Dream Photography Shoots

*** Today’s dream photography shoot blog is in 2 parts, so be sure to click one after the other!

part 1:

part 2:


OK today we are going to dream.

That’s right we have lots of dreams. Lots of dream photography shoot dreams

We spent the last couple of weeks on the blog reflecting on 2020 and doing recaps. Today we thought it would be kind of fun to share what we wish we could shoot.

We are going to go back-and-forth and share three different things that we wish we could shoot. So hypothetically if the bride came up to you and said I have $100,000 wedding budget (with realistic limits) and zero plans. You just tell me what to do. What do you wish that bride would you?

I would say that my biggest “dream photography shoot” is an elopement at a national park. With a bride that got the hugest flowy-est wedding dress. It doesn’t even have to be white. She could do a cool color. But I just really want to shoot on a national Park. Arches would be really cool Sedona I’d like to go to Acadia. And just do a really epic shoot with a couple. And also being able to experience their elopement. 

I think one of the coolest things about being a photographer is that we get to listening to these moments that nobody else gets to peek at. Being able to share valves one on one is one of those things. We kind of get to listen in. So I love elopement. But I think doing one at a national park would be so fun!

Do you want animals walking around in the background?

WAIT.. So on top of that. It could be National Park/Kenyan safari.

Guys didn’t know Michael grew up in Kenya. We moved there for a little while after we got married. And while we were there – when I was really into wedding photography and wedding blogs – one of them posted a Masai Mara wedding. There were giraffes in the background, there was a beautiful ceremony set up. It was amazing.

One of the places near Lake Navasha, where you do get out and walk around with all the animals. On Crescent Island. And there would be giraffes like 5 feet away from you. One could walk right in the middle of your ceremony.. and you wouldn’t even care.

Then they could honeymoon at Giraffe Manor.

If you are this person please reach out to us! We love Kenya so we would be there in a heartbeat. That would be so magical. So yeah go get married on safari and stay at Giraffe Manor. You’ll have to have a big budget but it would be so worth it. Oh my gosh I just think that would be so fun!



OK.. you!

OK I am going to start smaller for my first dream photography shoot. (Yeah I started big.)

I think it would be really cool to shoot at the Jefferson, that gets rented out the whole time.

Jefferson is a historic hotel here in Richmond. It’s super fancy, super swanky.

I’ve almost got there a couple of times. But every time someone inquires we are booked for that date. And it’s always so painful.

But I would love to do it around Christmas time! Because the Jefferson goes all out with Christmas decorations.

And if they had everyone stay there and then on Sunday morning they got to have Sunday brunch at the Jefferson. it would just turn into a party that keeps going.

So you were photographed brunch/also good to eat/also going to have the unlimited mimosas.

Yes all of those things. And at Christmas time. And it’s snowing.

Oh it would have to be snowing for this to really fulfill all the dreams.

In dreamland it’s definitely snowing.

dream-photograph-shoot-jefferson-hotel-richmond-vaPhotography by Tori Watson 

So if I were to take it down a notch. And think “well anyone can do this”. We just haven’t had a bride do it. But I would love to photograph it. Would be a really a big floral arch that they got married under.

Maybe in the mountains somewhere? Sure it could be anywhere!

You take that floral arch anywhere you want.

But I would love for one of our brides to invest in an arch that they just completely deck out in florals. But that’s only part one.

Part two is that they have to have all of their guests have a ton of flower petals to throw at the first kiss. And that they throw up as they walk away. And then do it again with just the bridal party.

I love a petal throw shot. But you need a TON.




My second dream photography shoot is going a little bigger now.

I think it would be cool to have some sort of small ceremony. Maybe an elopement. I think maybe I am thinking destination now because you were saying destination.

I think it would be really cool to get married on a frozen lake somewhere. Maybe Iceland. Maybe Alaska. Surrounded by white mountains. And then the bride and groom are just on this ice cap.

Do you know where it would be really cool. Is Banff.

It’s my next travel spot! And I have a couple there would be amazing.

We love finding a white wall. Shooting in Richmond we were going to the capitol building.  The white just makes the couple pop. It’s one of our favorite ways to shoot. So having an area that was all white with glacier-ness would be so fun.

What I thought you were going to say is shoot in Ireland.

Ireland was easily one of our favorite places. We went there on our honeymoon. We did a little bit of an over the top honeymoon starting with driving all around Ireland. And everywhere we went was our favorite place.

Anywhere in Ireland. Having a couple get married there would be so epic. And I just like the vibe of Ireland.

Like I think it would be really cool to shoot in Paris or Italy. But Ireland just feel slower. And an Irish wedding would be so fun.

If you want to do a vow renewal in Ireland, hit us up.

But one of the reasons I was saying that Ireland would be so fun is to try to get a picture with the northern lights.



OK so then my third dream photography shoot would be having someone who gets married or leaves on maybe a yacht or a sailboat.

Maybe take photos with them while they’re sailing off. Or just have a portrait session on the boat.

Doing it in Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard on the Cape somewhere. Would be amazing. Yes.

photography by Sonya Khegay

The one that you were saying. Or the one that I was thinking of was shooting at the Albuquerque balloon festival. How fun would it be?! So colorful! And then a couple could go off on a balloon. I mean that would be so fun!

