Engagement in Paris

 

Engagement in Paris

Here is all you need to know to plan the perfect engagement in Paris. I will tell you what to wear, the best locations for your photoshoot, what’s the best time for your photos and much more. I’ve been an engagement photographer in Paris for more than 4 years and I’ve helped hundreds of couples to create memories to cherish forever and I can help you.

 

paris-engagement-photoshoot-with-gloria-villa

Engagement in Paris
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by Jason Overman on Engagement in Paris

Gloria Villa is the best photographer in Paris, period. I live in San Francisco and reached out to every photographer in Paris with a web presence in the hopes of finding someone to capture the moment that I proposed to my now-fiancee (she said yes!) - and all roads led back to Gloria. I knew Gloria was the photographer for me when multiple other reputable photographers, unavailable, referred me to Gloria - that kind of respect among competitors in photography told me everything I needed to know about Gloria, and I'm glad I trusted my gut. I was so extremely nervous about the logistics of proposing in a foreign country, but Gloria put me totally at ease despite the fact that I had never met her and barely knew what she looked like - and captured my big moment with the most beautiful photos I've ever seen. From sending me latitude and longitude of where to go (seriously) to wearing a fabulous hat that helped me spot her, she knew exactly how to help me pull it off - and I could not have done it without her. And she blended in, looking merely like a tourist - helping to keep it a surprise. It was the most special moment of my entire life and would not have been possible without Gloria. And because of her, my future wife and I will have beautiful memories of that moment for the REST of our lives. Thank you, Gloria. To those in search of a photographer: look no further.

How to plan for your engagement photoshoot in Paris?

  1. Plan your locations
  2. Dress accordingly 
  3. Plan the best time of the day for your engagement photoshoot
  4. Choose your photographer
  5. Create a Pinterest board
  6. How to move around Paris during your engagement photos
  7. Plan your props or accessories

spring paris photo shoot with the cherry blossoms


1. Best Places for your Engagement pictures in Paris

Here are some of the best locations for your engagement photoshoot in Paris, some places are more iconic and some are more authentic and less traditional, but all of them are equally beautiful:

  • Eiffel Tower: the international symbol of love. It’s definitely the most iconic landmark of Paris.
  • Louvre museum: hands down, the most impressive building in Paris, it’s absolutely perfect for a couples photo session as it has a lot of different corners and perspectives to photograph. It’s elegant, classy and timeless.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral and Saint-Louis Island (1 of 2 natural islands located in the River Seine): I absolutely love this location, not only because it’s a beautiful architectural structure, but also because it’s located next to a lot of different areas that work great for your Paris photoshoot (bridges, alleys, cafes, the river, etc).
    best engagement in Paris gloria villa photographer
  • Alexander III Bridge (only in the early morning): this is literally, the most beautiful bridge I’ve seen in my entire life. The lamps, the statues, the Eiffel Tower in the background, the columns with the golden pegasus on each side of it, make the most stunning location for your engagement photos.
  • Montmartre: one of the most bohemian and artistic neighborhoods in Paris. The streets of Montmartre simply ooze authenticity and the Parisian way of life, and look absolutely incredible when captured on camera.
  • Luxemburg gardens: with its tree-lined promenades and its picturesque Medici Fountain, this location has the perfect combination between nature and traditional French architecture. It’s also close to great places such as the Panthéon (located in Paris’ Latin Quarter) and Saint Sulpice church. 
  • Le Marais: the trendiest and most vibrant neighborhood in Paris. Perfect for more authentic engagement pictures with narrow alleys, small parks and beautiful cafes.

My personal recommendation is to combine the best of both worlds: capture the iconic and then move to the unexpected.

Just one further thought when considering the perfect location. Why not choose a hotel for your romantic stay that offers wonderful views across the city, either from the room itself or from the many that have rooftop bars and restaurants? There are many that can provide the icons of the Paris skyline, such as the Eiffel Tower, as the perfect backdrop to an intimate and equally romantic candlelit meal for 2. Maybe your perfect idea of the perfect proposal?

Here are some of the hotels with the best views of the Eiffel Tower (either from their rooms of their rooftops):

  • Hotel Shangri-La Paris
  • Hotel Raphael
  • Hotel Place Athénée
  • Hotel Metropolitan (they have a suite with a very beautiful window with a view of the Eiffel Tower)
  • Hotel Pullman – Eiffel Tower

engagement-in-paris-with-photographer-gloria-villa

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It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.

