How to Hire A Travel Wedding Photographer
Answering 5 Common Questions About Hiring a Travel Wedding Photographer
Ahh yes, a post I’ve been writing in my head for a long time. How to hire a travel wedding photographer!
If you’re not aware that hiring travel wedding vendors is a thing that many couples do nowadays, this might seem a little strange to you, and I would totally understand having questions! So let’s talk through a few questions you might have about how to hire a travel wedding photographer.
- Does every photographer shoot travel weddings? Is this a thing?
Yes, it is definitely a thing! Not every photographer wants to travel for weddings, but I think that many do.
Of course, not every photographer has been asked to shoot a travel wedding/has booked travel weddings, but I can tell you that a sizable chunk of the wedding photography education niche is devoted to helping photographers travel more for weddings, and travel to specific places for weddings.
After a few years of traveling a lot, I’ve pared down on how much I travel, where I travel, and (to be blunt) for whom I will travel. I have a few venues around the country where I love to shoot, so I prioritize weddings at those venues. There are also certain clients that I’ll prioritize when it comes to travel weddings (specially, I prioritize booking weddings with siblings/wedding party/family members of former clients). I don’t take every local wedding that comes my way, and I also don’t take every travel wedding that comes my way.
- Does it matter that my travel photographer won’t be able to see my venue before the wedding?
Not at all.
Nashville’s wedding market has exploded during the 9 years I’ve been here, and it’s now heavily saturated with all types of vendors, including venues. So even for local weddings, I shoot at venues that are new (or new to me) often.
Part of a wedding photographer’s job is to produce great images in any and every situation. I can tell you firsthand that I’ve had some very unpredictable things happen at venues that are old hat to me – venues where things should be “predictable.” But really, no wedding is predictable! Every wedding day is different, every lighting situation is different, every couple and every family is different.
Personally, at all of my weddings (local and travel) I make sure I can arrive early at the venue and spend some time scouting on the day of the wedding, even if I’ve shot at that venue before. Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to scout a few months in advance while I’m traveling for other shoots and weddings. It really comes down to trusting that your photographer will do the work ahead of time to make sure that they can produce great work on your wedding day, no matter the venue!
- How does payment and booking travel work for all of this?
Some photographers charge a flat travel fee, some bill for each expense. Some photographers only shoot travel weddings, so they just include the cost of travel in their wedding packages, and the client never really sees that “travel” cost listed separately (even though it’s there). It really comes down to personal choice.
In terms of actually booking travel, your photographer will do that on their own. So as long as the travel is domestic, there’s no extra work involved with hiring a photographer to travel to your wedding.
- Does it make you nervous to travel for weddings?
Not at all.
I vet my hotels thoroughly and make smart travel plans. I plan for tons of extra time traveling. I never check a bag, even if it’s just clothes. I know how to manage data and prevent anything from being lost or stolen while I’m traveling (you would probably laugh if I told you the lengths I go to in order to keep our stuff safe).
Again, a reliable photographer knows how to do these things (and does these things) for every wedding.
- WHY would someone hire a travel wedding photographer?
- Some couples just fall in love with someone’s work, someone’s personality, someone’s brand. Usually when a couple inquires about a travel wedding with me, they either say “I was in a wedding you photographed and loved working with you” or “you’re exactly what we’re looking for and we can’t find someone else in our area that we love.” You have so many choices when it comes to wedding photographers, which is why it’s so important to find the one who is exactly the right fit – personality-wise, and photography-wise. Sometimes that person is across the country.
- There are certain styles of photography that are much more prevalent in certain parts of the country than in others. Photographers in the PNW may (generally) have a different style than photographers in Charleston, for example. So if you’re getting married in a location that just doesn’t have a lot of photographers with the style you’re looking for, then many couples choose to hire someone from one of those areas to travel to their wedding.
- Culturally, there are certain photographers that specialize in certain types of weddings. Hindu weddings, for example, are a popular niche and many couples having Hindu weddings choose to fly in a photographer who has experience shooting Hindu weddings.
So there you have it! As always, feel free to get in touch if you have specific questions about your wedding – hopefully this post was a helpful start!
Happy planning, friends!!
Lindsay Campbell is a wedding photographer specializing in natural, romantic wedding photography with a bright and airy film look. She photographs weddings in Chattanooga, Franklin, Nashville, Sewanee, and the surrounding areas, and travels across the country to photograph weddings! If you’re looking for a Chattanooga wedding photographer, Sewanee wedding photographer, Nashville wedding photographer, or Franklin wedding photographer, get in touch!