The essential checklist—what to wear, awesome photoshoot ideas, fantastic photo locations, photography packages, and much more.Learn More Chapter 2
MUST-READ: this section is a total game-changer when you are serious about preparation.Learn More Chapter 3
Seriously fun, romantic and unforgettable Paris photoshoot ideas.Learn More Chapter 4
Discover the best Paris photoshoot spots, including iconic, romantic and even little-known places.Learn More Chapter 5
Paris photoshoot outfits: dress to impress.Learn More Chapter 6
VIEW GALLERY: swoon-worthy couple photos (engagement, honeymoon, anniversary and elopement) & solo portraits.Learn More
The perfect Paris photoshoot checklist when you want to dot the i's and cross the t's
There’s more to acing a professional photo shoot in Paris than hiring a talented English-speaking photographer. In our experience, the most crucial success factor is preparation.
What’s ‘good prepping,’ you may ask? The answer may surprise you: great preparation results in a more fun photo adventure with plenty of laughs, beautiful poses, and amazing pictures. In the end, that’s what counts, right?
The best professional photo sessions flow naturally while displaying a mix of fabulous photo spots, eye-catching props, stylish outfits, and mouth-watering chemistry.
9 Ways To Prepare For Your Paris Photoshoot
- Decide on the perfect Paris photography package.
- Reach out to your photographer as soon as possible.
- Ask your artist to help finetune your photo session’s exact starting time and optimal itinerary.
- Map out your perfect Paris photoshoot with a Pinterest board.
- It’s time to think about logistics—how to get around Paris during your photo shoot efficiently.
- Hire a so-called photographer’s associate.
- Dress to impress!
- When it’s cold outside, dress in layers.
- Chemistry and the Delicate Art of the Kiss (this tip applies to couples).
It’s possible to hire a Paris photographer for as little as Euro 200 per hour and our rates start at only Euro 250 per hour. That said, photographers are not created equal and their rates can vary substantially.
The best way to decide on the perfect travel-shoot package is to browse this guide from top to bottom. You’ll know where you stand, and have an excellent idea of how many hours of photography coverage are ideal for you based on:
- the type (and occasion) of photoshoot (solo traveler/blogger/influencer, couples, family, marriage proposal, elopement, intimate wedding …);
- your desired photo locations;
- attire changes; and
- Pack all props and outfits the night before the shoot;
- Check the weather here when you wake up;
- Download WhatsApp and charge your cell phone—you’ll want it to communicate with your photographer, take a selfie, possibly revisit your Pinterest board, and flag down an UBER;
- Leave all valuable items (that are non-essential for your photo session) at the hotel, so they’re not lost or stolen;
- If you hired a beauty artist, make sure she wraps up in time (the last thing you want is to arrive at your photoshoot late or stressed);
- Optionally, pack a pair of comfy shoes to get from one location to the next. Louboutins are not walking shoes!
- On cool winter days, dress in layers and consider hand warmers;
- Optionally, bring breath fresheners when you anticipate a lot of kissing;
- Leave your hotel early! There’s no harm in arriving at the meeting point before your photographer. Worst case, you grab a quick café, right? Please do not underestimate the Parisian traffic. Relatedly, expect UBER drivers to cancel on short notice;
- Text your photographer (and any other core vendors) when you leave your hotel, so we know you’re on time;
- Trust in your photographer, give 100%, have a laugh, and enjoy your time in Paris.
The best time of day for photo sessions depends on your choice of photo spots, biorhythm, dinner plans, whether your kids play nice, …
Our favorite times of the day are sunrise and evening, including the Blue Hour and night.
The Golden Hour.
Sunrise is when the sun slowly appears over the horizon in the morning. Sunrise times depend on the season and start around 5.45 AM in June and 8.45 AM in late December.
Benefits of a sunrise photoshoot:
- the only time to get spectacular photos at busy photo locations when you want to avoid crowds;
- expect some of the softest lighting conditions;
- Your sunrise photoshoot will typically wrap up early. You’ll have almost the entire day left for sightseeing, shopping, and even day trips to Versailles, Disneyland, …
- Great opportunity for silhouettes, which you can get shortly before sunrise;
Reasons not to do your photo session at sunrise:
- waking up early can result in less sleep and hurried breakfast, which can beget fatigue;
- Sunrise tends to be less romantic than the evening.
- Your professional beauty artist may charge a premium to come to your hotel early.
Evening photography—the ‘Blue Hour.’
