Photography in Paris
There is no doubt that Paris is one of the most photogenic cities in the world, photography in Paris is a wonder! With all the stunning landmarks, where are the best photo spots in Paris? What are the best places for a Paris photo shoot? Here is a list of the 10 not-to-be-missed Paris photography locations, the best photo spots Paris has to offer and that you can follow when you visit Paris.
A Guest Post by Angel Ho, Professional Photographer in Paris, France
Paris Photo Shoot Map
From the best places to take pictures of Eiffel Tower to some secret photo spots, Paris is a paradise for professional photographers or amateurs. We have located the best places to take photos in Paris in this Paris Photography Map.
My Photography Equipment for Paris Photo Shoots
Before I started my 1 year trip to Europe, I was using Canon 6D. I was planning to upgrade it to a full-frame camera and a lighter camera body. Sony a7iii is a great choice and I have been very happy with it.
Sony a7iii is a full-frame mirrorless camera interchangeable-lens, certainly a game-changer. Sony A7iii body weighs 650g and it is easy to carry around.
I have been using the iPhone for a few years and currently using iPhone 7 plus. You can take great photos with iPhone 7 plus, edit them with apps and share them on social media right away.
During my travel, I was in places that don’t allow me to take photos with a camera, so the iPhone 7 plus did the job instead, and the result was pretty amazing.
My main lens is the kit lens Sony 28-70mm F3.5-5.6. I need a lens that is not too heavy or bulky, and good enough for daily use. When I am not working, I prefer something light and easy to carry around. This kit lens Sony 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 is perfect for it.
This Samyang SYIO3514-E lens is for special occasions – when I need to shoot wide-angle, northern light or star photos. When you shoot photos of northern light or star photos, you need a lens with a wide aperture, this lens is perfect for it, it can open up to F1.4. I choose a manual focus lens as it’s a lot cheaper as I don’t use it often. It is of great price-quality.
Last but not least, Sigma 50mm f1.4 art HSM (ART) Cannon mount with adaptor for Sony is my favorite lens. Not just a portrait lens, sometimes I just take this one lens and shoot everything with it. Images taken with this lens is sharp. And I really love the bokeh it creates.
~~ Best Photo Spots in Paris ~~
These are in my opinion the best photo spots in Paris, in no particular order, perfect for a great Paris photo shoot. For each photo location, I also tell you my best photo tips so you can take the best photos in Paris.
#1 Eiffel Tower from Trocadero
The famous Eiffel Tower, in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris, is one of the most photographed towers in the world. Even if you don’t plan to go up the tower, you can’t come to Paris and not get a close look at it!
What is the best view of Eiffel Tower? Where can you take the best Eiffel Tower pictures? There are so many viewpoints to see Eiffel Tower but one of the best places to take cool Eiffel Tower pictures is, in my opinion, from Trocadero (16th Arrondissement of Paris) which is right across the river from the beautiful Eiffel Tower.
If you want to get beautiful pictures of Eiffel Tower from Trocadero with fewer crowds, get there at sunrise. In the morning you will usually see lots of people taking pre-wedding/engagement Eiffel Tower photos, normal tourists start to show up around 9 am.
TIP: I was once there at 7 am but it was so cloudy I couldn’t see the Eiffel Tower! In order not to be disappointed, check the Eiffel Tower live webcam before you head out.
These kinds of pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower are the favorites amongst my clients. Also, be super careful with your personal belongings. I was there with 2 photographers from New York and we mistakenly put our bags on the ground as there were not too many people. Suddenly a few guys came towards us and the second you know it, one of our bags was gone. Do not leave your valuables unattended anywhere in Paris.
Eiffel Tower photography is also wonderful after sunset. The Eiffel Tower lights up hourly from sunset until 1 am or 2 am during summer. It is just so romantic to see the sparkling Eiffel Tower, also not to mention it is more photogenic! The illumination lasts around 5 mins each time, do not miss it!
#2 The Louvre Pyramid
The Louvre Pyramid is the main entrance of the Louvre Museum and certainly one of the most iconic attractions in Paris. The place is full of people most of the time. There so many different angles you can take great shots of the Louvre Pyramid from the outside, just walk around it and explore!
The fountain between the Louvre Pyramid and the Louvre Palace is not always on. According to my observation, it is only on during summer starting from mid-May. You know they are French, so who knows for sure?
TIP: If you want to get a photo with fewer crowds, get there before 8 am.
The Louvre Pyramid at Midnight
They close the courtyard of the Louvre at midnight. I was shooting pre-wedding photos at night and the security guard asked us to leave at midnight because they need to close the area.
#3 Sacre Coeur View with Staircase
Located in the quintessential neighborhood of Montmartre, Sacre Coeur is not to be missed when you visit the 18th Arrondissement of Paris. The place is very lively and packed with people sitting on the staircase listening to live music shows.
