My Favorite Spots for Portraits in Paris || Katie Donnelly Photography, English Speaking Paris Photographer

Paris is beautiful; this is no secret! It’s a large part of the reason I love working here, and why many families and couples who are locals and those who are visiting choose to capture their special memories here through photography. While a list of my favorite spots for portraits in this gorgeous city could be nearly endless, here are a few that bear mentioning. Have any to add? Share them in the comments!


Louvre Pyramid

This iconic structure is one not to miss in Paris, but it has an added bonus as an excellent backdrop for portraits. When the sun shines through the glass, especially in the summer, the morning light is perfect!


Local Cafés 

There is nothing more Parisian than soaking up the sunshine with a café or chocolate chaud on the terrasse of a local café! My favorite part of portrait sessions that include a stop at a café is that it takes the pressure off of the moment — it’s a snapshot of everyday life and gives everyone a chance to let their hair down and chat!  


Medici Fountain

This iconic, ornate fountain is a favorite for many of our younger clients — full of happy ducks and splashing water — and also is a symbol of the history of French royalty. Inside the Luxembourg Gardens, this is a great stop that can be combined with other garden highlights in a single session!


Pont de l'Archevêché

The Seine boasts many beautiful bridges, but this is my favorite. The iron balustrade is a great texture for the foreground, and the iconic Notre Dame in the background creates an idyllic Parisian scene!


Musee Galliera

The larger, more central museums in Paris tend to get much of the attention, but this fashion and history museum in the 16th arrondissement is beautiful both inside and out! In particular, the gardens around the museum are a great place to soak up the beauty and capture portraits to cherish!


Palais Royal

The arcade and courtyard at the Palais Royale are favorite spots of mine for families. Kids have a blast running and playing and jumping from black-and-white candy-striped columns that dot the courtyard as a part of an art installation, like an elevated game of hopscotch!


TrocadEro/Eiffel Tower

Of course, what list of Paris highlights would be complete without a mention of the Eiffel Tower! Across the river from the tower and the Champs de Mars, the Trocadero is a perfect vantage point from which photographers can focus on their subjects while also integrating this iconic structure into the background.


You can find beauty in Paris on almost every corner, which is one of the best parts of being a photographer here; with each family, we can incorporate new favorites into each portrait session! If you head to any of these places to snap some photos, tag us on social media so we can see the beauty you create!


Katie + KDP team

A Quick Summer Portrait Session at the Eiffel Tower and Louvre II English Speaking Photographers in Paris, Katie Donnelly Photography

This lovely couple came to visit Paris this summer for a mini-getaway, and we’re so glad they asked us to be a small part of their trip! This beautiful, sunshine-filled day was made even more special by the way that they look at each other. There’s no way to manufacture love like this when it comes to portraits!


How lovely do they look, right!? Admittedly, portrait sessions can be a bit nerve wracking if you don’t often do them — and even if you DO do them often! — so it’s important for our sweet clients to feel as comfortable as possible. That way, we can get those natural giddy smiles, just like these two! This includes feeling great in what you wear (I mean, look how their outfits compliment the summer sun so perfectly!!) AND getting you comfortable with us. We talk, laugh, move a lot...and do lots of posed and unposed portraits so we get the most natural and joyful YOU to make beautiful portraits for your walls.


We are so happy that they’ll be able to hang these photos in their home and remember these special memories from Paris! They shared some lovely feedback with us, too, via a humbling 5* google review:

“Our time with Katie was a very productive and happy experience. It felt like a post wedding and honeymoon photo session…She was very responsive and organized during the entire process. She even shared some helpful tips on how to prepare for the session that helped psyche as up for the day.

My husband, who doesn’t like photo sessions, felt very comfortable working with Katie and even enjoyed the time working with her. It was all very natural, candid and spontaneous. The pictures are great, we love them all that it became hard to choose what photos to take home. Definitely, a wonderful experience.”

We say it all the time, and we’ll keep on saying it.. We truly have the most wonderful clients in the whole world!! We are so grateful for you!!!


