A destination wedding is a dream come true so you want to make sure you capture the magic of the whole event through photographs. However, if you are planning a destination wedding, choosing a wedding photographer can be tricky. You typically have 3 options.
Resort Preferred Photographer
If your destination wedding is going to take place at a resort, they may have a preferred photographer that they have a contract with. Pros to this are that you won’t have an extra vendor fee and that your photographer will most likely be very familiar with your venue.
Downsides to this are that it can be difficult to ensure the quality of photographs you will get. When a photography firm is under contract with a resort they don’t have to work as hard to impress you into choosing them because they are already the default choice. Also, their style and vision may not align with yours.
Local Photographer at Your Destination
Another option is to hire a wedding photographer that lives in the area your destination wedding is going to take place in. Pros to this include that your photographer will be familiar with the area and most likely your particular venue. They may be less expensive since it will be considered local work for them. However, thrift isn’t really a concern when you’re talking about a once-in-a-lifetime event. You could find a great photographer locally.
The cons to hiring a local photographer are that it may be hard to interview them ahead of time to determine if their style and wedding philosophy match yours. There could even be a language barrier that stands in your way. Also, once your wedding is over and you fly back home, you are depending on someone who an airplane ride away. It will be hard to resolve any disputes you may have after the fact.
A Destination Wedding Photographer
In my opinion, the optimal solution is to hire a destination wedding photographer who will accompany you to your destination of choice and take your photos. Pros include the ability to meet with your photographer and make sure you are on the same page before ever leaving for your trip and easier access to your photographer once the wedding is over.
Qualities to Look For in a Destination Wedding Photographer
Not just any photographer is suitable for taking your destination wedding photos. There are certain qualities you want to look for.
A great question to ask is how many weddings they’ve shot, or even how many destination weddings. If they’ve done only a few weddings, even if their work looks great, I’d be wary about hiring them for a destination wedding. The lack of experience could be a real problem when you are trying to stick to a wedding timeline.
It goes without saying that you don’t want to hire a photographer whose style is wildly different than what you’re looking for. Even if you get along great, they won’t be doing their best work if they are shooting outside of their preferred style.
Ability to Work in Your Location
Can this photographer legally work in the destination you’ve chosen? Do they have a passport or can they get one in time for your wedding? Do they have a debilitating fear of flying? Make sure they can actually get to and work at your destination.
Also, you have to make sure they have enough time free to do the job. Ideally, your photographer should arrive a couple of days early to scout locations and familiarize themselves with your venue.
When you are interviewing a potential destination wedding photographer, make sure they are more excited about shooting your big day than they are about going to your destination. If they are looking at it as a free vacation, their head isn’t going to be in the game when it comes to providing you with excellent service.
These are arguably some of the most important photos you will ever have. Make sure your photographer has a contingency plan for any foreseeable problems. For instance, how will your photos be backed up to avoid loss of the files. What is the plan if your photographer gets really sick the day of your wedding? There should be a contract in place that lays all of this out clearly and also lets both of you know exactly how long you can expect them to work.
One of the most important questions is if you get along with them. You need to be able to talk to this person open and honestly to make sure you get exactly what you want. If you don’t get along well or they seem intimidating, it doesn’t matter how great their portfolio is. You need to actually like the person who has such a big part in your wedding day.
I would love to help your vision of the perfect destination wedding come to life. If you would like to see if our styles are a match, let’s have a chat.