Whether you are traveling as a solo photographer or have team members by your side, you’ll need to get organized before heading to a shoot that’s out of town or international. Systems of organization will vary, but it always helps to have some kind of list that acts as a destination wedding prep guide.
Before you pack your bags and head to the airport, read through these tips to help you prepare for your trip, then go down the suggested checklist to make sure you have everything you need for a successful destination wedding shoot.
Related: 10 Not-so-Obvious Things Photographers Should Bring to a Wedding
PHOTOGRAPHY PREP TIPS FOR A DESTINATION WEDDING
Research the location to find out if you need any special permits and what the rules and regulations are for shooting in that specific area. This is especially important if you’re traveling to a different country. Make sure your passport is up to date and if you’ll need a visa, what the fees are, lodging information, etc.
Consider purchasing travel insurance. The peace of mind it will give you will make it worth the cost. After all, how much would it cost you if your expensive equipment got lost or broken?
Research the kind of terrain and weather conditions you’ll be working with. Will you need waterproof equipment? A new travel case? Will you be walking through sand in the summer or shooting a winter wedding in the snow? The info will help you create a packing list and give you insight on what additional items you need to purchase.
If you’re traveling by plane, make sure you read the airline luggage policy and that your bags are TSA-approved. Weigh your bags before you get to the airport to make sure they meet the weight restrictions. If you anticipate going over the minimum weight, prepare to pay the extra costs.
Pack any expensive or fragile equipment into your carry-on bag, if possible, as well as the couple’s contact info, addresses, maps, and your itinerary. You might also want to pack a spare outfit just in case your luggage gets lost.
To avoid a frozen account, contact your bank to let them know you’ll be traveling outside the country. You can also check exchange rates and inquire about foreign currency.
DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY QUICK LIST
The day before you depart:
- Make sure you’ve contacted your bank to inform them of your travel plans
- Clean lenses and cameras
- Charge batteries and put new batteries into equipment if needed
- Pack chargers, electrical converters, external hard drives, card readers, laptop, and any other equipment you’ll need (including backups)
- Pack outfits
- Pack passports and visas if necessary (as well as copies), and important information in your handbag or carry-on luggage
On the day of departure:
- Check email for any last-minute changes or information
- Review your travel itinerary and wedding itinerary
- Double check that you have contact, hotel, and transport information
- Double check that you’ve packed all the essentials and that you’re good to go
Related: 6 Ways to Stand Out as a Professional Photographer