Answers to your most Frequently Asked Questions
Hey Karina, why should we work with you?
That’s a great question! There are some really great photographers in Paris and they all have their specialities and talents. I can’t speak for them, but I can tell you a bit about me. I’m someone who moved my life to another country (originally from the U.S.) and I’ve found joy and beauty in my new home, beauty that I love to share with others. I love to work with people to capture their precious memories through beautiful imagery. Even if you don’t feel that you photograph well, you are beautiful, you really are, and I try to capture that beauty. But it’s not just the photographs, which is what you expect from a photographer. What about working together? I’m with you every step of the way, making sure we’re in communication, making sure I answer any questions or concerns you have. I’ll give you ideas, and will work with you to make sure your photo session in Paris is very memorable. I’m very professional with high standards, but I also like to have fun and want you to enjoy the time we spend together. One my favorite things about my work is meeting new people and making new friends. Plus, I like to share Paris with you, whether it’s your first visit or tenth.
What kinds of photos do you take?
I strive to capture the essence of people. Their smiles, their happiness, their inner selves. My goal is not only to create beautiful, romantic and elegant art, but also provide a memorable experience that will be cherished forever.
Do you photograph outside of Paris?
Absolutely! I’m available for travel in all parts of France as well as Europe and the United States, my home country. My other favorite locations are Italy and Greece, and I’m happy to discuss possibilities with you!
What’s your personal photography style?
I describe my style as modern, colorful and fresh, with a focus on elegant and romantic images that highlight the beauty in Paris. Those are the types of images I love to create for clients. I also love to infuse color and light into my images, which can be challenging sometimes as Paris if often gray. I’m drawn to nature as well—flowers and trees, as well as the little things that make Paris so charming, like an old cobblestone street.
Do you speak English?
Yes, American English is my native language. I also speak French and a little Spanish and Italian.
Are you French?
No, but I love pain au chocolat! 🙂 I’m an American citizen living full time in Paris since 2014. I’ve been coming to Paris though for many years, since I was a student in high school, and it has always felt like a second home. Now, it is my home!
What languages are spoken?
I’m a native speaker of American English, but I also speak French. I speak some Spanish and Italian as well, but not fluently. I can also say “thank you” in at least 10 other languages. 🙂
Where do the photo sessions take place?
Picture Me Paris photo sessions take place in various locations around the central part of Paris. Typically near the neighborhood around Notre Dame (it’s still charming, even after the Notre Dame fire), the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre, and the charming village of Montmartre. There are so many scenic parks, gardens and little charming streets, we are only limited by imagination. We can also do more off-the-beaten path photo shoots, such as in the Canal St. Martin area. If there is a location you have in mind, let me know!
What should I wear?
These are your photographs, so you should wear whatever is comfortable and makes you feel good. That said, in general solid colors are best. Also, Paris is a really classy and elegant town and your photographs will look better if you’re dressed up a little. For guys a nice jacket looks great and for the ladies, a pretty dress or slacks with nice blouse looks great. If it’s cold, consider whether you want to be photographed in your coat or if you wish to remove your coat for the photographs. In colder weather months, make sure to bring warm clothes with you to wear in between photos and even in warmer weather months it’s never a bad idea to toss a sweater in your bag should it get chilly. You can also check out the Couples Photo Planner to get some ideas.
I'm not comfortable being photographed, can you help me with posing?
I totally understand this, it’s part of the reason I’m behind the camera and not in front of it! In all seriousness, not everyone enjoys being photographed. I try to make it as easy and fun as I can. I will certainly help you and give you ideas for poses, however, I want the images to be natural and not forced. These images should reflect the real you, your style and your personality. I can help you pose to make a beautiful photo, but in the end the photo is going to be beautiful because you’re in it! If you have special requests, for example, if you prefer one side of your face over another, don’t hesitate to let me know. I’ll guide and direct you gently and help you feel completely comfortable. After a while, you won’t even realize there’s a camera present.
I'm traveling with my family, and we have small children. do you work with families?
I love working with families! What a wonderful memory they’ll have in the years to come of their time in Paris. Whether you have young children or teenagers, families are very special to me and I’ll work with you to make a relaxing, stress-free Paris photo experience!
We'd like to do a pregnancy announcement or gender reveal in Paris, is this possible?
