By Alex Beckett Photography
AS FEATURED IN:
pre-wedding photography Paris, France.
WHY CHOOSE PARIS FOR A PRE-WEDDING SHOOT? Paris is known as the City of Light, which gives a clue to some of the wonderful pre-wedding photography we can do here. It's also known as the City of Love, the most romantic city in the world. If you’re telling the world about your love for each other, then such a romantic city is going to provide a great photographic backdrop. And as well as having that resonance, I think it’s a spectacular city to shoot in, with a lot of options.
When you think of iconic backgrounds in Europe, you think of the Eiffel Tower and Louvre in Paris, (and certain famous locations in London, which you can explore on our sister page) first of all. ou spot the Eiffel Tower in a photograph and you'll know instantly where it is. If you’re show-casing images at your wedding banquet, there is nothing that says ‘We’re in Europe!’ quite like these. Photographically, it’s very diverse: there are lots of options including majestic parks, or stylish boulevard life. It’s a very relaxed city in some respects; the security isn’t omnipresent which means you can pretty much photograph wherever you want, providing you know the ropes. But one of the things that makes Paris difficult is that it’s very crowded and a lot of people do pre-weddings there. Using my knowledge, we can get away from the crowds and shoot things in the optimum light.
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Location: Central London
The Eiffel Tower is an iconic and recognizable symbol of Paris, and as such, it is a perfect backdrop for pre-wedding photography. I have discovered some hidden spots, which are off the tourist trail but also give you great views of the tower. I think my personality – I’m a bit of an adventurer – means I’ve been willing to venture off the well-known routes so I now know a few closely guarded variations! If you go to the Eiffel Tower during the day or even at sunset, and try to shoot from the Trocadéro, which is what everyone else does, you will hardly see it for people. Whereas if we go to a few spots I know, you’ll get the shot. Also, we try to time our route carefully for the most spectacular light. This iconic landmark in the background will make your photos timeless, a memory that will be treasured for a lifetime.
In addition to the traditional settings within the Louvre, one of the museum's most recognisable features is the Pyramid, located in the main courtyard. I love the contrast between old and new, glass and stone, at the Louvre, which probably shows in the fact that I’ve taken many award-winning shots here! I often do two half-day shoots with couples (half the time in the evening; half early the next day) so that we can hit night-time at the Louvre. If you try to do the Eiffel Tower at sunset, it’s impossible. The Louvre is less crowded. You’ll still have half-a-dozen other couples doing pre-wedding shoots there but again, there are things we can do to minimise that.
I love this space; it’s very Parisian, ornate and formal, where you can see the French sense of style in the layout. In the Jardin de Luxembourg you can’t sit on the grass, as you can in a London park, but they have lots of nice chairs you can use. It’s a brilliant place to start a shoot as you can do the more casual photos there, the ones in a day dress. You can get used to the camera, to feeling comfortable at being photographed, before you change into a gown or wedding dress and move onto the iconic locations. Often, we are visually telling a love story: these shots in the park are a great way to evoke the early days. If you are looking for a serene location for your pre-wedding photography, Luxembourg Gardens is definitely a great option to consider.
Perhaps not quite as well known is the walk along the River Seine. There are many beautiful bridges we can use for photographs and it’s just a really nice walk with lots of great look-out points. For example, there’s the Pont de Bir-hakeim, which is a bridge that overlooks the Eiffel Tower. You may know it from the Leonardo DiCaprio film Inception. The metro runs above it so on the ground level there are rows of really interesting, structural iron columns. In fact, you can use several noteworthy backgrounds here. And while it’s fairly well known, it’s not buzzing.
Paris, the City of Love, is the perfect destination for getting engaged. With its romantic atmosphere and timeless beauty, Paris is a popular destination for couples looking to get engaged. The city offers a variety of iconic backdrops for the special moment, from the Eiffel Tower to the charming streets of Montmartre, providing the perfect setting for a romantic and memorable proposal. And as Paris is also known for its fine dining and romantic atmosphere, it makes the perfect place to celebrate your engagement afterwards.
I very rarely take photos at the Arc de Triomphe because it’s generally too crowded, although it is a possibility for an extended shoot when I can juggle the time we visit. Instead, as we’re usually visiting the Louvre nearby, I like to include the smaller Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which is also unmistakeably Napoleonic and Parisian, and actually offers a better atmosphere and proportions for photographs.
The pure white Sacré Coeur was built on top of the Montmatre hill and is therefore the second highest structure in the city. It’s a bit further out, so it can be a bit of a challenge to get there and back within the confines of a shoot, but it is very pretty. If you wanted to extend the shoot to a second day, I’d recommend it as a great second spot to visit for the blue hour and long light.
The Palais Garnier or Opéra building provides a beautiful, opulent background with intricate stone and inside, fabulous painted ceilings and chandelier lighting. If you have the time it’s worth considering a very low-key shoot inside, although you may have to pay for a guided tour.
The other thing about Paris is that there’s stunning stuff on almost every corner, so walking along I will spot something worth using as a background. I’ve obviously got to know quite a few around the areas where I shoot. And Paris has great café culture, so if you want to sit outside at a boulevard table we can get some great photos while you take a coffee break. It has that French vibe, that Parisian sophistication.
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