Photography in Paris

Paris puts the focus on photography with exhibitions, talks, shows, photo walks and more!

Photography enthusiasts will find plenty of things to do in Paris, from visiting top-notch exhibitions and going backstage at legendary photo studios to attending photography-focused special events and setting off on a photo walk armed with professional camera equipment.

Must-sees for photography fans

Photography fans are spoilt for choice in Paris, which has any number of galleries to visit – starting with the Maison Européenne de la Photographie. This venue hosts many exhibitions all year round: solo shows devoted to big-name photographers as well as retrospectives covering key movements in international photography. The Jeu de Paume in the heart of the Jardin des Tuileries, which displays works by famous 20th- and 21st-century photographers from around the world, is another must-see for any photography enthusiast.

Le BAL, a former dance hall transformed into a venue devoted to contemporary photography, displays images by a cross-section of photographers. Talks and debates on photography-related themes are also organized in this exhibition space. At the Maison de la Photographie Robert Doisneau, visitors can admire temporary exhibitions of work by both professional and amateur photographers, with a focus on humanist photography.

Several places also host open-air exhibitions, such as the Hôtel de Ville and the Jardin du Luxembourg. There are free photo exhibitions on the iron railings, and the display is changed twice a year. The initiative was launched in 2000 with ‘La Terre vue du ciel’, a series of superb aerial photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, and the temporary exhibitions have since become a regular feature, turning the gardens into a veritable open-air museum.

The legendary Studio Harcourt also welcomes visitors. Internationally renowned for its black and white portraits of stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Salvador Dali and Jean-Paul Gaultier, the studio is popular with photography fans, who are free to wander the corridors of this famous venue and browse the archives to admire the originals of the best-known portraits.

Major photography events in Paris

Paris Photo

November is photography month in Paris, with a wide range of special events held in various parts of the city. The Salon de la Photo takes place at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles in the early part of the month. This must-see photography show brings together the medium’s key players: galleries, artists, masterclass organizers and photographic equipment manufacturers. During the Paris Photo event, the Grand Palais turns into a vast photography gallery. The programme includes conversation cycles, giving keen photographers an opportunity to present their visions and practices. A simultaneous event, Fotofever at the Carrousel du Louvre, displays images by 250 emerging artists from 20 different countries, and is an excellent opportunity for beginners to start a photography collection.

The PhotoSaintGermain festival is held throughout the month of November, with a trail of events in various cultural venues on the Left Bank. And, every two years, the Biennal of contemporary Arab world photography, held simultaneously in eight different Parisian venues, places the spotlight on contemporary photography in this part of the world.

However, there is a year-round focus on photography in Paris, not just in November. The Circulation(s) festival, held in the spring, highlights the work of 50 young European artists, while Paris art galleries host a number of photography exhibitions throughout the year.

Guided tours with a photographer

Visites guidées photographie

For those wishing to explore the city while taking pictures, Parisians Clichés organizes guided tours complete with professional camera equipment that you can use to get some really great shots of the French capital. For an elegant Parisian shooting photo, you need to contact the Photo Up agency. On a Instant Tours tour, take pictures with a Polaroid during your visit in Paris. Why not give it a try?

Studio Harcourt Paris Member

Exhibition and Trade Show venue
6 rue de Lota, Paris, 75116
Book

Nestled in the heart of the 16th district, Studio Harcourt opens its doors to its legendary House for exceptional......

Parisians Clichés Member

Guided tours

An original and unique photographic activity Without adventure, there is no photography The main activity of Parisian......

Instant Tours Member

Guided tours
Book

Visit Paris’ City Center and get creative by taking your own Polaroid photographies and take them home as special memories from......

Photo Up Member

Incentive activities | Guided tours
  • Porte de Versailles - Commerce

The Photo Up Agency offers you a 100% Parisian photo shoot: put on that French striped shirt or that beret, the croissants and......

Maison européenne de la photographie

Museum
5-7 rue de Fourcy, Paris, 75004

The magnificent "Hénault de Cantobre" private mansion (18th century) regularly presents exhibitions about the themes, movements,......

Maison de la photographie Robert Doisneau

Museum
1 rue de la Division du Général Leclerc, Gentilly, 94250

This temporary exhibition venue does not display the work of Robert Doisneau but pays homage to the characteristic humanism of......

Jeu de Paume Paris

Museum
1 place de la Concorde, Paris, 75008

The Jeu de Paume Paris, located in the Tuileries Gardens close to Place de la Concorde, is dedicated to photography, video, art......

Le BAL

Exhibition and Trade Show venue
6 impasse de la Défense, Paris, 75018

This former ballroom of the Roaring Twenties is now a venue dedicated to "attaching the real onto the image" : what are the......

Salon de la photo

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
from 07 November 2019 to 11 November 2019
Paris expo Porte de Versailles - VIPARIS - 1 place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris

The biggest photo show in France returns to the Parc des expositions at Porte de Versailles.

Paris Photo

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
from 07 November 2019 to 10 November 2019
Nef du Grand Palais - Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris

Paris Photo is the leading international trade fair devoted to photography (galleries, publishers, photographers, collectors...).