The period when the day ends and the evening begins. Sunset times differ based on season and can start as early as 4.50 PM around New Year and as late as 10:00 PM in June.
Advantages of doing your shoot in the evening:
- it’s the most romantic time of the day;
- soft light ensures no squinting, blown-out details, and undesirable shadows;
- opportunity to get daylight, the ‘Blue Hour,’ and nighttime Paris photography within a single hour of photography coverage;
- a later starting time means you’ll have the opportunity to do professional beauty services.
Reasons not to do your Paris photoshoot in the evening:
- some Parisian locations are not possible due to crowds;
- you’ll require an associate to help with lighting and crowd/theft management;
- You’re less likely to receive a preview of same-day edited photos.
Nighttime Paris Photoshoot.
The time when Paris feels most alive.
Advantages of doing your photo session at nighttime:
- expect more privacy than earlier in the day;
- you have enough time to hire a professional makeup artist;
- best chance to get epic Champagne pop photographs.
Reasons not to do a professional photo shoot when it’s dark:
- expect fewer photos because it takes time for your photographer to control the lighting;
- you’ll need to enlist an associate for lighting and crowd/theft management;
- artificial lighting sources, such as flash, can result in unflattering shadows, skin reflections, and squinting eyes.
- nighttime sessions can delay dinner plans.
The location decision is so consequential that we dedicated an entire chapter to helping you identify the perfect Paris photoshoot spots.
Paris is blessed with insanely romantic, unique, and swoon-worthy photo spots.
In general, it helps to differentiate between:
- public settings (free of charge and widely accessible to anyone) and private settings (you pay a premium in return for exclusivity and privacy);
- Eiffel Tower views vs. non-Eiffel Tower views
A private setting—such as a Parisian residential rooftop, hotel terrace, yacht, French Chateau, or even your hotel suite—is not always prettier than its public alternative. Yet, there are significant differences—notably for intimate events, such as marriage proposals, elopements, and anniversaries).
While not a definitive list, here are some of the most popular public spots to do a photoshoot in Paris (in no particular order):
Trocadero (Eiffel Tower view; public): the most iconic and instantly recognizable place in Paris for photos. We only recommend it around sunrise unless you enjoy waiting in line, dealing with vendors, and other curious onlookers.
Montmartre (non-Eiffel Tower view; public): Suppose you’re after picturesque Parisian cafes and enchanting cobblestone streets. Then Montmartre, including Sacré-Cœur, La Maison Rose, and Place du Tertre, deserves real consideration. Montmartre works particularly well around sunrise and early morning but is also super-pretty in the evening. It is the best place for fun caricatures, pretty cafe photoshoots, and when you want a primary location that says Paris without the Eiffel Tower.
Bir-Hakeim Bridge (Eiffel Tower view; public): a famous bridge with instantly recognizable architecture. It works pretty well for solo and couple photos, but not so much for families or marriage proposals (due to the traffic). While not particularly romantic or private, the bridge offers incredible photo variety, and is a fantastic rain alternative when you have your heart set on the Eiffel Tower.
Alexander III Bridge (subtle Eiffel Tower view; public): among the most elegant and beautiful bridges in Paris, Alexander III photographs well any time of the day and night. Expect a more subtle view of the Eiffel Tower. This bridge is the perfect hub if you want nearby Petit Palais and the Seine River; alternatively, make the Louvre Museum or Montmartre your next stop.
Louvre Pyramid (non-Eiffel Tower view; public): the iconic museum is among the most recognizable and pretty monuments. Sure, the museum is public, and you’ll need to show up early to beat the crowds. Yet, this stunning glass-and-metal structure is incredible when you’re after the WOW factor and something different from the Eiffel Tower.
Tuileries Garden Terrasse du Bord de l’Eau (non-Eiffel Tower view; public): located in the heart of the City and flanked on both sides by towering trees, this magnificent walkway is an ideal proposal setting when you desire privacy but don’t want to rent a rooftop, terrace, or French Chateau. The esplanade works pretty well any time of the day (note: verify the opening hours). The Louvre museum, Palais-Royal, Pont des Arts, and lively cafes are merely minutes away by foot.
Luxembourg Gardens (non-Eiffel Tower view; public). A place of unpretending natural beauty, the Luxembourg Gardens will charm you with idyllic lawns, tree-lined alleys, and the fabulous Medici Fountain. It’s a fantastic spot for dreamy picnics, intimate elopements, couple photography, and marriage proposals. However, verify the park’s opening hours and arrive before the tourists.
