How To Find A Wedding Photographer For Domestic And International Weddings

Not every photographer can photograph in every venue and location. When perusing a photographer’s website look to see if the photographer has photos from a variety of locations? You do not want to have to worry if the photographer can only capture your Signature in selected locations.

When viewing websites ask yourself:

  1. Does this photographer have the ability to adapt to his or her surroundings? (Are there a variety of photographs from a variety of locations?)
  2. Does the photographer display creativity in posing while maintaining high quality portraiture?
  3. Does the overall personality of the website draw your attention? (Ask a close friend to review those websites and offer their thoughts on what they see.

Quality professional wedding photographers know how to use their surroundings as an appropriate backdrop for romantic portraits. For example, if you are going to have a candle light wedding, then the photographer should have the necessary equipment to correctly expose for that extremely low light environment. If you are getting married on the beach, then your photographer should be able to ensure correct exposure so that not every photograph is a silhouette.

Domestic and International Travel

Why wait to fly to your honeymoon when you can just have a destination wedding? Panoramic landscapes and picturesque cityscapes will give real meaning to your commitment to one another. In addition, your guests will thank you for the invitation to an experience that they won’t soon forget. Brides will often ask if they should hire a photographer from that particular destination or hire a local photographer within their country. Here are some ideas to consider before deciding if you will hire a local photographer or a destination photographer.

Rule Number One: Under no circumstances should you “hope for the best” when deciding between a local photographer who will travel with you and a photographer from that particular destination. Because of the time and effort required preparing for your day, your search should immediately begin after deciding your destination and date. Procrastinating typically results in choosing a photographer on the basis of price, website, and unverified promises from the photographer. It is far better to take your time, as well as, invest your money into a photographer you are confident with rather than looking at your wedding photos wondering, “what was the photographer thinking?” Here are a few questions to consider before making your choice.

Destination Photographer:

  1. In a worse case scenario, how difficult would it be to contact the photographer before or after the wedding? For example, are you able to easily make contact via phone or email if timelines and venues were to change?
  2. Don’t forget about time zones. Far away destinations are nice but if you have to either get a phone call or make a call at 3am then you might be a little annoyed if you have to get up early the following day.
  3. Do you have good references from your friends, customers, and vendors concerning the photographer?
  4. Consider scheduled payments and exchange rates. The contract should always state that the price of your package is in your countries currency. This is especially important if you schedule your payments throughout the year. Exchange rates change from hour to hour and from day to day. You don’t want to be stuck paying 50% more because the exchange rate changed.
  5. Laws concerning contracts vary from country to country. Therefore, how are payments and contractual agreements verified? For example, I have a dedicated website for each Bride and Groom composed of a downloadable PDF copy of the signed contract along with an itemized list of payments and dates or those payments.

Your Local Photographer:

  1. Does the photographer have a valid passport? Only photographers with valid passports should be considered if your wedding is outside the United States. Woe to the Groom who has to comfort his bride because the photographer was denied a passport a week before the wedding.
  2. Has the photographer traveled to that particular destination and is/will be familiar with pertinent laws and cultural etiquette?
  3. Will the photographer bring extra equipment and how will it be packed?

A Contract Caveat:

The contract should itemize where responsibility lies between the photographer and client. Responsibilities such as: travel, any necessary additional payments, timelines, room and board should be clearly understood between the two parties before the contract is signed.

Remember that your photographer will be with you until the end of your wedding day. You should feel confident in your photographer’s professionalism, talent, and ability to photograph your Signature anywhere in the world.

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