Katie + KDP team


For Photographers: How to Capture Amazing Family Portraits with Young Kids | English Speaking Family Photographer in Paris and New York City

We all know the deal, when the yearly family portrait session rolls around it can be daunting for families with little kids. It makes me SO sad to say this because I truly deeply LOVE making family portraits and working with littles of every age! Here comes another truth for you, IT’S FUN!! Seriously, it’s actually fun for everyone: kiddos, parents, and especially fun for us. Because it’s not always evident for photographers on how to work with kids because well, they don’t always WANT to listen to you like adults do! To help you out we’ve put together a little cheat sheet.. cheat blog actually. These aren’t only tips for how to get great family portraits, but they’re tips on truly enjoying family portrait sessions with little kids AND having your clients enjoy them too.

SO without further ado, here are some of my tips to make each family photography session a happy activity that both you and your clients will remember warmly for years to come.

1. Make Friends
Kids are often just bursting to make a new friend, and who doesn’t want to get to know these cuties?! Engage with them, ask them about their favorite toys, colors, games, schools, friends and their siblings. Share silly anecdotes, make funny faces. Soon enough, their little smiles will come through! The key here is to actually CARE about what they say, kids can see through you really quickly. If they see you want to have fun with them and are curious about them, they’ll engage with you right away!


2. Make It Fun
There’s nothing better than play — not only will everyone have a lovely time, but the portraits will show the true joy that your family is having together! Seek out locations such as parks, playgrounds and outdoor venues that not only are beautiful, but have fun ways for children — and parents — to interact with their surroundings. We do lots of running, playing, hopping, skipping, races… anything that has movement and that will naturally make everyone smile!


Make better photos:




3. Keep It Quick
When little ones are involved, time is of the essence. Hours laboring over getting the perfect shot will quickly result in grumpy faces and unwilling participants. All this takes is a little planning — be prepared to get the shot and move on as soon as you have it! The best candids are in those in-between moments between posed shots. Sometimes, those are the most treasured, too!


4. Let Their Personalities Shine
The goal of portrait photographer for little ones is to capture a child just as they are at that age - silly faces, crinkly-eyed smiles, toothless-gaps and all! Childhood moments are fleeting, so letting their personalities speak through the camera frame is the best way to capture them at their most natural! Basically, let them be kids and celebrate the uniqueness, silliness, and weirdness that is childhood.


5. Go With The Flow
Sometimes, kids run off to dance in front of a beautiful door, or play hopscotch in the park. Let them take the lead —this is where the magic really happens! When kids feel like they’re a little bit in control, you can capture even more engaging portraits. Many times I start and game and then ask them what they want to do. For this sweet moment below, I asked the girls if they knew how to twirl and they ALL wanted to show me.. So we did that! But if they had said no or wanted to play hide and seek instead, we would have done what they wanted to do. Our goal is to have fun with the kiddos, because that’s when they’re truly happiest and their most natural selves.


Was this helpful to you?? If you’d like to know a bit more on capturing childhood I wrote a book on it! You can easily purchase and download it here. The book is for beginner photographers and parents alike. It’s the basics of photography and the basics of capturing kids as their most authentic selves. Buy it here!

Please leave us a comment below if you have any questions!! - Katie


Want to make better kids portraits?

Grab our ebook HERE, currently on sale!!

Bon Voyage Portraits at the Jardin du Luxembourg and Place Saint Sulpice II English Speaking Family Photographer in Paris

For the W family, this short summer family portrait session in Paris was extra special; we captured these portraits during their last few days as Parisian residents so that they could bring these memories with them on their next adventure! While emotions were running high because the kiddos and their parents had recently said goodbye to beloved friends, we still were able to celebrate these last fleeting moments in a city that they truly grew to love. Together, we went to some quintessential Parisian locations to capture these incredibly special family portraits.


We LOVE doing individuals of the kiddos so their personalities can shine! It’s so important to feature the family not only as a loving unit, but also to show each child  that you appreciate and love them as their own individual person, too. As we can all attest to, kids grow up WAY too fast! It’s so important to celebrate them right here and now. 


