Recently, I visited Paris on a short trip to capture some of the cities most iconic landmarks. The city is steeped in history, culture and romance and lends itself fantastically to taking fantastic photographs. Since returning a lot of photographers and friends have asked me about the best places to shoot in the city. In all honesty, there are so many diverse things to shoot from the eclectic winding streets of the Merais district to the exposed modernist architecture of the Pompidou that making a definitive list is almost impossible. However, below are a few of my favourite spots to photograph in the city:
1. Arc De Triomphe
One of Paris' most iconic landmarks situated at the end of the world famous Champs-Elysee this military monument lends itself brilliantly to being shot at dusk. Once the arch is illuminated, a long exposure will allow you to juxtapose the warm light of the stone with the energy of traffic whizzing around the Place Charles De Gaulle.
2. Notre Dame
This gothic cathedral is not only stunning from the outside replete with gargoyles and stained glass windows but also absolutely beautiful inside. You may also want to shoot it from the River Seine to get some nice reflections of the towers and turrets in the water.
3. The Eiffel Tower
Ok, granted this is an obvious one but, no trip to Paris is complete without some shots of one of the most famous landmarks in the world. There are many spots in the city to shoot the tower from; whether from right underneath it with a wide angle (first shot) or from one of the many rooftops where the public can access for free. I highly recommend the Printemps department store which, has the added bonus of a cute cafe for an amazing 360 degree panoramic view of Paris.
4. Montmartre/Sacre Couer
Despite being a little out of the city, it is well worth making the trip to Montmartre for more than just the climb to the Basilica of Sacre Couer which does though offer stunning vistas from the highest point in the city. The church itself when bathed in sunshine shines a brilliant white and looks great in photos and there is a bustling street market with hundreds of artisans and painters, enough to keep the most avid street photographer occupied for hours.
5. The Louvre
As well as being home to the world's most famous painting the Mona Lisa, the Louvre is a fascinating structure to photograph where modern and classical collide. The accompanying Tuileries Garden is also a fun place to shoot charismatic Parisians scuttling between the busy Place De La Concorde and museum district.
6. Montparnasse Tower.
I always love viewing cities from above and a journey up the Montparnasse Tower is a must. It has a very well designed viewing area, you can take tripods and there is plenty of time/space to photograph the entirety of Paris below. I would recommend going up just before sunset to watch the lights come on in the City. I also think it has the best view of the Eifflel Tower anywhere in the city. If you want your postcard picture, this is the place.