Absolutely! What better way to share the big news with friends and family than with your announcement set against the magic of Paris? I’ll be happy to work with you to discuss your ideas and come up with a great plan!
Can you pick us up at our hotel?
I’m sorry, being Parisienne, I don’t have a car! So we can meet by Uber, or taxi. You can provide me information on where you’re staying and I’ll give you directions to our meeting spot.
Which hours can I be photographed?
Hours vary by season and lighting conditions. In general, in spring and summer I photograph between 7:00 am and 10:00 am and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. In autumn and winter, usually between 9:00 am and 11:00 am and then again from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. I do not photograph at the Trocadero of Eiffel Tower after 10:00 am year-round, as it’s quite busy with tourists. However, I do photograph at Bir Hakeim bridge and other locales with views of the Eiffel Tower at other times of the day.
What happens during my photo session?
No two photo experiences are exactly alike, but in general, they are a lot of fun, designed to be stress-free. I’m talkative and friendly (some might say too chatty!). I like to learn more about my clients and them about me. When we meet we will have introductions, I’ll ask you again if you’ve been to Paris before. If not, I’ll point out some things along the way. I’ll ask you for your thoughts and ideas, I’ll have some ideas too.
Before we get started, don’t hesitate to let me know if there’s a side you prefer to be photographed from or any other special directions. This is your special time in Paris, so don’t hesitate to ask if there’s anything I can do to make your experience more enjoyable (unless it’s raining, I have a lot of powers, but stopping the rain isn’t one of them, unfortunately).
At the conclusion of our session, you may be tired and hungry or thirsty. I can direct you to places to refuel in the area, and give you other advice on other things to see or how to get back to your hotel. We’ll say au revoir, and I do hope to see you again in Paris or somewhere else in our world. It’s really important to me that you have a great experience, so let me know what I can do to make that a reality!
Do you provide hair and make up services?
I myself do not provide hair and makeup services, however if you would like to take advantage of the many professional hair and makeup artists in Paris, please let me know. I’ll put you in touch!
What if it rains?
It rains a lot in Paris, it’s a natural part of life in Paris. But the good news is, Paris is beautiful in the rain! Don’t believe me? Just watch the final scene of Woody Allen’s, Midnight in Paris! Also, the major tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower tend to be quieter in the rain and we have more of the place to ourselves, which can be magical. We’ll utilize umbrellas, which make for beautiful photography, and also utilize some of the Parisian bridges. If the weather is really horrible, we can try to reschedule to another time if you have time in your schedule and I have time in mine. To show you that Paris is beautiful in the rain, you can check out the Rainy Days Photo Gallery.
What if we run over our session time?
If you wish to extend your session beyond what you booked, or if your requests necessitate that we add time, you’ll be invoiced for the extra time. The specifics of this are outlined in the general photography agreement you’ll be sent upon booking.
What if I'm late to the photo experience?
Paris is a very busy city and there is a lot of traffic. It’s a great idea to leave at least 30 minutes before your photo experience begins and even up to 60 minutes before is not a bad idea. In respect to the other clients I may have on your photo experience day, I will hold your session a maximum of 20 minutes from your booked time. If I have no contact from you within 20 minutes of our scheduled session time, I will consider you a no-show and the session will be canceled. If I hear from you within 20 minutes of our session time, I will hold the session for an additional 10 minutes (30 minutes total). You’ll get more information on this policy later, bottom line is try to be on time so we can have as much fun as possible photographing you!
Is the time it takes to get from one Paris location to another (transportation time) included?
Transportation time is included in the entire time of your experience, meaning your experience time won’t be extended longer. If we’re doing two hours and it takes 20 minutes by Uber to get to one location from another, we don’t add another 20 minutes to include the time it took to get there. No worries though, we’ll still get absolutely amazing photos of you.
How do I access the photos?
You’ll be sent an email and given private access to an online portrait gallery to view your photos, so please make sure I have your current email.
Early morning photo sessions info
Early morning, starting around 7:00 am or 8:00 am, depending on the season, is one of the most magical times of the day in Paris. Mostly free from tourists, and gorgeous light, during the warm weather months. It’s the only time I photograph at the Eiffel Tower, because later can just be too challenging.
