Post # 1
To those of you who considered, planned, or are planning a destination wedding:
Did you take a photographer from your local area with you or did you just hire one in the area you got married?
How does the pricing structure of this generally work? Do they give you a discount on the photography packages because you’re flying them somewhere and paying for their accomodations or is it an expense on top of the standard expense?
Post # 2
I’m hiring one there, but mine is domestic destination. If I had a friend who was a photographer that I wanted there anyways, I would fly them out to shoot the wedding… but unfortunately, not the case.
They typically won’t give you a discount for photography if you pay for travel. Travel costs are an additional expense.
Post # 3
Most photographers require you to pay a travel fee on top of their existing packages, because with all the travel and stuff, they’re losing out on time they could be working at home, doing shoots, so they have to be compensated for that time away. However, a more beginning photographer would cut you a deal so they can have a destination in their portfolio, particularly if you have a really cool one.
Post # 4
Jenny905: I think it really depends on where your destination is. For example, I’m a wedding photographer in a domestic destination wedding area. We have some really awesome photographers in my area, and so most of our couples getting married here do hire locally. We have some who bring their photographer from home, but we have a lot of great local options so it’s not like they are sacrificing quality. That being said, with international destination weddings, or those happening in US but a more remote location, it can be beneficial to bring someone in. Often in international or remote US destinations your options are limited, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality because your choices are limited.
As far as pricing, it really depends. Those who are established as detination wedding photographers typically charge package + travel. If they have a full portfolio of destination weddings, they are unlikely to discount because they know SOMEONE will book them – even if it’s not you.
Others are more flexible if it’s a location they’d really like to shoot in. I know for myself, if a couple is getting married in a cool or unique location, I’m open to the idea of customizing a package that works for both us to get the wedding in my portfolio. For photographers who want to shoot destination weddings, you tend to need to show what you sell – so it’s not uncommon to have a photogarpher shoot it for travel costs only because they really want the wedding. You can get a great and experienced photographer for a DW at a great price if they’re interestd in breaking into that market.
Where are you getting married, have you picked a location/venue yet?
Post # 5
starfish0116: melonseeds: damarajade: not what I was hoping to hear, then again I wasnt expecting good news anyways. :/
I’m considering going to Hawaii… like in the basic stages of considering. If I got married in hawaii it would be in a very specific venue and I just KNOW that a specific photographer in my area would come out with some AMAZING photos. The only thing is their packages start at 5k. sadface.
They’ve done a few awesome destination weddings and probably a couple in maui. another sadface.
I was thinking that since destination weddings are more basic in nature(not all of them but many have smaller guest lists, etc) that maybe they’ll discount but I seriously doubt it.
Post # 6
Jenny905: It’s really going to depend on the photographer individually. They’ll need to look at your date, and figure out how many weddings they already have on the books around that date. More often than not it’s actually losing money to shoot them, because you can’t book back to back events. It won’t hurt to ask them, but if they are a popular photographer and they start at 5k chances are they won’t discount.
A common misconception people have is that if their wedding is smaller or more simple it’s not as big of a deal. I can promise you, we photographers have to same amount of pressure on us if you only have 35 guests than if you have 135 guests. Likewise, it takes us the same amount of time to prep for your wedding, the same amount of gear, etc.
There are some awesome photographers in HI – one I follow in particular who is simply amazing (but I’m sure doesn’t come cheap…lol). I personally would totally shoot a Hawaii wedding for just travel expenses because it’s one of those bucket list places I want to do a wedding. You never know what you’ll find and it can’t hurt to ask. 🙂
Post # 7
Some photographers looking to get into destination photography might be willing to waive their package fees altogether and only have travel for 2 and accomodations for a few nights covered.
It’s how I booked my first destination wedding in France and it was absolutely worth it to me as a photographer. It gave me the opportunity for some really beautiful photos that I just can’t get here and helps build a credible destination portfolio that I might later be able to charge more against.
