Travel

Portugal Trip // Exploring the Azores, Lisbon, and the Algarve // Travel Photography by Kentucky Wedding Photographer Sarah Katherine Davis Photography

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My spouse had a ticket to visit Portugal back in 2010 (just a few months before we started dating)... but then that volcano in Iceland erupted and halted all flights to Europe for a few days. Long story short, they never ended up being able to visit until now. It's been a bucket list location for a while since Bobby's grandmother is from Portugal (and of course I’ve heard all about the perfect weather, clear water, great food, etc.)

Scheduling this trip in the middle of the fall wedding season was certainly a decision I questioned more than once, but ultimately it was the perfect way to recharge. It's really easy to fall victim to burnout in the wedding industry, especially for photographers, but I know I owe it to myself (and to my clients) to genuinely be enthusiastic about what I do. Because I make it a priority to schedule time off for myself, I am lucky enough to almost always love what I'm doing and to bring all my best energy to each couple I work with.

On this trip, we started and ended in Lisbon where we visited art museums and galleries, ate all the tapas, enjoyed live Fado music, relaxed on the balconies of our Airbnbs, and oohed and ahhed at all the gorgeous tile. We explored castles, their gardens, and greenhouses in Sintra— as well as a labyrinth of tunnels beneath one of those castles. In the Azores, we soaked in sub-tropical hot springs on a chilly day (and then ate a stew cooked in the geothermal water!), took many a foggy hike, walked along a crater lake, and swam under a waterfall at the end of a trail. In the Algarve, we stayed inside a windmill built in 1900 by our host's great grandfather, wandered along red rocky cliffs and through caves and tunnels leading to hidden beaches, and braved the chilly ocean water. It was one of my favorite vacations we've been on and I'm so excited to share some of the images with you all!

If you're wanted to see more travel photos, you can see images from our other adventures in the travel section of my blog.

Iceland Trip // Exploring the Southern Coast and Golden Circle // Travel Photography by Kentucky Wedding Photographer Sarah Katherine Davis Photography

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As a wedding photographer, Iceland has been on my bucket list of places to travel for a long, long time. My spouse Bobby and I planned a 10 day trip along the Southern Coast and I'm still over the moon that I got to photograph Jennifer & Tyler's engagement session while we were there! We spent the eight days we had to ourselves seeing as much as possible along the Golden Circle and Southern Coast.


We enjoyed getting to visit all those high traffic tourist locations like Geysir, Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Reynisfjara because they are obviously stunning...but boy did those crowds get to me. The places that ended up really staying with me were the ones that allowed us to experience the landscape more privately and the ones that made us feel like we discovered something new. 

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One of my favorite experiences while we were there combined both of those things. We had plans to go on a specific trail, not realizing it was down an f-road. Since we didn't have a 4x4 vehicle, we pulled over at the next hike we saw instead. We walked down a gorgeous ravine, full of rowan trees, moss, & ferns, and found ourselves climbing up a couple small waterfalls with the help of ropes. It was magical enough finding this waterfall at the end of the hike, but being able to enjoy the whole experience completely alone made it incredible. I didn't take a ton of photos during this hike, but we set up the tripod once we made it to the final waterfall and got this image of the two of us snuggling and watching the falls. We ended up climbing up on top of the cliffs around the ravine, up to the mountain ridge, and then along it until we reached another waterfall and ravine. We spent four hours exploring and only ran into one other couple for a few minutes. We even made it back to the car before the storm rolled in. 

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Iceland - Blue Lagoon - Travel Photographer
Iceland - Blue Lagoon - Travel Photographer
Iceland - Blue Lagoon - Travel Photographer
Iceland - Blue Lagoon - Travel Photographer
Iceland - Blue Lagoon - Travel Photographer

I can say without a doubt that Iceland lives up to all the hype and more. It was one of the most beautiful landscapes I've ever experienced - it's right up there with Peru for me. If you are planning a trip of your own, please familiarize yourself with what you need to know before visiting the country as well as Leave No Trace guidelines for visiting anywhere. Specifically, in Iceland, you've got to be careful not to step on the moss since it can take decades or longer to regrow. With strong ocean currents, thirty active volcanoes, huge waterfalls, glacier lagoons, and geothermic hot springs you also need to make sure you are behaving in a way that protects yourself as well as the landscape. 

