Paris, the city of dreams. Especially if you are a photographer, the city conjures up romantic inspiration and in reality does not fail to deliver. Here are my favourite places to shoot for first-timers (maybe even second and third timers) to Paris!
An obvious one but it has to be said. The best pictures of the Eiffel Tower can be taken from the carousel across the bridge from the tower. Offering stunning frames between the carousel and the tree-lined pathway, you glimpse the full tower across the statue decorated pedestrian (and now car) bridge. The beautiful white stone coupled with dark metal statues on a fall day creates a beautiful contrast that, in my opinion, captures the real spirit of Paris. Cozy, stark and simply elegant. The lights of the tower turn on at dusk, with the sparkling light show on the hour every hour all night. Do note however, that the light show is technically a commissioned artwork, and cannot be photographed for commercial use or without crediting the developer (Pierre Bideau).
Pere Lachaise Cemetery
If gothic architecture and Tim Burton-esque styles draw your eye, head over to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery outside of the hip neighbourhood of Le Marais (more on this later). The cobblestone pathways conjure up a feel of times past, and each tomb is more elaborate than the next in the old part of the cemetery. Haphazardly placed close together like some sort of miniature horror movie set storage, the cemetery is home to many monuments and celebrities laid to rest. The wrought iron gates line this massive cemetery which is also the final resting place of Jim Morrison.
The most recently gentrified part of Paris, Le Marais is home to the young Parisian art generation. Home to quirky street art alongside baroque monuments, the area offers a unique modern/medieval dichotomy that delights the eye. Spread over twenty blocks, you will need to wander the side streets as you discover a new piece seemingly around every corner.
Maison Esprit Boudoir
You will have to contact the company beforehand, but this charming Parisian house offers glamorous backdrops for interior shots. Holding onto its roots, this restored building is quintessential Paris. Think french windows, arched ceilings, baroque stairways and boudoir inspired rooms. Romance and vintage meet at this idyllic location which is a favourite for wedding shoots.
This shopping complex is opposite the Opera House, and is just as elaborate. Gold verandas overlook marble floors in the ever bustling building which is home to a unique themed Christmas tree every year, an ice themed winter bar and 360 views of Paris from the rooftop. The interior dome is encased in rainbow stained glass, and is dazzling when the sun is high, capturing the rays on the walls and floors of the mall.
The Basilica itself is impressive from the front, but it is the rear that really offers character. The front facade is well maintained and clean for the masses of tourists that trek up the hill to visit this monumental building, but the back, in the shadows, still dark and wise from years of standing on the hill, is my favourite part. Here, the building seems as if it is partly still in the past, with iron gates, gothic windows and peeling doors. The nearby village of Montmartre is a few steps away. An intricate network of sloping cobbled streets and higgledy-piggledy storefronts make it feel like Belle’s provincial town. You will find artists immortalizing this unique crevice in paint and film at every corner.