The saying goes that home is where the heart is; this loving family will certainly be at home anywhere they are together. We wish them the absolute best on their next adventure!

Katie + KDP team


The Tail End? - The Lippert Family, Paris Family Photographer

Let me start this off with a little preface, I read a LOT of books. I love it all: mystery, fantasy, classic, adventure, self help, business, biographies… you name it, it’s on my Kindle. And one of the books I go through pretty often (you can just flip to any page and find amazing stuff) Is called Tools of Titans. It comes from a podcast that interviews so-called “titans” of industries. Each short interview in the book is about something totally different and truly, there is something for everybody. One day when I was flipping through I found a snippit of the greatest blog post ever written (as I like to call it). I’ve never ever went back or shared a post or read a post so many times. It’s a solid reminder to me of why we do it all. Why we work to hard, and what is really, truly, important in life: Family. And our precious time with them.

The post is called The Tail End, and I dare you not to cry, because once you read it, you’ll realize that you too are in the tail end of the time you have on earth with some of the most important people in your life. I mention this because this blog post is inspired by The Tail End. If you love the post, you can even buy the PDF to print.

Anyway, I want to tell you a bit about this family and why they made my top families of the month of December. I met Aaron through the school his kids go to in Paris. I was there at an event and shortly after he contacted me asking to meet. He’s a real estate agent both here in Paris AND in the US, and wanted to talk to more people in the community. The thing about Aaron is you can’t get through a few sentences with him without realizing how deeply he loves his kids and wife. After our first conversation I felt like I already knew the whole family!! When we finally got to work together and make family portraits of them almost a year later, it was JUST before his daughter was set to go back for her last year of high school, but this time, in the US, while the family was still living in France. You could tell they all knew that it was the best decision for her, but that there was already a missing piece, even days before she was set to head out.


During the hour we spent together, we laughed so much and to be honest, I totally understood why Aaron couldn’t stop talking about his family. They’re spectacular. Really, truly, wonderful humans. Smart, compassionate, hardworking.. I could go on.


I mention the tail end because one of the most important quotes that has jarred me since reading it, is this, “It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end.”


Whenever I see families whose kids are going off to school or university, it makes me think of this. They’re in the tail end of the major face to face time they’ll have in their lifetime with their kids. And the kids with their parents. When I first read this I broke down in tears and thought about my own parents, what they mean to me, and making the moments that we ARE together, really count. Because really, even though I’m not even 30, living thousands of miles from my family makes it that I don’t have the same face to face time I did before. I too, am in the tail end.

So what do we do with this? We make the time we do have meaningful. We choose our priorities wisely. And we make the effort to be with whomever you love and do whatever you love, as much as possible.

It’s so clear to me that this family doesn’t even need to hear this, they already knew all of it. And for that, I love them even more.


P.S. Please take 60 seconds and read the post The Tail End, I promise you won’t regret it.

Famille Pessoa au Louvre II Photographe de Grossesse et famille à Paris

Little B was SO shy at the beginning of our session but you’d absolutely NEVER know it when looking at these. We started the first 15 minutes with sweet couples portraits so she could see her mom and dad having fun, and that I definitely wasn’t a baby sitter going to take her away! To tell you the truth, some sessions start like this, some start and the kiddos are already SO ready to be your friend, and BOTH WAYS ARE TOTALLY OKAY!!

Regardless, we always reassure the kids that mom and dad aren’t going anywhere, that we are definitely not babysitters, and that we are totally ready to run around, have fun, and play lots of games together!

Once they start seeing that, really, we’re just big kids too, they loosen up and start enjoying themselves. It’s as easy as that!

And that’s exactly what we let little B do.. She had her time to warm up, and then we spent the rest of their 2 hour session playing and running around… as you can see from these sweet portraits!

I can’t wait to meet her little sister, born shortly after we took these portraits! She’s so lucky to have such a wonderful family.