If you’re shooting your very first destination wedding, then destination wedding photography can be a real challenge for you. As the name implies, a destination wedding is usually held at a location away from the bride and groom’s hometown. If this is your first experience of destination wedding photography, we’ve shared some tips for a destination wedding photoshoot in this post.

Prepare for a Work Visa in Advance

First thing first, if you’re traveling abroad for shooting a wedding then there’s a possibility that you’ll require a work visa. It is getting difficult for photographers to work abroad as many countries are being very strict about photographers work internationally. So if required, apply for a work visa in advance to avoid the risk of being detained in other countries.

Arrive Before the Wedding Day

If you are going to shoot a wedding away from the couple’s hometown, try to reach there a few days in advance and familiarize yourself with the wedding venue, the best spots to click, and the light, etc. This way, you can avoid any kind of surprises on the wedding day.

And stay at the same resort/hotel as the couple. This will make it easier for you to contact the bride and the groom and you’ll be available there to capture every moment of pre-ceremony as well.

Visit the Venue to Choose the Best Photo Spots

You should visit the venue in advance so that you can look for the best spot to click the once in a lifetime pictures of the bride and the groom. If required you can ask the wedding planner or the arrangement staff for your help.

This will help you to find the best place to click the pictures on the wedding day and you can also spare some time to enjoy the delicious food as well.  

If the couple has already chosen the venue, do not forget to check for the restrictions. Remember, so venues do not allow photographers, so make sure in advance it allows a photographer. I agree it is very rare but some venues may not allow outside photographers, so check for the permission in advance. Because it is very common that some hotels/resorts include photographers in their packages with venue and food.

Prepare Equipment List

Before you leave, write down the list of all the photography gears you’re bringing with you, including the gear serial numbers, for the insurance purposes. And register them online to increase the chances that, in case if your gears do go missing, it gets returned. Registering your photography gear will keep it organized electronically and could also be useful at customs.

Pack Shoot Outfit and Gear in a Carry-On

One thing you have to remember all the time is to keep your camera with you at all times. Worst-case scenario, if your luggage gets missing, while you work you’ll still have something to wear. Keep in mind that 22″ x 14″ x 9″ is the size of standard carry-on luggage.

Photography Gear

Bring a travel camera bag, a charger, two camera bodies, and some spare batteries. You may also need lenses, memory cards, and possibly a laptop for backup. Pack everything you need for a wedding shoot.

Also Pack Other Gear

This could include a tripod, extra cables, external flashes, and light modifiers. Remember, keep lithium batteries in your carry-on bag as many airlines do not allow those in your checked luggage.

I hope these shared tips should get destination wedding photographers started on their path to shoot a destination weddings abroad.

Haythem Lafhaj