But this is a tricky law because it’s open to interpretation by the judicial system, and they still haven’t defined exactly what “privacy” is. But for the average street photographer enthusiast, Paris is a dreamland to capture everyday candid life with the most picturesque backgrounds in the world. This article will explore everything you need to know about street
Just like any photoshoot, it’s important to plan ahead to take the best images. Below are some details on locations and timing that you should keep in mind before you head out for the day.
Paris has something for everyone when it comes to choosing a location. We recommend getting away from the touristy, crowded areas of Paris and photographing some of the edgier and more local locations full of color, new subject matter, and memories of iconic architecture. Taking photographs in Paris is more than an experience it’s the making of a story in one place through a selection of light and atmosphere.
If you want to capture quiet streets with golden hues, then wake up early. Sunrise in Paris can be magical. It feels like most of the city does not wake up until around 10 am, so this leaves you plenty of time to wander and capture unexpected moments while the city is still slumbering.
However, if you prefer street
Top 10 Locations
Below we have listed our top 10 all-time favorite locations to shoot street
Pont Des Arts
There is something iconic about his beautiful bridge. You have surely seen a photo of the love locks that once hung onto its gated sides. The story goes, that two lovers attach a lock and toss the key into the city river signifying they will stay together forever! Thousands of images have been taken here of couples and sunset views over the Seine river. This is a great location to hang out and capture a typical Parisian atmosphere with the whole city flowing along the River Seine and views of the Louvre museum.
The French masters have been shooting here for decades, whose work showcases the crumbling streets and small sidewalks. The area is home to the Jewish and Gay Quarters of Paris, making for an interesting mix of subjects crossing over into each other’s lives. Keep your camera ready for groups of Jewish men standing in the street recruiting potential new believers. The light is incredible at sunset as the busy streets are filled with fashionistas and local French people sorting through clothing boutiques and bars, and restaurants. Experience the life of a local by shooting images here.
If you enjoy travel
The Latin Quarter is famous for the Notre Dame Cathedral, bookstalls along the Seine, and the iconic Shakespeare and Company bookstore. It’s the perfect location for classic street
Arc de Triomphe
Rue de Rivoli
This is a long stretch of road that cuts through the city. It will take you right past many street
There are so many places to visit in Paris with your camera. But Montmartre is our all-time favorite. This is one of the oldest places in the city and home to many artists. You can still randomly find people painting in the streets. The masters who have been chosen by France to paint in Place du Tertre are a sight not to be missed. Each artist is given a three-foot space to set up their supplies and perform live caricatures or paintings. Their artwork is very reasonably priced and often attracts groups of locals and tourists. It’s a street
Boulevard de Clichy
Every Paris photographer has their favorite street in the city to take photos. But many street photographers prefer Boulevard de Clichy. This boulevard gives an edgier look to photos and is full of strange people. It famously leads into Pigalle, which is full of sex shops and neon signs. If you are looking for something that is the opposite of the Eiffel Tower area, this may be the street
If you want to capture a hip, trendy vibe in Paris then head over to this 4.5 km long canal connecting the Canal de l’Ourcq to the Seine river. The canal mixes trendy with historical as you wander along this waterway covered in green iron bridges and many people picnicking in the warmer months. There’s a lot of action along this waterway to post and gain more followers.
We focused on some of the more hidden places for street
Lastly, what says Paris more than a shot of this iconic landmark for your photo collection. Every photographer can’t resist at least one photo or video here, give your followers what they want.
Every photographer varies on what camera and lens they like to use for their work, but here are some of the top favorites.
The 50mm lens is great because it’s lightweight to carry around the city and not obvious. We also love the focused clear results this lens gives and the affordable aperture settings such as f/2.8 that typically come with a prime lens. Almost every photographer has this in their photo bag.
The 70-200mm lens is definitely a heavier piece of gear to carry around all day but works great to get closer to your subjects. In a city like Paris where the locals do not enjoy being photographed, it’s important to stay far away if you plan on making Parisians your main subject.
DSLR vs. Mirrorless Camera
Trying to decide which camera to use? It depends on how much weight you enjoy carrying around. Of course, DSLR cameras are a bit heavier, and mirrorless tends to be lighter. But the most important factor to consider is if the camera has an LCD flip-out screen to capture those hard to get angles. Also, look for high-speed burst modes to capture movement in the streets.
You are probably already using many of these composition elements in your photos without thinking twice about them. But just as a refresher, we have listed some of the most important elements to keep your photos interesting and evolving.
Paris people are known for being some of the most stylish in the world. Whenever possible, ask for their permission first to take a photo of them and then shoot away capturing them in movement, in a beautiful cafe, or lounging by the Seine. The local people are the perfect subjects to complement any Paris backdrop.
Every photographer should be focusing on the details when shooting any city street. But in Paris, focus on the cracked walls or bullet holes left over from WWII. Look for details on how the light reflects back off the Seine at sunset or details in the fine cutlery and coffee cups on a terrasse. The details are endless in this photographer’s paradise.
Paris is the queen of leading lines. You can find them all over the city. Look for grande boulevards such as the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Even better, visit one of the many picturesque parks where you will find rows and rows of parallel trees and garden beds. Leading lines help your viewer focus on your main subject, so don’t forget to make use of them whenever possible. There is always a way in Paris!
Change of Perspective
Every photographer knows that if you want to take an interesting shot, you need to change your perspective. This is true in Paris as well. The city has been photographed so many times it may seem tedious to find a new perspective to shoot from. But the best way is to find new locations and new angles. Test out some rooftop restaurants or train stations. Get low to the ground along the river or up close to someone in the street. Changing your perspective will bring so much more to your work.
Mirrors and reflections are always fun to play with, and street
If you are looking for more inspiration, then consider taking a workshop, studying a famous photographer, or reading a street
Paris Street Photographers of Today
Mary Quincy has had a loyal following for years around France, her specialty is photographing the streets of Paris and the world! As a local, she has access to the beautiful golden hours around the city. Her photos are colorful and fun leaving the viewer wanting more. Many amateur photographers have learned from her master style and editing.
Derossi is also a local photographer with a huge following on Instagram. Every post of his attracts thousands of likes and reshares. We love the coloring in his photos and how he has moved into offering mini video lessons in his posts to help photographers learn how to take better street photos on their own.
Olivier Wong was born and raised in Reunion Island but was inspired to start shooting the streets of Paris in 2013 when he moved there. Paris is his main source of inspiration for photographs. He now spends most of his time creating content for major brands and creating marketing campaigns with stunning visuals.
If you are looking for even more visual inspiration, we recommend these street photography books. These books showcase some of the oldest masters in the street
Elliott Erwitt’s Paris
This book is full of the legendary work of Elliott Erwitt. He captured both the intimate details of daily life and the grand boulevards of Paris. Known for being witty, detached, and anti-Romantic. A stunning tribute to one of the world’s great cities.
Photography: From Brassai to Cartier-Bresson
The Movable Feast Workshop
Sep 5, 2021 – Sep 11, 2021
May 15, 2022 – May 21, 2022
Experience the “moveable feast” of Paris during springtime, with the glorious light and weather of this season, and participate in a street
Chasing Light Workshop
October 16-21, 2021
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced photographer, Valérie will help you capture the types of photographs you are aiming for. You will learn how to see and capture gestures and expressions as you practice street
We hope you discovered some new fun Paris street