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My road trip through Europe – destination wedding photographer

Destination wedding photographer – France, UK, Italy

Whoever said that destination wedding photographer’s work is easy must think twice. As I saw it somewhere in the big dark well called the internet, we, wedding photographers, rank among TOP 10 most stressful professions of all. Wedding photography is not only about pushing the buttons and changing lenses in front of the bride, but there’s also a lot more going on behind those magical wedding photos. This time I’d love to share one of my favourite stories behind those photographs and it’s my road trip through Europe last July.

All photos were taken either with Nikon D850, Nikon Coolpix A or Nikon AW110 for underwater photos.

destination wedding photographer France
Southern France is my favorite destination for weddings, and you can see why.

Destination Wedding photographer’s adventure

Being bored on my trips between destination weddings through Europe, I decided to take my girls (my wife and my daughter) with me on my tour in July. We spent a full month on the road, me shooting weddings, them getting most out of the trip. Being tired and bored of all the flights I usually take, we decided to give our car a chance to run wild. Yeah, I understand that in this day in age taking the train is considered to be the eco-friendly option, but go figure out the French train strikes, no thank you.

wedding photographer carousel
Yes, it’s me, in Reims.
wedding photographer reims
Oh, she loves me.

Wedding photographer in Reims, France

As I had to shoot a wedding in Châlons en Champagne at Chateau de Mairy, the first stop was Reims – the home of Champagne. Reims used to be the traditional site of the coronation of the kings of France. My biggest discovery was the Cathedral of Reims (Notre-Dame de Reims) where the royal anointing was performed. And even more surprising was that Axial stained glass windows were designed by Mark Chagall (I was told). All I saw was the incredible detail of the building. Amazing.

Notre Dame Reims

wedding photographer Reims
Looking for that perfect restaurant.

Whenever I travel through France, I always come to the conclusion that France is full of places that take my breath away. Everyone is excited about Paris, but I suggest to check out Reims or Lille. They are less crowded, less dangerous and more laid back than Paris. Some parts of architecture are quite similar. Now that one is black it’s easy to distinguish between Notre – Dame de Reims and Notre – Dame de Paris, both of them are exceptionally beautiful, a piece of art, a miracle of human creation.

paris eiffel

After three days spent in Reims, we headed towards Paris. A photoshoot for me so not much to tell about it, business as usual 🙂 Paris treated us kind with Gilet Jaunes  (Yellow vests) doing their nonsense a day after we left.

My girls in Paris
My girls in Paris.

After a night spent in Versailles, we went for a 4-hour drive to Clermont-Ferrand to meet a good friend of mine Leonard, a local wedding photographer in France.

And then we drove to Italy.

Lake Como in summer
lake como belagio
My girls at Lake Como
wedding villa carlotta
Scouting a day before the wedding, Villa Carlotta in the background, a wedding venue at Lake Como.

lake como wedding

Wedding photographer in Lake Como, Italy

After a short drive of 7hrs and some jaw-dropping sceneries of the French Alps, we made it to Lake Como. The lake was glowing in the sunshine. The scent of lavender, the aroma of thyme and oregano from local pizzerias filled our lungs. We were in Italy.

We enjoyed a beautiful evening by the lake Como and stayed at a B&B in Tremezzo. There was a cool outdoor cinema session that night. By the way, did you know that some Star War’s scenes were shot (filmed) there? I didn’t, I knew that Benito Mussolini was shot there (a random local taxi driver knowledge)

A cool thing is that you can take a ferry from Tremezzo and in 10-20 minutes get to some popular towns such as Bellagio and Varenna. The following morning I had a refreshing swim in the lake and was off to a wedding. A couple from Australia came over to have their wedding at Lake Como

A street in Tremezzo.
A street in Tremezzo.

I’d say our time spent in Italy was way too short, I hope to shoot a wedding there this summer as well. Our Italian adventure ended right after two days and off we went back to France.

Wedding photographer in the Loire Valley

chateau wedding
Chateau de Challain, one of my absolutely favourite wedding venues.

wedding ceremony rainy

france wedding summer
This shot reminds me of a special bride. So wee took some photos in the sunflower field, the groom carried her in it, turns out she was scared of every single bug out there, and it was full of bumblebees out there, oh how she screamed. At me. At her husband. At everyone 🙂 we took five.