We are basically just saying places that we like going. And then we want to do a portrait session there. Or places that we haven’t been to yet that we want to go.

I just think it would be so fun. It would be really cool in contrast to your Iceland one. It would be crazy cool colors. 

And I am just imagining the couple that would choose each of these things.  And the couple that would get married at the Albuquerque balloon festival would be so fun!

I don’t have a third one.. I’ll take the Albuquerque balloon festival, but that would be so fun.

Originally I was going to propose a hot air balloon. And then we were going to do our engagement pictures of the hot air balloon. Because apparently any bit of wind is too dangerous for hot air balloon. Anyways, I recently found the tickets to go on a hot air balloon. Will do it at some point.

a not Albuquerque balloon festival, balloon festival wedding

OK now I want you to think about a regular person. Put your dream photography shoot ideas to the side. A regular wedding. Nothing outlandish. Just like hey I need an idea for something fun and different to do for my wedding. Like what could we tell one of our brides for this year. Like try this it would be so fun to shoot.

OK so here’s mine. I would love to pick the bridal party attire. I love when bridesmaids get a picture on dresses. And so I would love to shoot one where all the bridesmaids has like a rust color dresses. Burnt orange, copper.

And I would love to shoot one (different wedding obviously). Where all of the guys have a full tux. I want bowtie, black, sleek. Just super dressed up. Because I feel like even when the groom goes all out, the groomsmen go a little more casual.

I think I would have to go with a real fancy.. or just really fun.. get away car. I know there are a couple companies in Richmond that do old Rolls Royces, I think any kind of different car. It could be an old Land Rover.

Can our safari couple have that?

Obviously it’s so you. Michael is obsessed with cars. I mean all guys are.. but he takes it to a new level.

Also making sure it’s not just there for the exit. So we have portrait time with it.

Definitely having extra time cut out with the car. Because I think some people rent a really cool vintage car but then don’t think about how they can take photos with it.

Because a lot of time a rental car will come once the reception has already started. And so it’s dark already. And if you want portraits with your vintage car rental, you want it to arrive earlier in the day.

My next one would be late night snacks.

One of my favorite things that are couples do is provide a late night snack. A really cool food truck or trays of junk food that are served around.

We’ve seen fried chicken sandwiches, Nightingale ice cream sandwiches, very good food truck options.

And I think having one come at the end of the night, especially if it’s a really long reception that lasts late into the evening, it’s a really fun addition to your wedding.

Again we have to have some porch of time with it. So pictures of the bride and groom going out to the food truck in ordering some thing. Having them holding their massive ice cream cone or whatever and having pictures with them and their junk food. I think those pictures are always so fun. And the guests love that.

But say that my number one thing is doing that instead of favors. Nobody wants your favors. So often guests don’t pick up the favors but they would definitely love your late night snack.

Late night tacos would have just been so good.

I would say encouraging them to have one of the more alternative ways to have a grand exit. So no sparklers, no bubbles. Maybe a color cannon.

I love sparklers, but I also really loved Katlin and Matt’s glow in the dark bubble guns.

OK my next one is may be a little over-the-top but we’ve certainly been to weddings who have done it. It would be fireworks.

I think it would be really fun to shoot a couple with fireworks in the background. It’s may be a little over the top.

There are plenty of ways you could do it and be safe and legal. But I think it would be really fun to photograph the couple with a big fireworks display in the background.

If Alex and Challoner are a couple from a few years back who left after the reception and got cookies afterwards. And we got to go with them. So if you went late at night till like a fast food restaurant.

One of my favorite wedding pictures is a couple that sitting at in and out after their wedding eating a hamburger. So I am totally with you.

Being somewhere before you go to your hotel or the after party or whatever to get some food and we get to come with you and take pictures. Yes that would be so fun. Even if it is just like a favorite restaurant of y’all’s. That would make such a cute picture.

OK last one. I would love for one of our brides to just go over the top with their wedding details. So we always send a list of the wedding details that we shoot at the beginning of the day and it’s one of my favorite things to photograph. And we have certainly had couples who have really beautiful details.

But making sure that you had some vintage stamps.. maybe a Mrs. box (a pretty custom ring box), making sure your calligrapher does an extra envelope for us. Maybe an envelope insert with a cool pattern.

I think also couples should keep in mind that what we photographed doesn’t necessarily have to be with all of your wedding guests received. You could do one thing that’s a little bit different to elevate your detail photographs. Blingy shoes.  All the elements.  Something from her grandma. All the things.

And guys you could always get the Mrs. box as a gift. And give it to her on the wedding day. It would be a perfect gift. Just make sure you give it to her before we start shooting details!

I think also making sure your florist leaves some loose florals we can use for the invitations.

AND just budgeted a lot of time for us to photograph details. 

Maybe that’s my first choice now. Just kidding get the chicken minis!

OK those are our dream photography shoots. If you were out there and want to make that happen just shoot us a DM.

We can’t wait.. and we’ll see ya in Kenya.. SEE YA ON SAFARI!!!


  1. […] was a bucket list shoot. It felt bucket list by the sheer number of other engagement sessions and photographers that were […]

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