There are no two ways about the fact that your wedding photographer is the most important vendor you will hire for your destination wedding. You are going to be putting so much time and effort into planning the perfect Indian destination wedding that after all is said and done, the photographs will serve as the only memory of your dream wedding. A destination wedding is a travel-loving couple’s dream come true and so when it is time to choose a photographer, make sure you consider these points before finalizing him/her and handing over the advance.
1. Browse through the photographer’s past work
Don’t get too excited and bring the first photographer you meet on board. Browse through your options. Meet a few photographers and learn about their different styles. Each photographer has a unique perspective when it comes to clicking pictures. Even if a certain photographer has done amazing work covering local weddings, make sure you opt for one who has past experience covering destination weddings. Give brownie points to those who have shot Indian destination weddings. If a photographer is well acquainted with the customs and traditions of South-Asian weddings, he will be able to capture your destination wedding beautifully.
2. It’s an added bonus if the photographer has knowledge about the destination you have chosen
Unlike shooting in a temple or a banquet hall, destination weddings are shot in exotic locales where sun and sand meet. It is for this reason that having knowledge about the destination can work in the photographer’s favour. He doesn’t need to be a local. If you can find an amazing local wedding photographer, there is nothing like it. But if there aren’t any that make you want to hire them, you can always opt for someone who’s shot in your choice of location before. Why, you ask? If a photographer has knowledge about the destination you have chosen, he will be in a better position to capture the essence of that location and suggest some ideas. For instance, if you’re getting married in Mexico, a pre-wedding shoot in Playa del Carmen will look absolutely gorgeous.
3. Ask yourself this – Is the photographer fun to work with?
Unlike local weddings, destination weddings are like a mini-vacation! In addition to being part of the mehendi ceremony, wedding and the reception, guests at a destination wedding spend an entire weekend, sometimes even 4-5 days, with the couple. Therefore, the photographer needs to be prepared to capture all the fun that’s going to happen even when the bride and groom have changed out of their wedding apparel. From pool parties to a ladkiwale versus ladkewale volleyball match at the beach, your choice of photographer should be sporting enough to whip out his camera to capture all the silliness that’s going to happen at your destination wedding. Not only that, he also needs to play the role of an enthusiast and encourage guests to participate
in the different activities that the couple has organized so that he can capture the desired shots.
4. Ensure the photographer doesn’t come with a large crew
If you’re taking a photography package, the photographer will come along with a videographer as well as a photographer who will shoot candid shots. Make sure he isn’t accompanied by a large crew as you will have to bear the expenses for their travel and accommodation. It is always best to draw a contract so there aren’t any issues later on. The contract should include the number of events that need to be shot, clarity on how large the photography crew will be, number of hours for the shoot, number of prints and soft copies that will be delivered and meals and other basics. If there is a contract, there will be little room left for miscommunication and the process will be hassle-free for both parties.
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5. Make sure your photographer has clarity on Indian ceremonies
Shooting any destination wedding and an Indian destination wedding are two very different things. Sure, your choice of photographer might have past experience shooting destination weddings in exotic locales, but as an Indian couple you need to clarify if your photographer will be able to capture the traditions and customs of an Indian destination wedding in an authentic manner. Before signing the dotted line and bringing the photographer of your choice on board, walk him through the different ceremonies like mehendi, sangeet, baraat and pheras. Gauge if he has understood the significance of each ceremony and only then welcome him on board.
6. It never hurts to get some referrals
Get in touch with the photographer’s previous clients and find out his reputation. Ask them if they were happy with the photographer’s work and if they faced any problems while dealing with him or his crew. It’s always smart to be extra careful and do your homework. Once you are satisfied with what his past clients have to say about him, you can go ahead and hire him for your destination wedding.
All said and done, your partner and you should be able to develop a rapport with the photographer of your choice as he is going to be shooting one of the most important events of your life. In addition to the above-mentioned points, ensure he is friendly and calm and not a bossy control-freak. Make sure your partner and you are on the same page as your photographer as far as your vision for your wedding photography is concerned.
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