China Trip // Exploring Guangzhou // Travel Photographer // Sarah Katherine Davis Photography

Traveling to Guangzhou, China to help my sister bring home my new niece was one of the most surreal, amazing experiences I've had. My niece adored exploring and walking around the city, so we were lucky enough to be able to visit several gorgeous parks, climb a mountain, see some temples, and even spent a day at a safari park. If you're looking to see more travel photographs, then my recent Iceland trip or last year's Peru trip would be the way to go. Just as a reminder, I’m always looking for an excuse to travel, so if you are planning a destination wedding or adventurous elopement I would LOVE to be part of it.

China Trip // Exploring Guangzhou // Travel Photographer // Sarah Katherine Davis Photography // Louisville Kentucky Wedding Photographer
China Trip // Exploring Guangzhou // Travel Photographer // Sarah Katherine Davis Photography // Louisville Kentucky Wedding Photographer
China Trip // Exploring Guangzhou // Travel Photographer // Sarah Katherine Davis Photography // Louisville Kentucky Wedding Photographer
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China Trip // Exploring Guangzhou // Travel Photographer // Sarah Katherine Davis Photography // Louisville Kentucky Wedding Photographer
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Peru Adventure // Sacred Valley // Travel Photographer // Sarah Katherine Davis Photography

Once or twice a year I like to take a pause from weddings and elopements to share some images from my personal travels! This February I was lucky enough to explore Peru with Sara Pitt— my longtime friend, a wildly talented web-developer, and the reigning queen of the best post-tinder date reporting. 

If you know me you might have noticed I'm a little bit of a planner when it comes to just about everything, so when it's time to travel I have to actively and intentionally plan to allow for spontaneity and general adventuring. It's a little backward, I know, but hear me out. I stay stress-free by booking all my transportation & accommodations ahead of time, then I choose one (and only one) activity for each day. Usually, I'll go with something like a hike or a museum visit and then I'll explore the surrounding area. This satisfies the "let's make an itinerary!" side of me but lets me relax and take things as they come as well. If you are a type-a person who strives to be more chill I cannot recommend this process more.

In the past, I've always traveled with my full photography gear, but this time I decided I wanted to focus more on the experience and less on taking pictures. I only packed my tiny Olympus OM-D, which was awesome since it fits in my waist bag. Admittedly there were a few times where I missed having a professional camera with me— a few shots ended up a little softer than I would have liked and other times the little thing couldn't focus quick enough— but overall I was pretty happy with my decision. My back and shoulders straight up celebrated my decision.

We met so many amazing people from all over the world, had tons of adventures, had some (now hilarious, but not so hilarious in the moment) misadventures, danced the night away with our Airbnb hosts for Carnevale, climbed more stairs than I can count, defeated scorpions and altitude sickness and sunburns, ate the most amazing food, and climbed some more stairs. Did I mention we climbed a lot of stairs? 

Here are the spots we visited in chronological order: Lima > Cusco > Ollantaytambo > Aguas Calientes > Machhu Pichuu > Ollantaytambo > Salinas de Maras > Moray > Chincheros > Cusco > Lima

If you are visiting Peru I LOVED the Airbnbs we stayed in in Cusco and Ollantaytambo. If you haven't used Airbnb here is a $40 travel credit. 

Need more travel photography? Japan and Joshua Tree are gorgeous.

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First few images of me are brought to you by my lovely self-timer and the last few by the lovely Sara Pitt.

Japan // Part Three // Tokyo, Kumamoto, & Kagoshima // Travel Photography

Japan // Part Three // Tokyo, Kumamoto, & Kagoshima // Travel Photography

The third and final post in the series of our epic two-week double date adventure in Japan! This one chronicles our adventures in three cities. By the end of the two weeks my back was tired of lugging around my Nikon, so this post uses iPhone 7 images, Instax mini and wide, as well as some from a disposable camera.