A destination wedding can bring an extra dimension to your big day. There are many options for locations and backdrops to choose from, such as beach parties in Hawaii or chic soirées in Italy. No matter what location you choose, a destination wedding photographer will be there to capture every moment and detail.
It is crucial to choose the right photographer. They will give you something that you can treasure long after you say “I do”. Christophe Genty, Christophe Genty Photography says that for some it’s the foundation of photos they will have at home.
Couples who are planning a destination wedding face additional challenges when it comes to booking vendors. For example, they might not be able meet their photographer before the big day.
This guide will help you navigate these obstacles and find the perfect destination wedding photographer.
1. Be realistic about your budget.
First, you need to determine your photography budget. As a general rule, you should allocate at least 12 percent of your budget to photography and videography. The Knot Marketplace is a great place to find photographers that fit your budget.
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Your wedding day is a turning point in your relationship. The pictures you take will be able to capture the emotion that you and your family experienced on your wedding day better than any words. The details of your wedding planning are likely to have been meticulously planned. Your photos will be a lasting reminder of these moments.
If your budget is tight but you aren’t able to afford the photographer you want, you might be able to save by purchasing your wedding gown at a sample sale.
2. Remember that elopements are also valid.
Genty said that even couples who are planning intimate elopements will often hire destination wedding photographers.
He says, “I have clients that spend a lot on photography because it’s how their family and friends show everything afterwards.”
You can include pictures in the wedding announcements that you send to your loved ones upon your return.
3. Identify your favourite photography style.
The styles of wedding photographers have changed over time. Albums are not filled with posed photos and perfectly symmetrical bridal parties. The most popular styles are lifestyle, photojournalism and editorial. These terms may seem unfamiliar to you. You can find inspiration online to help you decide what kind of shots you want from your photographer.
Genty warns couples not to pigeonhole a photographer. He says that it is important to have the ability to do multiple things in order to succeed in the wedding industry. This is because many photographers are skilled in different styles and can adapt to your requirements. To be certain, it’s a good idea to look at their portfolio.
4. Do your research.
Once you’ve established your style and budget, it’s time for you to find your match. Genty suggests using social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest as they are digital portfolios that can be easily searched. Look into hashtags like #destinationweddingphotographer, as well as location-specific ones (like #SFWeddings for couples tying the knot in San Francisco).
You can also use reviews to help with your research. While a photographer might have a great portfolio and sound amazing on Zoom, what are the opinions of past clients? When searching for the best destination wedding photographers, check out sites such as The Knot Marketplace. You should look for things like efficiency, timeliness, and how relaxed the couple was when they were photographed at their wedding.
5. Rely on other vendors.
Your destination wedding venue is likely to be less familiar than your home town. Your loved ones might have been to local weddings so they may not be able provide recommendations. Gently says that other vendors such as your venue coordinator or wedding planner can often provide stellar recommendations.
He says, “For couples coming from faraway, the vendor list at the venue will be important and will give some ideas.”
After you have scanned through Instagram and reviewed the reviews, it is time to reach out and verify that your top prospects can deliver. Genty suggests these questions:
- Is it possible to have you available on my wedding day?
- Do you know the location and venue of my wedding? Do you have images from previous weddings that you’ve taken there?
- Are you available to shoot my location or venue if you haven’t done so before? Do you charge travel expenses if yes?
- Do you want to reach out before my wedding?
- Do you have to charge travel fees if you are not in the area where the wedding will be held? Is there a daily fee for meals? Who pays for your lodging and airfare?
- How much do your packages cost?
- How can you make couples feel at ease for photos?
- What are your working hours? Are you available to cover the entire day, from getting ready until the last dance?
- Are you able to offer engagement sessions?
- If we haven’t had a chance to meet up in person, can you still come to the rehearsal dinner?
- Who owns the rights to the photos? Are watermarked photos allowed on social media?
- Who creates the wedding album? Do I have to create my own wedding album?
- Do you include videography? Do you know of any other vendors that offer videography?
7. Hire a local photographer.
Genty suggests that a professional photographer with years of experience at weddings in your area is a good choice. They will be familiar with the layout and how to achieve the best natural lighting. He says, “If a photographer knows a property well it’s great.” They know where the best locations are and where to place the couple, [wedding guests], family, and other wedding guests for photos.”
There are ways to cut costs. You can also cut costs if your destination wedding photographer must travel long distances to capture your special day.
You may find that you really like another photographer, and they have a unique style. Genty suggests that you take the photographer to the venue before you hire them.