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The Top Questions To Ask a Destination Wedding Photographer … and what mistake not to make.

The Top Questions To Ask a Destination Wedding Photographer … and what mistake not to make.

The day of your dreams is coming up, and you’ve finally found the perfect place. Whether it’s a gorgeous beach in Hawaii or a beautiful Villa in Italy, capturing your precious moments while including the vibe and surroundings requires a skilled photographer. Your venue sets the tone of your destination wedding, and a good photographer will eternalize it. 


On your search for the perfect photographer, it’s crucial to ask the right questions. That way, you can screen through the rest and find the best wedding destination photographer. Here are a few questions to ask your destination wedding photographer before booking them. 


The Basics


Are you available on my wedding day?

This seemingly straightforward question is the linchpin of your entire photography journey. Great photographers are often booked one or two years in advance. Your wedding planner can do the initial round of scouting for you - make sure to make them understand your preferences. Destination weddings often involve intricate logistics, so having a photographer who can align their schedule with your destination wedding date is paramount.


How long have you been shooting destination weddings?

You have carefully chosen your venue with intent and you want all its nuances to reflect in your wedding photography. Inquire about the photographer’s experience and techniques they use to make sure the essence of your wedding is captured. Assess their ability to adapt to different settings, manage unforeseen circumstances, and deliver exceptional results under unique conditions. Ask them how they handle stress.


Do you have a gallery or portfolio of your work?

Portfolios are a visual testimony of a photographer’s skill and style. Reviewing their previous work allows you to assess their creativity, attention to detail, and ability to capture the essence of diverse wedding environments. It’s a tangible way to envision how they might document your most special moments. Websites and social media are often only a small excerpt - ask for access to a full client gallery.


Have you worked with a destination wedding planner?

Destination weddings often involve collaboration with various vendors, including wedding planners or coordinators who specialize in orchestrating events in specific locations. Asking about the photographer's experience on working with destination wedding planners ensures seamless coordination of efforts.


Photography Style

The Top Questions To Ask a Destination Wedding Photographer … and what mistake not to make.

Can you describe your photography style and philosophy?

This question serves as an open invitation for your photographer to articulate their artistic approach. Whether it’s documentary, editorial, fine art, traditional, or a blend of styles, their response provides valuable insight into how they perceive and capture weddings. It is also interesting to understand their philosophy and their drive - why are they wedding photographers? 


Does your style work well with the destination?

Destination weddings often take place in picturesque locales with distinct atmospheres and backdrops. Your photographer’s style must complement the essence of the destination. For instance, a photographer adept at capturing raw, unscripted moments might excel in a more candid setting. Or, for example, a photographer who has a very dark editing style might not be the best choice for a luxurious and bright marble building.


Destination Wedding Photography Packages

The Top Questions To Ask a Destination Wedding Photographer … and what mistake not to make.

What are your packages? Do you have options for destination weddings?

This question sets the stage for understanding the range of services your photographer offers. Some photographers offer “one size fits all” packages, calculated by the hour. Photographers who cater to various needs often tailor more personal packages. For instance: my 2024 weddings range from intimate ceremonies on a boat with 6 people to 3-day celebrations with 300 guests. My clients are so diverse - and so is their idea of a perfect wedding and their photography. Your photographer will know which questions to ask you in the initial interview in order to understand your needs. If you don’t want to have average wedding photography, you should not look for average packages.


Two mistakes not to make


Are they actually as good as it looks on social media?

Let this be a warning. There are frauds out there. If a person with zero photographic skills wants a professional looking portfolio, all they have to do is attend styled shoots or portfolio events. A stylist, a model couple and a senior photographer prepare the perfect shots for the amateurs by placing everything in the perfect light. All of this happens with an abundance of time, which is almost an opposite scenario to a wedding. There are many “professional wedding photographers'' with seemingly perfect instagram feeds - make sure their photos are (mostly) from actual weddings! While it is normal to do creative projects outside of weddings, a feed that exclusively consists of styled shoots is a red flag. To avoid being tricked: ask any photographer you’re inquiring for access to a full wedding gallery (with guests and a storyline). Oh and those features in Vogue? You can buy those.


Don’t forget about personality

Your wedding photographer will spend more time with you on your wedding day than your guests. You want to make sure it is somebody who you are comfortable around and who will not stress or annoy you. Would you prefer someone enthusiastic and excitable? Or someone more calm and introverted? If they were already bossy with you in the call, this will not be different during your wedding. If they seemed unmotivated or unfocused, it will be the same on your big day. After your conversation with them, write down how you felt during the call. Make sure you find not only a photography match, but also somebody you are comfortable with on a personal level.



Wrapping Up: Wedding Destination Photography Questions

Planning your wedding entails getting as much information as possible from all parties and vendors involved. Your photographer should be able to communicate in a friendly and transparent manner. The questions I shared above can provide clarity on the logistical aspects, expertise, and creative style of your destination photographer, laying the groundwork for a partnership that will beautifully capture the unique moments of your most special day. However - everybody has a different approach.


Contact Kim today to learn more about destination wedding photography and related topics.


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