As you consider your destination wedding photography options, you will find that your choices tend to be (a.) find a photographer who lives and/or works at your wedding destination, or (b.) pay the added expense of transporting and hosting your preferred photographer from your locale or anywhere in the world.
Depending on your preferences and your budget, you may already know how you want to approach this issue. If not, there are arguments to be made for both sides. Many brides tend to feel that the photographer is the best element of a wedding where you can splurge, while others may stick to a strict budget no matter how amazing the photographer’s portfolio.
“The internet is a glorious place – I am from Maryland and planned my entire North Carolina wedding via the Internet,” says recent bride Kristen Dinisio Jones. “Found all my vendors. The great thing about the Internet is that you can actually see photogs portfolios online without meeting them in person and listen to your bands via streaming audio.”
“As far as choosing a photographer, it’s more important to find a photographer you click with and whose images you appreciate, rather than simply selecting someone ‘local,’” says Joe Kusumoto of Joe Kusumoto Photography. “It is worth paying a little extra for travel costs if you find someone whose photo style and personality is a perfect match.”
Lynda Shenkman Curtis is a photographer in Westchester County, New York and owner of Oxygen House Photography Studio. She has traveled to many different places as a wedding photographer and welcomes the opportunity.
“I think it’s just the personal preference of the bride,” Curtis says. “I had a nanny for my kids who was from Northern Ireland, and she always liked my work. She said, ‘when I get married I want to fly you over to shoot my wedding’. So eight years later… I traveled to Belfast to photograph the most incredible wedding. They paid the airfare and put me up at her parents’ house. She wanted someone with whom she was comfortable.
“I had photographed several weddings in of a group of friends who were bridesmaids at each others’ weddings and when one of the girls got married in Northern Vermont, she wanted me for the entire weekend to shoot the various events. She was comfortable with me and liked my style… didn’t want a stranger there for the weekend. So it all depends on what you’re looking for.”
On the side of finding a photographer near the venue for your destination wedding, recent bride Angela F. Bachman notes that most photographers these days have a Web site where you can conveniently view their work. Bachman suggests asking for the photographer’s references from past clients and also asking those clients if you could see any of their images. She also recommends asking the hotel or your destination wedding venue for recommendations on wedding photographers in the area.
“Some brides have photographers travel with, but that can be very expensive,” Bachman says. “It would probably even be less expensive to hire two photographers at the remote location so you have a variety of pictures (especially if one turns out to be sub-par).”
Dawn Yorke, a photographer based in South Jersey, notes that most destination wedding venues are a one-stop-shop.
“They try to make it easy for brides and do everything onsite,” Yorke says. “But what they offer might not be your cup of tea, so it might take more investigating to find exactly what you want. If you have a photographer that you trust or really admire it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask if they have travel packages. Some might even split the travel cost or even make it their vacation too! I know most photographers would like to mix it up and work in a new location. Plus it would make it easier to have your photographer nearby when you are choosing your album.”
About the Experts:
Joe Kusumoto is the owner of Joe Kusumoto Photography. Visit online at www.kusumotophoto.com.
Lynda Shenkman Curtis is a photographer in West Chester County, New York and owner of Oxygen House Photography Studio. Visit online at www.Oxygenhousephoto.com.
Dawn Yorke is a photographer based in South New Jersey with her company, DAWNyorkePHOTOGRAPHY. Visit online at www.dawnyorkephotography.com.