Behind The Photo - The Louvre Paris

Featured Thursday, 09 October 2014 04:56

Shooting at The Louvre in Paris was always going to be a challenge.


So much so I had difficulty recruiting local models to take part. I was lucky that a model I planned to shoot with a week later in London, happened to be in Paris for Fashion Week, and was up for the challenge.

Once we had agreed that we were shooting at The Louvre, I headed there the day prior to check the light, and how busy it was throughout the morning. I made a shot list of 6 different locations I wanted to shoot at and took samples to brief the model.

I arrived at the museum at 6am to confirm locations I had scoped out the day prior.

Unfortunately the forecourt was barricaded off, and we did not want to trespass, so we began shooting at the nearby arch and gardens. As soon as the gates opened, we were the first ones in and we quickly shot two set ups inside the courtyard in front of the glass pyramid – those shots are under wraps until my next book launches.

We only shot there for 15-20 seconds before taking off and coming to the location above.

Just behind the maze of hedges is a circular green, surrounded by a hedge. Taking a low angle I was able to use the hedge to obscure the road behind, which was already filling with tour buses. The model went through several poses, and I had her lie on her side to emphasise her striking figure. She spontaneously put one elbow up, which mirrored the glass pyramid behind her.

The beautiful thing about shooting bare skin against rich green backgrounds, is the way the skin reflects the light and gives excellent separation. Here applying a red filter black and white edit to the shot, and her skin takes on a lovely milky glow, against the darkened greens of the grass and hedge.

We went on to shoot all of the shots I had in mind, plus one more that the model suggested as she had brought along a traditional laced corset that we were able to shoot with also.

This shot taken low to the ground with D800E + Tamron 24-70mm VC at 24mm, f2.8.

Oh - and we realised as we shot that this area (at least at sunrise on Sundays) is a gay mens cruising zone - so we were sharing the space with lots of solo men wandering about and the model literally tripped on a couple that were 'at it' in the bushes. Fun times!

This image is part of my new book, NOW on Kickstater here:



  • Comment Link EMilio Villegas Friday, 10 October 2014 12:36 posted by EMilio Villegas

    Nice photo mate but I would get rid of the dark spot in the sky. It may be a bird but still. Cheers

  • Comment Link Olivier Friday, 10 October 2014 12:51 posted by Olivier

    Knowing the place it's a nice shot and you successfully avoided all the tourist buses.
    Further yes I guess you had to deal with a few gay guys so early in the morning :-)

  • Comment Link Chad Saturday, 11 October 2014 05:59 posted by Chad

    Hello Matt,

    Thanks for sharing the story behind the shot. I always find the "behind the scenes" stuff interesting. Is it difficult to shoot nudes in a public location like this? In America, the police frown upon stuff like this, and you would have been fined for indecent exposure.

    Thank you,

  • Comment Link Bart Saturday, 11 October 2014 23:13 posted by Bart

    Great work and like Chad I am a fan of the "behind the scenes" stuff. Like Chad I am in the States and find it very (extremely) difficult to find nice public places to shoot nude, as often is the case it is also crowded with Police and will face a big fine.

  • Comment Link Brandon Richardson Wednesday, 15 October 2014 09:02 posted by Brandon Richardson

    Great Shot. Thanks for explaining the setup of how you was able to capture this scene.

  • Comment Link Miss Bex Paul Friday, 07 November 2014 14:18 posted by Miss Bex Paul

    Love this! Honoured that you featured our shoot. To quote a friend of mine from Facebook;

    "Your body is the sprawling Louvre, your elbow the glass pyramid :)"

    We did good Matt, it was fun. xx


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