Destination Wedding Photography...How I did it then and what I would do differently!
As a photographer I would love to share my own personal experiences. At the time of my wedding I was not a photographer and had no clue as to what I should know in hiring vendors. Exactly Seven years ago I got married in Anguilla at Cap Juluca Resort. A couple months later I had a reception in Boston at the Four Seasons. A wonderful photographer in Boston at our reception took the image, which I have posted here. I was so happy that I planned this post event after eloping in Anguilla. If I hadn’t all I would have had was a very disappointing photography outcome. Here is what happened…
In planning a destination wedding I found that all of my details were, for the most part planned by the resort. I told them basically what I had envisioned for my ceremony and dinner and they planned it all. The day of my ceremony was the first introduction that I had with my photographer and videographer. They never contacted me prior to the event to discuss my style of photography and what I envisioned for my wedding. As of today I really don’t remember who these people were that were at my ceremony. I know, sad but true! Needless to say I was less than enthused when I saw the outcome of both the video and still images. Wow, they were bad. The video had several spots during the play mode that would just sporadically stop and skip with an overall cheesy quality. I really could have had anyone do a better video for us. The images were the basic of all out of the box boring images. I probably ended up with about 20 images total to remember our gorgeous ceremony. Most of these images looked like a bunch of the same pose and not great poses at that. What a shame. I can go on but why bore you with the extent of the disaster. This was the one and only wedding ceremony that I hope to ever have and I really don’t have anything to show for it.
If you are planning a destination wedding my advice is this. Interview a couple of awesome photographers in the area you live. Thoroughly go through what you are looking for in a photography style and make sure you are on the same page. Make sure that you have a great rapport with the photographer. That person is going to be following you around for quite a few hours and will be there for your most intimate moments. The more you are comfortable with the photographer the better your images will come out. If you are totally relaxed and feel good it will show.
I recently shot a wedding in Bermuda at the Mandarin Oriental Resort and I know that my clients were so excited to have had a fabulous creative photography experience while having their wedding there. Also, I know that different destinations have their own laws regarding having a photographer come in. So be thorough with your questions to the event planner at your resort of the requirements for their location.
I would highly recommend hiring a photographer that you love and put a bit of extra money into having them travel to your destination wedding to ensure you get a fabulous day of images to look back at your 50th wedding anniversary.