Weddings are once in a lifetime, but memories (and the photographs) are forever. That’s why you want to make sure the one decision that you don’t rush is choosing the right wedding photographer, but it can get tricky when you’re planning a destination wedding. Here’s 5 questions you need to ask wedding photographers before booking one from Taylor Golden, the best destination-wedding photographer in the world.
1. Is photography your full-time job?
“If [photography] is someone’s side job, then immediately you know that 1) they haven’t been in business long enough to make this their primary source of income or 2) they’re not that serious about it. In either of those scenarios, do you want that person to cover the most important day of your life?” said Golden.
2. Do your client’s photos look alike?
Don’t take the photographer’s word on this one. Review their portfolio on your own, and see whether or not the photographer is able to bring a unique touch to each session. Golden said, “Two clients’ images should never look the same, so even if I shoot my two clients in the same location, their pictures will not look at all similar. I’m choosing different angles, different sides of the building, different poses…I never want someone to look at their pictures and say ‘Oh that looks just like my friend’s picture.’”
This is important, especially because photography is so referral based. If you spend all this time and energy into making your wedding unique and special, you don’t want it to look like everyone else’s in photographs, because ultimately, that’s what everyone will remember.
3. How much time and travel are you willing to put in?
When it comes to planning anything for a wedding, ask for specifics. How much time and energy is your wedding photographer willing to put in? Is he or she willing to fly out for your engagement shoot? This is something that Golden does complimentary, because she wants to get to know each couple and get comfortable working with them before their big day.
4. How much international wedding experience do you have?
Photographing a wedding locally and internationally are two completely different endeavors. Do not assume the photographer and can just grab a camera and go. Instead, ask how much experience they have with international weddings.
“Whenever you go to the airport, if you have a bag full of digital camera equipment, you get flagged immediately. You have to be prepared for certain check-in procedures. You have to know the airline policies. Once you get to the airport, it’s too late. You have to be prepared ahead of time,” said Golden. “Last year I shot in 7 different countries, and each country is different and each airline is different. Before I go, I do my research.”
5. What do the deliverables look like?
“A true professional photographer will not just hand you a disc of images. As a true artist, our dream is to have our work realized, printed, hanging on the wall. You [should] get an album, and it shouldn’t be a coffee book ordered from just anywhere,” said Golden. This is so important to her that she actually offers her clients 40 different leathers to choose from for their album, which is the same leather that the White House uses for all their furniture. The paper that she uses is the same that the Guggenheim prints all of their exhibits on, so it’s heirloom quality.
These are the five must ask questions, but there are many more! If you have any more questions about planning a destination wedding or photography, please reach out to Taylor Golden at www.TaylorGolden.com