Your questions answered by the most trusted Paris pre wedding photographer
You and your families are already super-excited about your upcoming wedding festivities. Meanwhile, you’re considering doing your pre-wedding photoshoot in Paris.
Still, it can be nerve-wracking to figure out the right time of the year to have your pictures taken and how far in advance to schedule your photo session.
Couples who achieve the most memorable Paris pre-wedding photography hire a Paris photographer several months in advance. As you can imagine, experienced artists get booked quickly—notably during peak season and on holidays.
But there’s more: you’ll have ample time to prepare, including renting a pre-wedding outfit, scheduling a beauty artist, securing a van to commute between locations conveniently, and, importantly, managing expectations with your artist.
Below, we addressed the most frequently asked questions about pre-wedding photography in Paris.
Paris is a fantastic place to do your pre wedding shoot. From its trendy shopping streets to the carefree Bohemian spirit of the Left Bank, the City of Lights tempts and inspires with lively cafés, world-renowned art & architecture, and countless hidden nooks to steal a few innocent French kisses.
4 Reasons for Paris pre wedding
- Paris boasts numerous postcard-worthy photo spots, including the iconic Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, picturesque Montmartre, the greater Notre Dame area, and countless French cafés and bridges.
- It’s surprisingly easy to hire talented English-speaking vendors (paris pre-wedding photographer, videographer, stylist, beauty artist, and private van with driver) from thousands of miles away.
- In case you’re unable or simply do not want to bring your wedding gown to Paris, it is not difficult to rent a quality dress at a reasonable price.
- Paris is always a good idea, right? You’ll certainly not run out of fun things to do. Here are the 6 most romantic places in Paris to kiss. Also, have a look at the best restaurants in Paris with an Eiffel Tower view.
The rate for a Paris pre-wedding photographer depends on multiple factors—notably on the artist’s quality and your Paris pre wedding photoshoot package. While you may be able to book an artist for as little as $26/per person, a minimum realistic starting price for an English-speaking Paris pre wedding photographer is around Euro 200/per hour. Our collections at Kiss Me in Paris start at only Euro 250/hour.
It may sound cliché, but you get what you pay for!
Kiss Me In Paris Pre Wedding Photographer’s Award-winning Work
Some emerging photographers in Paris will throw in the kitchen sink and even take a loss to build a photography portfolio. Still, ask yourself why anyone in demand would commute 45 minutes into the City before sunrise, spend an hour shooting, depreciate her gear, and edit your photos at such a low rate.
The reality is you’re already investing substantial time and resources into visiting Paris. Do you really want to risk a bad experience? Or worse yet, have no recourse when your artist does not show up or delivers unflattering pre wedding images?
Instead, we encourage you to reach out to a handful of established Paris photographers. Then, read up on reviews and probe for responsive communication.
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 for pre wedding pictures.
While not a definitive list, here are some of the most popular public spots to do a pre wedding 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): want quaint Parisian cafés and charming cobblestone streets? Then give Montmartre serious consideration. Like many tourist hotspots, Montmartre works best around sunrise and early morning. We cannot decide whether we prefer the expansive views immediately below Sacré-Cœur or the postcard-worthy winding street with La Maison Rose as the reference point.
Bir-Hakeim Bridge (Eiffel Tower view; public): a famous bridge with instantly recognizable architecture. While neither romantic nor private, the bridge offers incredible photo variety and is a fantastic rain alternative when you have your heart set on the Eiffel Tower pre wedding pics.
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 setting when you desire privacy but don’t want to rent a rooftop, terrace, or French Chateau. The esplanade works 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 natural beauty, the Jardin du Luxembourg will charm you with idyllic lawns, tree-lined alleys, and the historic Medici Fountain. Verify the opening hours and arrive early to beat 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; the best time for pre wedding Paris photos 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 pre wedding 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 Hollywood 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.
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 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 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.
The best time of the year to do a professional pre wedding shoot in Paris will be different for every couple.
Expect to pay a premium for travel and vendors during high season and on popular dates. January tends to be the cheapest month to stay and do a photoshoot in Paris. Conversely, Valentine’s Day, Christmas through New Year, and May, June, and September are relatively more expensive.
The summer months attract many tourists. Yet, Paris feels particularly empty, considering that most Parisians escape the City during the warm season from late June to early September.
As such, it’s easier to flag down a cab and commute between locations. Notably, it’s an excellent opportunity to get ridiculously unique photos in otherwise busy spots like Bir-Hakeim, Pont d’Iéna, and Place de la Concorde.
The best time of the day for a Paris photoshoot is when you feel most energized and happy.
Elements such as photo locations, jet lag, beauty services, dinner reservations, getting your kids ready, and other factors can make a difference.
That said, our favorite times of the day are sunrise, evening (including the so-called Blue Hour), and nighttime.
Sunrise Paris Photoshoot—The “Golden Hour.”
Sunrise is the time when the sun slowly appears over the horizon in the morning. Specific sunrise times depend on the time of the year and can start as early as 5.45 AM in June and as late as 8.45 AM around New Year.
Advantages of doing your pre wedding shoot in Paris at sunrise:
- it’s the only time of the day to get dazzling pictures at popular Parisian photo spots when you wish to avoid distracting crowds and overzealous vendors;
- expect some of the softest and most flattering lighting conditions;
- A sunrise photo session will presumably wrap up early. You’ll have almost the entire day left for sightseeing, shopping, and even visiting remote attractions like Versailles, Disneyland, Mont Saint-Michel, and the Loire Valley.
- great opportunity for silhouettes, which you can even get during civil twilight—the period immediately preceding official sunrise;
Reasons not to do a Paris photoshoot at sunrise:
- waking up early often means less sleep and hurried (or no) breakfast, which may result in fatigue and forgetfulness;
- Sunrise tends to be less romantic than the evening.
- Your professional makeup artist will probably charge a premium to come to your hotel early.
Evening (civil twilight) Paris Photoshoot—the “Blue Hour.”
The period when the day ends and the evening begins. Specific sunset times depend on the time of the year 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 Paris pre wedding session in the evening:
- the most magically romantic time of the day to have your pictures taken;
- soft, flattering light ensures no squinting in photos, no blown-out details in your outfits, and no distracting shadows;
- priceless opportunity to get daylight, the Blue Hour, and even nighttime images within a single hour;
- a later starting time means you have the chance to hire professional beauty services.
Reasons not to do a Paris photoshoot in the evening:
- some popular photo locations will not be an option due to crowds;
- you’ll need to invest in an associate to help with lighting and crowd management;
- You are less likely to already receive a preview of a few same-day edited photos.
Nighttime Paris Photoshoot.
The time of the day when it’s dark and the City of Lights feels most alive and fun.
Advantages of doing your Paris photoshoot at nighttime:
- expect more privacy than earlier in the evening;
- you have the time for professional beauty services before the photo session;
- the best chance to get legendary Champagne pop shots.
Reasons not to do a Paris photo shoot when it’s dark:
- expect fewer photos since it takes time to control lighting; set-ups can also take a little longer;
- you’ll need to invest in an associate to help with lighting and crowd management;
- Artificial light sources, such as flash or continuous light, can make you cast shadows, result in skin reflections, and occasionally squint your eyes.
- Nighttime shoots can interfere with dinner plans.
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