Guest Post: Montmartre Vignettes

27 Jun

Today’s guest post is brought to you by my good friend Gisela, who recently founded, a photography website I can’t get enough of. Gigi posts her own amazing photography, tutorials she’s found, and examples of other great photographs on the web. She explains what mes a photograph a good one and why it works.  What I love most about the website is its message: what makes a good photographer is the person behind the lens, not the equipment. This is very validating for someone like me who has very basic gear. Expensive equipment only takes you so far. What matters is you.

Gigi is a world traveler, originally from Portugal and currently living in Paris. She lives with her husband and two cats. We met on flickr when I begged to join her group, The New Domesticity. We became fast friends. Her personal style is classic and timeless and fits Paris perfectly. I’ve long admired her dressing room self portraits. Today she is going to take you on a little photo tour of Paris, specifically Montmartre.

Monmartre encapsulates both sides of Paris: the sacred and the profane, coexisting side-by-side, a vibrant city center at the intersection of crass and culture. And Gigi is going to give you the tour.


Montmartre is a charming place.

Metro station Abbesses has one of only three art nouveau glass canopies still in existence in Paris. Walking around in the narrow and steep streets you find many treasures. Wallace fountains, street art, quirky cafés and restaurants.

Everywhere you look you see Paris much like it was when van Gogh, Renoir or Picasso lived there. This was the place of artists. Many well known painters, writers and philosophers called it their home. A place of creativity, excess drinking and cavorting, if you know what I mean.

Today it remains a symbol of Paris’ art spirit and bohemian fun with commercial street artists and, at the base of the hill, the sex clubs.

One of the reasons I love Montmartre it’s the view. At the top of the hill there is a snowy white catholic church, the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, and a wonderful view of Paris. We can see everything from up there. It’s like a gigantic “Where’s Waldo?” of famous buildings. The Invalides, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame, the Panthéon. You name it. Because Montmartre is one of the few hills in Paris, you can see for miles.

After soaking in the view you will be ready to go down hill and enjoy a show at the Moulin Rouge or a new cordless toy, which ever floats your boat.

53 Responses to “Guest Post: Montmartre Vignettes”

  1. jessica June 27, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    oh my, the pictures are LOVELY!!!

    • Gigi June 27, 2011 at 5:06 am #

      Thank you Jessica!

  2. Gigi June 27, 2011 at 5:05 am #

    Thank you Carrie Anne for the opportunity to guest post!

  3. cosmonavigator June 27, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    Great Photos, congrats on fresh post

  4. habituallearner June 27, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Paris will always be my most favorite place in the world. I love your post! The pictures of Paris make me homesick for a place that was never my home. I have always said that Montmartre was my most favorite area in Paris. I will always remember the feeling I got when I got to the top of Sacre Coeur. Also, I can never forget the funny French man who told me I had “the perfect face for painting.” He said he would give me “student price.” He said I didn’t have to pay if I didn’t like it. I swear the experience was well worth the 40 euros I paid and the painting of my face in Monmartre will forever hang on my wall. It was a lot of money and I was pretty naive but I will never have another experience like that again. The pictures are incredible! Thanks for sending me down memory lane.

  5. Tooty Nolan June 27, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    Thanks for the pictures. Now I HAVE to go back there again!

  6. Modern Funk June 27, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    Was in Paris myself, recently. I loved Montmartre. Can’t wait to return. Great photos!


  7. Lakia Gordon June 27, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    Awesome photos. I took a look at the link you provided and found more amazing photos! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Mr.memo June 27, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    cool pics dude ……

  9. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide June 27, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    Gorgeous photos. Little old men are so photogenic!

  10. Marc Schuster June 27, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    It’s been a year since I visited Montmartre, and your photos make me miss it immensely!

  11. CultureChoc2010 June 27, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    I am such a fan of Paris. I loved living there!

  12. gaycarboys June 27, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    My favourite is the Metro entrance. I too was enthralled with them as I’d never seen anything so beautiful. Mind you Paris is absolutely stuffed to the gunnels with photo ops. Just gorgeous and congrats on FP

  13. I Made You A Mixtape June 27, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Ooh… Montmartre has always been my favourite part of Paris… even thought very touristy- it is still one of the places in Paris where it feels like you could be hanging out with toulose lautrec- sipping cheap red wine in a shady street cafe somewhere… fabulous pictures!

  14. mindshapedbox June 27, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Very nice 🙂

  15. mkeeffer June 27, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    Excellent photos – really capture the mood of the place. Thanks for sharing this. Paris is indeed a very special place!

