a foreign position. He was in the middle of horrific acts of terror in the city of lights. At a cafe in Paris, Andrew and his fiancee learned of the tragedy surrounding them.
"More and more it kept coming in, it was like bing, bing, bing, and at that point she was like ok, I need to get online and figure it out. So she got the local news on her phone and realized it was a bombing, there were shootings and restaurants and bars, and you know it was kind of eerie because I think our table was one of the first to figure it out," said Pielage.
As the gravity of the situation settled in, Andrew began to see a different Paris through his lens.
"You ran into this wall of mourning, and sorrow, and sadness, and it was thick. There were hundreds of people, but no one was talking," he said.
As a photographer, Andrew said he struggled with the idea of documenting such a deeply personal time but decided to capture the moment in hopes that history will not repeat itself again.
"I think one of the things that struck me with the images was the one where you can see the Charlie memorial from last time, and these people you know 10 months later are now back at that same spot, mourning again, for another senseless act by terrorists, so that's one of the stronger images that I have in my head," said Pielage.