It’s definitely still something I would consider. I would highly recommend trying to find a local photographer if you can. Personality and being able to get along with them is something you just can’t figure out over email.
Don’t look for photographers that market themselves as destionation photographers, but rather just ask local photographers if they are interested in an arrangement for travel expenses. I’m sure someone will bite.
Post # 8
The majority of destination wedding photographers expect you to cover their travel costs on top of their regular package fee. If you’re looking for a great destination wedding photographer, why not check out one of these? [link removed per self promotion policy]
Post # 9
Jenny905: We did exactly your scenario. We got married in Cozumel, Mexico, and brought our photographers with us from Kansas City! For us, the cost was their travel expenses plus a discount on their normal photog package. Basically we broke even (after adding their videography as well), and even saved a little on what they would have charged for a local wedding. Part of that is because the time of year we traveled was very cost effective. The benefit of selecting a photographer whose style we loved was huge compared to the unknown of whatever photographer in Cozumel.
Like pp have said, it will just depend on each individual photographer and what they’re wanting. If it’s a slow part of their season (i.e. January for us), then they might be more motivated for a work-vacation. If it’s in the summer where you’ll be pulling them away from other clients, that might be of more value to them. Try reaching out to the photographer you like, and just see what kind of info they can give you!
Post # 10
Salt & Light’s blog post for our wedding: http://saltandlightphoto.com/blog/josh-alyssas-destination-wedding/
Their destination wedding package is $1000 + travel expenses. And they are phenomenal to work with. The package is awesome too!
They also did our videography (this was additional) but still a good deal! https://vimeo.com/93572375
Post # 11
Yeah, it doesn’t hurt to ask, I am friends with our photographer, so I am paying for her and her boyfriends flights and a room at an all inclusive for 5 nights, due to that she was kind enough to waive her fee!
Post # 12
alwalters625: sweetpea3363: sweetpea3363: sweetpea3363: Bridebox: pedramnavid: starfish0116: the photographer is local. The thing is I’ve had my heart set on them since before I got engaged. I just found out that they’re on the fearless photographer top 20 list and they have a couple Of destination weddings featured on their blog but they don’t really say that they specialize in it or anything. I sent them an inquiry today and low and behold, they’re at a destination wedding this weekend… My outlook is not so good!
Post # 13
Jenny905: look into Hawaiian photogs. I lived there half my life, and there are amazing people to work with.
Post # 14
- Wedding: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Jenny905: I’m hiring one. I know how you feel. I found some good photographers over here but after doing some research, I found a better photographer in Dominican Republic. He actually did the comercial video for one of the nicest resorts in the country. If it gets too expensive for you give yourself a chance. You might find a better photographer too.
Post # 15
Jenny905: Don’t give up hope yet! If you haven’t already, I found it really helpful when planning to sit down and write a list of all the categories of a wedding budget (venue, bar, food, photography, videography, music, dress, flowers, decor, favors, etc.) and prioritize them. Like literally list them out in order of priority. I had my husband do the same, and then we compared. They were pretty similar, but it helped get us on the same page. Then as we were planning, it helped us keep things in perspective and budget appropriately.
Basically, if photography is your #1 priority in planning (or close to the top), would you be ok with the other categories taking a hit so that you can have your dream photographer? What if they didn’t discount their package. Yeah, $5000+ is a lot of money. But what is their value to you? Would you be ok with using an ipod instead of a DJ? Fewer flowers? Cheaper dress? Shorter stay? Different location other than Hawaii that would be cheaper to travel to? Hawaii is absolutely gorgeous and it sounds like you have a venue already picked out, but you could theoretically save some thousands by using the Caribbean instead. Just a few thoughts!
All of this just depends on you and where you want to spend your money. The above are all just examples. If $5000 seems too steep for photography, researching other photogs might give you a hidden gem.
The only thing absolutely ruling out your dream photog would be if they’re booked on your date. Everything else is negotiable. Unless you’re trying to budget for a <$5,000 wedding. If so, then yes, probably a no go.
I hope some of this helps!