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How to prepare your kids for your family photo session

You’ve decided to have a professional photographer shoot your family photos, you’ve found the perfect person with whom you’ve felt great chimestry and trust, booked the date and location. Awesome! Now what? Now you need to prepare to make sure you have a fun experience and get the most beautiful images out of your photo session. Here are my tips!
 

  

Submit all your questions to your photographer

You probably have plenty of questions popping up in your head, and even if you’ve had photos taken in the past (senior, engagement, wedding, maternity or even another family photo session), no 2 photo sessions are the same. You should definitely submit those to your photographer before the big day. Even the questions you think are silly! As a photographer, it’s an essential part of my job to educate my “models for a day” to ensure they have the best experience possible and not only bring home beautiful photos but also fond memories of their photo session. This must be a fun activity for you all, not a stressful one, and being prepared takes 99% of the stress away.

 

Choose the right time and location

I always advise my clients to not schedule their photoshoot on the last day of their trip. Why? Because if we need to reschedule due to bad weather or any unexpected event, we can! I also advise not to schedule it on Day 1 of your trip as you should allow time for your body and mind to get over the jetlag, especially for kids who are less used to travelling.

As a photographer, I tend to prefer shooting in the morning or late afternoon because of lighting. Especially in Summer, when the sun is high in the sky: its light is very strong, it creates unpleasant shadows and makes you squint. It’s also less hot at those times. Another thing to take into account is your kids or babies schedule. If you know your little one gets cranky or needs a nap at specifics times of the day, do avoid those times for your photo session.

You might think an hour is enough to get good shots and that your kids won’t have the patience for longer, but the shorter the photo session, the less time you’ll have to get comfortable and deal with various delays. Resulting in you being more stressed out. Going anywhere also takes longer when you’re with kids or a big family, so do make sure you allow extra time so you’re not rushed during your photoshoot and trust your photographer with planning as they probably know the locations better than you do. There’s always a cool background you’ll want to include or a kids only/parents only photo you’ll be happy to have in addition to what you had planned if you end up having a little extra time.

Since we’re talking locations: ask yourselves what you want the overall mood of your photos to be. Do you want it to be more intimate, and thus plan at least part of your photoshoot at your rental home or hotel, or do you want to them to showcase the amazing scenery, monuments or historical sites you’ve fallen in love with. Think about what activity you enjoy doing as a family and choose a location that represents you the best. If possible, go for a location that is versatile and allows you to show different backgrounds. I always have plenty of ideas for beautiful locations, but ultimately these photos are for your family to keep and I want those memories to feel personal to you.

If you’re looking for locations to shoot at in Provence, check my top 10 locations for a family photo session in Provence.
If you’re looking for locations to shoot at in Paris, check my top 10 locations for a family photo session in Paris.

 

Give basic rules to your kids beforehand… but let them be themselves

I know these two may seem contradictory, but they’re actually complementary. Do take time to explain to your kids what is going to happen, tell them about the photographer so they feel like it’s a family friend and not a stranger (I love to “meet” the families I’m going to photograph on Skype or facetime before our photo session), let them know how long the photoshoot will be, where you’ll be going and what you except of them. By being prepared, they are much more likely to behave.

Some parents choose a reward to make sure their kids are even more cooperating: some candy, an activity they enjoy, a toy they’ll be allowed to play with… It’s up to you to use those if you see fit. I’m not going to judge! I also have some prompts that kids always like and sure will help us get a good photo, so that they don’t get bored or cranky too quickly.

But the best way to get the most beautiful photos with your kids is to allow them to also be themselves and enjoy the moment, instead of trying to get them to “smile and look at the camera” for what will seem to be forever. Trying too hard to rein them in might end in them throwing a tantrum… So let your kids be kids 🙂 I’m all for spontaneous photos and I love capturing the family interacting with each other. Sure, I do take some smiling into the camera posed-shots, but I mostly focus on natural poses.

Your kid loves to run around and climb on whatever they can? Let them. Join them! Be silly with them! 😀 Make funny faces, throw them in the air, put them on your shoulders, bring a ball or whatever activity you can include in your photoshoot.

On the contrary, your kid is shy and doesn’t let go of you especially around strangers? Hold them in your arms at the beginning of the photo session and show them that the person behind the camera is a friend. Don’t get mad at them for being shy or unwilling to smile at first. After a few minutes of hugging photos, they’re likely to loosen up and come out of their shell.

