DW brides- anyone commission a local photog in exchange for travel expenses?

posted 3 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
Member
1302 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We didn’t have a DW, but our photographer does do DW’s – she still charges for pics and for round trip airfare and accomodations. She is an established photographer though and doesn’t “need” to travel to add to her portfolio.

 

Post # 4
Member
4894 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@imnotorange:  It’s not uncommon, I’m a wedding photographer in a US resort area and we have photographers come here all the time for weddings. They generally shoot in exchange for travel covered because they want to get a wedding here.

Most full-time *travelling/destination* photographers charge travel + regular package. However, there are many photographers (like myself) who will do a few in exchange for just travel covered when we’re trying to break into that market – or if it’s an area we’d really love to shoot in. 

 

Post # 5
Member
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

I think it is a bad idea to have someone who has never been to the wedding location before to shoot a wedding. I am a portrait photographer at the Banff Springs hotel and I always see friends or non-local photographers struggle with the lighting, the best locations to go, etc. It takes a long time to get the lay of the land somewhere and makes the whole process seemless if they know exactly where to go, the fastest way to tget there, alternate routes if there are events or construction and what camera settings to use. 

Post # 6
Hostess
11469 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@imnotorange:  Yes, kind of but we didn’t end up having to pay.

We wanted our e-pics taken in Yosemite National Park (4 hour drive+ overnight stay). Our photographer was thrilled with the idea of having photos of this destination in his portfolio so he agreed to do it at no extra charge. Definitely worth mentioning to your phographer.

Post # 7
Member
4894 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Pixienickie:  That can be true. I live in a beach location, and many many many photographers who come here to shoot (thinking it’ll be like every other wedding) struggle beacuse the lighting conditions are harsh and challenging. 

I would encourage anyone seeking a photographer, local or destination, to view their portfolio for diversity and skill level. Ask to see an entire wedding. Personally, when I travel for weddings I always get there more than a day ahead of time so I can see the area and get aquainted with where I’m shooting.

Post # 8
Member
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

We are doing this. We didn’t have to ask– our photographer offered it.

She’s established, but just likes getting to go cool places for free.

Post # 9
Member
6812 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

I almost did this but decided I didn’t want my photographer to think that they were on a working vacation – that is, I didn’t want them sort of slacking bc they were in a tropical place. I ended up going with a photographer that will likely end up costing me a lot more, but photography is one of the places I really don’t want to skimp on. I would ultimately have only done this if I really loved the photographer’s work, but the chances of that happening and them not charging transportation + a package was slim.

Post # 10
Member
2057 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia

I didn’t really consult any Edmontonian photographers as many already had their basic packages starting at 3k and up. It’d be sweet if such a deal existed because travel + accomodation would be less than $1k for sure.

I ended up with not having to pay for travel; just accomodation on top of the package we’d be choosing. (It is about just over an hour to drive from Jasper to my venue; the photog knows the hotel owner well)

It still ends up around 3k, but I’m super happy with the quality of the candid shots from the photog’s portfolio.

Post # 11
Member
3394 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Pixienickie:  I think this is true to a certain extent, however any experienced/reputable photographer would be able to handle all types of lighting conditions, new environments etc. Most DW photographers will also arrive at least two days before the wedding, to scout for locations.

Having said that, we chose our photographer partly because of his affinity with our wedding location (Bali) and the fact that he’s shot beautiful weddings there before. Most of the photographers we contacted had also done Bali weddings before. In general, the pricing was more or less the same plus travel/accom, however a couple offered a discount to cover their travel expenses.

Post # 12
Member
561 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@peonyinparis:  Who did you end up going with?!?!

And to the OP. I charge my full package plus airfare and accomodations. I’m still a business, and working ‘vacations’ don’t pay the bills, they’re actually quite stressful and not really vacations at all.

 @Pixienickie:  Any good experienced wedding photographer will have no issues with lighting. Plus, most destination photographers scope out the location prior to the wedding day and get a feel for lighting/locations.

Post # 13
Member
1500 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ve traveled for destination weddings as a professional photog. I used to do just travel and accommodations when breaking in but if you ask me now it’s full package plus travel.. It is NOT a vacation and we lose precious working days at our home studio! Also any reputable photog worth their salt would be scoping out the locations the day before and would be able to handle any lighting condition.

Post # 14
Member
3394 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@sillygoat:  Yeah, I think unless you’re booking a photographer who’s starting out and wants shots for the portfolio, I don’t know of any pros who would shoot a wedding just for flights/accom. 

We went with Jonas in the end. Part of me still winces thinking about the cost, his basic package alone is almost twice what other photographers charge for wedding package + travel/accom. But I went back and looked at my Pinterest, and realised that almost my entire photography board was made up of his work! We paying for his flights and accom separately, which will add about $1000 on top (which is, incidentally, the amount other photographers had offered to take off their packages to cover travel). Now I just have to decide whether to hire a second shooter/assistant (which he says he’ll need if I want him to shoot film).

Post # 15
Member
138 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

We had a destination wedding in Las Vegas and commissioned a pro photographer who lives there. We are from Hungary, it would not had saved money for us to take with us a photographer from Hungary because of the distance and expenses. Anyway the photographer girl is from Hungary too, so it was an amazing day with her and we have wonderful photos.

Post # 16
Member
41 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@imnotorange:  The photographer coming for our DW is a good friend of mine who has been shooting for a while but has never shot a destination wedding. When we first got engaged she asked if we wanted engagement photos and I said sure but our wedding was destination and would she want to come if we could agree on a price. So we discussed it and ended up agreeing on half of the trip plus her days work the day of the wedding. She is being included in our guest package and got the group rate we got for everyone etc and in exchange we will get all our photos on a disk once we return. It is a vacation and our wedding is in “off season” for her so she will treat it as a vacation. Our wedding is the third day we arrive and I’ve already said to her except for a brief meeting the day before once we have confirmed all our details with the resort I won’t really need her for anything else and for her to enjoy herself. She’s bringing a friend with her and I expect she will have a great time not only shooting our wedding but enjoying the sun in Mid February!

If you are lucky enough to find a photographer like this then good for you. My FI thinks im crazy to be bringing a photographer with us, but as a photographer myself, I can’t be slim on this area of my wedding and I’ve gone “cheap” on other things because I know it’s an extra expense.

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