It should really not be any surprise to any of you when I say I love taking photos. I mean heck, You’ve seen my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin..the list goes on. There’s always an image I’m sharing and telling a story about. For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with documenting my life. From high school days, concerts, hockey games, regular nights at friends houses & now more seriously since I started traveling. I love being able to capture the moments I experience to share with all of you, and to create a memory I can look back in print. So when Lindsey mentioned she had found a cool walking tour for our trip to Paris I was curious, I mean I can take my own walking tour in any city I go to with my camera in hand. The difference with this one? Swap out your phone or DSLR for a Polaroid! Yep, a polaroid camera!
I’ve shot with point & shoot cameras, DSLR cameras, disposable cameras, even film cameras (unsuccessfully I can add) but I’ve actually never had the chance to use a polaroid camera. So it was a quick “where do we sign up?!” from me & we had ourselves a tour scheduled with Paris Polaroid Tours. Founded in the summer of 2015, Paris Polaroid Tours is owned and operated by Steph and her team of Parisian photographers with a love for their city & a passion for showing off it’s best sides all the while providing you with back stories to the locations you’ll be shooting. Post tour I asked Steph what made her want to start this kind of tour and her reply was too good not to share, “Working as the marketing manager for We Love Pola (a Paris based company which sells and hires Polaroid cameras) for several years, I wanted to project my background in Cultural Tourism into the limelight. I wished to combine my skills in tourism marketing and management, my love for Paris and my passion for instant photography together to create an original concept”. Wanting to engage travellers, and not just drag them from one iconic monument to the next she came up with this fantastic company and has been welcoming travellers & photographers alike from North America, Australia, and The UK for the last few years. Believing entirely in the way photography tells a story, she definitely has created an opportunity for people to try their hands at polaroids and take home a few souvenirs for their memory wall too. #MakeParisYours is the # Paris Polaroid Tours uses and it couldn't be more true, their selection of tours will give you the opportunity to see Paris with a new set of eyes making it your own.
We met up with Steph, the owner & founder of Paris Polaroid Tours on Ile de la Cité, the island that houses Notre Dame, early on our last full day ready to get our hands on those cameras! Paris Polaroid Tours provides each person with a camera as well as a set of film to produce 10 photos that you’ll be able to take home with you at the end of the tour. From here she gave us a quick run down of the cameras functions and we set off on our Classic Paris Tour (there are 2 other options, which you can find here. Our first stop - Notre Dame of course! Taking in the absolutely incredible detail of this 12th century Gothic Cathedral is something best done slowly and from every angle. We were given a few tips at this point to make the best of our first photo subject and from here we walked North towards Pont Notre Dame & Pont Neuf letting Steph give us a serious history lesson about the landmarks and what the city looked like pre and post revolution.
We visited the infamous “love lock” bridge, which has now been cleared because the locks cause the bridge structure to sag (danger < love right?) but people have now taken up to leaving locks on another bridge nearby. From here we strolled alone the Seine towards the Louvre, and Place du Carousel taking in some more unique views other than the Glass Pyramid and finished up our tour at Place de la Concorde with views of the Eiffel Tower, Des Champs-Élysées & surrounded by some absolutely stunning fountains.
Although Lindsey and I had visited some of these locations earlier on in the week, being able to see them while learning exactly what they were built for or the historical facts behind them gave us a new appreciation for them and we were able to see them a little differently especially with the polaroid in our hands. Our 2 hour tour with Steph quickly turned into 3 as we made stops at While walking around we had been snapping photos of the landmarks we were learning about, and although the photo prints instantly when you click the shutter it does take several minutes for the images to actually form on the film so we put them in our pockets and continued on. It wasn’t until we got to the end of the walking tour that we finally got a look at our finished prints. Holding those moments we’d snapped on our hands definitely made the tour so much more special knowing we’d be able to take them home.
If you’re looking for a unique experience to make the most out of your visit to Paris I definitely suggest getting in tough with Steph and the Paris Polaroid team, and if you haven’t tried your hand at Polaroids before, I can assure you that after this you’ll go home & start pricing your own polaroid camera (or at least that’s what I did, Merry Christmas to me?). Un gros merci a Steph pour un matin magnifique!
To see more from Steph & the Paris Polaroid team check out their social media channels below