Pont des Arts (non-Eiffel Tower view; public). This pedestrian bridge is superb when your lover desires some of the most picturesque vistas along the Seine River. While attaching engraved padlocks to the bridge is no longer possible, you’ll definitely not be disappointed. Pont des Arts offers expansive views of Paris and the best time to propose is sunrise and early morning.
Moulin Rouge (non-Eiffel Tower; public). Lights, music, stage, extravaganza … no nighttime Paris photoshoot would be complete without a bigger-than-life Champagne pop at Moulin Rouge.
This infamous and flashy nightclub might be most renowned for its spectacular cabaret performances. Still, it’s also one of the most instantly recognizable Parisian reference points, perfect for epic photos.
We suggest starting your evening session near Sacré-Cœur, followed by a cute Café Paris photoshoot in the Place du Tertre square. Next, head to La Maison Rose for infinitely Pin-able romantic pictures before wrapping things up in-style at Moulin Rouge.
Palais Royal (non-Eiffel Tower; public).
No serious discussion of the best photo locations in Paris would be complete without considering Palais Royal and its magnificent gardens.
A Holywood favorite, this former palace would be our top choice when you’re after maximum photo variety in a short time.
It’s almost mind-boggling that one primary location could combine playful black and white striped (Buren) columns with expansive courtyards, fountains, and tranquil gardens.
Combine Palais Royal with a quintessential Parisian cafe and the Louvre.
Seine River (non-Eiffel Tower; public).
Notre Dame (non-Eiffel Tower; public).
Sure, Notre Dame is officially closed until 2024. That does not mean it’s no longer one of the most photo-worthy locations in Paris.
Despite the construction surrounding the iconic Cathedral, the greater Notre Dame area is filled with fantastic photo spots, including the oldest Parisian cafe, Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole, the iconic bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, numerous stunning bridges, cobblestone streets, and more.
In fact, expressly because of the perception that the Cathedral is closed, you will not encounter large crowds—tourists, photographers, or otherwise.
Here are a few incredible private Paris photoshoot locations (in no particular order):
The Peninsula Paris (Eiffel Tower view; private): unlike some other Parisian hotels with Eiffel Tower views, The Peninsula offers a unique rooftop terrace that’s intimate, beautiful, and easily accessible. It’s reassuring that things always run smoothly at the Peninsula Hotel with time-tested, proven processes and palace-level service. Expect maximum privacy and unpretentious luxury. The most romantic time to do your photo shoot is around sunset.
The Shangri-La Paris (Eiffel Tower view; private): the Shangri-La is an exceptional alternative to the Peninsula and is considered by many to be the best place for an Eiffel Tower photoshoot. You’ll need to rent a suite with an exclusive deck.
Chateau de Villette (non-Eiffel Tower view; private). Located approximately 40km northeast of Paris, this ultra-exclusive historical landmark is unquestionably among the grandest French chateaux. You decide whether to use its lavish interiors or the splendidly manicured gardens (designed by André Le Nôtre, who also created the famous gardens of Château de Versailles). While Chateau de Villette is by design unaffordable for most, the sky is the limit when you have a healthy photography budget. Fly in on a helicopter or book a vintage Rolls-Royce with an elegant chauffeur.
Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte (non-Eiffel Tower view; private). Vaux le Vicomte is among the foremost French castles, located approximately 65 km from Paris. Unless you fly in by helicopter, you’ll generally ask an event planner to hire a luxury limo with a chauffeur. When you do a photoshoot at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte on a Saturday (7:00 PM – 12:00 AM) between May and October, you’ll be treated to spectacular 2,000 flickering candles and fireworks.
There are no hard rules regarding attire choices for your Paris photoshoot. It depends on your style, the occasion and type of photo session, and your chosen Parisian locations.
You can go with casual, formal, and, time permitting, a combination of both.
Remember that you’ll be photographed in the fashion capital of the known universe … so style matters (hey ladies … this is the perfect excuse to get that pair of red bottoms!).
That said, here are a few tried and tested recommendations:
- dress for how you’d like to be seen in your photographs;
- wear outfits that make you feel comfortable and confident and lift your mood;
- Avoid fine stripes, which can cause distracting moiré patterns in your images. Instead, when you want to make a statement, embrace bold prints and colors (red, purple, and yellow pop magnificently);
- Bring a pair of flats for the summer and boots in the winter to avoid foot fatigue while you’re not having pictures taken.
Paris is a terrific city to have professional photos taken—be it for couples, families or solo travelers.
