Hello fellow Francophiles, Paris lovers and admirers of all things romantic! In this article we are going to talk about the most Romantic City in the World. No, sorry, it's not Berlin, nice try though! One of the most common questions I get asked is for my recommendations on places in Paris to shoot. One day I'll take the time to actually GPS geotag my best photos and share them with you but for now this is going to have to do.
Okay with that being said we shall proceed! Where was I? Oh yes, Paris. Let's talk about great photo opportunities. I have been taking photos of Paris for almost two decades now and wanted to share some unique views where you can see Paris from a Parisian’s viewpoint. Little known locations you might miss if you were on a quick tourist visit. This is far from a complete list but it is a good start to get your photographic juices flowing!
Having a photo of this iconic landmark is probably the only acceptable proof you have of ever having gone to Paris. If you don't have one, no one will believe that you went there. The most classic shots of the Eiffel tower are taken from the Champs de Mars, the Eiffel Tower itself and the Place Trocadéro, you will find thousands of tourists there taking similar shots! So let's do something different shall we?
The frame in the frame of the Eiffel Tower (Map link here)
On a small side street in the 16th arrondissement there is a beautiful and rarely seen view of the tower. The Eiffel Tower is framed by very nice Haussmannian buildings.
The Bir-Hakeim Bridge (map link here)
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, an architect who funnily enough has the same last name as the Eiffel tower built the Bir-Hakeim Bridge. Oh wait! That's because he built both of them. Snap! Anyways taking photographs near this bridge will give you some amazing compositional opportunities and some unique views.
The Eiffel Tower Itself (map link here)
In one of the funnest photo shoots I have ever done in Paris, I was with my good friend and mentor Scott Kelby and we were right at the bottom of it trying different angles and wondering how we could get an original photo that no one had shot. After a few misfires, I had a lightbulb go off over my head and decided to try and make a panorama of three photos to capture the beauty of the structure. I'm sure if you go there you will be inspired to find unique views of your own to capture it!
The view from the Alexandre III Bridge (map link here)
This is my favorite bridge in Paris what with its amazing lights, sculptures and elegant structure. Find unique views and compositions from here to get some great photos:
The three bridges in Paris you must shoot
The next is a similar composition but from the other side with with Les Invalides behind:
There is nothing like seeing the City of Lights from a high vantage point, here are the 4 best places for me.
The roof of the Tour Montparnasse (map link here)
Tip: Tripods are not allowed up there, but if you take a half emptied bag of rice you can use it as a ‘tripod’ by positioning the bag of rice on the edge of the monument (after the barrier) to take a beautiful night shot which is great as the Arc de Triomphe is open late!
View of the Eiffel Tower:
View of La Defense:
The Terrace of l’Institue du Monde Arabe (map link here)
Tip: Shoot it as a pano on a tripod with a 35mm lens. You should be able to get it in 4 photos and as cars are not permitted on this street, you should have a clean view.
Behind the Sacré Coeur (map link here)
Getting good shots of this icon of Paris is usually a problem because the front is almost always full of people. But if you go behind the Sacré Coeur it is usually empty and has some great photo opportunities after sunset.
The Montmartre stairs (map link here)
The Saint Martin Canal (map link here)
My office used to be quite close to hear and I always loved the composition of these stairs. It felt a bit like the countryside in the middle of the city:
The Sénat at the Luxembourg Gardens (map link here)