Whether you’re originally from overseas and heading back home or you just fancy escaping the unpredictable British weather, you’re in good company amongst the many, many couples deciding to get married abroad. Whether you’re arranging it all yourself or hiring a planner to help you with local suppliers, here are the reasons why you should consider taking a photographer from home with you on your destination wedding.
1. A good connection is everything
If you don’t love your photographer, and they don’t love you, not only will it affect how comfortable you feel on the day it will also show in your images. Your relationship with your photographer is probably the most personal one of all your suppliers…they’re with you the whole day, interacting with your friends and family throughout the event and getting down on the dance floor at the end of the night. If you and your guests have a good connection with them, the smiles in your photos will be wider, brighter and 100% genuine and you can only really ensure that if you’ve met or talked with, and personally selected them yourself.
2. Shake off the nerves
Its even better if you can have a little practice beforehand. Even the most confident of couples can feel a bit awkward in front of the camera so the beauty of an engagement shoot with the same photographer is you get the chance to ‘shake it off’ in a relaxed environment when you’re not pushed for time, and have fun together. When it comes to the big day, it will all come naturally, your photographer will know what works for you, and it will feel like having a friend shoot your wedding rather than a contracted supplier you’ve just met that day.
3. No language or style barriers
Unless you’re fluent in each other’s language or are brilliant at charades, trying to communicate and get the best out of each other can be very challenging, taking up valuable time and energy you should be investing in enjoying your day. As well as a language barrier you may also find there is a style barrier where local tastes in what makes good wedding imagery can vary significantly from yours. By taking someone with you, whose work you’re familiar with, you’ll be able to relax knowing you’re in good hands and what to expect when you receive your images.
4. More original images
While local knowledge and familiarity with a venue may seem like an advantage, people are creatures of habit and there is the temptation to shoot the same images each time when you know the venue. The benefit of having a fresh pair of eyes surveying a location is they will undoubtedly seek out new spots and alternative angles making your images original from the ones you’ll have seen on the venue’s website. I’ve been complimented by many venues asking where a particular photo was taken and that no-one had shot there before so I know my couples are getting unique images with a fresh perspective.
5. Extended coverage
A local photographer will likely stay for the contracted hours and then go home, but if you’ve taken someone with you they have less reason to rush off so you could well end up with a lot more coverage of your time away. At one particular wedding in Spain, I took my last photograph of the wedding at 5:40am – the party was still in full swing, I was staying on site and not flying till later in the evening, and there was just too much fun to be had to go to bed! Also, the destination photographer will most likely be there the day before your wedding and quite possibly for some of the day after too, so if you’re having a welcome party, or a chill out day after the wedding, invite your photographer along to capture some of that for you too. Even if you don’t particularly want photos of those days, its a good chance for you guests to get to know and love your photographer as much as you do…and that can only result in seriously good reactions and amazing photos!
6. Aftercare service
With my clients, the fun doesn’t finish once the wedding is over and we still have a lot of contact afterwards. I like to invite them round for some bubbles and nibbles, to review their images and help them make their album choices. It really helps to be able to see ready made samples, compare the different styles and touch the various fabric options available which just isn’t possible if you’re doing it all remotely. The album is something you will keep forever and my clients seem to really value the time we spend together, reliving the day and making those key decisions.
7. More cost effective than you think
It may not cost as much as you think to take your photographer with you. I don’t apply a surcharge for a destination wedding – its the same usual rate for the wedding package, even though I can be away for 2 or 3 days, I just ask for my minimal travel expenses and accommodation to be covered. I tend to travel on a budget airline where I can, and stay in low cost accommodation. When you compare the cost of local photographers, you may find its not that much more expensive, or even on par, but the peace of mind of having someone you know and trust to capture those precious memories is well worth any small premium.
Hopefully that gives you some food for thought. If that all sounds appealing and you’d like to know more about my approach to destination weddings, then give me a shout and we can chat over a Prosecco, a Caipirinha or whatever the local tipple of choice is to get us in the mood!