– Alfred Eisenstaedt

2. How to dress for your engagement photo session in Paris?

  • Timeless attire: wear something either very classic or very bold, something that won’t look out of fashion in a few years time. You don’t want to be super trendy and then look back at your pictures in 10 years and say: “What was I thinking? Take inspiration from Audrey Hepburn or Coco Chanel. You see their photos today and they still look amazing.
  • Time to shine: this is Paris! If there’s a place where you can have the luxury of going over the top with your attire this is it! You’ll feel like a movie star for one day, and that’s part of the experience.
  • Choose your colors carefully: solid colors work great for pictures, light colors give a sensation of dreamy elegance and bright colors of celebration, they also separate you from the background and make you pop. So think carefully what you want to achieve with your photos and dress accordingly. Avoid white during the day (unless it’s your wedding dress) as you might blend with the sky and avoid black during your nighttime photo session for the same reason.
  • Don’t go crazy with the patterns: patterns can be cool but they also can steal the attention from the subject and be very distracting. The first thing you want the viewer to see is you, not your outfit. My recommendation is to keep it simple.
  • Shiny fabrics for nighttime pictures: nighttime photos are all about vibrant colors, that’s why silk or sequins could be a great option.

nighttime engagement photoshoot in Paris with gloria villa

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3. Best time for your engagement photoshoot in Paris

Sunrise is the most requested time of the day by my clients and there are good reasons for that:

  • Fewer people in the locations
  • We can be more efficient and take more pictures
  • We can take wider angles due to clear spaces
  • Great soft golden light

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paris-engagement-photoshoot-gloria-villa

Nighttime is also a very popular option as it allows to have more edgy and bohemian photos. This is why so many of my clients love nighttime pictures:

  • Vibrant colors
  • Paris is one of the most beautifully illuminated cities in the world
  • Very unique and different photos from the ones you normally see

In fact, my most popular collection is called Paris by day and night that allows you to divide your engagement photoshoot into 2 sessions. 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours at night. It gives you the best of both worlds.engagement in Paris at the Eiffel Tower with gloria villa

nighttime photography in paris

 

4. Choose your photographer for your couple’s photoshoot

Photography is very subjective and it has a lot of different styles, so here are my recommendations for you:

  • Look at their portfolios: not every photographer is the same, make sure you identify with the aesthetics of your photographer. Find someone who’s work is consistent, that way you’ll have an idea of the kind of photos you’re going to get. (light and airy, dreamy, contrasty and saturated, warm colors, etc).
  • Check out their websites: you can know a lot about your photographer by their website, how established this person is, what are their principles or personality (normally in their bio), etc.
  • Check out their reviews: this is important because you’ll see how was the experience from other clients and that’s key to know if this person has a legitimate business and is not a scam.
  • Personal relationship: when you exchange emails with your photographer, make sure it’s a person who cares about you. This is not just a transaction, the interest of both of you should be the same: creating lifetime memories that you can cherish forever.paris-engagement-photoshoot-gloria-villa-sunrise

paris-engagement-sunrise-shoot

5. Create a Pinterest board

If you haven’t used Pinterest yet, now is the perfect time. This is a great tool to get inspiration on what to wear, which are the locations you want to go, makeup and hair ideas, and much more.

It will help you structure your ideas and narrow down all possibilities. You’ll see once you start collecting pins on your board, everything will make sense, you’ll be attracted to similar images, color palette and attires and you’ll be better prepared for your engagement session.

You can get inspiration from my own Pinterest profile, I’ve created boards to help you narrow down your ideas.

eiffel tower paris photographer

best Paris engagement with gloria villa6. How to move around Paris during your engagement photos

It depends on your attire and the number of hours you want to book. For more than 4 hours, distant locations or very big dresses I recommend renting a van. I can give you some recommendations of trustworthy people who you can call.

Otherwise call an Uber or take a taxi, is the easiest way to move around during your photo session.

If you’re taking the metro during your stay in Paris I recommend using an App called Citymapper, it will tell you what line to take, where to change and the map will work even if you’re off-line, you just have to save your journey when you have a Wifi connection.

proposal-rue-cremieux

7. Accessories

Ok, so you have your outfit now decided upon. Your accessories can enrich your photos by getting them out of the ordinary and making them really unique. Think of an old convertible in the streets of Paris, a beautiful bouquet of peonies to complement your outfit or some macarons with your ring. Your accessories can be anything that identifies with you as the individual you are. The important thing is that they go with your personality and say something about you.

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As an engagement photographer in Paris, my goal is to tell stories through my images and give my clients precious memories that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. I dedicate myself to documenting love through my artistic, photographic vision. Good taste and elegance is the embodiment of my images.

I’ve helped hundreds of couples create the photoshoot of their dreams and I can help you. I have done couples photo sessions mostly in Paris but also in Barcelona, Alicante, Lisbon, Porto, Salzburg, Vienna, Munich, Avignon, Bali and Colombia. My unique images have been published in a variety of specialty publications, including Cosmopolitan, Strictly Weddings and Junesbug Weddings who voted me one of the best 50 engagement photographers in the world in 2016.

If you identify with my work ethic and my style, and wish to hire me as your Paris engagement photographer, please contact me to check my availability by clicking on the contact button or you can call me directly at: +33 (0) 782 93 55 88. I eagerly anticipate our more informal introduction to each other and look forward to creating with you both those perfect, treasured memories of your Paris experience.