It's always important to be aware of all of the details involved in hiring a destination wedding photographer. I always encourage my clients to ask as many questions as they need to. The more communication between us, the better! So here are a few questions that I think are pretty standard to ask your potential destination wedding photographer.
What are your Destination Wedding Photography fees and costs?
Are the costs of travel included in the wedding package pricing or are they separate? Do you have rates for travel that are already estimated, or do I need to wait for a bill at the end of the wedding? What is included in the travel costs (ie airfare, rental car, meals, second shooter costs of travel)? Also, are there any costs associated with photography permits in the country of choice? The communication about costs needs to be absolute so that there are no real surprises in the end.
Do I need to book the flight?
Who is going to be doing the detail planning work for travel? Will it be the client or the photographer? I usually like to do the planning myself so the Bride and Groom do not have to be bothered with details. But I will definitely share the information so that they know EXACTLY where I'm going to be at any time during the venture.
What kind of timeline are you looking for?
I always recommend having me arrive two days before the wedding to get over jet lag, get accustomed to the surroundings, scout photography locations, and get mentally prepped for the big day! This is an excellent time to add a pre-wedding engagement shoot or other type of bridal first look. However, some photographers may have different timelines of how they prepare or arrive for your wedding day, and it's crucial that you know what those are.
What locations do you blacklist?
With the world having so many changing political and physical climates, some photographers opt to not travel to certain locations. You should be aware if they are available at the location your planning to get married.
Do you have a plan B if something happens?
What do you do if 'x' goes wrong? This is something that all photographers should be careful to maintain. There are so many "what ifs" to travel, including but not limited to: what if the airline misplaces your check in luggage? What if the TSA doesn't allow your batteries? I think it's encouraging to ask what the photographer's method of travel is to make sure they are prepared for the shoot as well as how they make sure the images make it home. Feel free to ask me how I travel! I love to talk about my procedures.
Have you shot in this country/location before?
For some clients, knowing that the photographer has been to their destination of choice is important. Some photographers/travelers can adapt anywhere, and it's important to know that they can. But if you your truly concerned about the destinations peculiarities, bring that up in your consultation to see how the photographer would handle it.
I hope this list helps! If I've left anything out, comment below! I'd love to know what else you want to hear from a potential destination wedding photographer.