The City of Love is not necessarily for everyone. Still, we Paris is the ultimate playground for a memorable travelshoot, and here’s why:
- From its luxurious shopping streets to the carefree Bohemian spirit of the Left Bank, Paris inspires with lively cafes and renowned art & architecture.
- Paris offers uncountable stunning photo shoot locations ranging from iconic Eiffel Tower spots to private yachts, palace hotel terraces, and straight-out-of-a-movie French castles.
- It’s pretty straightforward to identify English-speaking vendors to help you plan the perfect Paris photo session across time zones.
- Paris is always a good idea, right? You’ll certainly not run out of fun things to do [Here are the best restaurants in Paris with an Eiffel Tower view].
- Suppose you do desire a change of scenery. Then France offers more amazing attractions than you probably have vacation days.
- We’re big fans of the French Riviera, the Lavender Fields of Provence, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, and Bordeaux.
We need to talk about 9 ways to optimally prepare for your photo shoot (it's a Game-changer!).
1. Decide on the perfect Paris photography package
Most photography packages specify at least three critical elements:
- Date and duration of your shoot (amount of hours of commissioned photography/video coverage);
- Starting time(s);
- The name and contact particulars of your Paris photographer/videographer, including her WhatsApp; it is typically a safe and responsive method of communication.
2. Reach out to your photographer as soon as possible.
Don’t assume your artist will be available and super-responsive 1-2 days before your travelshoot—notably during peak season.
Tell your artist:
- About yourself;
- The occasion and type of photoshoot;
- Any initial photoshoot ideas;
- Preferred locations; and
- Include a recent photo of you (or your family/partner). This ensures that you instantly recognize each other and are not total strangers when you meet.
3. Ask your artist to help finetune your photo session’s exact starting time and optimal itinerary.
Your artist should specify the precise starting time, which can differ by several minutes from what our studio managers recommend.
Remember that your photographer is a local expert and knows best, so please always rely on her judgment for the final starting time and meeting spot.
She will also be able to give you a reality check on what can reasonably be accomplished in a given amount of time.
4. Map out your perfect Paris photoshoot with a Pinterest board.
A so-called Pinterest inspiration board is an excellent idea!
Storytelling your ideal photoshoot with a Pinterest board is fun and encourages you to invest time thinking about your shoot, come up with ideas you’ll love, and manage expectations with your photographer.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Pin from a great variety of sources, including our website galleries (this should be your primary source since you’re using images our studio has captured and presumably can capture again). Pinterest and Google image search are also fantastic resources.
- Initially be spontaneous and pin abundantly whatever appeals to you;
- Include a generous mix of your favorite Parisian locations, stylish outfits, creative props, fun photo ideas, and flattering poses;
- This may sound counterintuitive, but now eliminate aggressively and prioritize your favorite photo ideas until you have at most 20-30 pins left on your Pinterest board. It forces you to prioritize what’s what truly matters most. It also makes it easier and more meaningful for your photographer to provide feedback. In an ideal world, your photographer will provide actionable feedback on what’s possible for your particular shoot (keeping in mind the season, time of the day, and hours of photography coverage). She may also make a few related recommendations you may not have previously considered;
- Finally, ask your artist for feedback.
5. It’s time to think about logistics—how to get around Paris during your photo shoot efficiently.
- Walking: works well for primary locations, such as Trocadero, the Louvre, Montmartre, and Notre Dame, to name a few. Just bring some flats or otherwise comfy footwear. Louboutins are not walking shoes and can result in painful foot fatigue;
- UBER: Uber used to be our preferred method of getting around town—notably because it was cheaper, more convenient, and supportive of a better experience than taxis. Well, alas, that’s no longer the case in Paris, where UBER drivers often won’t pick you up for short rides, cancel without notice, and make you wait forever (time is money when it comes to photoshoots). We still use UBER, but please be warned
- Taxi: it’s likely a better alternative to UBER since it’s often cheaper, and you can use the bus & taxi lanes during rush hour
- Rent an air-confirmed Mercedes van with an English-speaking driver. It’s hands-down the best investment you’ll make when you want multiple locations, a discrete environment for outfit changes, and a safe space for your precious belongings and props. The van can easily seat larger families, plus your photographer, videographer, and makeup artist. It will save you money since you get much more out of your commissioned photography coverage.
6. Hire a so-called photographer’s associate.
An associate is compulsory for all our evening shoots since we need help with lighting as well as with crowd and theft management.