For very small children, having an extra person (family member, nanny…) might be very helpful. In addition to helping you take care of them during the photo session, they’ll be able to stand by your photographer and call for the baby, sing a song or do a silly dance, show their favorite toy… to get the baby’s attention and smile! As a photographer, I’ve noticed when an extra person was there, it helped a lot, even though I’m used to making funny noises myself to get babies to look towards the camera!

 

How to choose outfits for your family photo session

I’ve written an entire article on that topic, so go read it after you finish reading this one 😉

It’s essential that you think about what you’ll be wearing on your photo session when packing for your trip. Remember those photos might end up on the walls of your home, in frames at your office or at the grandparents homes… choosing the right outfit for your family is as important as choosing the locations where you’ll be photographed: it’s what will create the mood of the photos. Make sure they all go together nicely following my advice, but are also comfortable to wear, so your kids don’t complain every 2 seconds and pout on the photos. Have them help you choose what they want to wear, so they can have their say (but say no to graphic t-shirts and logos, please!).

Depending on the length of your photo session, you might be able to change outfits. I like that idea as it creates a more varied collection of photos. Ask your photographer if that’s possible and where you’ll be able to change (public restrooms, at a café or in a car… I have my own portable changing tent that can be used anywhere, very convenient!). If you plan 2 or more outfits, pack as lightly as possible and make sure you’ll be able to change pretty quickly, so you don’t waste precious shooting time.

 

Have fun!

Eventually, all you want is for everyone, adults and kids, to recall this photo session as a fun part of your family vacation and look at those photos with a grin later on, so make sure to have fun! 😀

Click here to see some of my family photo sessions and see more on the blog.

Planning a family photoshoot on your France trip, whether in Provence or Paris? Tell me all about your project here.

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Surprise proposal in Paris, France

Proposing to your loved one is the most exciting and beautiful moment in life

So you’ve decided you wanted to marry your lover? How exciting! After getting the perfect engagement ring, the second thing you should carefully think of is: when and where will you pop the question?

Paris being the city of Love and one of the most romantic places on Earth, it’s a popular proposal location. Once you’ve planned your trip to Paris with your other half, all there is left to do is choose the perfect moment to get down on one knee… The Eiffel Tower view is one of the most requested obviously, as it’s an iconic Paris landmark. The love locks bridge used to be quite popular too, but it’s not as picturesque now that all the locks have been taken away. Of course, you could propose anywhere in the city, like on top of the Eiffel Tower or the Montparnasse Tower, by the Louvre pyramid, on the famous Alexander III bridge, by Notre Dame Cathedral, in the Tuileries Gardens, the Luxembourg Gardens or even in the Versailles Gardens.


Choosing your perfect proposal spot in Paris

The Eiffel Tower being quite a tall monument, it can be seen from various places, offering a large choice for a marriage proposal spots. The most common one is Trocadero plaza or fountains, pictured below. It gets busy throughout the day so early morning is my go to time. Though Paris is not the sunniest, when there’s a beautiful sunrise, it’s just a magical moment…

Eiffel Tower surprise proposal at sunrise
Followed by an engagement session in Paris

Marie was fantastic! I planned on surprising my girlfriend with a proposal on an early morning visit to the Eiffel Tower. Marie and I had communicated via email the days leading up to. Her prices were better than anyone else and she made the contract super easy and simple. She promised to be there ahead of time, hiding out to capture the moment perfectly. She delivered on everything. The moment was beautifully captured and the entire photo session was well done. Besides the tower, Marie let us walk around and even took us down to the river to get some great bridge shots. She had great ideas and captured the morning really well. We had a sneak peak of color and black and whites within a few hours, and we were able to see the whole session within a few days as promised. I couldn’t have asked for anything better; and of course the fiance loved it so that was what mattered most. If you need quality photographer and a good price, Marie is a great choice.

Aaron O.
Marriage proposal at Trocadero with the Eiffel Tower in the background

Another very nice Eiffel Tower view is Bir Hakeim bridge, located over the Seine river. It's also popular so it can be crowded. In case of bad weather, it's also a great backup plan since the pedestrian path is covered. In Paris, you never really know... but I always do my best to be flexible and reschedule in case of bad weather.

Surprise proposal on Bir Hakeim Bridge in Paris

The Seine river runs accross the city and along several monuments, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre museum and Notre Dame Cathedral. Some beautiful locations for engagement photos!

