How to Find the Perfect Destination Wedding Photographer for Your Special Day

Are you dreaming of a destination wedding? Looking for a destination wedding photographer but not sure where to start? Wedding planning can be overwhelming, and it can be even more so when planning a wedding far from home.

A destination wedding can add an element of adventure and uniqueness to your big day. The possibilities for wedding ceremony locations are endless, from Hawaiian beaches to a joyous celebration in Spain to a dynamic affair in New York City. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of finding the perfect wedding photographer. You will learn:

  • What is a destination wedding photographer? 
  • What are some pros and cons of hiring a destination wedding photographer?
  • How do you hire a photographer for a destination wedding? 
  • And much more

Table of Contents

What Is a Destination Wedding Photographer?

Who are wedding destination photographers? They are professional photographers who have been trained to capture images in a variety of challenging environments. Even though many photographers love to travel, too many do not understand destination photography. 

Photographers who specialize in destination weddings must produce work distinct from local wedding photographers. Otherwise, local photographers are preferable.

3 Questions to Answer Before Hiring a Destination Wedding Photographer

#1: Where Will Your Destination Wedding Be?

If you’re looking to hire a destination wedding photographer, you have a few options: 

  • Hiring a photographer in your city of residence who will travel to your wedding location
  • Hiring a photographer who is not local or based in your wedding destination but specializes in destination wedding photography; or
  • Hiring a local photographer at your wedding location

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, by hiring a local photographer, you will have the chance to build a relationship with the photographer before your wedding. Also, you will have better access and be able to take engagement photos closer to home. 

You will, however, be responsible for covering their travel expenses, including airfare and accommodations.

Keep in mind that not all destination weddings require a passport. Maybe you want to travel stateside where you have family? Perhaps you and your partner would like to visit a unique location? 

Julian Ribinik is a photographer based in New York City. He specializes in wedding photography, although he also travels across the United States to shoot weddings.

He has had local clients who have paid for him to go to their hometowns and where they want the wedding to be held — common destinations include the Russian Jewish community in southern Florida and the Caribbean. Maybe you’ll be traveling to his location, New York City? Contact him today to learn more.  

#2: Will You Have a Large or Small Wedding? Or Perhaps an Elopement?

It is essential to consider this detail. It’s not just about how many people you know and love that determines whether to have a big or small wedding — it also depends on what kind of wedding experience you want to have. 

Having a large wedding offers the obvious benefit of being able to invite whoever you want without any restrictions. In addition, if you or your fiance have a large family, you will not have to go through narrowing down the list.

Elopement used to mean running away secretly to get married, particularly without parental consent. Nowadays, there are many reasons why a couple might decide to elope. But when it comes down to it, most couples who want to elope want a small, intimate ceremony with just them. 

Elopements and large or small weddings require different levels of planning. Additionally, this determines what you’d like from a wedding photographer. 

For example:

  • How many photographers will you need?
  • Are you looking for many pictures? 
  • Are you looking for just intimate photos of just you two? 

A wedding photographer approaches a larger wedding differently from one that is smaller. The wedding photographer will require this detail when you meet them for the first time.

#3: What Is Your Destination Wedding Budget?

Any wedding budget is important, but in this instance, your budget is crucial, as bringing the wedding photographer you trust will cost more.

How Much Do Destination Wedding Photographers Cost?

Destination wedding photographers vary in cost. Prices depend on a number of factors. These include: 

  • Location
  • Number of days
  • Number of events
  • U.S. dollar to possible local currency exchange rate 
  • Time of year 
  • Number of guests 

When budgeting for a destination wedding photographer, plan to spend at least $3,000 to $6,000, along with travel and lodging costs. 

travel wedding photography

How Do You Hire a Photographer for a Destination Wedding?

Hiring a wedding photographer requires: 

  • Knowing your wedding photography style
  • Lots of research; and 
  • Deciding where you’ll hire your photographer

It’s hard to find someone you can trust to capture the most important day of your life no matter where you are getting married, but it can be incredibly challenging if you live hundreds of miles or more away from your chosen location.

