Shooting destination weddings is one of the many perks of being a wedding photographer. Some say that it isn't worth the cost and hassle, but traveling has always been a passion of mine, and being able to travel the world to photograph couples in love is pretty much the best job ever. Here's a few tips to help with your first destination wedding.
1. Pack light -
Depending on how long I'm staying, I pack very light. One rolling carry-on bag for my equipment and a backpack with all my personal items. If I'm staying more than three days I'll check a bag for personal items, but I always keep my "shooting outfit" and anything else I need for the wedding day on me at all times.
2. Don't check your gear - I never check any of my gear or anything else I need to shoot the wedding. You never know when your bag could be damaged or lost in the transfer.
3. Be organized -
I triple check my packing list ensuring I have plenty of extra batteries and backup equipment. Especially when traveling overseas, you have no idea what you will have access to when you arrive. I also am printing extra boarding passes and arriving at least two hours prior to boarding.
4. Don't Fly in Last Minute - It's in my contract that I stay a minimum of 3 days for every destination wedding. I fly in on the morning the day before the wedding. This gives me time to get another flight out or drive if something gets cancelled or delayed. The day after the wedding is spent backing up my images to the cloud while I get to explore. It wouldn't be any fun to travel to these exotic locations without getting some time for myself. But I also have the safety of my images being in the cloud if I were to get robbed or my computer damaged during my travels home. This is just an extra layer of protection that my clients love but also allows for some free time on my trip. I hit upload on my computer and then head out for the day to enjoy the sites.