Nine tips to taking better photos in Paris (from a professional Paris photographer)

Photographer Augusta Sagnelli joined forces with The Earful Tower over the past six months to photograph our Paris Countdown series. This means she has snapped every corner of the city as we’ve explored them.

Following her appearance on the podcast this week, she has shared her favourite pictures that she took in the process, and she added nine tips so you can take better Paris pics on your next trip.

1. Test out different camera angles

You can show the quirkiness of a district, especially one like the 18th, by focusing on the angles. In this picture (on rue Ravignan), the crooked building is further accentuated by the intentional tilting of the camera perspective.

More to find in the 18th arrondissement.

2. Focus on the foreground

Use the foreground to layer the scene and establish the setting. Think: where are we and what is going on? Instead of standing out the front of the Sacre-Coeur and taking the same photo that everyone else takes, this pic is from Place du Terte and captures a lot of the artists’ square in the foregroud.

3. Get closer to your object

Remember: It’s not just the big monuments in Paris that deserve your attention. Below is a great example of noticing the details: the paint on the lamp-post from artists in Place du Tertre – never be afraid to get closer. Cross that road, approach that scene, walk up to the lamppost!

4. Be specific about what you want to capture

When picking a building, try to focus on specific aspects of it, rather than capturing the entire thing. In this case when we take a level image, we notice the crookedness of the building.

5. Include different textures

The 11th is one of my favourite districts to photograph, especially with all of its hidden passages. There is so much layered texture to capture, exemplified in the two shots below of plants by windows.

More to find in the 11th arrondissement.

6. Use contrasting aspects

The Canal Saint-Martin is fantastic to photograph as you can capture the combination of modern street art and grit, against the classic Parisian architecture.

More to find near the canal and in the 10th arrondissement.

7. Don’t forget to look up!

Paris is not just beautiful buildings and fantastic monuments. Always think to look up for a fresh perspective that might not seem so obvious. Below we can see a collection of rooftops and lamppost lights beside the Palais Garnier Opera House.

8. Draw attention to the natural elements

Focus on the greenery and natural elements that weave themselves through the man-made beauty of the city. There aren’t many better examples of this than at the delightful Parc Monceau, below, in the 8th arrondissement.

More from the Parc Monceau and the 8th district here.

9. It’s all in the details

Add a more personal touch to your photos by seeking out the finer details that show the true intricacy of the city. Below is a photo from the Nissim de Camondo museum, which features room after room of modern art… but the finishings on the walls were sometimes just as impressive as the artworks.

Some more of my favourites

With these tips, you’ll be ready to capture the true Parisian charm during your next visit. Here are a few more pictures from this season that sum up the tips from above. Happy photographing!

That’s all for now! You can see more of Augusta’s wonderful work on her website and Instagram @augustasagnelli. We also made a massive blog with all of our favourite shots, which you can check out here.

The Earful Tower podcast episode

On the podcast this week, Augusta Sagnelli joined host Oliver Gee to share more of her photography process and her photography tips.

They also chatted about how the city changes with every neighbourhood, how to photograph Paris, and the challenges of capturing the spirit of each district. This podcast was recorded live online with Patreon members in the audience. You can become a member here to watch the replay of the audience Q&A that followed the podcast recording.

Want more from The Earful? Buy one of our books below, or even better, become a Patreon member and unlock loads of Paris bonus content, including PDF itinerary guides to the city.

One thought on “Nine tips to taking better photos in Paris (from a professional Paris photographer)

  1. Great tips by Augusta, thank you! I’ve just whiled away the time editing some photos from my last trip in 2019. Some I thought I would delete are now a lot more interesting.

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