Wedding Photography

How to Shoot a Destination Wedding?

Shooting a large event in an unusual location needs a heightened level of preparation for a wedding photographer. To be picked as a couple's wedding photographer at a faraway location is an honour, and you naturally want to do your best for them. Here are some of the best ways to accomplish that goal. In order to help you remember your special day forever.

Make sure to give careful consideration to each and every item you bring on your trip. Carrying on your photographic equipment is the safest option, but it can be a pain to do so, especially if you have a lot of it to transport through the airport and the nation you're visiting. Bring only what you'll need, and put your gear ahead of your belongings if at all possible! To reduce the bulk and weight of your equipment, you might be inventive with your packing strategies and choose the most useful lenses for your needs.

Packing Essentials

The Bag

Get a camera bag that was made for travelling. The extra padding is essential for keeping your glasses in place.

The Gear

When packing for a trip to a destination wedding, it's best to leave certain equipment behind and focus on the essentials.

  • 2 DSLR's
  • 70-200mm f/2.8
  • 24-70mm f/2.8
  • 50mm f/1.8
  • 11-16mm f/2.8
  • 4 Pocketwizards
  • 1 Nikon SB-910
  • 2 Yongnuo EX-560II
  • 1 Shoot Through Umbrella
  • 1 Large Rogue Flash Bender
  • 1 Triple Flash umbrella bracket
  • 1 Carbon Fiber Monopod
  • Extra SD Cards, AA Batteries, Camera Batteries, Chargers for AAs and Camera Batteries.

Variables for Use During Travel

Wedding Photography

Computer + Hard Drive 

Bring your laptop and an external hard drive in case you need to store any data while you're away. The photos can be uploaded the night of the wedding and backed up on an extra hard drive before you leave for home.

External Battery Pack

If you're a tech-savvy travelling, you know how important it is to have a way to charge your devices while you're away from a wall socket. This portable charger is excellent, and you should have one.

Compression Socks

Wearing Compression Socks during a flight of more than four hours is recommended to keep blood flowing to the feet. When paired with stretching exercises, it can minimise the chance of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) during extremely lengthy flights.

Rest Kit 

On overnight flights, bring a compact bag containing an eye mask, earplugs, memory foam neck pillow, and quilt.

Purification Water Bottle

Traveling for long periods of time can dehydrate you, which can make jet lag worse. If you want to avoid becoming sick from drinking water from questionable sources, it's best to have a water bottle with built-in purification that you can fill up at water fountains.

Universal Outlet Converter

Invest in a couple universal outlet adapters so that you may charge your electronics anywhere you go. No matter where you are in the world, from Europe to Southeast Asia, you can always plug in and charge your device.

Quick Tip

If you're going on a trip for a destination wedding, it's a good idea to keep an evening gown in your carry-on camera bag in case your other clothes don't.

Pack Less Gear

This is a huge one, and you should bring fewer stuff with you to the wedding if you aren't driving your car there. This is especially true if the wedding is at a destination or in a city. Make a list of the things that you always need for a wedding. Assuming you're going somewhere, why bother packing lightly? You must be nimble, thus minimising the weight you must carry is a priority.

Bring an Assistant

A helper can be an extra set of eyes, hands, and a voice as well as carry a backpack full of extra supplies and a bag for the bride. Having a travel companion can be invaluable when visiting a foreign nation or region for the first time; not only will they be able to help with photography-related tasks, but they can also act as a safety nett should any problems arise.

Advice for Photographers of Destination Weddings

Use Your Senses

When you're just starting out as a destination wedding photographer, it can be tempting to take on any and all clients. But since every overseas nuptial ceremony is unique, it's important to have a thorough understanding of the specifics before signing anything. Naturally, the first step is to learn what the couple wants, such as the number of activities and days they'd like covered and the expected turnaround time for the processed photographs. You have to say no if accepting it would prevent you from meeting your other obligations. For the sake of the couple and their families, this must be done.

Nothing Should Be Left to Chance

When you agree to photograph a wedding in another country, you'll need to do more preparations than usual. Start by setting up a meeting with the couple to discuss the photography style they want, the timeline, and any other needs they may have. The next step is to secure all necessary visas and insurance coverage for yourself and your gear. Verify that the location you will be visiting is covered by your current insurance policy if you have any gear insured. You should also compile a list of everything you're bringing, as well as taking photographs and, if possible, receipts. If you want to avoid a lot of trouble and grief, just throw your favourite lens over the side of a yacht. You should obviously back up the wedding images you capture each day.

Never Stop Moving Forward

When flying, it's risky to part with your belongings, so pack as much as you can in your carry-on. Carry-on items, including a compact wheeled bag and an additional piece of luggage, are typically not weighed by most airlines. What you intend to wear for taking wedding photos should also be placed in one of these bags. Your checked luggage will be safe, so you won't have to show up to the wedding in your pyjamas.

The Time to Depart

It is recommended that photographers take at least one full day off immediately following a destination wedding. Now you can relax and take it easy before making the trek back home. Make use of this downtime to create backups of the photos on a laptop or hard drive. You can use this time to make a preview for the pair to see before you go. This will pique their interest even further in viewing the remaining pictures.