Proposal on the late "love locks bridge" now bare of all the locks but still a beautiful view over the Seine river

Marie is fantastic! Living in Chicago, I wanted to propose to my girlfriend in Paris and thought it would be a great idea to have the moment photographed. While researching, I came across Marie. Communication and planning was fantastic. On the day of the proposal, Marie was a pleasure to work with and follow up on photos was timely. Best of all the photos turned out wonderful. Thank you Marie for making our day special! Sarah and John

John M.

Some couples have a special story they share with a specific location... check out this proposal by the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Paris! For big Disney fans, there's no better place to pop the question.

Proposal at Disneyland Paris

An engagement photo session in Paris following your proposal

Following the proposal, I like to do engagement photos to celebrate the big news. It's a once in a lifetime moment that should be captured and remembered forever...

Surprise proposal by the Eiffel Tower followed by an engagement session in the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre Museum

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!!

Nick R.

Now fiancés, not only will you take precious pictures that will commemorate this special day, you will also enjoy a romantic moment together, just the two of you, to celebrate your love.

Engagement photo session in Paris
Marriage proposal at Palais Royal in Paris

Other beautiful places to propose in France

Of course, Paris is not the only beautiful place where you could pop the question! In such a beautiful country that is France, there are many options to consider: the Loire Valley castles, Normandy, the French Riviera, and Provence, where I am also based. I was lucky to capture this beautiful proposal below in the vines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and love to make each marriage proposal unique to each couple. Can you imagine proposing in the middle of the lavender fields in Valensole or in the most exquisite village of the Luberon: Gordes? That's totally possible!

I would love to hear more about your desires for your surprise proposal plans. Just drop me a note here and tell me everything about you and your loved one! I'll give you tips on where and when to propose, how to keep your secret safe and make it a lifelong memory...

Proposal in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in Provence

Wow, I don’t even know where to begin with Marie. I decided I wanted to do a surprise proposal in Paris, I am from Chicago, and had no idea where to begin. After looking around for photographers Marie seemed like a perfect fit and I am glad I found her because she was able to capture the greatest moment of our lives. She helped me in so many ways, I was struggling with a sunrise setting because it is not easy to convince your fiance to be to wake up at 6:00 am on vacation and to wear a dress. Marie came to the rescue, she gave me some tips on what to say to convince my gf to wake up that early. In the end the photos were as amazing as the experience. Marie was quick to respond in emails, great at communication and gave wonderful guidance during the photoshoot. If I went back in time and had to do it all over again I would contact Marie the second I knew I wanted a photographer in Paris.

Camil M.

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10 dreamy locations for a photo session in Provence

Are you dreaming of the cicadas song, the lavender scent, the warm sun on your skin, a glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine in your hand and some South of France tasty food in your mouth? Well, Provence is your paradise!

It is unsurprising that France has been named the World’s most popular holiday destination, with so many diverse landscapes and artistic treasures to discover. There are so many wonders and activities for all ages in this picturesque area of Southeastern France, there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy your time in Provence. Whether visiting on a family vacation, eloping to get married in the heart of Provence, celebrating your honeymoon, your engagement, an anniversary, or simply wanting to experience the French way of life, you will surely get back home with fond memories to look back upon forever.

To make this getaway even more unforgettable, why not capture your time in Provence with a unique photo session? Here are some dreamy locations to consider…

1. Avignon

Avignon is the region’s cultural hub and a true gem. Having once been the centre of the Christian religion, it overflows with stunning churches and is home to the gigantic Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), an architectural masterpiece and the largest medieval gothic palace in the World.

Its famous medieval bridge, Pont Saint-Bénézet, which has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was immortalised in the song ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon. The Avignon theatre festival, each year in July, is internationally renowned.

2. Gordes

Considered by many to be one of France’s most beautiful villages, Gordes is a remote delight amid the rugged landscapes of the Luberon Regional Nature Park. With its cobbled streets and yellow stone houses, the mountaintop village culminates in the majestic 16th-century château.

It’s a wonder at every street corner and a pleasure to photograph early in the morning, when tourists are still asleep or enjoying their petit déjeuner before strolling the narrow streets of the village.

Nearby Gordes is Notre-Dame de Sénanque, a Cistercian abbey founded in 1148 by monks who came from Mazan Abbey in the Ardeche. In summer, the lavender fields give the abbey its own particular cachet and visitors line up to capture this beautiful scenery.

3. Lourmarin

The idyllic village of Lourmarin, built on the remains of a Roman city, also features a grand Renaissance château.

A photo session in Lourmarin is always a delight, strolling the little streets between small shops and traditional cafés and bistros.

4. Roussillon

Along with Gordes, Roussillon is the most popular destination for visitors in the Luberon area of Provence. It sits at the top of a cliff over the World’s largest red ochre vein.

