Paris is hands down the most photogenic city in the World! I’ve collected my favorite spots to hit on a photo session or even just during a visit of Paris. These are, to me, the best photo locations in Paris that will make your friends jealous and want to come have their portrait taken in the City of Lights too! These are the shots that you’ll look back on in years to come and reminisce over…
1. Eiffel Tower & Trocadéro
What would Paris be without its iconic Eiffel Tower? Built by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, it was presented at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889. 324 meters high, it is one of the most visited monuments in the World with nearly 7 million visitors each year!
From the top of the Eiffel Tower, you can enjoy the magnificent view of all Paris. Trocadéro is a wide square that will provide you with your most symbolic photo of Paris: a perfectly framed shot of the Eiffel Tower with the Trocadéro Fountains in the foreground. It gets flooded with tourists early in the day so I recommend going very early in the morning, even at sunrise if possible. The morning light on a nice day is just magical!
There are many great spots to get a good, original shot of the Eiffel Tower in addition to Trocadéro square. From the opposite side, on Champ-de-Mars, from the Seine river banks and on the bridges that surround the monument… it’s so tall you can even spot it from other locations I’ll be mentioning below!
The theatrical old carousel at the foot of the Trocadéro gardens creates the most whimsical photo. With the Eiffel Tower soaring above it makes a winning composition every time. And when it lights up at twilight, every evening, the Eiffel Tower is adorned with its golden covering and sparkles for 3 minutes every hour on the hour, while its beacon shines over Paris.
Marie was hands down the best decision we made on our trip! We surprised our mother with a photo session on the last day of our trip, and Marie was more than happy to learn all about our our mother/daughter trip and make it such a fun 1.5 hours! She gave us some great recommendations on locations and put up with our goofy antics. HIGHLY, highly recommend to anyone looking for a photographer!
2. Louvre Museum & pyramids
The Louvre is the most visited art museum in the World. Located in the heart of Paris, this historic building is a former royal palace built in the late 12th century under Philip II. Every trip to the French capital deserves a visit to the Louvre to discover the wealth of treasures it contains. Masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, The Raft of the Medusa, the Venus de Milo and The Winged Victory of Samothrace are displayed at the Louvre Museum.
There is one perfect spot to capture the magnificence of the Louvre and that’s the courtyard in front of the pyramid. Old and new come together in one photo with the palace in the background and the modern glass pyramid in the foreground.
Opened on the 30th March 1989, the Louvre Pyramid, built by architect Ieoh Ming Pei and located in the heart of the court of Napoléon, marked a turning point in the history of the Louvre Museum. Tuesday morning is my recommended time to come to the Louvre for a photoshoot as the museum is closed and there are fewer tourists around.
In addition, the arcades leading to the big open square as well as the second court, the Court Square, photograph really well.
The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, located in the Place du Carrousel accross the Louvre roundabout, is an example of Corinthian style architecture. Looking west, the arch is aligned with the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde, the centerline of the grand boulevard Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe at the Place de l'Étoile, and the Grande Arche de la Défense.
3. Alexander III Bridge
Built for the Exposition Universelle of 1900, Pont Alexandre III is the most sumptuous bridge in Paris. It’s painted a pastel blue hue and is decorated with an array of masterful sculptures: lions, cherubs, nymphs, maidens, cupids... The bridge celebrates and commemorates this new diplomatic relationship between France and Russia and is named after Tsar Alexander III.
The bridge links Les Invalides, the site of Napoleon’s tomb, on the Left Bank with the Champs-Élysées on the Right Bank. Pont Alexandre III is more than just a river crossing. Add in views of the Eiffel Tower and it becomes the ideal spot for a photo session! Nearby, the Petit Palais and its golden gate also makes a beautiful photo spot.
4. Palais Royal
Created by the Cardinal Richelieu in 1633, the Palais Royal and its gardens, just a short walk from the Louvre, housed royal families up until the Palace of Versailles was built. Its gardens, prestigious and peaceful, are surrounded by a superb futuristic architecture with contemporary sculptures by Buren and Bury.
The Colonnes de Buren art piece is displayed in the courtyard and make an interesting photo location.
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Montmartre is a hill located in the north of Paris and gives its name to the surrounding neighborhood. It is known for the Basilica of the Sacred Heart completed in 1919 and honors the French victims of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. Climb the 300 steps to the top of the "Sacré-Coeur" for the most extraordinary view of the whole city. The area gets crowded early in the day so I recommend going there early morning for the best photo opportunities.
Place du Tertre, a few blocks from the Basilica, is where many artists set up their easels to paint tourists or exhibit their work. Montmartre was the hub of modern art in the early 20th century and many artists such as Modigliani, Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh worked there. The "I love you" wall is also located in Montmartre.
My favorite part of Montmartre is actually Rue de l'Abreuvoir with its beautiful restaurant La Maison Rose. A very romantic setting for an engagement or honeymoon photo session. The famous cabaret Moulin Rouge is also located in Montmartre, at the bottom of the hill in the Pigalle neighborhood.
6. Gardens & parks
There are many beautiful gardens and parks all around Paris, but some are more famous than others. Seasons create different photo opportunities: in Spring, you have the cherry blossoms ; in the Fall, trees wear wonderful colors.
The Tuileries Gardens were re-landscaped in 1664 by André Le Nôtre, the famous gardener of King Louis XIV, to give them their current French formal garden style. They separate the Louvre from Place de la Concorde, and make for a pleasant walk.
The Luxembourg park was created in 1612 at the request of Marie de Medicis to accompany the Luxembourg Palace, where the Senate seats. It is very pleasant to walk around with its 106 statues, a bronze reduction of the Statue of Liberty and three beautiful fountains.
