I often imagine how breathtaking it would be to shoot an engagement session with the unique colors of Italy or another other European destination in my lens. The thrill of mixing my passion for capturing couples with foreign art venues and cultural scenes sounds amazing! I want to photograph around castles, twisted narrow streets and alleyways, busy piazzas, cafés, fountains, old doors, wineries and villas, places meaningful to my couples, where even the light seems different. I find myself mesmerized by the fantastic foreign simple and ordinary things.
Photography has the potential of exploiting meaningful contexts with fresh eyes. A great benefit for hiring a destination photographer is that for such photographer, everything is new and thrilling.
I recently reached out to a friend and fellow destination photographer, Federico Alegría, who offered the following about his experience as a wedding photographer who travels.
Mixing photography and travel, in my opinion, is one of those most exquisite combinations for a photographer. I love shooting weddings, but not often enough have I expressed exactly why I love this specific genre of photography over others. Simply, I’m deeply passionate about capturing all I can of the precious moments in the lives of people. No matter the culture, no matter the religion, weddings are weddings, and they are important in people’s lives.
I couldn’t be more grateful that my clients for trust their beloved moments to me.
I don’t take any wedding for granted and am always aware of the risks I face when covering these once-in-a-lifetime events.
The imagery subcategory when constructing the budget for wedding photography is getting an important percentage of the overall math. Thanks to this, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to foreign places and capture the unique love that only a wedding can showcase. The reason why I’m writing these brief words is not to brag about the luck and fortune I’ve had, which I’m deeply grateful for, but to invite you to push yourself forward to pursue weddings far from your comfortable hometown.
All this sounds pretty obvious, I know, but the big question here is “how do you get yourself into the export market?” — or in other words, “how do you get noticed outside your local circle?” Well, I’ll share with you some tips…
A long time ago, I met a photographer from Honduras that was married to a lovely Ukrainian girl and they taught me a very simple, yet effective, trick. When traveling, try to use Airbnb or any other BNB service to get the truest cultural experience. Then, when getting to know your hosts, ask them if they have friends with couples that would like a session for free. I’ve never received a negative response from offering this. Your portfolio gets multicultural so fast, you just won’t believe it.
Another important thing about mixing photography and travel is getting close to culture and history — but in an almost anthropological way, not a mere tourist approach. Why? Because even though weddings happen worldwide, there are certain things that cultures consider important in weddings, and doing a great job is also about capturing what your clients wish for.
Even though I’ve had the fortune of traveling to beautiful places, I try to not become overwhelmed by the beauties of foreign cultures and instead try to focus on doing things the in the best and most professional way.
Doing weddings abroad requires a high-level of, what I like to call, “beautiful logistics”. Every time you have conference calls, try to express your passion in the most sincere way. Get involved in the wedding planning so deeply, that your clients will feel they are not risking their wedding to a foreign photographer, but a friendly local one who loves to capture the most beautiful moments of each and every wedding.
I can’t conclude this text without mentioning my amazing team, which are a small, yet powerful crew of passionate photographers who help me gather the best moments of each wedding. Having a committed and passionate crew by my side has been the real success behind my work. I love my team and hope that every wedding photographer out there has one that is at least as half as loyal and passionate as my own.
Thanks for the tips Federico! – Sasha
Check out Federico’s portfolio here.