Friends think we live on the beach. We go there about once a year…

Photographers Natasha (34) and Dan (35) Birch live in Pata de Cima. Although Dan’s parents are from the UK, he was born in the Algarve, in Faro. Natasha is from London and moved to the south of Portugal about six years ago. Together, the husband and wife team form Birch Photography.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine June 2017


What inspired you to move to the Algarve?

Dan: I didn’t really have a choice, as mum and dad used to come here for holidays in the 60’s. When they then decided to stay here for good, the whole family followed shortly after. As for Tash, I dragged her here from London after we first met over 19 years ago but then got back in touch. The rest, as they say, is history.


When did you feel at home here?

Dan: Me, always ;). Tash probably a few years after moving here, once we had moved into our own place. City girls take a while to adjust to country life and the quite Portuguese laid-back lifestyle.


Was it hard to get accustomed to the Portuguese lifestyle?

Dan: Not really. At times it can be frustrating with how long things take here, but you get used to that.


How does your life differ now you live here?

Dan: Tash misses being able to walk out the door to get a coffee, since we currently live a few kilometres from town. However, living in a fairly central part of the Algarve is easier as we run our own company. We’re always on the road travelling from job to job, so it works being in the middle.

We love the variety of work Birch Photography gives us. One day we may be photographing a wedding, the next a house, a private commission, or flying our drone around to get aerial photos or videos. The landscape and the weather here also helps! We’re flat out with work in summer, but also still busy in the winter photographing rental properties; it’s an all year round job. Most of our friends think that living in the Algarve, we basically live on the beach, but we probably get to relax on the beach about once a year…


What is your favourite Algarve moment?

Dan: We love the light in September here. Being photographers it’s the best time of year, so we are out as much as we can between jobs enjoying it. The best place here would have to be the west coast, we love walking along the cliffs at Bordeira, there is a great coastal track there and amazing beaches to explore. It’s also a great drive from there down to Sagres and the cape which is another great place of the Algarve. We love the wild ruggedness of the west coast; it suddenly feels like you’re in a different country.


What annoys you here?

Dan: I would say the bureaucracy, but the lifestyle and weather make up for it!


What do you miss most from the UK?

Dan: We sometimes miss the cold weather. I know that sounds weird, but when you work in the heat, you crave nice cold misty mornings and snow.


Which 5 words would best describe the Algarve for you?

Dan: Laid-back, sunny, chicken piri piri, blue tiles, coastal walks.


What’s your favourite spot?

Dan: We both love the golden beaches from Tavira East, as well as the mountains in Alte for walking.


In what way does the Algarve inspire you?

Dan: We love the quietness of some places you can get to. It’s great to get away with a camera; the combination of the amazing light here at the golden hour plus the fact there’s so much to see, makes us want to take more photos. We also love how typical and colourful some of the towns are; it’s great how a lot of the Algarve has retained its culture and history.


How’s your Portuguese coming along?

Dan: Still learning! I’m fluent, but struggle with new words so we learn every day. Tash is still learning… To be continued.


Do you have a secret tip for our readers?

Dan: Definitely get up into the hills. Don’t just stay on the coastline of the Algarve, as beautiful as it is. There’s is so much to explore when you go for a short drive north or even west. The people are lovely and the food seems to get better.


See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine June 2017

Posted in Algarve expat stories.