Even surrounded by the amazing sights of Paris, it isn't always easy to capture a good portrait. If you're having a photoshoot in Paris, whether as the subject or the photographer, you need to know the best locations where you can find good light, get away from the crowds and take some great photos that show off the subjects and the city.
Here are my current favourites:
Bir Hakeim / Champ de Mars
The Eiffel Tower is always going to be popular as the most iconic landmark in Paris, and there are lots of options for portraits with the tower in the background. I like to start at Bir Hakeim bridge (the bridge featured in the film Inception). It's close to the tower, there's shade if needed, and the pillars of the bridge itself can make a great feature for the picture looking along the bridge under the metro line.
Trocadero is popular but you need to be there early. If you can get there for sunrise you then should get some space to yourselves and potentially some great backlit shots if the weather is kind. Alternatively, head to Champ de Mars. It will be busy unless you are very early but it's usually possible to get some space near to one of the legs of the tower and there is plenty of open space through the park. The Peace Monument near the edge of the park provides a great feature for framing the subject and the tower.
Pont Neuf / Notre Dame
Head to the centre of the city and there are so many options for great portraits. I like to spend some time by the river away from the busiest crowds. Pont Neuf is excellent, both on the bridge itself and then taking the steps down to the corner of Île de la Cité. The corner of the island is close to the water and there is a little park with tree branches hanging down overhead.
Rather than go to Notre Dame itself, head instead to the left bank of the river. Shakespeare & Company is a wonderful and quirky bookshop with chalkboards and a little water fountain outside. Then across the little street is Square René Viviani. It's a beautiful little park with archways covered in roses, and Notre Dame provides a dramatic backdrop from across the river.
Jardin du Luxembourg
The second largest park in the city changes so much in colour through the year but always offers a great backdrop for portraits. The Luxembourg Palace provides the centre piece and there are apparently (I haven't counted) over 100 sculptures and monuments throughout the gardens. The Medici Fountain is a great feature to photograph, as are the various avenues of trees and the bright colours of the flower beds. If the weather is good, why not picnic on the grass (it is permitted in some areas) for some relaxed natural portraits. Just be careful that the park does shut overnight, so check the opening times (usually between 7:30 and 8:15am) if you're planning to be there early.