Sacre Coeur is another of the best photography spots in Paris, with great photo opportunities. Apart from taking Sacre Coeur photos, don’t forget to look down: you can get a nice view of Paris from above.
TIP: In order to get a photo of the whole Sacre Coeur without distortion, go further down the staircase. Otherwise, the church is distorted if you take a photo up close.
#4 Pont Alexandre III, the Most Beautiful Paris Bridge
There are so many bridges in Paris, Pont Alexandre iii on the Seine is definitely my favorite one! This Paris bridge full of lavish decorations, and Art Nouveau lamps.
When you are at the bridge, you can have Les Invalides or Eiffel Tower in the background. There are 2 sides of the bridges, also you can go down to the river Seine, do go explore around!
My favorite time to shoot at Pont Alexandre iii is during sunset, where you can get both day and night time photos. There is no official time of when the lamps will light up, when I was there in may it lights up around 9:30 pm shortly after the sun has set. So be patient!
#5 The Tuileries Gardens
Across the road from the Louvre is the famous Tuileries Garden. The park is full of fountains, green trees and surrounded by historical French buildings, it is easy to find beautiful spots to take photos in the Tuileries!
If you walk from the Louvre to Tuileries, you will see Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel as the entrance. Be there early in the morning if you don’t want any people in your photo.
Tip: At the end of Tuileries where Concorde is, you can get a photo with Eiffel Tower as background.
#6 Arc de Triomphe
This is another of the main Paris tourist attractions which are great for a photo session in Paris. The beautiful national symbol Arc de Triomphe is located in the center of a roundabout, so there is usually crazy traffic unless you are there early in the morning or late at night.
Most crowds gather at Avenue des Champs-Elysées, the famous shopping street in Paris. Do yourself a favor and walk around to get better shots with fewer people!
Tip: Use a portrait lens to take close up of people to avoid other people in your photo.
#7 Palais Royal/ Buren Columns
The Royal Palace of Paris is just 5 mins walk from the Louvre, so it is good to plan the visit together. The black and white Buren Columns in the Royal Palace are very eye-catching. It is great a Paris photo session, especially for group and family photos as each person can get their own column, they can sit or stand on the column and try different poses.
Don’t forget to check out the park and fountain behind the Buren columns, it is also a lovely spot to take photos in Paris.
Tip: Use a wide-angle lens to get a wide shot of the Buren columns with the Royal Palace.
#8 The Eiffel Tower from Av New York
This is certainly not one of the most known Paris photography spots, but I find this view of Eiffel Tower rather cute! At Avenue New York you can take beautiful photos of Paris, it shows the chic Parisian city with Eiffel Tower in the background.
#9 Luxembourg Gardens
Luxembourg Gardens is one of my favorite parks in Paris. It is quiet and peaceful and with many Paris photo shoot ideas. The palace is not open for the public but it is great for taking pictures.
Go check out Marie De Medicis Fountain, right next to the Luxembourg Palace. The beautiful fountain is one of the oldest fountains in the city and also one of the must take pictures of Paris. And not like other big round fountains you see in Paris, this one is long and narrow, with stunning sculpture at the end of the pool. Medicis Fountain is also considered one of the most romantic places in Paris.
#10 Petit Palais
Right next to Pont Alexandre, Le Petit Palais is a great place to visit and the last (but not the least) of this Paris photo locations list. The main entrance is a grand staircase leading to a magnificent golden gate and it is perfect for a photo shoot in Paris.
If you want to shoot with the door closed, you have to be there before the Museum opens or after it is closed.
The permanent exhibition of the museum is free to visit, so I would recommend you to take photos of the door before the museum is open and then visit the museum when it is open.
My Favorite Accessories for Photography in Paris
My Tripod: Manfrotto – Compact Light Aluminium Tripod is not light – it weighs 800g, but I do need something strong to hold my camera. Besides self-portrait, a tripod is required when you take photos of Northern light or stars.
When I am traveling, especially flying, I need a camera bag to keep my camera and my lenses safe. This Wandrdprvke 21L bag is specially designed for it. It is functional, good looking and waterproof. You can arrange your own space for the bottom part of the bag according to your needs. I can put my camera with easy access with 2 other lends in the bottom part when I travel.
Angel Ho, Freelance Photographer Paris. Angel Ho is an adventurer and professional photographer based in Hong Kong and Paris. 41 countries and counting. You will find her hiking or skiing/snowboarding in the mountains in different countries, diving in the blue ocean in some remote islands or wandering in Paris. You can contact her at hello [at] angelphotography.com. More about Angel’s work on her Photography Website | Photography Instagram | Travel Blog | Travel Instagram |
Did you like this list of best spots for a Paris photo shoot? What are your favorite Paris photography spots?
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