Something blue…

I’ve come to the conclusion that wedding photo locations are like fishing or secret surfing spots. Some just won’t budge in giving their slice of heaven up.

And I also think that it’s a sign of a good wedding photographer to not just have a great portfolio, but also an ongoing list of locations, not just a beach and Harold Boas Gardens in their repertoire.

Keeping that in mind, big news, I’ve booked the photographer.

Relief just doesn’t cut the way I feel about this. I’ll get into that in just a sec.

Booking this a bit of a big deal as that’s one of the things that we’ve decided to funnel a bit of cash into.

Remember, no cars, no bonbonniere, no bridal party.  So there will be a slight slush in other money-hungry parts of putting on this thing.

A quick whip around the internets tells me that on average, 12 per cent of the budget should go the photos. Apparently this also includes disposable cameras.  How 1998. We all know what happens with disposable cameras, don’t we? Unless you want an album full of bums and dicks (and that’s just your drunk friends), perhaps consider to not provide such antiquities.

Besides, processing film these days isn’t exactly cheap. Or accessible.

Wedding photos, like magazines, are another addiction. It’s actually one of the reasons why I can’t leave Facebook.

Videography, while popular, isn’t really my bag – in fact, if it came down to it, I would rather have a photographer than a wedding cake.

What I didn’t realise is that Perth almost over-caters when it comes to choosing a photographer.

Don’t have heaps of cash? No worries! Cheap and cheerful packages are out there in droves. Want the massive package including leather-bound albums, mini-albums, CD, USB stick, flashing keyring? You can have it!

Mum was confused with this revelation of information.

Apparently back in ‘her day’ you were basically just given the photos that the photographer chose for you. Now you get everything. And while your photographer can pretty much do what they like with your photos (since they took them, but really, truly cool photogs will ask for your permission too), you also get complete copyright over those snaps too.

Mum was pretty shocked when I was telling her about all the wheelings and dealings that I’ve been going through and that who would have thought that having the weirdest date on the calendar would be solidly booked out by now?

I was at the end of my rope when I got the eighth email telling me that although my wedding was the better part of a year away, sorry! You’re too late!

Tip: Do not start your emails with a long-winded story about what you’re looking for in a photographer. Instead, cut and paste this into every email you send to a photographer, or celebrant, or hairdresser…

Hi there,

Are you available on XYZ date?


Your name

Seriously. This will save you so much time and ‘why did I bother writing an epic’ tears.

OK, so I picked Lee purely based on his availability the photos he took of my friend Erin’s wedding.

On seeing her photos I fell off my chair. They were stunning.  And when I scurried off to check his website, it was what wasn’t there that confirmed things in my mind.

There didn’t seem to be any evidence of the most popular backdrop in Perth photography history.


Now don’t get shirty if you’ve had your photos on the jetty leading up to the empty shed on the water.

To me, it’s the Sh*t Perth People Say version of wedding photos.

It even made the cover of this month's 'Your Day' magazine.

Take a drive along Mill Point Road on a Saturday and you’ll often see a freshly-nuptualed couple having the obligatory shot taken – often with a queue of one or two other couples silently hoping the photographed couple will hurry the hell up.

This location, while I know that in photos the blue boatshed can look visually stunning, in reality it’s a pretty perilous location.

I went there at the weekend just to double-check what I was talking about as there has been some roadworks around that area for a few months now.

Lets just say that the safety of this location has not changed. The footpaths have been upgraded and some limestone has been added (which is desperate to look like it’s been there for years) and there is a little plaque giving a little spiel about the ‘history’ of the blue boathouse itself.  While it’s been there since the 1930’s, most of the ownership comings-and-goings of the watery garage have occurred in the 1980’s – a big decade in WA history.

Considering this is probably the most recognisable location in Perth for wedding photographs, I just thought that the recent refurb might lend itself a little more to being less-perilous.


I was wearing some loose black pants, a singlet and Havianas on Saturday when I visited the old blue lady.

Firstly, the nearest parking is on Kings Park Avenue, one steep hill. If you’re not confident in hill starts, forget it. I just made it in my 1999 RAV4.

The view from Kings Park Avenue. Steeper than it looks.

There is also a tiny shoulder that I’ve seen people park the hot pink bridal party Hummer, so hopefully you’ve read your Transperth bus timetable – as that is what that space is, a bus stop. And while I was visiting the place for about ten minutes, two buses had dropped-offed and picked-up.

Not recommended.

So now you have to cross the double-laned Mill Point Road.  This is why I told you what I was wearing. As I couldn’t imagine crossing this road in a wedding dress, let alone just making it in my thongs.

Surprise, surprise, when I made it over the road, there was a photographer there already – so take this into considereation. Someone might already be there.  You will have to wait on the footpath, keeping an eye on the bikes, power-walkers and dogs.

Another piece of advice. Try to get the photos done without your shoes on. The jetty is old. And very, very skinny. You might have slightly more surefootedness if you leave the pumps in the Hummer.

Also bring a brolly. With the new footpath, limestone and not much else (read that: no shelter), the glare is blinding.

Facing boathouse, to the left.
...and to the right.

I’ve never heard of brides falling into the Swan River, but I am sure it’s happened. Also, considering the traffic it would not surprise me one bit if this is the number one location, not just for Perth wedding photos, but for brides or grooms being hit by a car.

If you still want your photos taken there, by all means, do it. While it is a gorgeous location, but it’s hard to get to and it’s a photographic cliché.

If you’d like my advice, ask your photographer what alternative locations they have jotted down to make your photos look a little different.

  • The bushland around the old Perry Lakes Stadium (before it gets completely developed)
  • Greens and Co café in Leederville has some very cool walls covered in band posters, such as Fie and Dave’s wedding…
Fiona & Dave at Greens
  • Various backstreets of Northbridge that are loaded with graffiti for that urban feel
  • Hyde Park. I swear every single season that comes along that park looks completely different.
  • Plain, exposed brick walls – some GORGEOUS ones are up at the Rose & Crown pub in Guildford…
Kaitlyn & Chris at the Rose and Crown. Photo: Matthew Poon Photography
  • If you want the city in the background, have your photo taken at the jetty of the Old Swan Brewery.
  • The salt flats in the Goldfields (hi Kalgoorlie people!)
  • Grounds of UWA
  • The Perth Zoo – don’t laugh at this! My friend Lindsay was married there and the photos, especially in front of the carousel…

    Lindsay & Tim at Perth Zoo - photo: Natasja Kremers

Or, as The Mister said the other day… instead of a blue boathouse, we can always have our photos taken in front of blue screen.

**Another suggestion on Facebook was Jacobs Ladder in West Perth. Yes. The place where masochists go to exercise, or as I call it, the Steps to Hell. Not sure why you’d want to get some wedding snaps done there, but it’s one secret location that is now out of the bag.

This should ‘jog’ your memory.

Jacob's Ladder in West Perth *screams on the inside*

More suggestions on lesser known but awesome photo locations (and fishing spots) are welcome…