It’s industry standard for clients to pay a
travel fee in addition to the photographer’s
standard rate: airfare, car rental and lodging.
Your contract should have the agreed upon
travel fee noted in its own clause, and what
it covers should be detailed—the specific
number of days of accommodations being
provided, or the coverage of a rental vehicle,
for example. And because we all know that
contracts can get a bit bogged down with
legalese, it’s best to specify the travel fee in
the invoice as well. List each agreed upon
amenity as a line item.
You may have an inquiry to an amazing
location, but the couple has a budget that
doesn’t allow for your rate plus your travel
costs. That’s typically a pass. That said, if you
feel you absolutely have to photograph in a
specific location, somewhere that’s on your
bucket list, it’s fine to eat some of your travel
costs to add an epic location to your portfolio.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but
if you do, that needs to be 100 percent your
decision, and you have to feel great about
making that choice. After all, you owe your
clients your best, regardless of your rate and
what you agree on.
CHECK WITH THE LOCALS
The reality is that no matter how many times
a colleague has photographed in the exact
destination you’re heading to, secondhand
information on access and permits is what
it is: it’s secondhand, and it could be a big
risk to rely on what others say about what
you can and cannot do or bring without
checking yourself. You do not want your
WE’RE ALWAYS EXCITED TO GET READY FOR A DESTINATION WEDDING,
especially since we tend to limit ourselves to shooting one or two a year.
Limit destination weddings? Absolutely. Even though we love adventures,
we really enjoy working as close to home as possible so we can hang with
our crew (a.k.a. our five children).
Nevertheless, we’re in the midst of preparing for a rad New Year’s Eve
wedding in Italy that came about after a conversation with the bride-to-be,
Amy Mellow of A Creative Focus Photography. After quickly figuring out that
we were a great fit for one another, we knew we didn’t want to pass up the
opportunity to photograph Amy and her fiancé’s amazing love in a beautiful
location like Italy. And that got us thinking about some of the questions
that people have asked us, some that we’ve also seen floating about in
cyberspace, on prepping for a destination wedding.
So, whether you have dozens of them to your credit or you’re about to
rock out your first, here are a few recommendations.
BELOW: Bride and groom portraits taken at
destinations near (at left in Telluride, Colorado)
or somewhat far (at right on the Island of Oahu).
From pricing, permits and packing to long-distance, tech-savvy
scouting, this is how to get ready for a destination wedding.
BY AMII + ANDY KAUTH