Ask the Expert: Preserving your Memories
June 10, 2013
Photos courtesy of
Uncle George just bought a brand new digital camera and has offered to take your wedding pictures. Tempted? Think again! Your destination wedding will be a once in a lifetime experience. The photographs will be more than a record of your wedding day, but a journal of your celebration. Choosing a photographer is one of your most important decisions and you need to know what questions to ask. Destination I Do found some top destination wedding photographers who specialize in accompanying their clients to remote places to capture the intimate moments of their very special day in exquisite detail. Here’s what they shared with us…
I DO: How can I locate a destination wedding photographer?
Andrew Clark: First, talk to your wedding coordinator. Typically the best traveling professionals will be well known to them. The American Professional Wedding Photographers Association (APWPA) is also a great resource for finding the best talent in the USA. Membership in APWPA requires flawless references from multiple sources, to ensure that clients from anywhere can hire a member without risk.
I DO: Once we have narrowed down the choices to a few photographers, how should we make our final choice?
Joanna Pinneo: Hire a photographer who you are very comfortable with and who is comfortable with travel, working in new and often-demanding situations and is able to go with the flow.
Andrew Clark: Visit their websites and look for creative use of light, composition, and subject matter in their work. Check your photographer’s references and business credentials rigorously. There is no substitute for a good collection of happy clients and hearty recommendations. Try to meet your photographer before you hire them because the chemistry between you will greatly affect the images.
I DO: Wouldn’t it be better to hire a local photographer who is more familiar with my destination?
Andrew Clark: Do not be afraid of the photographer who has never photographed at a particular location before. The photojournalist is trained to anticipate what is happening and capture it as it unfolds. These pictures will have the authenticity of genuine expression and the true intimacy of emotion that something tried, tested and staged may not.
I DO: What exactly is photojournalistic photography?
Joanna Pinneo: Wedding photojournalism is about capturing the real moments not the
posed or manufactured ones. It’s not about tilting the camera, adding soft focus to the background or asking the newly married couple to run down the middle of the street. It is about being there and being present to document the real moments of the experience. The photojournalistic approach catches a series of moments and fleeting expressions not captured by the more traditional photographer who is posing people to look perfect.
A destination wedding particularly lends itself to the documentary or “photojournalistic style” of wedding photography. It is all about the journey, the weekend of family and friends, the place.
I DO: How are destination weddings different from a photographer’s perspective?
Joanna Pinneo: I approach a destination wedding much the same the way I approached an assignment for a book or magazine. Research, timing and building relationships are crucial. I’d find out as much about the location as possible … where are the coolest places to be, where is the most interesting scenery and local color and when and where is the good light? I’d especially want to know why the bride and groom chose this particular location to be married and try to capture or express that idea visually. I might arrive early to scout locations or perhaps I’d travel with the bride and groom to capture the “travel experience”. I’d certainly want to be in on some of the activities of the guests (kayaking, snorkeling, skiing, whatever) and spend time with the bride and groom hanging out with their friends and family. I think the wedding weekend should be approached as a visual essay. This would include scene setters, location shots, details, romantic pictures of the couple, family and friends, the wedding itself – the preparation, the ceremony, and the reception afterwards.”
Andrew Clark: Always remember that your incredible week of activity at a beautiful destination deserves to be preserved with great photography. Take your time and research your options thoroughly to ensure those pictures are made professionally and securely.