Following are a few tips to help you with this important task. 

Know Your Wedding Photography Style

Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most essential stylistic decisions all couples have to make.

In fact, you should choose your wedding photography style even before you reach out to photographers. Booking first and learning about the style later may lead to photos that do not match your vision.

The most popular wedding photography styles today include fine art and dark and moody images, but classic images remain popular as well.

Research. Research. Research.

Prior to hiring a wedding photographer, you should do a great deal of research. 

Here are a few things you might want to consider doing:  

  1. Read Reviews — When you know what people liked and did not like about their wedding photographer, you can narrow down your choices.
  2. Look through their social media —  A great way to search through a photographer’s work.
  3. Check out their blog — The majority of wedding photographers nowadays have their own blogs, allowing customers to click through their work easily.
  4. Look for experience — Try to find a wedding photographer who has experience with traveling to various locations. 
  5. Ask friends — Find out who your recently married friends used and what they liked and did not like about them.
  6. Talk to the booked venue — Find out who your wedding venue recommends. Keep in mind that some venues require you to use a particular photographer.
traveling wedding photographer

Decide if You’re Hiring a Local or a Traveling Wedding Photographer

When it comes to destination wedding photography, you have two options: 

  1. Hire a wedding photographer who is local to your destination; or
  2. Hire a wedding photographer who’ll travel to your location.  

Let’s take a look at a few pros and cons of each. 

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Destination Wedding Photographer From the Area of Your Event

The advantage of a local destination wedding photographer is that they are familiar with the area or town in which the wedding is taking place.

A local destination wedding photographer also benefits from added familiarity with the location that cannot be achieved through research. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, that knowledge could come in handy for the location of portraits and local advice. 

Another pro is not having to pay travel fees for a destination wedding photographer. In addition, what if something goes awry? A local photographer will usually have a network of support to call upon. 

However, when planning a destination wedding, it can be tricky to choose a local wedding photographer. 

You could be working with someone you have never met personally and who was not able to take your engagement photos. Your wedding style and your relationship with your fiance might not be familiar to them. 

Furthermore, some destination wedding photographers tend to shoot the same shots, wedding after wedding — it’s a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Traveling Wedding Photographer You Trust

What if you had a photographer near you that you loved and trusted? Ask them if they are willing to travel to your wedding location. It could very well be the same person who took your engagement photos, and they would be familiar with you, your fiance, and your wedding style. 

Having their undivided attention is another benefit. In this case, they are traveling to your destination to capture your wedding — there’s nothing to take their focus off of you.  

Therefore, you will: 

  • Receive their full effort
  • Develop a deeper connection with them; and 
  • Possibly receive a quicker return of your images

It is crucial to remember that this could be an expensive option. They will likely include airfare, accommodations, and other travel expenses in their pricing.  

Another option is an up-and-coming local wedding photographer. Maybe an established local wedding photographer will do it for just the travel costs?

Keep in mind that they are still building up their destination wedding portfolio and might not have the experience you are looking for. 

Julian Ribinik: An NYC Destination Wedding Photographer You Can Trust on Your Special Day — Whether Near or Far

Planning a New York City destination wedding? Are you trying to find a wedding photographer who can travel to your wedding location? New York City’s Julian Ribinik Wedding Photographer is one of the best you can find. 

Julian Ribinik is a wedding photographer based in New York City, but he also travels across the United States to capture weddings.  

Our customer service is unparalleled, and we pay meticulous attention to detail. Our goal is to make your wedding day as memorable as possible:

  • From the moment you get ready
  • During the ceremony
  • To the happy dance at the reception

We will capture every moment of your wedding day, whether near or far, with the perfect angle and lighting for a flawless presentation. 

By working with Julian Ribinik Wedding Photography, you can preserve your memories for future generations to enjoy.

All of our packages are tailored based on your budget and needs, so let’s talk about how we can make your day perfect.

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