Choosing a good location makes a difference in your Wedding photos. Generally a destination that is far from the couple’s home brings a lot of opportunity for surprises. The photographer gets to explore his creativity and thus he requires more planning and expertise for the event. Surprises at any location may not always be of the good kind so you do need a reliable photographer.
Here are the 20 things that you MUST consider for a Destination Wedding Photography:
1. An exciting location that makes you feel good. I know this sounds a bit obvious but the main objective behind this is to let the natural side of you as a couple come up in your wedding photos. One can’t really have a hectic day and end up with an awesome set of pictures. You just have to be yourself and enjoy the day, the pictures will reflect the happiness.
2. Hiring a professional photographer. Wedding pictures are not for your present day or just the next year, they are for decades from now; when you show your children what your wedding was really like. You can’t act stingy and then expect to get some mind blowing images out of your friend’s camera. A professional photographer knows what he is required to deliver and is versatile enough to stand up to your expectations.
3. Don’t just shoot for the wedding day, put up your photographer for additional days on the trip where he can document all the fun moments as well and not just the wedding day.
4. Don’t just go for posed photos. Let the day unfurl and you will get a lot of unexpected moments which you will appreciate later in your life.
5. Do capture the oldies out there because in a few years you will be grateful that you did and now you have the moment of generations captured as a sweet memory.
6. Checking the local calendar helps you note the dates of celebrations and special holidays in that particular area. You don’t want your wedding to be during the busiest time of the year at any location.
7. Some venues offer their own photographers in package. Well, do not go for it. Package photographers are generally typed to their routine shots and you will never get the type of images you want without actually knowing the style of the photographer. So you will either have to meet them in person before hiring them or you can bring your own photographer with you. Package photographers don’t really care and all they provide are simple photos.
8. The location you choose must be unique. Now this does not mean that you have to start planning for the Himalayas. You just have to find a location that will make your wedding photos one of a kind. Explore the location in your post wedding sessions and you will surely get the best out of it.
9. Make sure the make-up you wear does not reflect light as it will not at all work well with flash photography.
10. Choosing a photographer whose personality matches with yours and whose work is liked by you will help you get comfortable with him and that makes a big impact on your photos. You then trust the judgment of your photographer and feel free around him.
11. Planning the time and what direction the ceremony should face on any particular day is important. Do ask for your photographer’s advice on this too as the direction and quality of light matters a lot in photography.
12. Do not forget to include pre-wedding events and activities in your photos. This is the best possible way to capture all of your guests interacting with each other and having a good time, be it a welcome party or a rehearsal dinner.
13. Make sure you are certain about the photographer and you love his photography. You will be spending a lot of time with him and it is important that you get along. If you trust your photographer, the images will speak the rest.
14. Hiring a photographer based on the location might not be a good idea. Usually a creative photographer when put in an unknown location comes up with very unexpected and surprising angles that you will cherish forever. It is not the location but the photographer you choose.
15. Hiring a wedding planner will help you get some free time for your photography sessions during the wedding and you will appreciate the relaxed, fresh and free look on your face.
16. Make sure you save some energy for portrait photography as this is the only chance get some photos outside the venue. You can party all night long after that if you still have any energy left, that is.
17. You can always negotiate. Asking your photographer for a complimentary shoot of any pre or post wedding event in return for covering their travel expenses can be a good opportunity for them to get familiar with your family members during the wedding itself. This helps in both ways as great photos come along when people are comfortable around each other.
18. Do make time for the sunset. This is the best time for some awesome shots in your album. Manage time according to the number of group photos you need.
19. Do not forget intimate portrait sessions. Let the photos reflect your relationship in the quiet, simple and sweet moments throughout the trip, be it as simple as going to the market together.
20. Do not wait to explore the location till you get there. You can always search on the internet for great spots and learn as much as you can before you travel. Interact with your photographer as much as you can and let him know what your likes and dislikes are as it will help him make the right choice for you while taking your photographs. The price you pay for all this is nothing compared to the memories you get.
Michael Tsao is a professional wedding photographer currently working in Orange County California. He is also responsible for artistically composing the shots and processing the images.