If most of the weddings you photograph are held at the same local venues, destination weddings are opportunities to spice up your portfolio. These weddings are often held in spectacular settings that allow you to capture natural backdrops for stunning images that you could never capture at a local church or park. If you want to combine travel with business, consider these tips for handling destination events professionally.
Get Specifics before Accepting the Job
You may hear a bride say that she’s planning a wedding in the Caribbean or another exotic location that you would love to visit, but don’t jump on board until you ask questions and do some research. Some questions that you need to answer include:
- How much time will you need to take away from your local customers and family?
- Will the compensation cover all of your professional expenses plus allow for a profit?
- If you’re flying overseas, is the country safe for photographers? Keep in mind that locals may see your cameras and assume you’re a member of the press.
- How will you safely transport your gear to and from the destination?
Extend Your Insurance if Necessary
If you’re traveling internationally, your business and equipment insurance may not cover you in the case of an accident or equipment theft. You may need to contact your insurance agent, explain the details of your trip, and extend your coverage for the short term.
Make Your Own Travel Arrangements
Your client may offer to pay for your airfare and ground transportation, but it’s best to do the booking personally. You may need to make special arrangements for flying with over-sized bags or expensive equipment, and it’s always best to have transportation agreements in your own name so that you’re never stranded. You may want to pay extra to board your flights before other passengers because you want to gain access to larger baggage compartments that will fit your carry-on equipment.
You want to make sure you have the equipment you may need to capture all phases of the wedding professionally, but you don’t want extra items to slow you down. Do your research ahead of time to determine what equipment you may need, and leave other items in the studio. If you can update some of your equipment so that it’s lighter and more compact, now is the time to do so.
Are You Ready to Leave?
Destination weddings are exciting, but you must make sure your personal life is accommodated before you leave. The last thing you need is your phone ringing nonstop because the babysitter or your spouse can’t handle the children or your friends don’t know that you’re doing something more important for the weekend. The further you travel from home, the more likely you are to encounter obstacles. Think ahead to solve potential problems proactively.