A really important question I get a lot - which locations do you recommend for our portraits? Most of my couples are visiting Paris for the first time, so they rely on me for suggestions. If you know of IheartParis from Instagram, you can have a clear idea of what is available for sessions in the city of Paris and I usually added a few links from the feed as examples when replying to my couples. Now that the new site is up and running, I thought it would be good to create a more comprehensive post about each location either Anastasia or myself has photographed in and a few notes about each one of them. The idea is for this to become a little guide for you guys and, if there are questions that come up after reading this, send me a message :)
Perhaps the most iconic location of Paris for its jaw-dropping and unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower. If you wonder why there are no photos from the plaza above, it is because the left side of this place is under renovations since the summer of 2014 and it won't be ready for a couple more years. The most important thing to know about this place is that we have to start the session as early as possible before it gets too crowded. This means getting up rather early in the summertime to be there around 6.30am and get the sweet morning light before the sun is too high up.
This is for the immediate area around the Eiffel Tower including the bank of the Seine and Champs de Mars. Like Trocadéro, the earlier we get there the better and these are a short walk away from it. I am skipping underneath the Tower itself because it has been fenced off by security ever since the EuroCup started in June 2016.
Here is another classic view of the Eiffel Tower that can be used at any point of the day, really. It can be added to a route in the morning after Trocadéro or in the afternoon after Bir Hakeim.
If you are into movies as much as I am, you will recognise this bridge from Christopher Nolan's Inception. This is the To-Go spot for a good Eiffel Tower view during the day if the morning time is not possible. In the middle of the bridge on the side facing the Tower, there is a small balcony of sorts with a statue and it is perfect for photos. It is also a short walk away from Trocadéro and Passy.
Alexander 3 Bridge
From the many bridges that cross the Seine in the City of Light, this one is the most photogenic by far. With dark, gold and white, it looks amazing on camera from every angle, even the underbelly. Like most of the locations in Paris, the best time to shoot here is at sunrise. During the summer, we can do photos on the middle of the street, and in winter, the light is so soft and delicate that everything looks dreamy.
Once the royal palace of the French monarchy, this monument is one of most majestic buildings in Paris. It is timeless. It also one of the most visited museums in the world which poses a particular challenge to us photographers. As usual, it helps if the session is early in the morning, in the colder months or on Tuesdays when the museum is closed. Nevertheless, some of the angles present manageable situations where the crowd issue is not a problem, but some patience might be needed at later times of the day.
Notre Dame and Saint Germain
This area presents a lot of options for Parisian street scenes as well as showcasing the Notre Dame cathedral within the same space. They are literally across the river and just one short walk away from each other. This area also ties in beautifully with the next sections of the riverside.
Riverside by the islands
The islands of Cité and Saint Louis are well known for Notre Dame and also having amazing areas by the river because they are in the heart of the city. It is perfect for having a picnic if the weather is nice or drinks during a nice summer evening.
The home of the Sacred Heart Basilica - or Sacre Coeur - on top of the hills of Montmartre, it is by far one of my favorite places to start a morning session with the city of Paris starting to get blanketed by the sunlight. Then, the cute streets of the neighbourhood are filled with cafés, stores and art galleries that add tot he magic of the place. It also has some vineyards by the Maison Rosé and the LoveWall at the bottom of the hills.
Uber cute pedestrian street where all the houses are painted in the most gorgeous pastel colours - which really breaks away from the traditional Parisian palette and makes it unique. This street is on the western side of the city close to Gare de Lyon and, being a private street, one has to be quiet during the morning sessions to not wake up the locals.
Once a royal palace and property, now it holds one of the most beautiful gardens in France. It is obviously very popular, but it is possible to use it for sessions as the property is quite spacious. Really, it is huge.