The town buildings carry this beautiful warm color and a number of galleries offer an impressive art collection to discover. A wonder to photograph.

5. At home

From the verdant vineyards along the River Rhône to the carpet of lavender fields in the foothills of majestic Mont Ventoux, Provence is a spectacular showcase of natural beauty. If you’re looking at experiencing the local lifestyle, renting a villa will make for unforgettable holidays. Why not make the best of it and capture your memories in the very place where they’ll be happening?

In the garden surrounded by olive trees and lavender bushes, or by the swimming pool where kids can have fun and cool off, you’ll be able to easily change outfits during your photo session and create a variety of looks.

As part of our family celebration in Provence, we booked a photo shoot with Marie. She is fluent in English, easy to work with, the photos were delivered promptly and most importantly, they were beautiful! This makes the best souvenir of our trip, the images that will carry our memories always! Highly recommended.

Penelope C.

6. In the lavender fields of Sault or Valensole

From mid-June to late July, you can spot lavender growing in vast purple fields across the length of Provence, particularly in the North of Luberon, around Sault, and on the famous Plateau de Valensole. Named from the Latin vallis solis, "sun valley", the sun shines for 300 days a year over a surface of 800 squared kilometers, offering lavender the best conditions to bloom.

An elopement ceremony or even a stroll in the lavender fields is a unique opportunity to soak in the magic of the lavender blooming while capturing amazing photos that will make your friends jealous!

Just aside the large lavander fields, you'll find many lavender distilleries, run by generations of Provence families. See how they turn the dry flowers into essential oil and shop a range of lavender based products, from the classic soaps and home fragances to lavender honey and ice-cream. Also make sure to stop by the Lavender Museum to find out everything you need to know about Provence’s number one export.

7. Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape lies between Avignon and Orange and is, of course, most famous for the wine it produces, but the village itself is also worth a trip, with its pretty medieval lanes and ruined castle.

Originally called Castrum Novum, the Popes moved to Avignon in the 14th century, and built the castle of Châteauneuf which became their summer residence throughout that century. Unfortunately, the castle was destroyed in the 16th century during the Wars of Religion, and again in World War II, but the ruins make a wonderful location for a photo session.

The unique conditions in which the grapes grow are largely responsible for the quality of the World-renowned wine. The patch of land on which the vines are grown is fairly stony. The stones heat up from the sunshine during the day and then slowly release their heat during the night, so that the vines never get too cold. There are many wine producers in the area who welcome visitors for tastings and tours.

Photo session at Château des Fines Roches in Châteauneuf-du-Pape

8. In the poppies, wheat or sunflower fields

There is a reason why people from all over the world flock to Provence during the summertime… In addition to all the reasons mentioned above, Provence signature flowers are in bloom during the summer months. A field full of red poppies is the sign of Summer starting in Provence.

First come the poppies (peak season mid-May), then the lavender (from mid-June to late July), followed by sunflowers (July/August). Wheat fields also make a wonderful spot for warm toned photos!

These fields are all privately owned and will be harvested, so be respectful if you visit them and don’t pick the flowers or trample them.

9. Les Baux de Provence and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

If you are looking for the authentic postcard image of Provence, look no further than the Alpilles mountain range! The area holds some of Provence’s most famous tourist sites, such as the Roman ruins of Glanum, the medieval village of Les Baux de Provence and the sophisticated village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, surrounded by a sun-kissed landscape of cypress trees, olive groves and sunflowers.

Photo session at Domaine de Manville in Les Baux de Provence

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is a must-see for art and history lovers for its medieval walls, ornate fountains and one of the oldest arcs de triomphe in the country. Van Gogh produced some of his most celebrated works here such as The Starry Night (1889) and his The Wheat Field series (1889–1890).

Les Baux de Provence sits on a rocky spur built on the hillside. It’s name comes from bauxite (a kind of aluminium ore), which was discovered here. The remarkable panoramic views make an amazing location for a photo session as much as the village itself.

10. Anywhere in Provence!

There is no dearth of picturesque locations in Provence. It's like a gourmet platter of photogenic sceneries!

Additional wonderful spots for photography include: Grignan, Eygalières, Le Pont du Gard, Uzès, Montpellier, Camargue, Aix en Provence, Sainte-Victoire mountain, Fontaine de Vaucluse, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Vaison la Romaine, Mont-Ventoux, Lacoste, Ménerbes, Bonnieux, Ansouis, Cucuron, Gorges du Verdon, Gréoux-les-Bains, Cassis and Calanques of Marseille...

