The Dream vs Reality
Destination weddings can be some of the coolest, most fulfilling, and adventurous parts of our careers as wedding photographers and it’s no secret that booking destination weddings abroad are highly sought after by not just wedding photographers & filmmakers, but by a lot of vendors too. Think stylists, make-up artists, and such. Imagine being so “good at your craft” that a couple would rather fly you in from where you are, to wherever they are going to get married? It’s a hell of an ego booster, to be honest.
But, there is always the small, fine print. The parts that make destination weddings pretty challenging and outright stressful. It really is important to take some time and consider where you are in your life, in your career and where you want to be. We have been through almost all of it and I am writing this as if I were sharing advice to a younger, less experienced Melli & Shayne.
It can be incredibly hard. Logistically challenging (now especially so thanks to Covid), tiring, stressful, and throw-in kiddo to the travel plans, and it’s a whole new level of difficulty. But that all being said, the reward of being able to shoot a kickass wedding in Italy, Greece, or even Tanzania and delivering such wonderful work that your couple balls their eyes out in praise and gratitude is like nothing we’ve ever experienced before.
Okay, introduction done… Let’s get right into it:
Photo by Jordan Voth
If you’re absolutely serious about your career as a wedding photographer, then you’ve probably shelled out a decent amount of cash for equipment, websites, marketing, and so on. It’s pretty much expected that any business will have to invest in itself in some way or another. And landing your first destination weddings can be sped up & have the chances increased by simply investing into it.
What do I mean?
Well, you know that annoying saying that floats around “How can I get a job if I don’t have experience. How do i get the experience if I can’t get the job” or something along those lines? The same applies to destination weddings. How do I book destination weddings without actually having anything to show and prove to my couple that I can nail it?.
Invest into it. Build that portfolio yourself.
Photo by The Hendrys
Break that catch-22: create your portfolio
Coming off of what we just spoke about above about investing into it; in order to get those destination weddings (well, to increase the chances) you need to have something to show. And if you don’t already have something – then go create it.
You’re a photographer. You’re a ‘creative’. And you’re a business person (or soon to be), and so you have to understand that like investing in your equipment and tools, you also can invest into your portfolio.
Okay, let’s work with an example here:
I want to shoot weddings in Mallorca, Spain.
The investment would be to fly out to Mallorca and spend about a week or so there. Get to know the place, the locations, and the logistical needs. Now, while you’re there, that’s when you’re going to set up a couple of shoots.