When Emily and her family moved here a few years ago, she booked me for a family session around Paris. This time they chose a location closer to home for their fall photo shoot – Versailles! Not too shabby eh? We were so lucky because the grounds were almost completely empty and the kids had plenty of space to run around and have fun.
I wanted to share a few tips with you on how to get fun, beautiful photos like these ones for your family session.
Where to have your family session in Versailles
Versailles is an enormous estate, with one main chateau, gardens, park, and two more mini chateaux (the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon) and a little farm. Fun fact, the little farm was built for Marie-Antoinette to play dress up and pretend to be a shepherdess for the day.
So where can you take your family photos in Versailles?
The Palace of Versailles is a gorgeous location but photography is not allowed inside (unless you’re a movie studio shooting the latest blockbuster). So that leaves us with the park and gardens of the main palace and the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon. For this family session, we stayed in the main Gardens of the Versailles Palace since the Grand and Petit Trianon are about a 10 minute walk, but that can easily turn into 30 minutes when you have 3 curious kids.
Getting into the Gardens
The main gardens are free in the off season (beginning of November to the end of March) and paid during the tourist season (April to October). You can skip the main line to the Palace and go straight to the gardens where you’ll see a special entrance. The gardens are actually a group of mini gardens with pathways leading from one to the other. During the high season, each area has its own musical fountain show with a special show with fireworks at night.
When to take your family photos in Versailles
The main gardens open at 9am and the gardens of the Grand and Petit Trianon open at noon. For this family photo session we came as soon as they opened so we were able to go through the ticket entrance in two seconds and had the place all to ourselves. It was a cloudy day, which is actually perfect for getting soft fall colours.
What to wear for family photos in Versailles
I always love Emily’s outfit choices for her family – everyone coordinates so well together without being too matchy-matchy. For this year’s family photo session, she chose soft, earthy tones that complimented the floral surroundings. What I love is that the clothes were comfortable enough to let the children run around and play in the gardens.
Getting those candid photos
Family photo sessions can seem long to kids, especially toddlers, but the key is to keep them moving. That’s why Versailles is such a great place for family photos since we can move from garden to garden and the kids can jump around on the stairs, climb on benches and just round around along the alleyways.
Book your family photo shoot
Whether you want to take your photos in Versailles or in Paris, send me a message below to book a session.