If you are planning a destination wedding, I am sure you are a little nervous about what vendors to book. You aren't on your own turf and you may not meet any of these potential people face to face. You are wanting the beautiful wedding of your dreams but can you trust the resort photographer thats included in the package? Your photos are what you are going to bring back home with you. They are your memories that you will have forever of this special day, and if you truly value photography, why are you leaving it in the hands of someone you will never speak to?
Here are four reasons why we recommend hiring a photographer that you trust and love to take with you to your destination wedding.
1) YOU SHOULD TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Doing your engagement session with your wedding photographer.
We've said it before and we'll say it again; it is SO important to do your engagement session with your wedding photographer. Many times couples already have their engagement photos done by a friend, or someone who photographed the proposal. However, it's important to do another session with your wedding photographer. (When you hire us, the engagement session is complimentary, so you don't pay anything extra - it's our gift to you!)
This is why we think it's so important:
- You get to build a relationship with your photographer. And we get to build our relationship with you! You will spend the majority of your wedding day with your photographer. We are basically your third wheel! When you spend time with each other before hand and get to build that relationship, it feels less like a stranger is following you around all day. I promise, you will feel more comfortable in front of the camera when it's your second go around with the same person! Otherwise you're spending your day with someone you've only just met.
-You photographer gets to know what works for you. Think of it like a dress rehearsal for your big day! During an engagement session we learn what poses work for you, and which don't. We get to know what you're most comfortable with and what you aren't. By the time your wedding day comes, you'll be a pro at posing, and we'll know how to pose you for the most flattering images, and we'll be able to do it quickly. This will give us time to take even more photos!
-You can know what to expect. And this is one of the most important benefits. You'll get your engagement photos and you will just love them! At least we hope! But you can bet that this is the same quality and style that your wedding photos will have. This can help relax any nervousness you feel about taking photos. Many of our brides think they look awkward in front of the camera, but after getting their engagement photos back, they realize they're much more photogenic than they think. When you don't use the same photographer, you can't be guaranteed what your wedding photos will look like.
"We live in New Mexico and used Maura for our engagement photos in Santa Fe and she did such an amazing job that we asked her to come out to Lake Tahoe to be our wedding photographer. She was thorough and professional and even came to Tahoe a day early to check out the wedding venue and get an idea of lighting and ideal shot locations. She captured all of the shots that we requested and much much more! In addition to capturing our wedding and memories that will last forever, Maura also wrote a beautiful blog about myself and my husband capturing our story - beginning with how we met all the way up to our wedding day. She remembered all the little details I had told her over the last few months and told our story beautifully. Suffice to say we made the absolute perfect decision hiring Maura Jane Photography for our destination wedding!" - Emily
If you are hiring a photographer local to your wedding location, try try try to get a session in with them before hand! Most of the time your photographer can squeeze you in between tastings and venue visits! When our Santa Fe destination brides come to town we do everything in our power to fit them in for a session. We've even done them a few days before the wedding! Many times they come to take a weekend vacation before all the crazy. And we drive to them and make sure we have time for them, that's how important we think it is!
2) BRINGING SOMEONE WITH YOU
Instead of hiring someone local to the destination
Bringing someone with you gives you fresh eyes and excitement! Imagine you're going on a vacation. You're going somewhere you've been 100 times before. It might be the next state over, or where you grew up. But the point is, it's nothing new or super exciting. You're going to eat at the same places you've always ate at, shop at the same stores and see the same sights. Now imagine that you're going somewhere brand new. You're going to be all over the place exploring, and getting excited at the new things and places and views this place has to offer. Now imagine your photographer the same way.