  16. Corey Frye June 27, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Beautiful pictures! Been living/blogging in Paris for a year now, and even after countless explorations the city always has another surprise up its sleeve. Endlessly photogenic, transporting, and downright cool…I’m convinced it’s the best place on Earth! -Corey (

  17. Allison Iacone June 27, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    I might be in a bit of tender place this morning…but these pictures made me tear up. I will never go to Paris without spending an afternoon in the Montmartre. Granted, it is touristy and a haven for scam artists. But it is raw and beautiful, just like your photos.
    I’m in the market for a more high-end camera and I’d love to know what you’re using.

  18. quindalina June 27, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Great Pics! I also live in France and love Gigi’s takes one some classic scenes!! 🙂

  19. AmandaStretch June 27, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    I spent Christmas Day 2007 wandering Montmarte with my grandparents. Such a lovely part of the city! Thank you for sharing!

  20. ournote2self June 27, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  21. Calogero Mira June 27, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    Nice photos.

  22. Ascentive June 27, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Awesome photos, Montmartre seems likes such an enchanting place. I try to blog weekly about different spots around Philadelphia but my photos can’t compare to yours!

  23. Emmy June 27, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    oh my gosh, thank you for posting these, what perfect timing! i just got back seeing midnight in paris (which everyone on here should definitely see if they haven’t yet,) and i’ve been so in the mood for paris all day. these pictures are gorgeous, and by the way, are definitely best viewed while listening to django reinhardt – i highly recommend it:)

  24. shannon June 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    I love Montmartre! I had my portrait drawn there with some friends back in the summer of ’98… alas I’m still trying to find it after many many moves. Thanks for reminding me to keep looking!

  25. shortweird June 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    ‘that way’ … loved it 🙂

  26. Alessandro Paiva June 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    I love Paris, I love Montmartre. Great post 🙂

  27. odorunara June 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    Is that a kodama from Princess Mononoke in the last photo? (asks the Japan blogger)

  28. Lessio June 27, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    I live in Rome, but my heart is still there, in Montmartre…

  29. sketchjay June 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Awesome photos! Thanks for sharing – I love Paris and have spent a lazy afternoon or two sipping coffee and people watching. Your photos brought me back to that time.

  30. 7des7iny June 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    Thanks for sharing the photos. Don’t think I’ll have the chance to see such nice scenes so soon otherwise.

  31. hayadith June 27, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    even though i love italy more..Paris is nice too !

  32. Aaron June 27, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    I have to go back there some day. It was absolutely gorgeous! Did you go behind the basilica to the tiny park with a plant-laden wood-weaved tunnel?

  33. maru June 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Beautiful the place and the photos! Thanks for inviting her, thanks for sharing your captures of such a gorgeous city.

    …by the way congrats for being Freshly Pressed.

  34. arifinfo June 28, 2011 at 3:52 am #

    ohhh, lovely picture

  35. pariscruff June 28, 2011 at 5:23 am #


    I made specifically to counter this typical talk of “magical” Paris.

    Check out for a refreshingly alternative view on Paris 😀

  36. Pk June 28, 2011 at 5:38 am #

    I think I was meant to find your post on freshly pressed because I was just pondering a post about how everyone else has beautiful photos on their blog not me. Despite having studied Fine Arts and knowing that having the best stuff doesn’t necessarily mean the best, I have recently started to feel like my crappy point and shoot camera is what’s holding me back.

    Now, maybe it is holding me back. But then again, sometimes the stars are aligned just so and I capture something better than anticipated.

    Thanks for this!

  37. dennisfinocchiaro June 28, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    I loved Montmartre when I visited…but you really captured some great images there! Beautiful work.

  38. iamsamsie June 28, 2011 at 6:08 am #

    Lovely pictures,beautiful place

  39. Mr. Freelance June 28, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    Thank you for this fantastic post with pics from my favourite place in the World! Looking forward to see more soon 🙂

  40. Ady June 28, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    Paris does look great.

  41. Déjà Vu - The Blog June 28, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    Oh la la!

    Beautiful pictures form my favourite city in the world!

    Check out our blog, all about what Paris has to offer and much more 🙂

  42. Fernando G. June 28, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    I actually met Gisela this past April through a mutual Friend, on my first trip to Paris. I have say you hit the nail on the head. Her style is timeless and I would also call her a “classic” beauty. Her husband is a lucky man and a great guy too. In short, they are both wonderful and fun people people.

    What I did not know is what a great photographer Gisela really is and I have to say I feel inspired by her images. Simply amazing. I need to dust off my camera and get back in photography.

  43. Chris July 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    These are beautiful photos

  44. realanonymousgirl2011 July 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    The pictures make going there so enticing. One day….one day….

  45. mark July 5, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Wow your pic’s make me feel like I’ve been around the world. Thanks can’t wait for next round.

  46. Fiction & Foibles July 7, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Lovely photographs! makes me want to draw scenery for a change 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


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