As the demand for stunning pre-wedding photoshoots goes up, what started out as standard ‘engagement’ portraits has evolved into shoots that are meticulously styled and imaginatively planned. The trend is not just taking off, it’s taking off for distant shores as well with exotic international locations in demand both as backdrop and part of the narrative.
We speak to India’s top photography talents on the most inspiring places around the world for couples to show off their love for the camera.
Knotting Bells – Oman
“Muscat is our favorite destination. It’s just one stunning location after another; from the mountains to the ocean, every place has a story to tell. Wadi Shabh, Bimah Sinkhole, The King’s Palace, Wahiba Sands are all so picture perfect to shoot the lovely couple.
If you’re planning a shoot in Oman, the visa only takes a couple of days to get sorted but still, you need to plan in advance. However, every location is surreal and as long as the locals are not disturbed, you don’t have many permission hassles in Oman either.”
Best Time to Visit: October – April
Infinite Memories – Thailand
“Thailand provides a wide variety of options where you can shoot. We have shot in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and Hua-Hin. The Asiatique river front, China Town, Floating market, Rama VIII Bridge, Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall are some of the best spots to capture picture-perfect moments. In Pattaya, the Coral Island is a beautiful option. A ferry goes from Pattaya to Coral Island every half an hour making it easy for you to commute. The Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya Floating Market, Walking Street and Pattaya Viewpoint are some of the best spots to shoot at if you want some astounding shoot results.”
Best Time to Visit: March and April
Reels and Frames – Venice
“We’ve enjoyed shooting in Venice which provides a great arc of creativity when you’re directing. You can get as imaginative as you want and paint the picture just the way you like. For the shoot, we researched scenic places in and around Venice and finally shot in St. Mark’s Square, the canals, Burano and Cinque-terre – a string of sea-side heritage villages six hours away from Venice.”
Best Time to Visit: September – November
Israni Photography – Turkey
“Turkey is a beautiful destination for pre-wedding shoots and we have always been fascinated by the gorgeous cities and landscapes here. We recently shot a pre-wedding shoot at The Land of Legends Theme Park which has a dreamlike Venetian cityscape of the Shopping Avenue. It’s perfect to shoot pictures. Antalya is also a beautiful location situated on the coastal line and also has a lot of other options to explore if you want to drive towards the outskirts. There is also this small fishing, diving, yachting and tourist town called Kas which is absolutely beautiful for a shoot.
To get to Turkey you need to apply for your visa in advance.”
Best Time to Visit: April- May and September – November
Ramit Batra Photography – Oman
“Oman is a beautiful destination for a pre-wedding shoot. Get a yacht to yourself and then go exploring the hidden beaches and caves especially those around Bandar Al Kairan. You’ll also love the Sultan Qaboos mosque, Nizwa Fort, Jebel Shams, Royal Opera House, Muscat Gate and of course the beautiful properties of the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah and The Ritz (Al Bustan Palace) which have very scenic spots for awesome pictures and the convenience of a 5 star hotel.”
In the city, around the mosques and palaces, avoid shorts/tees (for men) and short skirts (for women) and you definitely need drone permissions from the coast guard and the local authorities if needed.
Best Time to Visit: October – April
Oragraphy – Bali
“A couple we were working with wanted somewhere unique with some wow-factor shots so we went to Bali, Indonesia. With its beautiful surroundings it makes an ideal destination for pre wedding shoots.
You don’t need permission to shoot on the roads and natural places but you need permits to shoot in resort properties and for drone shoots in the outdoor areas here.”
Best Time to Visit: August – October
Cupcake Productions – London
“London hands down is one of our most favorite pre-wedding locations in the world! Memories captured here are bound to be timeless! With the rich history and architecture of the stunning venues and magnificent backdrops, pictures from London are magical and dreamy, much like the location itself.
We have been mesmerized and creatively inspired by the lovely landscapes, heritage magnificence and the personality of the city. A scintillating affair set against the backdrop of the Tower Bridge makes every snap unforgettable for the couple and leaves you with picture-postcard-perfect sights!”
Best Time to Visit: May – August
Knotty Affair – Budapest
“Budapest in Hungary has always been our favorite destination. It’s brimming with all the elements you need to compose spectacular shots. Parliament Buildings and Crown Jewels, Matthias Church, Gellért Hill, The Hungarian National Museum, Heroes’ Square and the Millennium Monument are some of the best locations in Budapest that add to the personality of the photographs.
For a shoot in this country apply for a visa at least 45 days in advance.”
Best Time to Visit: March – May and September – November
Preach Art – Paris
“Paris – the city of lights is every couple’s dream destination. We shot at the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Montmartre, Moulin Rouge, Alexandre Bridge and Bir-hakeim. The most challenging part of shooting in Paris is that it is one of busiest tourist places you can find. Everyone wants a picture with the Eiffel Tower and to find a clean frame with no one is almost impossible. Try an early morning shoot.
We didn’t face any trouble shooting at any of these places.”
Best Time to Visit: June – August and September – October
Shades – Amsterdam
“Amsterdam was one of our favorite locations to shoot at. The city is known for its waterbodies and the canals signify the beauty of Amsterdam. We spent most of the time shooting alongside the gorgeous canals and the breathtaking architecture around the city and the other locations included Zaanse Schans, Keukenhof, Dam Square and Science Center NEMO.
The visa processing for the Netherlands is pretty smooth if you are a regular international traveller or have had travelled to Europe in the past. Permits for shooting around the city are not required and since we were shooting in Guerrilla style, Amsterdam proved to be the perfect backdrop for each and every frame.”
Best Time to Visit- April to May and September and November