If there is one garden you sure will see in Paris, it’s the Trocadéro gardens. The centrepiece of the gardens is the famous Warsaw fountains which, with its 20 water cannons, offers a remarkable water display. It's located below Trocadéro square, which is the number 1 spot to photograph the Eiffel Tower.
Another favorite of mine is Parc Monceau. Visitors enter through the great wrought iron gates embellished with gold. You’ll find many beautiful surprises in the park: numerous statues, a Renaissance archway belonging to the former Paris City Hall and a large pond.
The gardens of Château de Versailles are another André Le Nôtre creation. The massive park surrounding the Palace is decorated with statues, fountains, water parterres and outstanding buildings such as the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon, the Temple de l'Amour and the Hamlet of Queen Marie-Antoinette. With the arrival of summer, the gardens of the Palace of Versailles become the setting for a magical display: the ornamental ponds and waterfalls offer a wonderful spectacle as fountains play and jets of water intertwine.
7. Notre Dame Cathedral
One of the most enduring symbols of Paris, Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre Dame, is a Roman Catholic cathedral located on the eastern half of the Ile de la Cité. Begun in 1163 and completed in 1345, it is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Climb the 387 steps to the top of the towers for a panoramic view of the district and to see the famous gargoyles up close.
The exterior of Notre-Dame is fascinating from any angle: it’s hard to take a bad photograph of this place.
Unfortunately, on the evening of April 15, 2019, a large fire partially destroyed the upper part of Notre-Dame Cathedral. The fire caused serious damage, but thanks to the 400 firefighters at the scene, the monument was able to be partly saved and will be rebuilt.
Marie was excellent all around. I researched numerous photographers for our family visit to Paris. Marie was the best overall. She was VERY responsive on email, answering all our questions, including logistics. She was very timely in providing the photos, of which there were way more than other photographers would agree to provide. She is totally TRUSTWORTHY to do a good job and flexible to work with your family on locations. She offers two locations for a very good price; others often give you only one location for a comparable price and with a photo number limit. Plus, her photos turned out to be top notch in terms of capturing our expressions, and subtle features of surrounding environs. You will not be disappointed with the entire package that Marie provides–responsiveness, price, flexibility on locations, and high quality, top notch photos.
8. Rue Crémieux
Fast becoming the most Instagrammed street in Paris, Rue Crémieux is lined with the prettiest houses painted every shade of the rainbow. This paved street away from most landmarks is a slice of paradise in the centre of Paris. It was originally named Avenue Millaud when it opened in 1865 but later changed in 1897 to Rue Crémieux.
Though a lovely location for photos, it is also a residential street where real people live, so going to Rue Crémieux on a photo session, you must remember to be quiet and respectful of its inhabitants.
9. Bridges & Seine river
With a total length of 7 kilometers, the Parc Rives de Seine extends along both sides of the Seine and provides a place to walk and relax along the water, in the heart of the city. On the left bank, wander from Pont de l'Alma to Pont Royal. On the right bank, you can go from Pont Neuf to Pont de Sully.
A cruise on the Seine offers unusual views of some of Paris's great monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral and Pont Alexandre III lovely at night and at sunset. On summer evenings, grab a picnic and join Le Tout-Paris by the river.
The most photographed bridge in the city after Pont Alexandre III is probably Pont de Bir-Hakeim, a two-level bridge built in the early 20th century. Metro line 6 runs on the upper level, while the lower level is for motor vehicles, bikes and pedestrians. It provides a superb view of the Eiffel Tower. Visitors can walk along Allée des Cygnes, a walkway over the Seine that can be reached from the middle of the Bir-Hakeim bridge. From there, you can admire the Statue of Liberty replica next to Pont de Grenelle.
10. Cafés & Metro signs
Paris's charming streets sure wouldn't be the same without their many cafés and brasseries. A great opportunity to take a break during your photo session, to get some croissant eating/café au lait drinking shots, and a bathroom/changing room stop all in one, it's definitely a location you should include in your photo session. There are hundreds of options, but I recommend one that has a view, such as Café Marly which occupies an ideal location under the arcades of the Louvre, Café de Flore in Saint-Germain-des-Prés or Café de la Paix near Opéra Palais Garnier.
One of the most emblematic features of Parisian Métro are the Guimard entrances with their decorative structure. A great addition to your photo collection of Paris as well.
As amazing as it sounds, a tour of Paris featuring all of these locations would take an entire day at least, but what a day it would be! You obviously don't have to include all of those spots in your photo session, but now you can see that, other than the famous Eiffel Tower, there are many sumptuous locations to think of in the City of Love. Whether you're looking for ideas for an engagement or pre-wedding session, a family trip, an anniversary or birthday milestone, a pregnancy or even a senior photo session, all these options are available to you just a short taxi ride away from the iconic Eiffel Tower!
I hope you'll enjoy your Paris trip a lot. If you're looking to know more about how I work on a photo session and work with me on the best itinerary for you, get in touch with me now and tell me all about your Paris photo session project!
For anyone on the fence about proposing abroad in Paris and finding the right photographer for the job, look no further. I spent a couple of weeks researching photographers and emailing them back and forth and from the second I communicated with Marie, I knew she would be my pick. Not only are her packages the fairest I’ve seen, the entire process of working with Marie was an absolute pleasure and put me at ease for such a big occasion. She’s quick to respond to emails and has a great deal of knowledge of where, when, and how to propose. On the day of the surprise, she was there, blending in and taking pictures. Her ability to capture that special moment, undetected, blew me away and the quality of the photos really made me glad I went through the process of hiring her for this job. The hour we spent with her after the big surprise was the most fun I’ve had taking pictures (which is something I really dislike). Seeing her smile as she captures a great shot of you and your fiancé translates into you smiling for every photo and enjoying the moment because you see that she truly enjoys what she does. Thank you Marie for a lifetime of memories!!