Top 5 Places in Bali to Photograph
Bali is breathtakingly beautiful-how can it not? You got waterfalls, rice terraces, monkey forests, and enough humidity & rain to keep that luscious tropical landscape ever-growing.
We had only four days to shoot in Bali and I only had about three weeks to prep everything before we left. I needed to find reliable and quick answers ASAP. Luckily (I hope) you won’t be like me and plan everything last minute. But in case you are like me, here are my top 5 favorite places we shot in Bali to help you narrow down your search:
1. Handara Gold Resort I’m sure you’ve seen these photos before-someone perfectly centered in the middle of a large ancient temple-like-gate surrounded by low hanging clouds and jungle landscapes. Funny enough-this isn’t a temple or some historical monument. Its the gate to a golf course gone completely Instagram famous. And yeah, maybe it’s stupid to give fame to a golf course-but it’s pretty epic looking and the closest ‘gate’ to Ubud. It’s about an hour and a half minute drive north from Ubud’s city center depending on traffic. If you want a more legit location (but much farther drive)-check out this similar gate.
2. Saraswati Temple: This place is so magical and peaceful-its a temple with a water garden and lotus pond. It’s located in the city center of Ubud-walking distance to most hotels. The biggest advice I can give you-is shoot before all the tourists get there. I loved shooting here because you had so many different backdrops. I placed my model first walking along the entrance with lotus ponds on either side of her, then sitting directly in front of the temple, against some of the intricate stone carvings…the list goes on. So many options!!
3. Tegalalang Rice Terraces Layers of terraces as far as you can see create this overwhelming sense of beauty and dedicated hard work in the fields. There’s nothing quite like this place! We didn’t get the chance to explore the whole area because it was so large-but if you do, be sure to wear hiking shoes when you visit because the rice fields are wet and muddy. The steps are pretty steep too so be careful! What I liked most about this place was how the structure of the hill allowed us to have a constant halo/backlighting effect the whole time we shot in the morning. Once the light became too harsh, we just went down a couple stairs and BOOM-backlit again.
4. Sacred Monkey Forest Ok, warning you now-monkeys are not to be taken lightly. At one point these guys were pulling hair extensions out of Quigley’s head and pulling at our skirts. DO NOT LOOK THEM IN THE EYES. Seriously, our guide said if you do, it means you are challenging them to a fight. Besides that, they are cute and make for the best photos! As far as lighting goes-you’re going to have a difficult time because its spotty with the light coming through the trees or you’re so deep in the jungle there is barely any light. If you’re having a difficult time, I would say stay closer to the up-top terrace instead of going down into the jungle section.
5. Canggu Beach And last but not least-your most conveniently located spot for beach/sunset photos :) I had the BEST time capturing some fun/sexy photos of Quigley playing in the waves just at sunset. The colors of the sky were so beautifully pink and rosy-mixing with the sparkly reflections off the wave-total dream!! It’s pretty close to Seminyak and not as crowed as the other main tourist beaches. And after you finish shooting your million dollar sunset shots, you can treat yourself to a drink at Old Man’s!
Hope you find that list helpful! As always-I recommend trying to get to all of these locations before most tourists will get there. Also planning your literary out is super helpful-a lot of locations are close by each other so planing in advance will help you save time in driving back and forth across the country. I use Travefy, a website built to help organize your travel itineraries, when planning out my trips!
If you’re traveling out to Bali-please hit me up if you have any questions! I’m always down to help in any way that I can-message me on Instagram at @champagneunicorns 🦄 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org 💌