How to Prepare Yourself for Destination Wedding Photography

by | Oct 1, 2021 | Wedding Photography

Destination wedding photography is something which is on the bucket list of many budding and professional wedding photographers. This industry depends upon the connections and referrals; once you have impressed the couples and their wedding parties, chances of being hired outside your region grow exponentially. Usually couple prefer bringing photographers and videographers with them instead of hiring them locally. Therefore, the best method for success here is preparation.

Master the locations and expectations beforehand, and you can avoid the dreaded interview question. The analogies to JPMorgan Chase and tech startups don’t end here. These industries are on a steady growth trajectory, and soon, there could be hundreds of gig economy workers competing for the same digital gigs.

All this might mean is that your work is going to outstay its usefulness a little bit. There are always decreasing returns for individuals who invest in marketing or branding. Typically, big launches will happen around the world followed by regional or national competitions. This means all the newly launched clients need to do is send one email to a handful of people who know the “magic formula” to win the bidding war.

A marketer and a photographer are going to be on opposite sides of the planet, in a new country or even entirely different continents. It’s going to be hard as a freelance photographer to establish a foothold in such a competitive industry.

The best way to do this is with interest-based marketing.

You can try booking a session with a local photographer before you head to the airport or booking sessions with the proven local photographers in a new city. Then you capitalize on the international connection you’ve already made by sharing on Twitter, linking your Instagram stories, and sharing on Facebook. In this way, you’ll slowly entice your audience to connect with you on Instagram and begin their relationship. A couple of years ago, you couldn’t even take a selfie by yourself in your living room and make it popular online. Now, thousands of people are making an effort to pose for different photographs and use their self-portraits to promote products and businesses.

Each day thousands of people are searching for these trending subjects. Many large brands with assets shot by world-famous photographers also use the opportunity to test their photography and reach out to their target audience. Prior to smartphones, people would take pictures in front of a mirror or their own smartphone. And they had to budget their time to either hang it up on a wall or simply snap it (using a tripod) and edit them later.

First things first — you have to book your shoots. By now, I am sure you are familiar with the vague auction competitive bidding process. Bid and you’ll be invited to the shoot. Once you are on site, your job is to grab the right shots for your clients. We are starting from 35mm to 4K, and we can also do landscape shots thanks to our beautiful estate.

The engagement sessions are months in advance, so we would first schedule a time which is convenient and doesn’t clash with your other commitments. Then, soon after the booking is made, your colleague or another photographer takes charge of coordinating the shoot. We are there during the first few days of the engagement to capture the perfect shots for the couple.

Once the shoot is finally over, you have to deliver the final photos to the couple and their families. For what I do, I can send them directly via email. I can follow the standard deliver for tracking number and certificate. I only take a fee of 10% of the total portfolio.

It is not uncommon for couples to send my portfolio to the rest of the venue staff at the end of the shoot. Additionally, we process all the digital images ourselves and send them on to the clients. We do not print the images themselves. Instead, we sell them on eThumb for the couple.

Destination wedding photographer contracts are typically between 12 to 18 months long. This is the time it takes to see the results of your hard work. You should be able to get caught up with your work within the first few months after the wedding.

After the shoot is completed, you can submit the final shots to the client. Depending upon the type of client, we can facilitate staff pick up or deliver.

Once a firm has been selected, photographs need to be stored and protected, and then itemized and appraised. Sometimes, the owners of the venue will even take a few photos themselves.

Below are a few of the simple, yet effective tips that will enhance your videography efforts and help get you on the right track to being hired for weddings all over the world.

Develope a Team

It is always sad when a guest or a couple choose not to hire a photographer they know and trust over a professional from a strong agency that they have never heard of. The latter is a surefire way to get long lines, as nearly everything will be a standard request by friends and family of the bride and groom.

If you live in a huge town, consider forming a local team and submitting the work to your own professional photographers instead of endlessly searching for local talent. Bring one or two trusted videographers with you to the wedding venue; let them get to know the destination town and the type of scene they are photographing. Uniforms and styles of photography make a big difference in getting you booked regardless of the industry; therefore, instruction in street photography and these simple techniques will make the most effective impression.

Get Training

One of the biggest objections to hiring a professional photographer or videographer outright is that they need help getting started. Do not let this be you. Before looking for the credentials of a photographer or videographer, enquiry around which being you are the right fit for the job. A young and eager photographer with perfect shooting skills will often require advice as to how to set up their camera, optimally position the subject, etc. A business professional who has seen the huge returns of some of the bigger wedding websites, will likely need to do a bit of reading before making their decision about whether to book you or not. Reassure them that you really know what you are talking about when you bring a great team together and let them show you the ropes.

Don’t Panic

This industry fluctuates daily and it is inevitable some businesses will be in tight manpower and capacity, no matter how good they are at their regular jobs. Plenty of great appointments have been missed because of forced travel or the inability to get time to train the “newbies”. Getting too much into the new, graphical style of wedding photography too soon will mean that you might leave potential guests with the impression that you are incapable of photographing still photos but are more able to film video. Ideally, you should aim to find someone with more experience in still photography, and/or a background in video production and editing skills.

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