Vary, vary, vary.
Vary everything: do not succumb to inertia, shooting robotically at every monument or street scene you pass. Change it up a little and do not be afraid to get creative (especially if you are shooting digital!) You can always buy a postcard to remind yourself what Notre Dame looks like—your photos should be from your personalized perspective and should capture your own memory of your visit.
Vary the angles
- Stand under the Eiffel Tower and shoot straight up
- On a busy pedestrian street (rue Montorgueil in the 2nd, the market on Boulevard Raspail in the 6th, rue de Buci in the 6th), hold the camera at hip level and angle it up when shooting
- Tilt the camera at an angle to capture a different feeling
A shot from down low at the Marché d’Aligre & looking up at Galerie Vivienne
Vary super up-close detail shots with more expansive views
- As outlined in Tip #1, vary your shots in part based on the amount and direction of the sunlight. Take photos that show the expanse of the sky or the rooflines (for example, from the rooftop café at Le Printemps in the 9th: Café Deli-cieux)
- Take up-close photos of flowers and details on the fountains and statues in the various gardens (for example, Jardin de Luxembourg).
- Take several photos of the same subject, some from far away and some up-close (for example, a street scene showing a number of buildings and then some up-close photos of the door handles or street signs)
- If you have an SLR with several lenses for your camera, bring them along!
- Go to one of the markets (Marché d’Aligre in the 12th) and set your camera to a slower shutter speed to capture the action of the marketplace.
- As suggested in Tip #1, bring your tripod to the Champs-Elysées or Hôtel de Ville at night and capture the stream of car lights.
- Capture the water from your favorite fountain at fast and slow (preferably with a tripod) shutter speeds to show the individual drops of water and the flow of the water, respectively. The Fontaine de l’Observatoire in the Jardin Marco Polo in the 6th is one of my top picks.
Flowing & caught-in-action water at Fontaine de l’Observatoire
Vary the highs & lows
- Go under the Eiffel Tower and shoot up, then head to Trocadero in the 16th to shoot the monument from a higher vantage point.
- Go up to the rooftop café at Le Printemps in the 9th, Café Deli-cieux, and capture the rooftops of Paris.
- Go to Montmartre and shoot the crowds heading up or down the many staircases leading up to Sacre Coeur.
A different perspective from under the Pont des Arts