6 Great Tips for Finding the Perfect Destination Wedding Photographer

Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular throughout the US. In fact, 25 percent of marriages are destination weddings. And, each year, 340,000 destination takes place. 

And, it’s no wonder that destination weddings are becoming so popular. With destination weddings, you get to kill two birds with one stone- you get to attend/throw a wedding, and, you get a great vacation!

But, while destination weddings can be great, you’ll soon realize that there’s a lot more planning that goes into a destination than a regular wedding. 

One of the most important aspects of destination wedding planning is hiring the right photographer. 

How do you find the perfect destination wedding photographer?

Check out this guide to learn how it’s done. 

1. Make Sure They Have “Destination” in Their Job Title 

First things first, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between a wedding photographer and a destination wedding photographer. 

Even if a photographer has all the experience in the world, if they’ve never worked a destination wedding, then you may want to reconsider hiring them.

The truth of the matter is, some people just don’t travel well. The last thing you want is to hire a photographer who is an inexperienced traveler and is constantly pestering you with their concerns about traveling in a foreign country. 

2. Check With Your Wedding Venue 

Some venues- destination or otherwise- require that you use a photographer from their preferred vendor list. 

If this is the case at your chosen locale, then you should be happy, as this usually makes things a lot easier. If you chose a quality venue, then you can trust that whoever is on that list is a high-quality photographer with plenty of experience. 

However, venues usually allow you to choose which photographer you want from the list instead of just choosing a random one for you, so there is still some research involved. 

Luckily, most venues will have portfolios from each photographer on hand, which will make the decision process that much easier. 

If your venue doesn’t have a list of required vendors, then it’s still worth asking them for recommendations for wedding photographers. They’ll know as well as anyone about the best photographers in the area. 

3. Traveler vs Local 

One of the biggest things you want to take into consideration when hiring a destination wedding photographer is whether you should hire someone from where you live and bring them with you, or whether you should hire someone from the area you’re traveling to. 

There are pros and cons to each option. If you hire a local from the area you’re traveling to, then you won’t have to worry about all the extra travel expenses.

These travel expenses should not be underestimated. Not only will a traveling photographer expect you to pay for their flight, but they’ll also expect you to cover their accommodation. Because they’re in a foreign place, they’ll also likely expect you to cover their transportation costs to and from the wedding venue. 

Another great thing about hiring a local photographer is that they’ll know the area well. They’ll likely have some great recommendations as to where you should take your wedding photos with your wedding party. 

Jean Smith from Iceland Wedding Photographer ( strongly recommends using a local photographer for destination weddings so that you get to see the most picturesque places without being crowded with tourists

However, the downside to hiring a local is that you likely won’t be able to meet them in person beforehand. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your wedding photographer, so you’ll want to make sure you vibe well with the person, which isn’t always easy to gauge over the phone. 

Also, depending on where you’re traveling, there may be a language barrier. There may also be different expectations when it comes to their required duties. 

And, if you’re traveling to a place where you don’t really know anyone, then you’ll have to rely on online reviews and portfolios when it comes to evaluating their work. If you hire a photographer from home, you can often find someone you know to vouch for their work. 

4. Consider Their Photography Style 

When hiring a destination wedding photographer, another very important thing to keep in mind is the photographer’s style. 

This is because the photographer’s style will affect the overall flow of your wedding day. For example, if you hire a photographer with an authentic documentary approach, then you’ll spend more time in the moment. If you hire someone with a more traditional approach, then you’ll spend more time posing for pictures. 

Which style you prefer comes down to personal preference, but it’s very important to know what you’re getting into beforehand. 

5. Know How Long to Hire Them For 

It’s also very important that you know how long to hire your destination wedding photographer for. 

This is because unlike a traditional wedding, a destination wedding usually involved a lot more than just the wedding and the ceremony. 

When guests are traveling so far to celebrate your wedding, most couples end up filling the entire day, or even the entire weekend, with events. 

If you have other events planned, then you’re definitely going to want to capture them for your memories, which is why you’ll want to consider hiring a destination wedding photographer who can work both before and after the actual ceremony. 

6. Make Sure You Like Them

While it’s very important that you like the wedding photographer’s style, it’s also very important that you like them on a personal level!

After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with this person- at least a few days, and they’re likely going to become a part of the party. 

To make sure the vibes are good, try to meet them in person beforehand. If this isn’t possible, schedule a FaceTime call or Skype call. 

Are You Ready to Hire a Destination Wedding Photographer? 

Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to hiring the perfect destination wedding photographer. 

If you liked this blog post, be sure to check back in with our blog for more wedding-related tips and tricks. 

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