Finding your perfect wedding photoshoot location should be easy and fun, and usually a professional photographer don’t need you to go atop a mountain og swim in the ocean to take good or unique photographs – even though that would be pretty awesome and if you’d want that I’m totally in! Sometimes it’s just about figuring out what you’d like your end product, your photos, should look and feel like. Of course as your photographer I can help you with suggestions, but what’s really important is that you choose a location based on your style and personality as a couple. And if you give it some thought before the day, you’re more likely to be happy with the results because it makes sense to you.
In this blogpost, I’m trying to identify some types of wedding photoshoot locations for you to get ideas flowing. Let’s dig in!
For The Nature Lovers: Forests, National Parks & Scenery
Are you a sucker for lush green gardens, trees and scenery, this might be something to consider. Parks and forests are my go-to locations for weddings, as they are easy to locate nearly everywhere, and they make scene for beautiful, neutral photographs where we’re able to focus on the bride and groom. And if you have a big area like a forest or park, you’ll usually have plenty of space to be creative and to create variety in you photos. Sceneries for wedding photos can be more difficult to locate as you sometimes need to drive or walk a bit to get all distractions out of the way to make great scenery shots. And even though the scenery can be spectacular for you eyes high, high atop a mountain looking over a city, it might not photograph well. Try take a photo with you phone or a camera and ask your photographer if it will be scenery that might photograph well, or ask someone in the area if there’s ever been anyone taking photos from that location before.
For The Oceanside Adventurers: Seaside, Boats & Cliffs
Your venue might be close to the beach, rocky seaside or even a port and perhaps this landscape brings out a great feeling in you – or you just think it’s beautiful like I do! Rocky cliffs or seasides on a coastline located to the west, will have beautiful light in the evening too! It could of course also be by a lake. Remember that locations like this often have surfaces that can be slippery or difficult to walk on with high heels or a big princess gown, so prepare accordingly. The shots below were taken by the sea, and on a lake damp ship respectively and they were both very pretty locations. Of course the seaside photo is more neutral and classic than the photo on the ship, but you can see the different kinds of styles here and maybe it’s something that resonates with you.
For The Unconventional: Industrial Sites & Tagging
I LOVE, love sites like this, because they’re usually some really great places to be creative. Abandoned industrial sites are unconventional, although popular, and can really add a uniqueness to your photographs. Sometimes there are great opportunities for interesting angles, using building features and tagging to add eye catching photographs. If you feel a little edgy, you could really consider a location like this. If you don’t feel like all your wedding photos should include tagging or a dirty concrete surface, you could easily make time for another location nearby in a park or with some greenery to make up for the harshness. Finding good industrial sites can take some effort, though. They’re not always very accessible (or safe) and it’s not a given that you’ll know where to look for them. Ask around on forums or in the local community to get started on where to look for places like this. Think factories, train stations, alleys in old cities, an abandoned neighbourhood and so on.
For The Creative: Cities, Circuses & Theme Parks
Cities are so full of life and variety! If you don’t mind other people watching you while being photographed, a city might be an ideal location for you if you want photos that are a bit unique. Cities have so much to offer, like streets, landmarks, coffee shops, alleyways, architecture, stairways, not to mention doors and windows of all colours and shapes. It’s time to get creative, people – be brave and go out in the streets if you’d like photos like the ones you can see below. Usually I use a very shallow depth of field, so even if your city is crowded, photographing in a city can give you beautifully unique photos.
For The Romantic: Rustic Buildings & Farmlands
Rustic weddings has been a trend for years, and it’s easy to see why. Roads that go nowhere, barn doors and lush light and landscapes are beautiful! Just remember that in harsh sunlight, photographing in an open field can be difficult and won’t give you soft light like in the photo below to the right. That one is taken an hour or so before sunset, which is an ideal time to photograph in open rural landscapes.
For The Nostalgic: Meaningful Locations & Landmarks
Plenty of times, brides and grooms have asked me if we can take photos at a location that means something to them. The photo below to the left is an iconic building from the bride and groom’s heritage farm, and the photo to the right is from the running tracks where the bride is a hurdling competitor and both are active runners. The last photo below this paragraph was taken in an old school, since both the bride and groom are proud teachers. I’ve shot in grandma’s garden, together with the family dog or even in a street or by a car that has sentimental value to the couple. Mention this in advance, and we’ll make time for it or even to the main photographs surrounded by your meaningful attributes or at a meaningful place. If Paris has meaning for you, I’ll certainly go with you there too!
Keep It Simple, Baby: Stay Right Where You Are
You don’t have to go to great lengths to pick you location if you don’t want to. A skilled photographer can always make it work wherever you are, but there are some things you should think about before not caring about your location. Getting a good variety of photographs can be tricky if you don’t have any thoughts about your location in advance. In the photo below we used the parking lot outside the venue to photograph this couple, and it was literally a gravelled area of 4×4 meters and one single bush filtering out harsh backlighting from the sun. The couple didn’t want to use the industrial area around it, because it wasn’t their style, so we were a little limited. It turned out to be beautiful, however!And in the next photo, we just used the wall outside the couples house. Nothing more.
But even though choosing to stay in just one location can be a stress reliever, it’s more likely that being limited will result in less variety and uniqueness. Closeups and romantic photos of you as a couple is better for this kind of location because then the background won’t be a big focus point in your photo anyways. If you are looking for landscape shots or more creative angles and variety, this might not be for you.
I hope this post gave you an idea for where to start looking and make an informed decision for your perfect wedding photoshoot location.
Of course, as your photographer, I will assist, inspire and suggest as much as I can, but you’re essentially in charge of this decision, because you’re the couple and you know yourself better than I do. Remember, if you can’t decide, try to make time for two different locations, because that will certainly make room for a lot of creativity and variety in your wedding photos.