Anyone who knows me well knows I'm passionate about travel, and working as a destination wedding photographer offers so many great opportunities to see (and shoot) new places with fresh perspectives. In San Francisco this summer, my sweet friend Jaron Schneider pulled some strings (read: begged Toby Harriman) to get me into an empty seat on a helicopter - we had such a blast - Jaron shot video, while I took stills flying high over the city by the bay. Special shout out to AV Connections for making it happen! I absolutely love California, and can't wait for my next visit!
So, you and your sweetheart are ready for some professional photos together. Yay! While your photographer will offer great suggestions, it's always smart to give some thought to what you'd like to accomplish in advance of your session. Several factors go into making a fabulous couple's shoot, and today we're going to talk about - you guessed it - location, location, location!
While natural settings with lush greenery are always pretty, you'll get more bang for your buck by selecting a few varied options. From architectural details to urban art and floral arbors, creatively using the surroundings will give you a more interesting set of photos. I'm delighted with what we captured during Mike and Mia's Los Angeles couple's session - bright geometric art, sunny street shots, and even rustic-looking wood gave us tons of options, all without leaving the city!
In an urban setting, rooftops, museums, and fancy locations have their appeal, and can make for gorgeous photos. That said, some may require permits or other arrangements to be made prior to your session and can add to the overall cost. If you have your heart set on a place like this, talk to your photographer and do some research beforehand to avoid annoying hang-ups the day of. Accessibility is also important to consider in a natural location - if you're shooting on a mountain, make sure to have a way to the top figured out before showing up, and wear appropriate shoes (or carry the cute ones to change into!)
3. Keep the focus on YOU
With all that said, a talented photographer needs nothing more than good light and a happy couple to take great photos. Selecting a location that you are familiar with, or that has special meaning to you as a couple will show in the finished product. The focus is on you and your love for each other, not fancy buildings or landscapes, though they sure can look nice. For example, while they are wearing casual outfits on a city street, Mia and Mike absolutely glow while stealing smooches on their bikes in the afternoon light. No fancy trips needed!
Finally, talk to your photographer! We live for this stuff, and are here to guide you in making your engagement portrait session or couple's shoot a complete success!
I get to shoot in some pretty fabulous locations as a destination wedding photographer, and love every minute of it. Northern California is a magical place, so it's no surprise that cuties Laura and Elliot came to college, fell in love, and got married here! The combination of ancient trees and Mission-style architecture (not to mention wine country proximity) made for a dreamy natural setting to celebrate their new life together.
Having met as freshmen at Santa Clara, they went on their first date as seniors and have been inseparable ever since. In a nod to their history, the traditional ceremony was held at Mission Santa Clara, with a reception at nearby Saratoga Springs. One of the couple's favorite pastimes is camping together, and it showed in the unique woodland vibe at the reception. Their sweet 10 year old pup Sadie stole the show with her festive leaf lei, and we even got a visit from a turtle! There were some adorable details; the paper heart garland, and a rustic cake (with an American flag inside of course). Everyone had a blast dancing under the twinkling lights and evergreen canopy late into the evening - this happy bunch was a joy to capture, and the scenery has me already planning my next trip to California!