Wedding photography in itself is a challenging vocation. Adding travelling to a different destination adds another dimension to it.
Destination weddings are those that are organised by the family of the wedding couple at a destination far away from their home. And photographers who travel with the couple to these destinations to document their events through photographs are called as destination wedding photographers.
Destination wedding photography is a fusion of travel and adventure photography clubbed with wedding photography itself. It’s a mix that though seems to be a lot of fun, has a lot of effort, planning and execution that goes through it. Wedding photography can be tricky enough in itself. There are deadlines, tight schedules and a lot of processing work in front of the computer. Destination wedding photography can throw a lot more challenges in the mix.
If you are reading this, you probably are a well-established wedding photographer who is trying to add destination wedding photography to your list of offerings. Or may-be you want to move on straight away to destination wedding photography. Either way, here are some tips that will help you with setting your destination wedding photography business up.
In wedding photography, no matter how talented you are, the success of a photographer heavily lies on referrals. It basically boils down to getting the word out there about your services, both online and through word of mouth. Most travelling wedding photographers invest in spending some time at the destination where they just finished the shoot to network with the locals. In wedding photography business, this kind of direct networking goes a long way.
While you are at it, never forget to mention about your love for travel. Make sure people know that you love to travel to such an extent that you are willing to travel to any destination where the couple are intending to get married.
Probably the biggest challenge there is with destination wedding photography is that when it comes to international travel you have to be prepared way ahead in advance. And that includes work permit or visa, learning about culture, restrictions and rules of the place you are travelling to. The last thing you want to do is tax the wedding couple with your travel problems.
Always assume the worst and prepare for the worst case scenario. It’s even better to have a backup plan for every plan that you have made for your trip.
Build your rapport
In most of the assignments, you will most likely meet the wedding couple a day before the wedding when you reach your destination. This makes it difficult to create a face-value for yourself. An online call over skype, or a good old telephone call goes a long way in helping you build you rapport with your clients. It’s also a good idea to follow them over Facebook and Twitter. Bring this habit of networking when interacting with your wedding clients and most likely, when the wedding couple see you for the first time, they will greet you like a bunch of long lost friends.
It’s a great idea to keep in touch with the wedding couple as the days close by to the wedding. You don’t have to call them every now and then. You can text and email them, check availability and then call if necessary. Check with the couple if you can cover the rehearsal and engagement session as well. This will lead to building trust with your client and will help build a relaxed atmosphere during the wedding day.
Know what’s at stake
Travelling to various locations and following your passion of photography does sound dreamy but know that it comes at a price. The biggest thing that you will need to consider is that you will be away from your family for most of the days. It also requires a lot of planning, time management skills and a lot of effort to building your own brand name in this niche.
So, ask yourself. If destination wedding photography is really for you?
The first step towards this dream job is to sharpen your skills at wedding photography itself. Like most businesses around the world. You will have to start small with local weddings and build your name and reputation with everyone you meet. From there on, take your presence online. Create your own blog, share your experiences, write blog posts frequently and promote them on your social networks.