The Photographer Guide


Paris is one of the most photographed cities in the world, but once you're there, do you know where to find the best photography spots? Let me take you to my favorite shooting places in the city of lights, I'll also show you what to do and where to go once you are there.

Last February I visited Paris for the third time, in the past I've already been at the typical tourist places like the Arch of Triumph and Eiffel's Tower (I actually lived in Paris for over a month during the summer of 2006), so no, this time I was not going there again, I wanted to shoot something else instead, I was only for a short weekend and I was looking forward to visit specific spots without spending my precious time going to the main attractions; however it's impossible not to be in Paris and and walk trough its landmarks, every where you go you will cross a classic spot full of tourists, so I also added a few of them to my list.

Saturday Morning

Let's start at one of the most visited places in Paris but a must-go: La Basilique du Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. Yeap, this is one of the best places to see Paris from above, but more than that, it's the old artist district where famous painters like Van Gogh and Degas use to hang, however to go up to Montmartre you must walk trough small beautiful streets full of local life, you will find cafés, restaurants, art galleries and souvenir shops. Don't be afraid to have lunch in one of this little restaurants, the food in Paris is always amazing and you can find good prices if you avoid the tourist traps.

My tip:Before going up to Montmartre take the time to visit Saturday's Market "Le Marché Barbès" in the 18th arrondissement, here, underneath the train trestle, you will find a very busy market where multiple cultures find a common ground around fruits, vegetable, fish, spices, etc. "It’s part culinary bazaar and part visual extravaganza".

Where to go: Barbès-Rochechouart - Open until 2pm.

barbes rochechouart

Saturday Afternoon

Once you have shot photos of the market, the artists, the cathedral and the small streets, go down the mountain again and take a walk trough the 9th District, get lost among the streets of one of the most beautiful but underrated parts of Paris, here you can find galleries, design shops and art ateliers, walk through Rou Blanche or Rue de Clichy until you find the famous Rue de la Fayette.

My tip:Pay a visit to the famous shopping mall "Galleries Lafayette", here, take a moment to appreciate and shoot the beautiful glass ceiling and then take the elevator to the rooftop, up there you will find one of the best free spots in the city to catch the sunset and do panoramic photos of Paris. This is also a good neighborhood as you can check the Opera House at night and do some fun street pictures around it.

barbes rochechouart

barbes rochechouart

Saturday Night

The sunset is over but you still want to take night pictures, no worries, I have your back. One of the best places to spend the night is Le Marais, once a Jew maze of streets for commerce and shopping this has become one of the most popular spots in the city to find designer stores, cool restaurants and bars. The Batclan concert hall is just s few blocks from here as well as the Modern Art Museum "Le Pompidou". Take a walk into this vibrant and urban neighborhood and spend the night doing some night street photos, drinking wine and meeting locals.

My tip:Take a walk next to the Seine River where you could do beautiful long exposures photos of Paris bridges,buildings boats and traffic lights before digging into Le Marais, here you can also take photos of the famous river vintage sellers. Once you get into the neighborhood look up for the fashionistas and street beauty's as well as underground fashion lovers, they are every where if you open your eyes.

barbes rochechouart

Sunday Morning

You have already visited some of the best spots for photos, but now you are hangover and looking for the perfect Parisian brunch. Skip that! Paris is famous not only for it's french food but also by the receipes and flavours bringed to the country by the African and Arabic immigrants and I know the best place for African brunch. It's time to take a roll through Canal St Martin, a 4.5 Km canal that runs from the Sein River until it reaches the Villete Park on the North of Paris. On the summer you will find the Canal full of Parisians drinking wine, street musicians and events.

My tip: Each Sunday the streets of the Canal are allowed only for bikes and pedestrians, take a walk trough them and prepare your camera to find all kind of people enjoying the weekend as well as the beautiful sights of the Canal. Stop for brunch by Le Comptoir Général , an African cultural spot that host breakfast and parties, also a beautiful place for those foodie photos you love so much (better if you make a reservation before hand)

Where to go: Le Comptoir Général

Sunday Afternoon

You finish your brunch and your flight departures later at night, so you still have the afternoon to enjoy. You have an umbrella with you (Paris weather is bipolar) so it's time to take a walk from the Canal to La Place de La Bastille. Once the infamous prison where the revolution started La Bastille host a Sunday market and it's surrounded by the Opera 2, cafés, creperies and restaurants, from here you can walk to Pompidou, Notre Dame or Le Jardin the Luxemburg, all very special and open places to walk on a Sunday afternoon.

My tip: Spend some time on the Pompidou museum, is not only a beautiful architectural piece, a world must-see museum, but also, once inside, you can go up to its terrace or the rooftop restaurant, from here you can catch the best views of Notre Dame and take some photos of the sunset before you go to the airport.

The day is over now, so better to rush to the airport, but don't forget to eat a street crepe before leaving Paris!

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Tags: Antonio Castello, Lifestyle Photography, art, event, paris, France, where to go, what to do, best photo spots.

Special tahnks to Lomography Paris who loan me their Art Lenses to take some of this photos, and to Juliana Devis my personal Paris guide.


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