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How to Become a Destination Wedding Photographer?

For many, destination weddings are the holy grail of the wedding industry. Many couples today want a wedding ceremony held at a location away from their hometown. So, if you are a photographer who loves to travel, then being a destination wedding photographer might be your true calling. So, how to become a destination wedding photographer? 

Destination wedding photography lets you combine your passion for travel and wedding photography together. Stay with us and find out how to become a destination wedding photographer with a few simple tips.

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10 Tips on How to Become a Destination Wedding Photographer  

Travelling for a destination wedding looks glamorous on the outside. However, the amount of hard work and planning it takes to make the even successful hardly gets talked about. However, getting to shoot outside your usual environment certainly has its own benefits. It can be a much welcomed break for mental refreshment. 

Moreover, having work from a destination wedding included makes your portfolio much more diverse. Without further ado, let’s move on to 10 tips on how to become a destination wedding photographer. 

1. Secure the Local Market

While talking about how to become a destination wedding photographer, securing the local market might seem counterintuitive. However, conquering local markets first helps you build a lasting and successful career. Becoming the go-to photographer in your local area will help you build a strong network. And potential clients will reach out to you for their next destination wedding.

How to Become a Destination Wedding Photographer

In the beginning, it is unlikely that you will get tons of gigs for destination weddings. But, it shouldn’t stop you from taking up local projects and building your name. To sharpen your skills in photography, get the Level 3 Diploma in Wedding Photography today! Discover the secrets of capturing excellent wedding photos with this course. The course module contains in-depth knowledge about drawing up contracts. And you also learn what equipment and gear will give the best result. So, join in today!

Diploma in Wedding Photography
This Want to know what it takes to make it as a Wedding Photographer? Then you have come to the right place to learn about wedding photography.
Diploma in Wedding Photography
This Want to know what it takes to make it as a Wedding Photographer? Then you have come to the right place to learn about wedding photography.

2. Expand When You are Ready

Look for expansion only after you’ve built a strong foundation and conquered your local market. Look out for these few signs that can tell you it is time for taking the big leap:

  • Your recognition in the local market is strong with a consistent referral from other vendors.
  • You receive several weekly queries from different brides and planners regarding your pricing and availability for an event.
  • Your schedule is booked throughout the wedding season in your local area.

Above are the signs for you to break into the overseas wedding market. But remember to have patience and work equally hard to become a destination wedding photographer.

3. Build Your Destination Wedding Portfolio

You are probably familiar with the phrase “show what you want to shoot”. And it is especially true in the destination wedding photography business. So, how to become a destination wedding photographer? 

Start building your destination wedding portfolio. It might sound confusing but much easier to do. There are several destination wedding shoots or workshops taking place. So, find out the ones that fit you and get your portfolio built.

Build Your Destination Wedding Portfolio

You can also connect with local photographers overseas for a “shoot swap”. In addition, connect with local vendors for a styled shoot. In some cases, you will start getting referrals from previous local weddings if you did an excellent job. Remember, you are a walking advertisement for your business at each wedding event! 

4. Calculate the Cost & Check Venue Restrictions   

Based on peak season travel rates, calculate your travel and other expenses. You can even have a pricing brochure and include the travel fee into the packages you provide. This saves you the time of having to break down the prices separately. Moreover, it saves the couple from all the hassle of arranging your travels. And they know exactly how much to pay you.

Calculate the Cost & Check Venue Restrictions

In addition, make sure the venue couple has chosen allows outside photographers. Some rare destination wedding venues don’t allow photographs to be taken. So, do your research in advance.

5. Apply for a Work Visa 

Some countries might demand work visas from professionals visiting for work. So, figure if the country you are visiting requires a work visa or any other permit. Recently, many countries are strict about photographers working abroad. So, make sure to apply well on time to avoid the risk o being detained on foreign land.

6. Check Your Equipment & Ensure Location Safety

Make sure entering a foreign land with equipment worth several thousand pounds is not going to endanger you in any way. Always try to remain aware of who’s handling your luggage and store your equipments in a safe space. In addition, you can rent equipment to minimise the risk. Write down the serial numbers of all the equipment you are packing in case you need to claim your insurance. 

In addition, get your gear and equipment registered online. Registering increases the chances of a gear being returned to you if it goes missing. It also saves you from any custom related hassles.

7. Scout the Wedding Location 

Start photoshoot location scouting two to three days advance before the wedding. In addition, you have to embrace the culture and lifestyle of the location. And make sure to embed it into wedding photographs. You can do a preliminary run of the wedding day a day before. And do it at the exact times the events will be occurring, especially the photoshoot of newly-weds.

Scout the Wedding Location

You can even use Google Maps and satellite images for scouting the locations. If you can figure out the direction of sunlight. You can easily know which location would look blissful in the afternoon sunlight. Scouting your location is an important aspect of how to become a destination wedding photographer. 

Make sure to do a quick search online to view wedding images from that particular location or venue. And this will give you a good idea of great spots to shoot. Researching online will also give you inspiration for spots to shoot your couple.

8. Stay Connected with the Couple

With destination weddings, it might be difficult for photographers to feel connected to the couple. And it is equally important for couples to feel at comfort with their photographers. So make plans to sit with the couple after you are booked for a destination wedding. If the couple lives overseas, email them and set up a meeting over skype. Technology is your best friend in this case.

Stay Connected with the Couple

Make sure to build a good rapport with the wedding couple. Ask them about their favourite spots, what makes them happy. Get to know them so that you know exactly how to capture their moments on the big day. Also, remain available to your couple at all times as changes in the wedding photography plan may go on till the wedding day.

9. Travel & Blog

How to become a destination wedding photographer? Make sure you travel tons whenever you can and blog about it. When potential clients land on your socials, they will instantly realise how adventurous you are. And they won’t hesitate to ask you to join them on their destination wedding adventure. So, make sure your Instagram and websites are covered with your most adventurous photos.

Travel & Blog

And with the knowledge of SEO, you can turn your holiday photos into informative blog posts. Talk about how amazing the destination weddings are at the places you have travelled. It will also give your potential clients some inspiration while planning the venue.

10. Know What is at Stake

Know that destination wedding photography does come at a price. Travelling to different locations might sound dreamy. However, consider the aspects behind the scene. The long hours, the jet lag, the unknown location, being away from family are just some of the issues among many. 

You also need to have incredible time management skills and planning for successful events. So, make sure to balance out the pros and cons before you completely dive into it! 

Conclusion

Sometimes, getting married is one of the most important events in a person’s life. And it is the job of wedding photographers to frame that event through the camera lens. There is a growing popularity of getaway wedding events these days.

Become a Destination Wedding Photographer

So, wanting to know how to become a destination wedding photographer is only sensible. If you want to combine your passion for travel and wedding photography, then destination wedding photography is a perfect fit.  

Wedding photographers have the unique ability to capture a couple’s love story in the photos. And they help create moments that the couples will cherish forever. On top of that, you get to see new places and experience new things as a destination wedding photographer.

You might face some trouble in properly assessing the first few destination wedding photography. However, with persistence and perseverance, things will run smoothly once you get the hang of it. Wedding couples rely on you to tell their story through your photography. So, make sure to prepare accordingly.

February 9, 2022

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