One of the things I absolutely adore about my job is getting to see so many fabulous and interesting new places. I’ve travelled all over the place already which really suits my wanderlust – I’m one of those people who never quite puts their passport away as I’m always hoping to get to the next exciting destination as soon as I possibly can. Despite being primarily a Birmingham wedding photographer, my work takes me all over the place which is ace. Even closer to home here in the UK, I’m constantly amazed by all the wonderful places we have, and I love getting to see them at weddings and engagement shoots. It’s always lovely to hear my couples telling me all about why they fell in love with their particular venue – there are so many stories about why a particular place is special to certain people and it’s different each time.
Something I’ve been meaning to do for ages now is to put together a bucket list of sorts, thinking about what my absolute dream backdrops would be for a wedding or engagement shoot. For me, these places are a combination of wanting to take epic photos of course, but also to work with like-minded people who I have interests in common with. I really do think great wedding photos are borne out of good working relationships between the photographer and the couple, and it’s definitely a great place to start if you share a passion such as travelling, film, music etc, or a particular location. So this list is by no means exhaustive, because as I said before I love to go to all sorts of interesting places (for more of my interests, see my About Me page!). But these are the ones that immediately spring to mind when I think about my photography bucket list.
In 2016 I took the trip of a lifetime driving across the states in an RV, ending up in California. It had been a dream of mine to visit CA for as long as I can remember, and I left a piece of my heart in Venice. From the bohemian vibe of Abbot Kinney Blvd (where, incidentally, I had the best breakfast of my entire life) to the doesn’t-feel-real sunsets over the beach, I think I have found my spiritual home. We only scratched the surface of the things to see and do but all I could think was “I need to shoot here”. I actually managed to get a little candid shot of a couple on the beach and this photo will forever remind me of the beautiful sunsets and chilled out feel of the place. If you’re having a destination wedding over in LA and fancy a UK photographer coming with you, let me know!
Bristol Balloon Fiesta
Anyone who’s ever lived in or visited Bristol will know that the whole city is a really special place. There’s so much going on, and much like Venice, the creative and relaxed vibe really appeals to me. Something I’ve always wanted to see, and that I think would make a pretty epic engagement shoot backdrop (or wedding backdrop if you’re up for it and the date fits!) is the annual balloon fiesta. It’s Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, and is a colourful and joyful spectacle. So give me a shout if you fancy having a once-a-year opportunity for some amazing and colourful photos.
What can I say about Portmeirion? It’s such a magical place and enduringly popular due to it’s romantic and eclectic feel. I love the history of how it came to be, and I’ve always felt it would be a really gorgeous place for a wedding or engagement shoot.
You know when I said I left a piece of my heart in Venice? Well actually, there are bits of it scattered all over the world, especially in the USA. I have such a love affair with the States, I’m not really sure why but there’s just something that pulls me there whenever possible. In particular New York is one of my favourite places on earth. I often drink from my I heart NY mug while I work and reminisce! There’s something about NYC that makes you feel like you’re on a never-ending film set – from the steam vents on city streets to the familiar buildings and landmarks, it’s all just so romantic. There are so many possibilities for photographs that would pack a punch, and I’d love to just wander the streets with a couple and grab opportunities wherever they come. One of my favourite ever memories is just walking for hours and hours with no real purpose around the city streets, taking it all in and enjoying the pace of it all. Oh, and anyone who knows me knows I love to eat – it’s also one of my favourite cities for food! You can’t beat an all-you can eat breakfast followed by street gyros for lunch and a gigantic plate of sticky ribs for tea, just sayin’.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Did you know you can get married at the BMAG? I didn’t until recently! It’s such a beautiful building, and it’s got a lovely mix of modernist and traditional areas – perfect for an uber cool urban wedding. I recently had the opportunity to have a look around with the coordinator and there is SO MUCH you could do with the space – it’s brilliant! They also work closely with The Electric Cinema so you could have your wedding there and reception at the Gallery. Win win! (And you’d help me with two of my places on this list…).
It feels a bit like my list wouldn’t be complete without one more USA entry, and of course it has to be wedding Mecca, Vegas. It’s the most insane place on earth but in the most wonderful way. We all know that the Strip and Fremont Street are non-stop frenetic neon joyride, but there’s so much more to see in and around Vegas. From the Hoover Dam to the Seven Magic Mountains, to the neon museum and of course wedding chapels in every theme imaginable, there’s something for everyone. I love this city, in fact I’d happily get married there myself.
The Electric Cinema, Birmingham
I am absolutely in love with the Electric Cinema in Birmingham – I spend a fair bit of time there (especially at the Trash Film nights – shout out to my fellow terrible film fans!). It’s such a beautiful building, and a welcome break from the multiplexes. I love that you can drink wine and eat humous whilst you relax on a sofa and take in a film – that’s the way to do it! I love the way the cinema preserves and values its history too (well, most of its history – it was originally a “specialist” cinema if you know what I mean…) – check out The Last Projectionist if you get time. I think it is super exciting that you can hold your wedding at this place, and I can imagine that I would get along couples who choose it and we could have a good natter about films. Not to mention the countless fantastic opportunities for photos! If you’re a cinephile couple planning your wedding at The Electric, drop me a line and let’s talk.
An Elopement – anywhere!
There’s something just so romantic about an elopement. I love shooting small, intimate weddings just as much as the big ones, and there’s always a story behind elopements. Whether you just don’t want the big wedding thing, your family are driving you nuts, or it’s all about the travel – if you’re looking for a photographer for your elopement then we need to talk!
I’m surprised I don’t see more photos popping up of weddings at Avoncroft Museum – it’s ace! It’s got a windmill, which is reason enough to want to go there. But it’s also got plenty of other absolutely gorgeous historical artifacts and locations, and it’s just the most delightfully quirky and fun place to get married.
A funfair wedding
This one speaks for itself really doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to get married at a funfair and who wouldn’t want to photograph it? There are even a few victorian fairs still in operation, like the one in Blists Hill. How cool is that?
A mountain wedding (this one has been ticked off, wooo!)
So I saved this one ’til last because actually this has been ticked off! I was lucky enough to fly out to Mayrhofen in Austria to help shoot Claire and Lee’s stunning alpine wedding. And holy moly it was to die for! They were married in a glass ceremony room on the slopes and then we headed to an ice bar, from which the couple snowboarded down and then we all had a knees-up in a centuries-old tavern. This destination wedding really highlighted how great it can be to work with a photographer from home – we had been able to make a connection with the family and the couple ahead of the big day and we knew what they wanted from their photos. Not to mention there were no language or cultural barriers to contend with! I’ve left this one on the list as I would go back in a heartbeat! If you’re after photography for your wedding in Mayrhofen or anywhere else on the slopes, let me know!
I could go on and on with this list but I think that’s pretty much my top ten. I’m sure at some point I’ll write another one of these, as I find new and interesting places all the time! If you are getting married or fancy a shoot at any of these places and want someone who loves it as much as you to photograph it, get in touch and let’s see if we’re a good fit. And don’t worry if your wedding isn’t on this list! This is just my personal top ten but I love each and every one of my weddings the same <3