everything you need to know about having a photoshoot around Manchester
Ok, here's a spoiler, most of my photoshoot locations are not in Manchester itself. I am not really a city photographer and I adore the magic of beautiful, vast spaces which Manchester does have very close by in the form of the Peak District. There are however some beautiful closer-to-home locations that I will mention too.
BEST PLACES CLOSER TO MANCHESTER
Fletcher Moss Park : Located south of Manchester, in Didsbury, Fletcher Moss is a beautiful park. In summer it is filled with blooming flowers. It is definitely big enough to find some quiet spaces away from the walkers and families. I shot with Damola there and we found a magical space surrounded by flowers, hidden away from everyone where we could relax, take photos and have a laugh.
Heaton Park : Before rebranding from fashion photography to relationship photography, I would often shoot at Heaton Park. Located to the North of Manchester, it is super easy to get to via car, bus or tram. Similar to Fletcher Moss Park, it is big enough to find pretty and quiet spots away from visitors.
Tatton Park : A little bit further out, is Tatton Park, a truly magical space. I've done various shoots here from fashion to couples and it is a really well-rounded space. If you're planning on paid work there, be sure to check their license requirements however if you're shooting there for free there is no need (just don't mention it to anyone!). It has a beautiful variety of spaces to shoot nearby from the lake, to the wooded areas, to the gardens of Tatton Hall.
BEST PLACES A LITTLE FURTHER OUT
Dovestones (Oldham) : About half an hour from Manchester is Dovestones Reservoir. Situated at the edge of Oldham and a part of the Peak District, Dovestones is a really beautiful place to have your photos taken. I've been there a fair amount of times now, each time exploring and finding new spots that always match whoever I'm photographing there. Around the main areas are tarmacked pathways making Dovestones an accessible place for wheelchairs and families using pushchairs.
Snake Woodland : A little further out, about an hour away from Manchester you can find Snake Woodland. I've always said that it feels a bit like photographing on the set of a Twilight film there, especially if you get the right weather (low clouds and fog, which makes for a super atmospheric photoshoot). It has various paths and locations to adventure around from walking up the hills for a stunning view of the Peak District, to taking a more gentle route into the valley below. Tall pine trees, high rolling hills, and small rushing rivers are what make Snake Woodland one of my favourite spots to have a photo session.
Burbage Valley : A little closer to Sheffield, and about an hour and a half out from Manchester you can find the Burbage area. It is an incredibly versatile and stunning area. I've only been once to shoot a family session but the sunset from the top of the valley was spectacular and cast the most beautiful golden light. It is a very versatile area with so many different spots to explore that I just know that every trip there could be made completely unique, and tailored to match who is being photographed.
WHY TRAVEL FURTHER OUT FOR A PHOTOSHOOT?
As a relationship and portrait photographer, I am always looking for locations that work well with you and who you are as individuals. My specialty is photographing people in nature, and while smaller parks and gardens can be really beautiful, I love to have the flexibility of vast landscapes and I love the adventure that comes with them. Plus they always add so much to photos!
I've always believed that a photoshoot is more than just taking photos, that it should be a full experience in itself, from the initial inquiry to the day of. I always want them to be paired with joy, excitement, adventure, connection, and love and I think setting them in these bigger locations helps to unlock some of these feelings.
I adore photographing engagements in mountains, or by beaches, and celebrating someone's self-love in woodlands and in waterfalls. Nature and the environment holds so much magic that we can capture at the same time as capturing the magic of your love. To me, that's what this is all about. Capturing as much magic as we can.