I can't wait to know all your wishes for your Provence photo session! Let me know about your project here. In addition to advising you on the most perfect location for your Provence photoshoot, I'll give you all my tips on what to wear on your photo session and my prefered vendors to make this moment extra special: makeup artist, florist, ceremony officiant, vintage or luxury car chauffeur...

Hello, Marie!

Thank you so much, pictures are truly wonderfull!

That is great present for our wedding.

We really enjoyed staying in Provence and meeting you, guys 🙂
Hope to see you in Moscow !

Have a good week !;)

Anna K.

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What to wear for your photo session?

Trying to figure out what outfits you should wear for your photo session is very different from choosing what to wear on any given day!

I’m going to share with you my favorite tips to help you pick out the perfect oufits for you and your loved ones.

Coordinate but don’t match

Matching the entire family with the exact same outfit is not as cute as it sounds. Instead, pick a color palette to work with and add some neutrals such as grey, white or cream. Solid colors tend to work better than patterns. Feel free to layer up different textures as well. And don’t be afraid to dress up for your photo session!

Choose the right colors

Please, don’t wear all black. Even if in real life you love wearing that color (girl, I sure do!), it won’t look so good on camera. It’ll be moody and a little boring. We want your personnality to show so don’t be afraid to wear color!

Go for soft and light colors for a nice pop from the background but don’t feel like you need to wear bright colors, unless you’re really comfortable wearing those. Pastel photographs beautifully.

Details matter

Forget any graphic t-shirts, logos and mixing patterns. No way!

But don’t forget the shoes: it would totally ruin your look if you wore sneakers with a pretty dress, right? Also don’t think that because you’re wearing a long dress we won’t see your feet! Some poses will sure expose them.

Classic VS current trend

Classic, always go for classic! When you look at those pictures 5 or 20 years from now, you’ll be glad you didn’t go for that weird, short-lived trendy style. A classic never goes out of style and your photos will be timeless.

Accessories are great!

They not only add to your overall outfit, but they also give you something to play with on camera! Think jewelry, sunglasses, scarves, bow ties, suspenders, hats, watches, flowers… they will give variety to your photos without having to plan an entire wardrobe change.

Make sure you’re comfortable

There are two goals to your photo session: to create beautiful images and to have fun! But if you’re uncomfortable the entire time, you sure won’t enjoy the experience. Same goes with kids. They sure won’t be able to “smile for the camera” if all they can think about is to get it over with. So try on outfits beforehand.

Comfort also means feeling your best! Make sure your clothes fit you really well. You don’t want your clothes to make you look bigger that you actually are, right? So make sure your clothes aren’t too tight but hug your waist: that’s always more flattering.

Also, ladies: bring some flat shoes so you’re able to do some walking around during your photo session and quickly swap them with your heels… It’ll be our secret!

Dressing for cold weather

The last thing you want is to be freezing cold while taking pictures! In order to avoid that, wear a thin and tight bodysuit under your clothes that won’t add any bulk. Fleece is your friend! If you don’t want it to show, you can layer fleece tights or leggings under your jeans or wear a fleece jacket to take off during shooting only. Don’t let your feet get cold or you’ll feel cold all over! If you can, wear an extra pair of socks or skin color tights + socks. Same with your hands: bring a warm pair of gloves which can be a nice prop as well for fall or winter photoshoots! And of course: cute hats and scarves.

In the end, if you fall in love with an outfit that doesn’t fit these suggestions, you can still wear it on your photo session, but as long as you follow at least the main guidelines, you’ll be good to go!

I hope my tips helped you out and I’m sure you’ll look amazing!

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10 dreamy locations for a photo session in Paris

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!

Brooke A.

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.

You’ve found your photographer!! Trust me! After weeks of reading reviews and reaching out to many photographers, I found Marie and immediately knew I wanted to book her for my fiance and I’s engagement shoot! I was blown away by her beautiful work, great value, and excellent communication. She was genuinely interested in our story and making the whole experience fun and carefree. This was our first time getting professional photos taken and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. She was very kind to email back and forth regarding spots I wanted for my shoot and even suggested some great ideas I hadn’t seen. Marie is very easy to work with and an extremely kind and talented professional. She was able to work magic in one photo removing an errant strap on my dress without a trace. She’s also 100% fluent so don’t worry at all about any communication barriers!

Kelly L.

5. Montmartre

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.

Ryan C.

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!!

Nick R.