Traveling as a destination wedding photographer and for leisure are two totally different things. You need to make sure that you are well prepared to take care of your couple as if you’re shooting their wedding from your home base(s); and take good care of yourself. It can totally feel a little overwhelming your first time traveling to shoot someone’s big day, but don’t worry I have no doubt that you will do amazing!! Use these 5 tips to prepare to travel for a destination wedding:

Traveling destination wedding photographer based in the West Coast Headshots in the Arizona Desert
Traveling destination wedding photographer based in the West Coast Headshots in the Arizona Desert

Ensure that your location is safe: 

When you’re going into another country you want to make sure that you will be safe, especially because you will be traveling with a lot of expensive equipment in your bag. Be careful of who is handling your luggage and make sure to store your equipment in the hotel safe when you’re not using it. Give your itinerary of where you will be staying all the way to where you’ll be at certain times of the day to someone you trust as an extra safety precaution. 

Create an itemized equipment list:

There is nothing worse than forgetting something important when you’re on vacation. However, this time you’re capturing a very special moment for someone and forgetting very important gear could lead to an extremely stressful situation. It’s important to create an itemized equipment list that you will check at least twice before heading to the airport. Don’t forget to double check that you have everything you need on the way back as well. 

Arrive early & Scout the wedding venue: 

I can’t stress enough to arrive early if possible. In case there are any delays in your flight or anything of that sort. It’s also, so that (if possible) you can scout the venue location early to find the perfect spots for portraits and get an idea of how the lighting shines at the wedding venue. This gives you the time for your creativity to flow and I personally feel like having the time to mentally and physically prepare for the wedding gives you a huge advantage to flourish. 

Pack your gear strategically:

There is no question that gear is expensive and while you can have insurance on your gear to protect yourself you still don’t want to lose or break it. (Bonus tip: make sure to extend your gear warranty to international coverage if not already covered). Especially on your way to shoot someone’s big day you want to make sure you pack your gear with a lot of protection to avoid anything from breaking or getting scratched. The next thing that you’ll want to do is make sure that you keep all of your essential gear and wedding day outfit in your carry-on just in case your checked bag gets lost. Also, if you’re in a different country you’ll want to make sure that you bring power converters to charge any necessary gear!

Make copies of your ID and passport:

Accidents happen and as beautiful as your couples destination wedding location is; I’m sure you don’t want to be stuck in a new place and not be able to get back home. It’s always best to bring a copy of both your ID and passport so that if you find yourself in a bind, you will have a way to get back home. 

Traveling as a destination wedding photographer can feel overwhelming, but trust me these tips will make you feel a whole lot more confident in both your work and traveling to capture someone’s wedding day. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out. I am now mentoring amazing photographers like yourself, so let’s chat about how I can teach you all the amazing information that I’ve learned over the years!

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