Lilou and her mom travelled all the way from the US to visit family in the south of France and took a few days to enjoy Paris as well. They weren’t sure if they would be able to find a photographer in the city that could take high school senior sessions so when they got in touch with me, we planned the whole shoot in just two days! Ok, you’re thinking, but what is there to plan?
Well, first of all, a high school senior photo shoot in Paris is a little different from a regular one back home for a couple of reasons.
First of all, you’re in Paris and you want to capture the beauty of the city, whether it’s the intricate architecture of the Louvre, the areas around the Eiffel Tower or the cute streets of Montmartre. You’re not the only one and that means navigating the crowds of tourists and locals.
That’s the other difference with regular high school senior sessions: the time. Most senior sessions back home take place in the evening when the sun is low in the sky, but in Paris, the best time to get the popular sites to ourselves is very early in the morning.
And how do you get from place to place (and where do you change outfits?) As a senior session photographer, I’ve got you covered. My senior photo shoots are planned out to make sure that you have a place to change clothes. I also optimize transportation times between locations to make sure we have the most time possible to photograph (taxis are included in your session fee and I try to take into account time in traffic as much as possible).
Now, back to Lilou’s session: in just two days, we planned the locations (4!), the timing and the outfits. Oh and another little challenge that got thrown my way; the massive construction all across the city (Paris is getting a little makeover for the Olympic Games, but that means that the most popular areas – the Eiffel Tower, Trocadero, and the Louvre, are all under construction for the next few years…yes, you read that right, years!)
Senior Session Itinerary: 4 hours, 4 locations
Our route for a 4 hour senior photo session included:
1 – Photography at the Champs de Mars overlooking the Eiffel Tower (followed by an outfit change)
2 – A quick stop at the stunning Alexandre III Bridge with its ornate golden decorations and views across the river of the Eiffel Tower
3 – Photos at the Louvre – this is one of my all time favourite places for photos in Paris! There are so many different spots that all give a different look to your senior photos
A walk across the street (and outfit change at the Café Nemours) to the Palais Royal.
4 – We finished off her senior session with a drive (and outfit change) to Montmartre, capturing the charm of the winding streets
We got so lucky with the weather – a warm, sunny morning – but honestly, Lilou would look stunning even on a rainy December afternoon.
The big question that most high school seniors ask is: how many outfits can I wear and where can I get changed? We actually have several options: my sessions include 1 outfit per hour of photography, so if you have a 4 hour session, that means 4 outfits.
Here are a few ways to change outfits:
- Depending on the time and location, we can make a stop at your hotel for an outfit change
- We can stop at a café or a public restroom (these large green structures are actually super clean and spacious)
- If you want to save time, wear a neutral “base” (neutral tank top for example) and wear different tops that you can easily change without having to find a bathroom or go back to your hotel
An extra tip: bring different coloured lipstick to match each outfit
Rain or Shine for your Senior Photos
As I mentioned, we got very lucky with Lilou’s senior session because we had blue skies and soft morning light, but Paris is notorious for its bad weather, so there is always the possibility of a very cloudy (or rainy) day. The best way to increase your chances of having good weather during your photo shoot is to book it during the summer, or at least late spring or early fall.
What happens if it rains during your senior session? Depending on both our our availabilities, we can try to reschedule, but more often than not, we can continue as planned. As a photographer in Paris, I’m really used to finding covered areas to protect us from getting wet and then taking advantage of any slight pauses in the rain to get more photos in open spaces.