Whether you’re getting married at a chateau in France or a castle in Greece, you know you need a photographer to capture all of the beautiful moments that will undoubtedly unfold.
The question is, how do you actually hire a photographer for a destination wedding? Do you find someone who lives and works in your wedding location, or do you bring a destination wedding photographer along with you?
Of course, there is no right or wrong answer, as one way may work better for a couple than the other. But for the purposes of this post, I’m writing about how to hire a destination wedding photographer. Meaning, hiring a photographer who may live relatively close to you (within the same country) and is willing to travel to your wedding abroad.
When selecting a photographer for a destination wedding, here are some things to look for and keep in mind.
Has Travel Experience
Experience matters because there are a lot of logistics that go into traveling and destination weddings in general. It’s not a matter of just showing up and taking photos. There is a lot of research and planning that happens beforehand (venue, weather, lighting) to ensure we have everything we need – so that you get all the dreamy photos you want.
For this reason, I recommend hiring vendors who may have worked at or traveled to your destination prior. They may have insight you may not have thought about. Like a festival happening on your wedding weekend or important transportation/accommodation information.
But at the very least, find a photographer who has:
- traveled abroad before
- familiar with out-of-area work
- confident in executing overseas work
If they have experience traveling, they’ll understand the logistics and be able to handle potential problems.
Cares About Couples & Weddings (not a free trip)
While it’s essential that your destination wedding photographer has travel experience, you also want to make sure that who you choose isn’t just looking for a free trip. Believe it or not, there are photographers out there who make destination weddings their niche only so that they can travel for little to nothing.
This means their hearts aren’t in the work, and that will show in the photos. So look for someone who has your best interests at heart. A photographer who loves getting to know their couples and who truly cares about weddings. The travel part is just the icing on the wedding cake!
After reading reviews, looking through a photographer’s website/social media, and speaking with them, it will probably be pretty obvious what their intentions are. If you feel uncomfortable or doubting at any point, go with your intuition.
Can Tell the Entire Story
As a photographer who shoots destination weddings, I can tell you that I don’t just show up and photograph the usual. Destination weddings call for so much more than that because they are typically more like getaways. Guests travel great distances to partake in a weekend full of events, and there is a lot to capture.
So when hiring a photographer for your destination wedding, look for someone who can tell the full story and get all of those memories on film. I like to be there from the very beginning, getting every moment straight through to the post-wedding brunch moments. Then you have a collection of photos that tell a full, rich story of your wedding weekend.
You Have a Connection
Once you’ve narrowed down your potential destination wedding photographers, you’ll want to speak with each one to get a sense of their personality, values, and process. Because ultimately, if you don’t feel comfortable around your photographer (someone you’ll be spending a lot of time with), you probably won’t fall in love with your wedding photos.
During your initial meeting, ask questions and let them know if you have any concerns. Do they seem interested in getting to know you and your wants/needs? How do they make you feel? Do they listen or speak more?
You may initially love someone’s photography style but find that your connection falls flat. And that’s okay. Your investment is worth the time it takes to find the right photographer. Of course, I would LOVE to be the one to capture your destination wedding, wherever it may be. So if you feel like we might be a good fit, let’s set up a time to chat and get to know one another. I can’t wait to hear from you!