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A Roadmap to Choosing your Destination Wedding Photographer

By Lisa Gundlach Feb 27, 2013 2:28:00 PM

7 considerations for finding the right destination photographer for you...

A guest blog by Elizabeth Medina of 
Elizabeth Medina Photography

Let´s just admit it. One of the greatest advantages of a destination wedding is the opportuntity to capture unique and fantastic, creative photographs. Being married in an exotic local offers the potential for uniquely eye-catching imagery and it is well worth some thoughtful planning to make sure the end result surpasses expectations. Here are 7 things to think about when evaluating destination photographers:

  1. It's all about you- Does the work presented by the photographer speak to you personally? Each experienced photographer should have a specific and consistent creative viewpoint. When you find “the one” whose eye matches your interior vision for the wedding…well let's just say that magic has been known to happen! How to know when you’ve found your match? Spend quality time looking through the photographer’s work (see #6 below!) If you find that you can imagine you and your fiancée in the photographs and if looking at them makes you feel even more excited than ever for your own destination wedding, you are probably on to something! 
  2. Near or far- In years past “flying in” a photographer was a common choice for destination couples and in the case of remote wedding locations where professional photography options are limited this may still be a desirable option. For weddings in tried and true destination locations a little research time spent checking options nearer the wedding venue may lead to surprising results. Local destination wedding photographers will likely speak the language of the venue (both literally and figuratively), know their way around and have experience shooting under the local conditions.
  3. Keep it personal- Some photography companies work with several photographers. Knowing who the specific photographer is going to be on the day of your wedding and being satisfied that you have viewed a large body of work-- not just of the company as a whole, but specific to this photographer at events where he was the day’s primary shooter-- is a great way to avoid surprises.
  4. Experience- The more wedding experience your photographer has under his belt the more he/she will be able to “think on their feet” on the wedding day. Since no two weddings are alike, this is a very important and key to being ensured of getting the great photographs you deserve. Experience is what will insure your photographer is at the right place at the time to capture the unique moments that come and go so quickly and also what will allow her to handle tricky situations and make the most of every scenario even if there are unexpected factors along the way (and when it comes to weddings there always are!). An experienced photographer is also likely to have developed a digital workflow that will ensure careful handling and timely delivery of the photographs.
  5. Budget- Of course it would not be a wedding without a budget! Photography costs can vary widely and there surely is a photographer in every budget range. The lower priced “deals” may not always be the best value so it is essential to compare apples to apples when viewing different packages. Questions to ask include: how many photographer(s) will cover the event, how many hours will the photographer(s) be shooting and how many images will be the result, how many of the final images will be delivered in edited form? If purchasing additional images or image editing/retouching is an option, how much would this purchase cost? Are the high resolution images and printing rights included in the package cost? Also be sure to consider whether there will be additional costs beyond the package price (are taxes, shipping, etc. included in the price or are these additional?)
  6. The big picture- While the typical photographer website or blog showcases a sample of highlight or favorite photographs, the photographer should be happy to provide full sets of images for review on request. Looking through complete galleries of photographs from several full events under different conditions will let you know how consistently and in how much variety and detail the photographer approaches the day’s coverage, how important a part different aspects of the day (details, family relationships, bridal portraits, the emotions, etc.) play in that photographer’s coverage. These sets of final photos will also speak to the quality and quantity of editing and processing this photographer delivers.
  7. Expert advice- A great place to start is a Google search of your venue but you don’t need to stop there. Check into online reviews, articles in wedding magazines and blogs, coordinator and venue recommendations. There is nothing like hearing from someone who has been there when it comes to planning an event from a distance.

Editor's tip: Be sure to check with your DestinationWeddings.com wedding specialist for photographer recommendations based on past weddings.

Elizabeth Medina Photography

Topics: wedding planning, planning a destination wedding, photography, wedding details, guest blog, tips & humor

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