If you thought that Paris facades were nothing more than a uniform set of walls and windows, we propose you to discover some curious details that will make you look closer as you walk in the city with your camera.
Faces, Atlas and Caryatids
Faces sculpted into stone, lions, fantastic animals.. When discovering Paris, do not miss the opportunity for photographing some of these or the impressive Atlas and Caryatids -human figures that carry over their back the weight of the world- and their perfect human figure and clothing. In Renaissance and neoclassical buildings you might get a nice repertoire of all this imaginary and we particularly recommend you to visit some areas like the Opera, the Grands Boulevards, the streets next to the Louvre, the 6th or the 7th districts and to create a nice series of photos.
Mural paintings, frescoes and wood carved decorations are part of many Parisians facades. Most shops and restaurants used these techniques to enrich their facade and all over Paris you can fin these expressions of the taste evolution as the city changed through time.
No matter where you go, you will find with no doubt big and small traces of street art. If you like this particular kind of art, keep you eyes and camera ready or visit the Belleville area or the Buttes aux Cailles zone as these locations gather together some of the most expressive samples. If you are up to it, the best would be to go to suburban areas like Saint-Denis to get the best out of contemporary street art.
If you love history, you might want to photograph some of the signs and plaques that will let you know more about that location: where used to live great intellectuals, musicians, etc. Also, you can find informative plaques of curious things that talk more about the city and how it was before. Paris has gone through a number of transformations that have left behind some marks that only time can create: windows ventilation systems, gas urban lighting, urban architectonic remains, war traces, etc. Keep your camera ready as most of them are not signed. Check for gas signs, for inscriptions of hotels with toilette, the location of public baths and showers. It’s up to you for making your collection.
Either big or small publicity images cover the city. There are for every taste and for everyone, some full of color, others extravagant, playful, conservative. This images can be great themes for exploring composition or you can use them as background in street photography and urban portraits.
Also, for collecting one piece of history, try taking the time to read and photograph some of the little service notes placed in pipes and walls. They are full of colors, information, and maybe one of them will be of use.