Shooting Weddings Abroad
How To Become A Destination Wedding Photographer
I always knew I wanted to become a destination wedding photographer. In my previous life, before I got into wedding photography, I traveled a lot. It’s almost a cliché now to say that one of the things you love to do is travel. There are not many people I know that don’t like to travel. It’s for this very reason I’m incredibly grateful to be able to be consistently shooting weddings abroad.
I’m already incredibly grateful that I get to shoot and witness couples weddings so to be able to travel too is pretty awesome. I’m not alone here though and most of the wedding photographers I know really love their jobs and they all love the couples they get to shoot for. I get to shoot some incredible moments at weddings all over the world now. Something I never take for granted.
Not all wedding photographers get to do much traveling though. So, I thought I’d put together an article on how I became a destination wedding photographer and how I’m able to travel so much in places all over the world.
Before I go any further though I want to explain how I started shooting weddings abroad more often is not “The Way” to do it. It’s just the way I did it and I worked for me. Your business or personal situation may be severely different from mine and how you approach life and business might not suit this approach. As I said, it worked for me, and hopefully, you can take something away from this that could bring you one step closer to shooting weddings abroad.
Build an Overseas Portfolio
When I decided I wanted to shoot more abroad I thought the first thing I had to do was, well shoot abroad. My approach was simple really. I reached out on social media to ask if anyone who knew anyone that was planning a wedding abroad then to contact me as I would like to make them an offer. A few got in touch with me and I had some success. Some couples had already sorted their photographer or declined my offer. Though I had two people who took me up on it. My offer was that I would shoot their weddings for just the cost of my expenses. One of these weddings was on a remote island in Greece and one of them was in the Spanish city of Barcelona. In fact, one of these couples was so overwhelmed by the offer they decided to pay me twice what my expenses were. Winner.
Not long after I had these images on my website and made pages like my creative Barcelona wedding photographer and my Cyprus wedding photographer pages, I got an inquiry for a wedding in Cyprus. Now I’m not going too deep in this blog post but I wonder if it was a coincidence or if I was putting my destination wedding photographer vibes into the universe that this happened but either way times were good on my journey to becoming a more frequent and fully paid wedding photographer that shoots abroad.
Like I said, not everyone is going to be in a position where they can afford to give up their time like this without getting paid. I was fortunate enough to be able to do this and I’m now able to get a return on this free time.
Another way you can get images to show yourself as a wedding photographer with destination experience is to reach out to other photographers you know that shoot abroad. For some shooting destination weddings can be a lonely experience and having some company could be cool. Some, however, may love the time they get alone whilst traveling so don’t be offended if they don’t want someone else along.
I almost got booked a wedding in Washington DC once. I was out in Italy doing my thing as an Italy wedding photographer for Jo + Mark on Lake Como. They had a super nice wedding at Villa Relais Vittoria. During their wedding, there was a large gap when they were having an intimate wedding breakfast and I was eating in the hotel restaurant. I got chatting to a couple there who were traveling and enjoying Europe for a few weeks. I told them I was here as a Lake Como Wedding Photographer for a couple who were just having their wedding breakfast.
We got chatting and once I found out they were engaged, I offered them a shoot for nothing as I had a day or two to spare. Here is one of the images I made for them;
After the shoot, the couple took me for dinner to thank me. Unfortunately, I never got to shoot the wedding in Washington. The couple really wanted me to shoot it through with all of the travel and a clash of dates we were not able to make it possible. I do still keep in touch with them though and they regularly tell me that they will always pass on my info to any couples they hear of getting married in the USA.
Below is a photo of Jo and Marks’s destination wedding at Villa Relias Vittoria.
Lake Garda Oppurtunity
Whilst I was shooting Vikki and Anthony’s wedding at Malcesine Castle I had a day before the wedding and went and checked out the castle. Whilst wandering about looking for nice compositions and light. I ended up chatting with a couple and asked them if they would like a photo. They said yeah and I took this shot of them in the Lake Garda Castle grounds;
This is another awesome that I still regularly keep in touch with and the two of them have told me they’re planning to get married in the next 2 years and they have no doubt that they want me to be their wedding photographer. They’re planning a wedding in the USA where he is from and one in Italy where she is from and they also what their own elopement somewhere exotic. These plans are all preliminary but I believe I’ve created a huge opportunity to shoot more weddings abroad.
I genuinely don’t take advantage of these opportunities to try and get work. I just love making photos for couples and if it’s not going to take much of my time to create something awesome for them then great. Anything that comes after that is a bonus.
Below is a photo from Anthony and Vikki’s destination wedding in one of the most beautiful Italy wedding locations, Lake Garda.
Speaking With Destination Wedding Planners
Very early on in my wedding photography journey. Again, when I knew I wanted to shoot more destination weddings. I reached out to a wedding planner who did a fair bit of work in Italy. In fact, I’d never even been to Italy, though it was somewhere I really wanted to go. So speaking with Jo of Accent Events was my first step in becoming a more established Italy Wedding Photographer.
I reached out to Jo and asked if we could swap some content creation. I asked her if she would like to write an article on my website as a guest blog. I could share and promote it and try and get her some publicity. So she wrote this article here; Planning A Wedding In Italy. Which now after a few years found itself at the top of the search results on google for “planning a wedding in Italy”.
After much collaboration, Jo and I became good online friends and she became a huge fan of my work. This is when the start of being a Tuscany Wedding Photographer began for me. I’ve shot weddings and have several more booked in for Tuscany and cant wait.
Below is a photo from Megan + Megan’s wedding where I was there Borgo Corsignano Wedding Photographer.
Destination Wedding Photos
Since being one of the many amazing destination wedding photographers that get to shoot around the world I’ve been to more places than those mentioned above including France and Greece and other areas of Italy on numerous occasions in places like Sicily. So I wanted to share some of my favorite images that I’ve taken so far in my journey of being a destination wedding photographer.
Destination Wedding Sicily
This is one of my favorite shots that I work whist being Charlotte and Johannes Sicily Wedding Photographer. Their wedding was incredible and they really had a strong connection and love for all of their wedding guests. They had their wedding reception in a place called Castel Mola just outside of the breathtaking Taormina. For a short break from their wedding party, they took a short walk in which I went with them to take some photos. This is them just relaxing as the Sicilian sun went down over mount Vesuvius.
Destination Wedding France
On the South coast of France, I went out to Shoot Cherry and Thomas’s wedding. Making this Southern France wedding Photography is great as it’s a super close destination to the UK. The countryside and wedding venues in France are amazing. I think I have “better” images from this wedding though this is just one I like. I love the light and the moment. It’s like a nice moment between all of the amazing portraits etc.
Future Weddings Abroad
As far as booking more weddings abroad, I’ve found the more that I shoot them the more I sem to get inquiries for them. As my prices have risen over the few short years since I began I don’t shoot them all though I’ve still bookings in my diary for more weddings in Italy in both Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. I have another wedding booked in Cyprus and also I have three new locations to add to my list. These are Albania, Bahrain, and Sri Lanka.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope you found it useful and if your thinking of shooting weddings abroad then go for it.