Where should wedding photos be taken?

February 1, 2024

As an Iowa wedding photographer, one question I’m asked most often is “where should our wedding photos be taken?” My answer to this question is simple: at your venue (or wherever you’re getting married). If you don’t want photos taken inside your venue and your venue doesn’t have space outside where you can imagine your photos being taken, then my suggestion would be to find a different venue.

Your venue should be your “Plan A” for photos.

Why is it not ideal to travel somewhere else for your photos? Because nothing kills the organic flow of a wedding day than having to transport all your people somewhere else, just to take photos.

Any authentic moments, like seeing your grandparents when they arrive or walking freely wherever you want, gets disrupted when you leave your venue. Leaving for photos can also add stress to the day. You have one more thing to plan and figure logistics for, plus you lose the ability to step back inside whenever you’d like a breather.

What to look for in a venue for photos:

When you look at a venue, imagine spending the entire day there. Do you love the aesthetic of the whole place? When I photograph my couples, I follow them the entire day. It’s not just about the photos that happen during “portrait time.” Yes, we’ll find a great spot for those photos, but you’re going to have a lot more photos throughout the day that tell your story.

My favorite locations for weddings are venues with lots of space both inside and out. They offer the freedom to move freely and enjoy the space with your guests in a way that feels most comfortable.

Here are a few of my favorite Iowa wedding venues that offer great space both indoor and outdoor:

1868 Farm House
Rollins Mansion
Salisbury House & Gardens
Barnes Place
Sugar Grove
Walker Homestead
Emerald Hills
Carper Winery
Little Lights on the Lane
The Chateau
Conrad Mansion

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