If you plan on lingering for a few extra days to photograph the couple again, use that opportunity to see the sights. Prioritize your clients above all else, and plan the event in advance. Take the memory cards with you whenever you go anywhere. Put them somewhere secure on your person, like a pocket or a bag. Another technique to make sure the photos travel with you is to keep the memory cards with the pictures. Your ability to complete and submit the required wedding photographs to your clients will not be jeopardised if your bags are misplaced or stolen.

Prepare a Strategy for Communication

It's easy to forget that when we leave the nation in which our communication devices are registered, despite the marvellous convenience of the modern world in which we live. As a result, it's important to establish a means of contact with the couple before shooting a wedding at a remote location. Make plans to meet at their hotel or to exchange local phone numbers online before you arrive. This will alleviate a lot of pressure off of both of you.

Get a Jump on the Day

If you have a destination wedding planned, you should go there a few days ahead of time. This gives you wiggle room in case of travel delays or bad weather and some time to rest if jet lag is an issue. Primarily, it allows you to scout potential venues in advance of the actual event. You may read up on your travel location for months before you ever board the plane, but nothing beats actually being there. Everywhere you go, there are stunning photo ops that you won't find in guidebooks or on Google Images or even from the locals.

Wedding photography from a distant location might present some unique challenges. You probably haven't visited this area before. Organizing a wedding outside of a traditional venue, such as a hotel or resort, can add even more obstacles.

In order to scout the area and become oriented, you should get there an hour or two before the scheduled start time. When planning your trip, keep the time of year in mind. It is typical for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to experience rain and humidity during the summer. Alternatively, Canada will see a snowy and chilly winter.

Find out what the weather is going to be like. You can use this information to better organise your photography equipment and shoot locations. Try to find locations with good lighting and open space for your family photographs. No one really pays attention to weddings that take place at a faraway location. On the other hand, you will most certainly document the event by taking pictures of everyone who shows up. You should try to incorporate some of the scenery, such as the beach or cliffs, or something else that is characteristic of the area.

Create a schedule for the big day with the help of your clients and the coordinator. This will ensure that everybody is on the same page and knows what to expect in terms of photography. Stay adaptable and true to your partner. Do not interrupt the flow of natural moments and feelings by interrupting with reminders of the schedule.

Walk Around the Location With the Loved Ones

Wedding Photography

You can't just show up on the big day and expect everything to go according to plan when arranging a destination wedding. The day before the wedding, you should meet with the bride, groom, and wedding coordinator (if there is one) at the venue to go over the schedule for the day. From your prior discussions with the couple, you should already have a good idea of the ideal mix of natural and staged photos they're after. However, at this last meeting, you will be able to discuss a few details about the venue and even have input into which way the ceremony will face. You don't want to be on the wrong side of light at the wrong time because light is so crucial to photography.

Protect Your Ancestral Heritage

To capture the essence of a wedding, which is the coming together of two families, it's important to acquire shots of guests of varying ages from both sides of the family. Besides the photos of the bride and groom, these are the ones that will be treasured for years to come because time flies so quickly for children and the elderly.

The Importance of Coupling Up for Planning

By far, this is the most crucial advice we can give. Maintaining open lines of communication with your clients is crucial for a successful vacation wedding. Working with clients who are visiting from out of town or who are unfamiliar with your city can be a lot of work.

Create a comprehensive shooting schedule and city map that includes all of the locations you intend to use and the routes you intend to take to get there and back again. Use your expertise of how a wedding day unfolds to help you and the couple calculate how much time you will have to shoot. To guarantee a successful day, it will take everyone's combined efforts. Outside-the-area weddings require more preparation than the average ceremony, so if you're not a planner, skip the nuptials.

Research

Permits, laws, limits, etc. should be researched prior to beginning any photographic session or project.

Cost of Transportation

Your travel expenses must be recovered. You should budget for your travel costs (bus, train, plane, car, etc.), lodging, and maybe even a per diem. Don't be afraid to charge your clients what you're worth, taking into account the time and money it takes you to travel and accomplish your job. Those who ask you to accompany them on a trip understandably expect to pay more for your services than the standard rate to account for your time away from the office.

Plan to go There a Day or Two Before The Wedding.

It's customary to show up to the wedding location a day or two early when attending a destination wedding. This will give you plenty of time to account for travel delays, check into your hotel, scout out the location, meet with the couple (if necessary), and generally settle in for the next day or two before you begin shooting.

Create a Unique Pricing Structure to Cover the Expenses of Destination Wedding Photography.

Each of your destination weddings will have a unique price range, list of included services, and total cost. This is because they will be covering the costs of getting you to and from the wedding as well as your lodging and meals. Your customers will expect a more bespoke wedding collection from you than is now on offer to locals.

They could also hire a local from the area where they're having the wedding. This may result in a lower price. However, they want to hire you and bring you on board since they are so impressed with your work. Because of the special nature of destination weddings, you may need to negotiate a bespoke selection for the happy couple. For instance, you could need to add in expenses and lower rates.

