Paris Photography: Tips for Travellers When It’s Crowded!
As Paris slides into summer, the usual spots by the Eiffel Tower and along the Seine are starting to crowd up with travellers, towing selfie sticks and massive equipment, all seeking that beautiful shot. Today I’m going to give you some tips and tricks for how to get amazing photos in Paris, or indeed any city, when it’s crowded.
1. Become an early riser
Not only is the light more magical in the morning, but many holiday makers don’t get up that early, when they’ve been enjoying culinary delights and strolling along the Seine past midnight the night before! Morning in Paris is a special time – it’s cooler, sometimes misty, and you can cycle along Les Berges or stroll along the streets with a feeling almost like the city belongs to you. It’s the perfect time for taking photos.
2. Take side streets
The beautiful thing about new cities is the sense of adventure at finding the unexpected. Duck down a side street and see where the path takes you. There may be hundreds of people hanging out directly in front of that awesome monument, but nobody one mere street away. It sounds obvious, but for the Eiffel Tower, you will find hundreds of people at Trocadero, and *nobody* on the Seine. Take those crazy looking steps. Brave the smells of the tunnels! You might just find that perfect, unexpected perspective.
3. Photograph with a short depth of field
If you’re surrounded by people and there’s no hope of escaping the crowds, switch your camera over to a short depth of field (for newbies, this means setting your aperture to a wide setting/ smaller number. You can also get this affect if you use a zoom and zoom it.) The setting behind you doesn’t have to be perfect clarity: the suggestion of a Roman ruin behind you, or the shadow of a famous bridge, may be all that’s needed to get a feel for the place. Your fellow travellers may still be in the photo, but you’ll still be the star.
4. Look around you
Many European cities are gorgeous in the detail: the cobblestone streets, a bright pink wall, or an unusual window can be enough to invoke your sense of being in a different place. Luckily, these things also form wonderful, and less obvious, backdrops than the things everyone will be trying to photograph. Use your new city as an anchor point; find the details; and you’ll not only have fresh pictures, but much less competition.
5. Embrace the crowds
Travelling is not always picture-perfect. Sometimes, when you’re in the thick of it, you’ve got to love the authentic moments. So, feeling a little frazzled and surrounded by hundreds of school children on an excursion at lunchtime? Trying to get a photo with the pigeons outside Notre Dame and finding it impossible to be alone? Don’t worry. Take that crowded shot. It’ll form a memory of your experiences.
And besides, if you’ve been following this guide, you’ll also have a hundred other awesome photos so it’ll be nothing to worry about.
Article by TripShooter’s photographer in Paris, Jade Rivière. You can see her portfolio here.
Photo by TripShooter’s photographer in Venice, Jody Riva. You can see more of Jody’s portfolio here.
Tags: Inspiration, Paris Photographer, Photo Spots, Photo Tips