Danielle and Brian kicked-off their 2-hour evening session at Notre Dame, where we were fortunate to stumble upon a local street artist who created giant bubbles for us. We then captured a few editorial photos along the Seine River before walking to the Louvre Museum for the Blue Hour. As chance would have it, the Blue Hour was incredibly vivid, making for the most beautiful contrast with the warm light of the pyramid. How better to conclude our session than with an (in)famous Champagne toast at Moulin Rouge.
I met Brian's sister in a bar 1.5 years ago, and she thought we'd like each other ... turns out she was right!Danielle
Why we love to start our evening sessions at Notre Dame
The Notre-Dame Cathedral, on Île de la Cité in Paris, is at once an exquisite example of French Gothic architecture and also an instantly recognizable (and an easy-to-find) Parisian landmark. In other words, it makes for a convenient and relatively central meeting point to kick-off our Paris photo session. Notre-Dame offers our favorite Seine River access and is within walking distance from Pont Neuf, Pont des Arts, the Louvre Museum and Tuileries Gardens.
But here's what we really love about the Notre-Dame location: it offers two fabulous cafés—the playful Shakespeare & Company Café with the best organic cappuccino in town, and the oldest restaurant in Paris, Au Vieux Paris d'Arcole, which makes for quintessential Parisian cafe photos. Cafés are a splendid opportunity to break the ice quickly, capture iconic ring and macaron details, and get to know each other in a relaxed setting.
My favorite Parisian location was the Pont Neuf Bridge, where we enjoyed a stunning sunset. Just Brian and I ... stealing a few playful kisses with the Seine River as our backdrop.Danielle
My advice for other happy couples is to pack a pair of comfy shoes, don't overthink things, and trust in Cengiz and the Adagion team.Danielle
What is the Blue Hour and when is it?
The so-called "Blue Hour" (in French: l'heure bleue) is the period of evening civil twilight, after sunset and when the sun is below the horizon; indirect light typically produces a lovely, romantic, and deeply vivid blue sky. However, don't confuse the "Blue Hour" with the "Golden Hour," which are the periods immediately after official sunrise or before official sunset; both are beautiful but will result in substantially different photographs.
The exact starting time for the "Blue Hour" depends on the time of the year, but as a rule of thumb, it starts approximately 15 minutes after official sunset and becomes increasingly vibrant during evening civil twilight. The reason our "Blue Hour" photos just look bluer and feel more passionate is that we use continuous light (held by an associate) instead of flash, which in turn tends to result in a black sky and more harsh photographs.
If you also love Danielle + Brian's Paris engagement photos, and would like to inquire about our Collections & availability, or just get some precious insider secrets on how to prepare for you own Paris engagement shoot ...Get in touch
Champagne is the ultimate photo prop and always a good idea
When you're in France, do as the French, right? Hey, the way we see it, Champagne is the quintessential sparkling wine and simply the ultimate prop to celebrate your Paris photo adventure. Champagne is almost always "in" character, helps distract from unwanted camera awareness, and will quickly ease you into your Paris photo shoot. We're asked all the time for tips on how to pop a Champagne like a seasoned Pro ... and will typically coach you before you uncork the bottle.
With that said, here are a few quick thoughts: do not use a Champagne for the act of popping unless you're independently wealthy (keep your real Champagne for the photos afterward). Instead, bring two cheap sparkling wines, which will give you and the photographer two chances at amazing photos. Do not shake the bottle before opening, take your time even after the cork is out, don't spray the fluid right in front of you (which might otherwise hide your faces) ... and when you're ready, shake the bottle in a circular motion until the spray stops!
Now, please leave a comment sharing your biggest insight or favorite location.
- Photography Adagion Studio