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How I Plan a Destination Wedding as a Photographer

Bride and groom smiling at each other at their destination wedding in Catalina Island

Destination wedding photography is one of my favorite photography events to cover. It satiates my creative shutterbug by allowing me to experiment with new photography techniques. It also thrills the globetrotter in me as I completely immerse myself in the beauty of places I've never traveled.

In this blog I walk you through my process for destination wedding photography. While a lot of it is similar to regular weddings, these are the standout elements that I focus on to give my clients the best experience.

Diving deep: researching the new venue

One of the first things I do after booking a wedding is research the destination thoroughly. And I'm talking more than just Google images --- blogs, influencers, Pinterest boards -- you name it, I've scoured it. I'd also talk to any friends or acquaintances in the city to get the feel of the place from a local's perspective.

I take note of the local customs and regulations that work in the venue. It's to prepare for any objections from a photography standpoint. For instance, when I visited Paris, I had to take care for permission to photograph in public venues, such as Palais-Royal, and respect the time frames they preferred to not disrupt the public’s experience.

Getting a bird's eye view of the wedding venue also helps me to organize my equipment. If we take a lot of shots with perspective, a wide-angle lens is something I ensure to carry.

Getting a bird's eye view of the wedding venue also helps me to organize my equipment. If we take a lot of shots with perspective, a wide-angle lens is something I ensure to carry.

Forming connections: Getting to know the couple better

You know how important communication is to me if you've read my other blogs. Establishing a two-way, empathetic connection is paramount for me to deliver the client's vision best.

Communication is essential for destination wedding photography because

a unique sense of style comes with each particular destination. Connecting with my clients helps me to envision what their ideal looks like.

They are counting on their photographer to immortalize their wedding day in a foreign land. This is why I seek out a collaborative environment to honor their expectations.

Scouting the wedding venue

Destination weddings can be tricky if you're new to the place. This is why I take separate time out of my schedule to scout the location ahead of time.

Walking through the location helps me identify the best shooting spots for the day. It helps me dive into the ambiance to get into the day's vibe in advance.

Moreover, I also take note of the best times for taking pictures. This practice also helps me to draw a mental picture of what light adjustments would be needed during the photoshoot.

Coordinating with vendors for best delivery

Now if you're photographing a wedding and need help to bring out the best backdrops, it will be a taxing journey if you don't coordinate with the other vendors.

During wedding events (destination or otherwise), I ensure to run over my shot lists with the vendors involved. That helps me save time to figure it out all by myself and creates a seamless event in general.

Not to mention, it actually puts my clients at ease because they don't have to run around coordinating everything. A team of professionals keeps your wedding woes away!

Ensuring backup and data security

Imagine losing everything you've captured so far lost over a tiny glitch! Writing this alone gave me nightmares — the ones that leave you sweating at 3 AM kind! Which is why I employ a robust backup strategy by leveraging cloud storage and multiple storage devices. Plus, backing up pictures at regular intervals creates additional safety.

It's okay to be cautious. It creates reliability and fosters trust in your professionalism.

Post-processing and delivering the photos

This is the final step to a perfect delivery and something I focus on. It's that thing that takes you back to the special day, which is why it has to match the couple's aesthetic.

Ideally, it involves carefully curating the photographs, choosing the best shots,

and maintaining a consistent editing style throughout the album.

This process is a reflection of my artistry on multiple levels.

Final thoughts on my destination wedding photography process

Weddings are some of the most special days in everyone’s lives. I feel privileged to have the ability to capture this love behind the lens. This is also why I ensure to have an immaculate process to realize my client’s vision in the most beautiful way.


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