That said, adding an associate makes sense for almost any substantial shoot since she’ll
- Help you carry your props;
- Manage crowds;
- Call an UBER, flag down a taxi, or liaise with your van driver while you’re wrapping up a particular location
7. Dress to impress!
We could fill an entire guide on what to wear and which colors work best for a professional photoshoot.
Remember that Paris is the world’s fashion capital and style matters. So, dress a tad more elegantly.
Consider how your outfit harmonizes with your partner or family’s outfit(s). For substantial photoshoots, it’s encouraged to include both formal and casual options.
8. When it’s cold outside, dress in layers.
In the winter or when it’s cold outside, show up to your shoot in layers and consider bringing hand/feet warmers and comfy boots.
Booking a cozy Mercedes van is a life-saver on cold days since you can warm up between locations.
9. Chemistry and the Delicate Art of the Kiss (this tip applies to couples).
Our couples somehow consistently connect like rock stars. What’s the secret, you may ask? Well, it’s about chemistry with each other and comfort with their photographer.
Chemistry is about attraction, scent, passion, comfort with closeness, pheromones … the mysterious spark between two people. Above all, you need to feel comfortable breathing with each other. When you hold your breath, it is not sustainable.
More importantly, you end up thinking of the act of being photographed and the result instead of the significant other in front of you.
Tired of formulaic, uninspiring kisses? Well, you’re not alone. Let’s be clear: kissing is no requirement for awesome couple photos. And the moment before the kiss can be even more powerful in pictures.
Then again, we are Kiss Me in Paris, and bad kissing is unacceptable. So, pack some mints, displace camera awareness as swiftly as possible, and have fun.
Fabulous Paris photoshoot ideas you can make your own
What works well for one couple, solo traveler, or family may not be perfect for another.
The proven Paris photoshoot ideas below are merely a starting point, and it’s up to you to adapt them to your personality, interests, and photography package.
Unique Paris photoshoot ideas
Little known indoor Paris photoshoot ideas
Try the best French Boudoir in Paris (solo or couple)
Fun ideas for your photo session in Paris
Master the Champagne pop at Moulin Rouge
Spice things up with unique props
Elevate your photos with giant balloons props
The (almost) obligatory Paris cafe photoshoot
Themed Paris photoshoot ideas
Midnight in Paris
Emily in Paris
What are the best Paris Photoshoot locations?
Paris is blessed with ridiculously romantic, unique, and dreamy photo spots.
It helps to differentiate between:
- public settings (free of charge and widely accessible to anyone) and private settings (you pay a premium in return for exclusivity and privacy);
- Eiffel Tower views vs. non-Eiffel Tower views
- and locations that work well for solo portraits, couples, families, and large parties.
Famous Eiffel Tower Photoshoot Locations
Trocadero Eiffel Tower
Pont de Bir Hakeim
Pont Alexandre III
Quiet places for your photo session in Paris
Jardin du Luxembourg
Iconic places to do a photoshoot in Paris
Best French Chateau photo spots near Paris (ideal for stylized shoots and intimate events)
We booked a family photo session with Laurent, and our experience was simply wonderful! He was very knowledgeable about the best places to take photos around Paris and how to use our time best. The pictures turned out amazing.
The entire Kiss Me in Paris team was very friendly and accommodating: even before booking, they were forthcoming with terrific ideas and answered all my questions.
I highly recommend Kiss Me in Paris when you’re serious about professionalism, a memorable travelshoot, and stunning family photos worthy of framing.
— Valeria Balderramos
What to wear to your Paris photoshoot
There are no rules regarding attire choices for your photo session in Paris. Your style, the type of shoot, and preferred photo spots, collectively determine whether to go for casual, elegant, and, time permitting, a combination of both.
Remember that Paris is the world’s fashion capital … so dress to impress.
Here are a few suggestions:
- dress how you want to be seen in your pictures;
- choose attire that makes you feel confident and energizes you;
- consider textures and colors harmonize;
- Avoid stripes, which can result in moiré patterns in your photos. Rather go with bold prints and colors (red, orange and yellow are eye-catching).
- When you can’t quite make up your mind, err on the side of elegance. A classy black suit is timeless. Ladies, it’s impossible to go wrong with clean, soft pastels;
- for awe-inspiring silhouettes, try dark, fitted outfits and avoid whites.
- bring a pair of flats or other comfy shoes to protect your feet when moving from one location to the next (be gentle on your feet—Louboutin are not designed for hiking);
- arrive in layers on cold days and even consider bringing hand warmers;
Ready to reserve your Paris photoshoot?
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