When planning a destination wedding, photography will be a major consideration. You'll want to perfectly capture your wedding away; the gorgeous surrounding scenery, architecture or history will be part of what makes your day unique and memorable. There are plenty of decisions to be made when looking for a photographer for your special day.
Destination Wedding Photography: The Local Photographer
Destination wedding planners and location coordinators are great resources for helping you find a photographer at your destination location. Some resorts have recommended photographers and may even help you book one. Other resorts have photography teams on staff, often including photography in destination-wedding packages. Do some investigation; you may get a better deal hiring through the resorts than hiring an independent photographer.
If you opt to hire an independent local photographer, try to get referrals and recommendations from past destination brides. View portfolios and samples online, and interview your prospective photographers over the phone or email. Don't solely rely on wedding-industry referrals; look for a photographer whose style complements what you want for your wedding. For added peace of mind, check with the Better Business Bureau or local equivalent to ensure the photographer has a trustworthy reputation.
During a phone consultation, ask the destination wedding photographer about package options, number of assistants he works with, specific moment and locations you want captures and payment options. Feel free to ask for suggestions; an experienced photographer will have great ideas you haven't thought of. Keep in mind the currency rate when negotiating prices; also find out in advance whether permits are needed to shoot in certain locations. When you're confident you've found your photographer and all terms are agreed upon, fax a signed contract to the photographer, followed up by your deposit, to secure your booking.
Even though you may trust your destination-wedding planner, find time to meet with the photographer before your ceremony. Notify your photographer of any scheduling issues, and make sure he knows who are the key players in your big day.
Destination Wedding Photography: Flying In Talent
The advantage to flying in photographer talent is that you'll be able to meet with him or her before your wedding and spend more significant time going over desired shots and wedding day details. Interview potential photographers about their location familiarity. A seasoned destination photographer will know how to adapt to a destination locale and what to look for in capturing your wedding on film. Make sure that your photographer's comfortable with travelling in that area of the world with thousands of dollars' worth of equipment.
This option is often more expensive, so keep in mind that you'll have for the photographer's travel and accommodation expenses. Have him stay in the same resort as the wedding; you want your photographer to enjoy the experience. Budget for a per diem spending allowance for meals, and be sure to schedule an early arrival (24 hours ahead of your wedding) so last minute flight delays won't dictate a photography-free wedding.
Destination Wedding Photography: Extended Wedding Coverage
A destination wedding is often extended into a weekend or weeklong celebration. Many couples want their photographer to capture the rehearsal dinner and day-after brunch; others will hire a photographer to shoot a week of wedding-related events. Consider how much of your destination wedding you want immortalized in photos and book your destination-wedding photographer accordingly.