Just ask our Iceland Elopement couple Alex and Sara:
"We looked at Icelandic photographers first. We couldn't find anyone who's styles we really loved. But the ones we did like had so many other rules and fees. When we told them where we wanted our ceremony and then to do photos after, we were told that they didn't want to drive that far. Our ceremony location was already two hours from where they lived, so they didn't want to drive and extra 30 minutes to the beach and lava columns. So we didn't even bother asking about day after photos ( which we really wanted). The local photographers didn't want to work with us as much to get our dream photos. When we called Maura she was willing to go anywhere! We even drove the day after our wedding 5 hours round trip for our glacier photos. Which ended up being our favorite! Maura was just as excited about taking our photos as we were to have them. Maura even ended up costing about the same if not less than hiring an Icelandic photographer." - Sara
We've heard arguments that "Locals know the area best." And while that's true, many photographers are in online groups of photographers who share ideas and give advice. So your photographer can be just as prepared as a local one. In fact, many times your photographer will arrive at your location early or even the day before to scope things out, we always do! We always have a plan before the wedding starts! We even found the location for Alex and Sara's ceremony FOR them.
3) BRINGING SOMEONE WITH YOU CAN OFTEN COST LESS
One of the big reasons people don't hire a photographer close to them and send them to their wedding is cost. But often times, your photographer can cost less than one at your destination. Popular destination wedding locations (Such as Hawaii, California, Paris, Iceland, and anywhere tropical) almost always have higher priced photographers. This is because they know that there will always be weddings in their area, so they CAN charge what they do. Many times your local photographer will have a travel package for less.
Many times it's one straight fee. NOT the price for service PLUS travel expenses.
When you book us for travel, you pay ONE fee. After you pay us for your wedding, we use that money to book everything we need.
our Bon Voyage Package is $3,795
- A complimentary engagement session as our gift to you! (In New Mexico)
- All day coverage
-All the digital images
- All our travel expenses (flight, car, room, ect..)
( One of our destination brides figured out that this is still way less than hiring someone in LA )
"We hired Maura Jane Photography to travel and shoot our San Diego wedding and we are SO happy we did! Maura was a dream to work with, and the photos turned out absolutely stunning. She captured so many sweet moments and really made us feel at ease in front of the camera. " -Katie
4) CUTTING TRAVEL COSTS USUALLY MEANS SACRIFICING QUALITY
Opting out of using a resort photographer
Now let me be clear: this in NOT always the case when you travel for your wedding! We know some professional photographers that would absolutely blow it out of the water with your photos if you traveled to them! We mean this more when using a resort photographer. These are usually a hit or miss. And with it being the biggest day of your life, it's best to not show up and hope for the best. You want someone you know will capture all the small details and the things that others might think are non important or essential. Someone who will help you remember the WHOLE day.
Here are some reasons to consider skipping the resort photographer:
-You don't hire a person, you purchase a service. This means that the day of, your hotel could grab just anyone and hand them the camera. For real. You could end up with any level of skill or professionalism. Many times they also aren't able to leave the property. This means no mini adventures in the location you found close by the day before!
-You can't be sure what style your photos will be. Another big risk! Many of the photos you see will be from many people, and some could even be photos from outside professional photographers who shot wedding there. When you choose a local photographer to take with you, you can know what to expect! (Cue sigh of relief)
-Simply put, they're not invested in your wedding. Which really sucks. Because you care. A LOT. You will be just another wedding of the 17 they have for the week. They're ready to get it over with and go home. A professional small business photographer will be just as invested as you are! They value weddings as celebrations of life and love and will bend over backwards to make sure everything is perfect for you!
Take our beautiful Mexico couple for example. They wanted to travel around their ceremony location for photos. A resort photographer would not have taken them around for photos. Much less for their day after session.
"Maura was phenomenal - she answered "absolutely" to every idea and change and had no problem traveling with us to Mexico - She seemed as excited about it as I was! As the day approached, she contacted me often to go over timing and what my "most importants" were. At the wedding, she was cool, calm and honestly made sure everything was as stress-free as possible without missing any of the awesome moments that stand out on your wedding day. she was game to do a "trash the dress" session after the wedding and got some phenomenal shots of my new husband and I running in the ocean, swimming, and floating in this gorgeous setting. I am so grateful for Maura Jane Photography for being such wonderful, awesome people that made my wedding getaway an even better experience!"- Trista
No matter what, it is still important that you hire a photographer you LOVE. And since it's YOUR day, you can do whatever you want! We just want to make sure you are going to be happy with your decision!
After all, you only get one shot at these photos!