Where can I be photographed? I would like to be photographed at the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower is iconic, beautiful, and a world symbol of Paris. Depending on the time of day, however, you will be sharing your photo session with hundreds of tourists. The good news is there are some areas around the Eiffel Tower with a few less people and there are so many other gorgeous places in Paris to be photographed. My personal favorites are the islands around Notre Dame Cathedral. Maybe it’s because I’m a Pisces, but I love being by the water, and the Latin Quarter and areas surrounding it are quaint and charming.
There are also areas I’d consider off-the-beaten-path that we can explore where there are more locals than tourists. Whatever you have in mind, we can do and I can help you decide as well!
What should I bring to my photo session?
Usually we are visiting very busy places, and unfortunately, Paris and many large popular cities have troubles with pickpocketing. To minimize this, please do not bring anything to the photo shoot that you absolutely do not need to bring with you. Ladies, bring a very small handbag, or no handbag at all for our photo session. Please also note that during our session I cannot hold coats, bags, handbags etc. If you bring a coat, please be prepared to place it near our photo shooting spot if you do not wish to wear it. You should bring any props you would like in your photos. Ideas of popular props include hats, scarves, sunglasses, flowers, baguettes, wine and so forth. Be as creative as you like!
How do you edit the photos?
As a photographer and artist, I try very hard to get your images perfect in camera. But every image can benefit from a bit of editing. As you can see from my gallery, I love color. Sometimes it’s challenging in Paris, as the city is often grey. Therefore, I try to brighten and add a bit of color to your images, particularly if it was a cloudy day.
After your session, I go through all of the images I captured to select those I think are best and after getting to know you a bit, those that I feel capture your style, essence and personality. I then professionally edit the images and make adjustments to color and lighting as necessary. I do not do heavy edits such as: adding filters, thinning of the nose, adding or subtracting hair, editing skin perfections, slimming the waistline, removing wrinkles etc. Why not you may ask? Because I strive to capture the real you. Now I want you to look good, and you will, but I want you to be authentic to yourself and to the beautiful images we’re capturing of your inner and outer beauty in Paris.
The image editing process is the final touch on your images, and one that I take great care with. When the image editing has been completed, your images are uploaded to an online portrait proofing photo gallery that’s super easy to use. You’ll be given access to the images and you’ll select your favorites from those I’ve created for you. The number of images included in your package varies depending on the package. After you select your favorites, you can download them to your computer, cell phone or tablet. The photos are high resolution digital JPG files that can be read by any computer, tablet or smart phone. You can share them with family and friends on Facebook and Instagram, You can also print them to display in your home, or I can print them for you through my professional photo lab and have them sent directly to your home.
Can you make me look thinner in my photos?
Everyone wants to look their absolute best in photos. If there is something you’re sensitive to, such as an angle, or you only prefer to be photographed on one side of your face, let me know that in advance or during our session. I do light edits to your images to correct for brightness and to add some color. I do not do editing like for models, to change shapes of noses, digital tummy tucks or thigh reduction. Everyone has their own inner and outer beauty, that’s what should come through in your images. I understand sometimes (especially we as women) don’t like the way we look in images, so share your concerns with me during your session.
Can you print the photos for me?
Absolutely! You can order paper prints directly from my web site. On each image you’ll see a little shopping cart. Simply place the print size you want in your shopping cart, check out with credit card or Paypal, and I’ll place the order with the professional print lab I use. The photo finish is lustre, and very high quality with beautiful colors. The prints are unframed and unmatted so you can select your own decor. You’ll enjoy your images for years to come!
I want to see all the proofs and keep all of them, is this possible?
You’ll be able to see all of the images that were created for you in your online photo gallery and can add additional photos to your package as you like.
I would like the photos in RAW format, so I can edit them myself, is this possible?
I’m so sorry but part of my service is a complete service which includes the images I captured, edited in my style. I’m not able to provide you RAW files so that you may edit the images yourself. Please ensure that you do like my style before booking. When the images have been professionally edited and completed, you’ll receive the images as high-resolution JPG images.
What are add-ons?
When you book your Picture Me Paris photo session, you’ll select the package you’d like, but you can also add on à la carte services. For example:
- You can elect to have your favorites also provided in black and white (you’ll get them in color but you can also get them in black & white)
- You can purchase additional digital images for 10€ each
What’s the cancellation policy?
