Wedding photography has been a passion of mine since I first got behind the camera seven years ago. I was initially attracted to the art of storytelling in wedding photography because it allowed us to capture fleeting heartfelt moments. I appreciated the challenge and the feeling of satisfaction that would ultimately come when I was able to capture an authentic, emotional moment.
Destination weddings can be downright amazing—new places, new sights and sounds. They can also be stressful. With the right preparation, you can make it an unforgettable experience. From my travels to Mexico, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Thailand and other countries, I have gathered these five tips I wish I’d known before I shot my first destination wedding.
I am a destination photographer. I photograph weddings, portraits and commercial gigs, and the one thing that is consistent across all genres is that I travel quite a long distance to most of my shoots. As a destination photographer, I’m constantly trying to simplify and protect my gear as I travel—it’s my goal to arrive at my destination (and back home again!) with all of my gear undamaged and my images intact.
Having photographed hundreds of weddings over almost a decade-long career, I can say that weddings are not glamorous. They’re supposed to be, right? But they just aren’t. In fact, weddings are more often marked by behind-schedule makeup artists, self-important “church ladies,” overbearing mothers, insensitive toast-makers, impatient guests, inconsiderate Uncle Bobs and clumsy electrical technicians. Here are three steps you can take before, during and after every wedding this year to give your couples a more glamorous experience.
We wedding photographers place a lot of emphasis on our portraits of the bride and groom on their wedding day. That’s because large prints of these shots are in high demand by couples. But all wedding photographers agree that there are other parts of the day that are extremely important to capture. The bride and groom choose those closest to them to be a part of their bridal party, and the wedding day is a great opportunity to showcase the connections between the bride and groom and those close friends and family members. Here are five tips that will help you create amazing images of your bridal party.
There is an expectation for professional wedding photographers to deliver our best work at every single wedding. Location can certainly help with this. It’s a lot easier to create impactful images in the streets of Venice than Flint. Now, I don’t know about you, but I rarely get to shoot in the streets of Venice, and still create artistic, impactful images for my clients on a consistent basis. You need to set yourself up for success.
My big thing is styled shoots. I love them. I love coming up with a unique concept, obsessing over the details, styling the models and working with vendors for a cohesive design. They also give me a chance to shoot something I want to shoot (as opposed to weddings where I have no control over the timeline, lighting or weather), and they let me practice new poses and lighting ideas.
Effective communication between you and your clients cannot be taken lightly. This determines how pleasant your time with each client will be, not to mention a deciding factor for whether they will even work with you at all.
Being a location portrait photographer has its drawbacks. We are often at the mercy of our environment, which means we are going to be faced with lighting challenges. If your schedule is busy, you won’t always have the luxury of planning all your sessions at sunset. Being forced to learn to overcome these situations, I picked up a few skills that are sure to help any photographer overcome bad lighting on location.