Assemble as much information as possible about the destination wedding so that you can design a collection that perfectly meets their expectations. So, if they want you to shoot their rehearsal dinner, wedding, and possibly the day after, they should probably foot the bill for your hotel room near the venue. Because of this, you may be able to stay at the same resort as they do, which is convenient but may also increase your workload.

Stay Stress-Free with Complete Documentation

When compared to a wedding at home, the planning for a destination wedding may be more involved. It could be a brand-new setting that you've never shot in before. A tourist visa may be necessary. Plus, you'll probably have to make a currency conversion before too long. You'll also need to make sure your business insurance covers you when you're away from the office.

It is also important to establish a contract that is as thorough as possible. As a general rule, a questionnaire is useful. Send this to your clients to learn more about the wedding plans they have in the works. Make sure to give your clients a call after you've mailed them their wedding photography contracts and any other required documentation. Discuss all the finer details via a video chat service like Skype or Facebook. If everyone is on the same page, then you can dig into their inquiries with confidence.

Enjoy It!

Of course, you have to work, but man, does it ever feel wonderful to visit a new location and start snapping pictures! Enjoy yourself while working a destination wedding, and give yourself at least a day or two to sightsee or unwind following the big event. In search of a Wedding Photography Service? Put away your search tools. For your convenience, Vogue Ballroom has developed a comprehensive list of wedding photography services.

Conclusion

To be asked to document a couple's special day through photography is an honour. The best way to protect your camera gear is to bring it with you, but that doesn't make it any less of a hassle. We've compiled some of our favourite tips for what to bring to a destination wedding. Jet lag is exacerbated by the dehydration that occurs during long flights. Purchase a few of these adapters so that you can charge your devices in any country.

For first-time visitors to a country or region, a travel companion can be an invaluable resource. You should get your equipment and yourself insured, as well as any required visas. Pack as many of your essentials as you can into a carry-on bag because leaving them behind is a risk when travelling. Photographers should plan to relax for at least one full day after a destination wedding. Photographing a wedding from afar could present some interesting challenges.

Weddings that take place in remote locations typically receive less attention. Take advantage of the local landscape by including landmarks like the beach or cliffs. A meeting with the bride, groom, and wedding planner is necessary the day before the wedding. Successful destination weddings depend on open lines of communication with the couple. Help yourself and the couple figure out how much shooting time you'll have by making a detailed shooting schedule and city map.

Those who hire you to photograph their weddings anticipate a curated selection of images. Consider the time and money spent travelling when determining your rates for clients. Make a one-of-a-kind pricing plan to cover the costs of photographing weddings in exotic locations. Vogue Ballroom now offers a full suite of photographic options for your wedding. After sending out wedding photography contracts, be sure to follow up with a phone call to the happy couple. Have fun while you're working a destination wedding, and give yourself at least a couple of days to relax afterwards.

Content Summary

  • Shooting a large event in an unusual location needs a heightened level of preparation for a wedding photographer.
  • If you want to avoid becoming sick from drinking water from questionable sources, it's best to have a water bottle with built-in purification that you can fill up at water fountains.
  • Make a list of the things that you always need for a wedding.
  • The next step is to secure all necessary visas and insurance coverage for yourself and your gear.
  • Another technique to make sure the photos travel with you is to keep the memory cards with the pictures.
  • As a result, it's important to establish a means of contact with the couple before shooting a wedding at a remote location.
  • If you have a destination wedding planned, you should go there a few days ahead of time.
  • When planning your trip, keep the time of year in mind.
  • Find out what the weather is going to be like.
  • Create a schedule for the big day with the help of your clients and the coordinator.
  • The day before the wedding, you should meet with the bride, groom, and wedding coordinator (if there is one) at the venue to go over the schedule for the day.
  • You should budget for your travel costs (bus, train, plane, car, etc.),
  • Create a Unique Pricing Structure to Cover the Expenses of Destination Wedding Photography.
  • Each of your destination weddings will have a unique price range, list of included services, and total cost.
  • When compared to a wedding at home, the planning for a destination wedding may be more involved.
  • Send this to your clients to learn more about the wedding plans they have in the works.

FAQ's About Wedding Destination

For most wedding photographers, typical prices are between $3,000 and $6,000; so just add estimated travel prices for your specific destination to get a general idea
Based on what we've observed, any established and successful wedding photographer is going to charge to travel. Some newcomers may be more prone to not charging, or waiving fees, in an effort to more easily secure a new client.
  • New Zealand. Credit: OneThreeOneFour (Mike) ...
  • Bali. Credit: OneThreeOneFour (Hendra) ...
  • Japan. Credit: OneThreeOneFour (Kinosaki) ...
  • Paris. ...
  • Taiwan. ...
  • Venice. ...
  • Korea. ...
  • Prague.
A destination wedding takes place in a location away from a couple's hometown. Planning a destination wedding could be less expensive than planning a traditional wedding if it entails a smaller guest list or smaller reception. Using credit card points or miles can help to save money on destination wedding travel costs.
According to ASIC's Moneysmart, the average price of an Australian wedding estimated at $36,200 - $54,000. Included, the average cost to hire a photographer in Australia is $3983.

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