It's true. Their Guiness really is better.
Dublin, Cork, Galway...they'r e great, but if you really want to see the beauty of Ireland and get up close and personal with the people, hit the central, rural countryside. And the really dramatic landscapes are all along the west coast.
Rent a cottage on a working farm, or stay in a historic estate. I know some people. I nearly got elected mayor of a little village when I stayed there.
All you can imagine, and then some.
We went to Iceland to shoot an engagement session and ended up shooting two weddings by accident. That's just how we roll.
Everything goes in and out of Reykjavik, which is a cool place to use as your starting point. It gets more rural and remote going west on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, but still gorgeous. Going east you find a ton of waterfalls, black beaches, and glaciers.
We found some incredible locations the crowds didn't seem to frequent. And I'm not telling.
Fall in love in, and with, the Himalayas.
If anyone were to ask me to go back to Nepal and shoot an engagement, elopement, or bridal session with them, I would do it for a song and a dance.And I can neither sing or dance.
Seriously, there is nothing like it in the world. The giants of Annapurna, Manaslu, and, of course, Everest are beyond words. And the treks you take to get anywhere near any of them are breathtaking. Definitely not for everyone, but very worth it if you can.
Grand is an understatement.
I scouted the Grand Tetons for two days before Justin and Nikki arrived to shoot their engagement session. I hiked over twenty miles and up a lot of elevations, and I saw enough that I almost didn't go home after the session.
Whether an engagement or an elopement, there are so many possibilities in and around the Tetons that you can't miss. And Yellowstone is only about thirty miles away as a bonus.
Remind me to tell you how I got surrounded by a herd of buffalo and feared for my rental car.
Let's get high!
Alpine lakes, rushing streams, mountain views that go on forever. Why wouldn't you fall in love with Colorado? Or in Colorado?
We've shot in and can guide you to some pretty dramatic vistas only a couple of hours out of Denver in the Estes Park, Silverthorne, Breckenridge, and Vail areas. Some are easily accessed, others might take an hour or two hike. But you won't regret it. Great for engagement sessions or elopements.
And don't worry. If you try the brownies, I won't tell.
Get your glow on.
I shot a wedding on St. Pete's beach, and to be honest, they have some of the most amazing sunsets there.
This couple had their wedding at the Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort and it was top notch. The ceremony was on the beach and the reception was held on the top floor. The view up there was pretty incredible.
But, I'm not picky. Ask me to go anywhere in Florida with you. Dare you.
Peaks or surf? You choose, we can't.
Two hours either way out of Portland and you can be in either the Mount Hood area or on the beach. We could do both, if you can't decide.
Even if you don't stray too far from the city you can find waterfalls and great backdrops along the Columbia River.
This happy couple moved there for the scenery. We may never get them back to Iowa now.
Yosemite National Park
Too awesome for a witty tag line.
There are so many places to shoot in Yosemite that we are not sure we could get to them all in our lifetime. But, if you are game I would really like to try.
Just a word to the wise: to shoot a session in Yosemite we have to get and pay for a permit in advance. A minor inconvenience that helps protect the park, but takes some planning.
PS: I've still never managed to meet Smokey the Bear yet.
Chicago really shows off at night and it is a great backdrop for an engagement session. But you probably already know this.
The River Walk, Wrigleyville, Navy Pier, Michigan Avenue. Take your pick, day or night.
The North Shore, plus.
My friend Cubbie, who owns Select Entertainment DJ services, asked me if I would go with him to Oahu to shoot his wedding. It took me all of five seconds to say yes.
I spent several days before and after the wedding scouting spots to take them and for weddings and engagements if I ever get asked back. The North Shore is all it claims to be.
Ask me to go and it will take even less than the five seconds it took me to answer Cubbie.
Take a bite of The Big Apple. Or two.
The ambient light in times square actually makes it very easy to shoot a with just a fill flash. No lugging a lot of equipment. In fact, unless you have a permit, you can't even set up a tripod.
Within walking distance is Rockefeller Center, which was lit for Christmas while we were there, and Grand Central Terminal, where I nearly got arrested for trying to get an angle from the floor.
Best way to set a couple apart from the crowd or not get run over by a cab: get on top of a wall.
It's not just politics.
Not the first place you would think of as romantic, right? But, if you are considering a trip there for the Smithsonians and all that history, you should think about shooting your engagement session there also. All that architecture, the Cherry Blossoms, quaint little Alexandria.
A high point of this trip for us was shooting in an old trolley tunnel in Alexandria that is now a walking path.
Steamy in all kinds of ways.
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, except, well, we have a camera and all.
Shooting on the strip in Vegas can be a lot like Times Square, but with less crowd and no cabs trying to run you over.
Bonus points if you ask me to go out for a session in the desert. Dress light. Carry water. And listen to your mother and put on the sunscreen.
It's not what you think.
Silly me. I thought New Mexico was all desert. But on a recent trip to shoot an engagement session there I found a lot more mountains than I expected. There is everything you'd want to shoot a session there.
But, of course, you have to go to White Sands...
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Dos cervezas, por favor.
And that's the end of my Spanish.
There is nothing like being spoiled at one of the many all-inclusive resorts all along the coast. And most resorts offer beautiful beachside ceremonies and multiple reception options. The skies, beaches, and seas are also a dream to work with.
The Outer Banks
Bring everyone! Yes, everyone!
The coast along the Outer Banks is lined with large, three-story houses that you can rent for your entire family and/or wedding party, and that can make your wedding feel like a more intimate gathering of those really special to you.
Your ceremony can be right on the beach out your back door and your rental has plenty of room for a large tent beside the pool for the reception.
Bonus: it's only minutes from the east side to the west side, so you can shoot both sunrise and sunset sessions if you like.