I know sometimes life happens, and you may need to cancel your session. If you need to cancel your photo session for any reason, at least 14 days’ notice via email is required. If I’m notified at least 14 days before the session, you’ll be refunded in full. If you’re a no-show or do not give at least 14 days’ notice of cancellation, the payment is not refundable. Options then, are:
- You can reschedule your session (based on availability only) or use your payment toward another photo session of equal value at another date when you’ll return to Paris (valid for one year and based on availability).
- You can can gift the session to another person toward a photo session of equal value (valid for one year and based on availability). A voucher will be provided.
More details on this will be sent after your booking via your agreement.
What time of day should I book?
The morning between 7:00 am and 10:00 am (depending on season) is the absolute best time for a Paris photo experience. Less tourists are out and the city is quieter. Also, the early morning light is best for flattering photographs. Later in the day the sun is very high, making it much less attractive for photographs, and also there are thousands of tourists out and about, which is not ideal.
Can I split my experience over two days? can I do one hour one day and another hour another day? Or an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon?
I’m so sorry, but at this time all sessions must be done the same day and consecutively (i.e. two hours in a row, not an hour in the morning, an hour in the afternoon),.
Can I change the date, starting time or duration of my photo session after its been booked?
I know life happens sometimes! Once booked, photo sessions are confirmed for the date and time specified. Due to scheduling conflicts, it is unlikely this can be changed. If you have an emergency, don’t hesitate to reach out and I’ll try to help you.
I want to do a surprise proposal, can you help me?
Absolutely! One of the things I love best are surprise proposals and I’ll work with you to make it perfect. You can find information about surprise proposals here, www.parissurpriseproposal.com
But what if I can’t decide or I like more than 15 photos, for example, from my gallery?
No problem! You’ll select as many favorites as correspond to your package. However, you can download any photos above and beyond those included in your gallery, those are à la carte at 10€ each.
I'd like to book the a one-hour session and have my photographs at the Eiffel Tower and Louvre, is this possible?
I’m sorry, this is not possible with a one-hour session. A one-hour session includes one location in Paris. This could be the Eiffel Tower, it could be the Louvre courtyard (and areas around it), or it could be a one-hour session in Montmartre. The Eiffel Tower is the farthest landmark west in Paris and it takes time to get there and get other places from there, so if you absolutely want photographs near the Eiffel Tower in a one-hour session, it’s not possible to do that and another location in an hour. If you’d like to do the Eiffel Tower and one other location, please book a two or three hour session.
I see you have packages, but I don’t like those, and I’d like to design a custom package.
My packages were developed based on my vast experience photographing couples and families and Paris and work great for most people. If you have a special request, feel free to contact me.
I’m not going to be in Paris very long, how will you get me the photos? I want to take them home in my suitcase.
Your images are not printed copies, no printed copies will be supplied to you. Rather, you’ll get access to an online photo gallery. All of your images will be there in JPEG format, in high resolution digital format. This allows you to access your photos from anywhere, download them to your computer, phone or tablet to share with family and friends on social media or through email/text messaging. The images are high resolution, so you can print them in a very large size upon your return home. I can also order them on your behalf and have them shipped to your home. I use professional labs to provide high quality prints. You’ll be able to order these prints from your online gallery. Your images can be printed up to size 16×20 and beyond, and I’m happy to help you. I guarantee the quality of all printed images ordered through the online gallery.
But I’m traveling and I won’t have time to look at my photos, how long is my gallery open so I can select my favorites?
Your photo gallery remains active for 30 days. If you’re doing extensive travel, ask me for an extension to your gallery.
I want the photos the same day as my session, is this possible?
After our session, I take great care to go through all of the images I took to find the best photographs, and this takes quite some time. After I have selected the images I think are best, I edit as necessary to adjust for lighting, brightness, etc. It usually takes three (3) working days before I have a link ready for you to proof your photographs.
What if my package includes 15 photos and I want to see all of them, can you send me all the photos?
You’ll see a wide variety of photos in your gallery, many more than what your package includes. This is to give you the choice as to which photos you’d like. It’s your choice, and you can select those that are included in your package or purchase an add-on digital package after you’ve viewed your gallery. Typically, if you book the Gold Experience, you’ll have about 50 photos in your gallery to choose from. If you select the Platinum Experience, you’ll have about 60-75.
How many photos will I receive as part of my package?
After your photo session, I’ll select the very best images we captured during our time together and professionally edit them for brightness and color correction. When the editing process is complete, I’ll upload all of these edited images to an online portrait gallery. You’ll receive an email, notifying you that your gallery is ready. You’ll select your favorites from your gallery, the number of photos corresponds to the package you selected.
