HOME TO ELEGANT BOULEVARDS, sidewalk cafes, and the river Seine with its picture-perfect bridges and bookstalls, Paris is one of the most beautiful cities on Earth. With its skyline pierced by the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomph, and Sacré-Cœur, taking incredible pictures here isn’t difficult — but taking incredible, original images can be.

Here are 10 tips from Instagrammer Juan Jerez on how to do just that.


Montmartre hill

The Paris skyline is rich and complex, and there are wonderful spots across the city where you can get a great shot. One of my favorite places is in Montmartre, the city’s oldest district. At the top of the stairs that lead to the magnificently curved Sacré-Cœur, you’ll discover a fantastic view. Sit on the basilica steps with the exchange students, buskers, and courting couples to capture the setting sun as it falls below the rooftops of Paris. If you’re shooting with your phone camera use your zoom…just not so much that you get a blurry image.
Find it: 48.886307, 2.343451


Pont d’Arcole

The Seine offers some of the best views of central Paris. On Sundays, motor traffic is forbidden here and you can get a shot of the almost empty streets. Pont d’Arcole is a particularly good spot to photograph. Here the river narrows and has a gentle curve that’ll add interest to your photo, plus you can include the elegant cupola of the Conciergerie courts in your frame.
Find it: 48.855683, 2.350546


Passage du Chantier

For an image that evokes a sense of old Paris, head to Passage du Chantier in the 12th arrondissement. This cobblestone street has been home to furniture makers since the 15th century, and the artisanal tradition continues today, with lots of stores worth visiting. To add interest to your image, try framing passersby as they emerge from the little street’s tunnel.
Find it: 48.851372, 2.373393


Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier — Paris’ original opera house, home to the fabled Phantom of the Opera — is one of the most visited spots in the city. That means taking a decent photo during the day, when there are hundreds of people around, isn’t easy. I prefer to shoot it at night. Use a tripod to help you take a long exposure and incorporate the lines of car lights into your image.
Find it: 48.872124, 2.331497


Street art in Passage Josset

Paris isn’t all elegant boulevards and lilac rooftops — it’s also famous for its graffiti. Join a street art walking tour to capture great photos, or keep a lookout for murals like this one on Passage Josset.
Find it: 48.852995, 2.376634


The roof of Galeries Printemps Haussmann

The Eiffel Tower is the icon of Paris, but with over two million images tagged #eiffeltower on Instagram, capturing it in an original way isn’t easy. I like to integrate it into an urban view, surrounded by the nearby buildings. The rooftop of the Galeries Printemps Haussmann department store offers a fantastic opportunity for doing just that. I like to go at sunset, especially during the blue hour. The tones are perfect at that time.
Find it: 48.874011, 2.327827


Seine River

Notre-Dame is another of the most visited buildings in Paris; that means it’s also one of the most photographed, so getting a unique shot isn’t easy — if that’s what you’re looking for, try gaining a bit of distance and incorporating some of the surrounding elements in the frame. The view from the Seine is a good spot, especially at night. If you can, use a tripod to capture all the city lights and their reflection on the water.
Find it: 48.851693, 2.349807


Arc de Triomphe

The Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous shopping streets in the world, and the best place to capture a good view of it is from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Here you have a perfect opportunity to capture old and new Paris in the same shot. Turn your eyes to La Défense — Paris’s main business district — and try to shoot during sunset.
Find it: 48.873890, 2.294985


Cour Carrée du Louvre

After the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramide du Louvre is probably the most photographed spot in Paris. An original way to capture it is from the wonderful Cour Carrée — the square courtyard parallel to the pyramid square. Make a composition by placing the pyramid in the middle of the arch that connects the two spaces. Play with getting a sunburst in the shot by setting your lens to a smaller opening, with an aperture somewhere between f15 and f22.
Find it: 48.860397, 2.338582


Square Édouard-VII

Paris is full of surprises. The Square Édouard-VII is a little-known but really interesting place five minutes from Palais Garnier, and its original and irregular design lends itself to taking really strong, unique photos. Direct your lens gently upward for an extra dynamic shot.
Find it: 48.870792, 2.329180