Whether you’re getting married in Melbourne or further afield, choosing the perfect location for your wedding photos is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly 😮. Having some wet weather options up your sleeve are a must too! Afterall you’re going to be looking at your wedding photos for a long time! That said though, there are some other elements that for me are even more important – good light and a happy couple. But let’s talk locations… Here’s my top 20 tips on how to find awesome wedding portrait locations…
Finding the best photography locations for your wedding day…
- Think outside the square. There are obvious locations like the local park or Botanic Gardens but in my experience it’s the places that are a little out of the ordinary that make for the best pictures.
- Remember, the location/s don’t have to be at the same spot as your ceremony or reception.
- Ask your photographer. You’re investing a lot of money in your photographer and ultimately they should have the experience and knowledge to confidently recommend good photography locations. They should be more than happy to research online and location scout where possible.
- Logistics are important. As we all know the schedule of a wedding day is TIGHT. It’s one thing to find a good location, it’s another to find one close by the ceremony and reception venues. Consider locations that are convenient and work within your time restraints.
- Less is more. One or two locations is plenty. Any more and too much time is burnt jumping in and out of cars disrupting the flow of the session.
- Ditch the bridal party. We love them, of course, but in my experience it makes life a lot easier and saves a lot of time photographing the bridal at or near the ceremony venue before we disappear to our epic portrait locations.
- Good light trumps a good location, everytime. You can’t make a good location sing without good light, but you can make a not-so-good location look bonkers if you’ve got good light (and a good photographer).
- Don’t be afraid of indoor locations of your portrait session! Window light is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
We’re getting married in the city…
- City locations can be really awesome to work with. The tall buildings and streets can make for some really beautiful and interesting light to work with which is the essential ingredient for stunning portraits. Be mindful of that when hunting for the right spots.
- Some of my favorite city locations to keep an eye out for are – underpasses, carpark rooftops, old factories, industrial buildings etc.
- If you have time, it can be nice to offset an urban location with a bit of greenery. If your venues don’t have some nice green areas consider nearby parks, Botanical Gardens etc.
- Steer clear of graffiti. Cities like Melbourne have some very popular laneways covered in beautiful street art but personally I suggest to steer clear from such locations. They can easily feel cliche and photographically the artwork can become quite overbearing in the photos.
- A lot of urban locations can NOT be suitable for photography. It could be due to how busy the place is, lots of signage, litter etc. For this reason I highly suggest you don’t just wander (as some photographers may suggest). Have a plan and make sure there’s some key spots you’re aiming to get to.
We’re getting married at a winery or resort…
- If this is the case the venue will likely have some really great options for portrait locations. However do beware of the ‘popular’ spots that the venue staff proudly proclaim ‘every couple always gets their photo taken in front of this!’. More often than not it’s likely going to be something cliche and not make for good photos. As I often say – we want to steer clear of Cheese Town. If I’m photographing a couple and the wedding coordinator wanders over and says ‘oh wow, I’ve never seen anyone have photos here before’, I know we’re on the right track.
- Don’t be afraid to head off-site. Research what’s around you and don’t be afraid to encourage your photographer to do the same. I will always explore on Google Maps or in person what’s around that might have photographic potential. It could be that only a couple of minutes down the road is a forest, quarry, waterfall etc.
We’re getting married in nature (country/forest/beach/desert etc)…
- If this is you then you’ve got some really beautiful elements that will photograph nicely. My advice here is to not just wing it and hope you or your photographer will stumble across the perfect spot on the day. You and/or your photographer should do some research and have some specific spots in mind that will make for some great portraits.
- Prominent features like rivers, rows of trees, waterfalls, cliffs, sand dunes etc are wonderful things to work with.
- If you’re out in the open without access to shade (buildings, trees, rocks etc) then light is a particularly important consideration. As a general rule the later in the day for portraits the better as the sun will be lower, softer and warmer = more flattering.
We’re pulling our hair out trying to find the perfect spot!
- If you’re worried about the locations (please!) talk to your photographer beforehand to come up with some solutions. There always are! Ultimately if you have chosen a good photographer they’ll be able to make some magic no matter where they are.
- If your schedule doesn’t allow enough time head to locations you would have loved to have gone to then consider a pre or post wedding shoot. Particularly with destination weddings this is something that I always encourage my couples to do. You will have all the time in the world to head wherever you like to create some beautiful portraits of the two of you and show off the location as well. Also, if you do a shoot before the wedding an added bonus is you get to break the ice with your photographer and get used to having your photo taken.
I hope that was helpful! If so please let me know in the comments below and please hit me up with any questions you may have too!