For example, if you selected the Gold package, you’ll be able to add your 15 favorites to a shopping cart and download them digitally to your computer.
ALL OF THE PHOTOS IN THE GALLERY ARE PROFESSIONALLY EDITED. So, you’ll be selecting from edited photos, not unedited photos. You’ll be able to see all of them. The best news of all? Most clients love so many of their beautiful photo memories from Paris that they would love even more, so you also have the option to purchase additional images as well.
Add any additional images you like to your cart for just 10€ each.
Can you recommend a good dinner option?
Right on the Eiffel Tower itself is the famous Jules Verne restaurant. Nearby is also the very popular Les Ombres at the Museum of Quai Branly. If you want to do a really nice dinner cruise, I can highly recommend Le Calife, which embarks at the Pont des Arts near the Louvre. I would recommend that you book in advance, as dinner reservations tend to fill quickly. Also, you can check The Fork and do a customized search for your perfect dinner spot.
I've got some photos in front of the Eiffel Tower from Pinterest or a Google search I did, these are the photos I want, can you do that?
It’s great that you’ve researched the kinds of images people have taken in Paris, there are so many great ones. Please review my portfolio to see the kinds of images I take and see if those in line with your style and vision. I will work to incorporate your ideas, but I’d love it if you could review my work also. Thanks!
What, in your opinion, are the "can't miss" attractions of Paris?
The Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral, Opera Garnier, and Luxembourg Gardens are the spots I would consider must-sees in Paris, although there are many, many more! The Paris Tourist Office is a great starting point for planning your activities in Paris.
Can you recommend a good overall river cruise of Paris?
Gliding along on the Seine river, particularly as the lights come on in the evening, is one of the great pleasures of any Paris visit. My favorite river cruise company is Bateaux Mouches at the Pont Alma. They have boats that leave very frequently and give a nice overview of the city by water. I also quite enjoy the company Vedettes du Pont Neuf, which have smaller, more personalized boats and are near the Notre Dame area.
What’s the most important piece of advice for people being photographed in Paris?
Relax and enjoy! You’re in one of the world’s most glorious, amazing cities. We’re going to have a lot of fun together!
I heard there's sometimes construction around the Eiffel Tower or even fog, what do we do then?
Paris is a living, breathing city, with dozens of special events that go on every day. Therefore, there is always the slight risk that there could be an event near the Eiffel Tower (like a foot race, bike race, for example), or another special event. We often don’t know in advance and therefore on the day of your session we may have to improvise. Also, the Eiffel Tower is often used as a statement piece. For example, often during the French Open, they often hang a big replica tennis ball from the Eiffel Tower. We can’t do much about this, just know that Paris changes all the time. We don’t cancel our sessions because of it, rather we work around it the best we can.
It indeed does get foggy in Paris, and usually the fog is light but might obscure some of the Eiffel Tower. Sometimes the entire Eiffel Tower is obscured. In this case, we can reschedule your session, or we can select another beautiful part of Paris for our photographs. The best rule of thumb when visiting Paris, come with an open mind, flexibility and enjoy it to its fullest!
What's your favorite thing to do in Paris?
Walk! If the weather is nice, go to the boulangerie and grab a sandwich, and walk by the Seine, find a nice grassy area in a park or a green chair, and just relax. To me, half the fun of Paris is just to walk around and soak it all in!
I really don’t want to pay the whole amount in advance, that seems odd.
I know it can be daunting to pay for a service you have not yet received. I used to require a small deposit to book a photo session, but unfortunately, I had a number of clients who never paid for their photo sessions and I did a lot of work I was not compensated for. After not being paid for your work a few times, it can sort of get a person down. I do require payment in full at the time of booking with a cancellation policy of 14 days’ advance notice. If you need to cancel, as long as I have 14 days’ notice, your entire amount will be refunded.
Please note: when you pay by credit card, it’s PICTUREMEPARIS that will appear on your credit card statement.
I'm from the US and I want to pay in US dollars, is this possible?
I’m sorry, it’s not possible to pay for your session in US dollars ($). Picture Me Paris is a French business and the currency in France is the euro. When you pay by credit card or Paypal, your euro payment will be automatically converted to dollars on your statement. You can see current exchange rates here.