Once upon a time, there was a…

This could be the first thing that comes into mind when you first see Chateau de Challain. Since I saw it first, I’ve been coming here for the past 10 years. it is by far my favorite wedding venue in France and I highly recommend it as such. This time I shot a wedding of Carrie and Frank, a couple from the USA, they had an amazing week-long wedding over there. I was booked for two of those days, will share the story on this with you later.

chateau challain interior

chateau stairs
Well, she will be a bride one day!
wedding photographer france
In the memorial tower of Chateau de Challain.
Gardens of Chateau de Challain

Wedding photographer in Scotland

The day after the wedding we hit the road again. Heading north towards the channel, yes, we were going to UK, Scotland to be precise. It took us roughly 15 hrs to get to Edinburgh. Even the persistent rain couldn’t mess up the beauty of the Scottish coastline. After another long drive, we still found strength in us to stroll up and down the streets of Edinburgh. It was Olivia’s first time there, I hear she loved it.

The following morning sun came out just as I had to go for a wedding in St Andrews.

 

My daughter’s first time in Edinburgh
edinburgh
My daughter and I, checking tourist’s checkboxes.
colours of Edinburgh
It was an overcast day and my return to Edinburgh wasn’t too colorful, until I found this street.

ednibrugh wedding

edinburgh panorama

streets of Edinburgh

On our way back near Beachy Head, England.

sunset

sunset over england

beautiful England
There were wildfires somewhere in Spain, well the wind blew it over to England to give me the special light. Go figure.

Wedding photographer Angouleme

And believe it or not, in three days we were back in France for a wedding At Chateau de la Couronne in Charente. We stayed at a B&B near Angouleme with a very welcoming French couple. While it was literary my this year’s hottest wedding, my girls were enjoying the day by the pool as it was the only thing they could possibly do in +40 C.

perfect holiday

Nikon AW110 underwater camera
There’s a camera I use once a year, never fails – Nikon AW110

And yes, I had my swim pants with me for the wedding, there are many things you can do while people enjoy their dinner, well, I had a quick swim in Chateau’s swimming pool. No photos to show though.

The heat brought a proper thunderstorm on our way back to Chateau de Challain. The final wedding of the tour.

religion france horses

Bunch of kids racing those tiny horses, they were quick.
girls horse racing
Other than weddings, not much happens at Challain la Potherie. Well, I was wrong. A proper horse race took place there.

My girl Olivia, a photograph 6 months old only, she has a new set of front teeth now. A true example of the power of photography.

wedding in france

floral fields in France
Girls of summer.

Heading South

I quite enjoy that “job done” feeling, so after this we still had to go down south for a week to celebrate our hard work and have a proper vacation. There’s a secret place we go every now and then, called Le Plan de la Tour. We had our holidays at Les Maisons de Micha for the 4th time. I’m not sure if our dog remembers his days there, it was ages ago. See some photos below.

olive tree france

Another rare picture of me.
Must be one of m favourite travel shots from this summer, somehow reminds me of everything that’s important to me.

market day Le Plan de la Tour

Les maisons de micha
Les Maisons de Micha – a place I try and stay for a week while in Southern France, at least once every two years.

Whenever we are in this part of France we take the opportunity and go to St Tropez and try to imagine how it was back in the days when it was just a fisherman’s village. Joking. I like St Tropez because of the late afternoons when the light is incredible. You don’t need to try hard to get awesome photos. This light is every photographer’s dream, and it never seems to fail.

ombre st tropez
Ombre st Tropez

wedding st tropez

best photo st Tropez
The Pier at St Tropez. I ripped my pants in this exact location at a wedding few years ago 🙂 At least it was after midnight and all wedding party was clubbing just around the corner.
My daughter’s 4th time in St Tropez
Game of light.
Place de Lices in St Tropez

st tropez photographer

kid in st tropez
Evening light in St Tropez, it’s amazing.
destination wedding st tropez
Around the corner, on your right, you’ll find a restaurant called Sardine, excellent ice cream, salty caramel/butter is my favorite. If you’re ever in St Tropez, try.

And our lazy days in France passed with the last stop at Gorge du Verdon – a river canyon. The colour of the water is unbelievable at the lake Sainte Croix du Verdon. It was like a big bath full of boats, where you can play and swim for hours.

provence alpes cote d'azur

lake of sainte croix
Yeah, maniacs jumping from cliffs.

gorge du verdon

My daughter’s first time in Lac St Croix
boating lake sainte croix
Lake Sainte Croix was my find of the trip, I remember traveling in this part of France several years ago and wondering, why are there so many campervans in the middle of nowhere. Well, now I know what they were up to!

waterfall gorge du verdon boating Gorge de Verdun cliff wedding gorge du verdon

wedding photographer in gorge du verdon
A rare picture of me.

 

 

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