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Thread: International Weddings - How to get a destination wedding ...

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    International Weddings - How to get a destination wedding ...

    We recently started wedding photography - and were thinking about adding a few nice destination weddings to add to our portfolio. I see so many amazing locations in other countries (not that Australia would't have beautiful spots ... we have plenty here!). But I would love to shoot a wedding on an old castle or in the middle of Tuscany ... or an amazing beach wedding in Fiji or Hawaii :-). Ok ... just dreaming ...

    I thought about booking the flight first (to get it cheaper) and combine it with a nice holiday and then look for weddings locally. Wedding forums, venues, wedding planners ... would be pretty much all cold calling/emailing. Not sure if that would work. Or source a wedding first and then book a flight. I would charge only our normal rate and no travel costs (as I see it as my holiday).

    What is your opinion on this? How would you approach this?

    Thanks for some thoughts ...

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    (Who am I to talk?...)
    (Well, I'm just thinking, really...)

    Well, Hawaii = US = fairly strict on visitors doing paid work?/Meet visa conditions?
    Tuscany = Italy = the same thing.

    And also, part of your post has an incomplete sentence: "...Or source a..."
    I'm wondering what?

    (OK. All stop.)
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aweiss View Post
    What is your opinion on this? How would you approach this?

    Thanks for some thoughts ...
    #1. Make sure that your product is 100% value for money.

    #2 Arrange insurance that will cover you under another countries litigation laws, could be a very expensive "holiday" if someone decides to sue you for damages and you have to travel to that country and spend time in a courtroom on another "holiday".
    Andrew
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    Am I reading that the OP wants to book Australian clients (so financially it would be under Aussie laws), but in order to build his portfolio he wants to go overseas and offer his services locally?
    Cass
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alsocass View Post
    Am I reading that the OP wants to book Australian clients (so financially it would be under Aussie laws), but in order to build his portfolio he wants to go overseas and offer his services locally?
    Doesn't matter if the clients are Australian or not, you have to abide by the laws of the country in which you are standing at the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Doesn't matter if the clients are Australian or not, you have to abide by the laws of the country in which you are standing at the time.
    Of course, I meant with regard a business transaction being arranged between two Australian parties.

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    I think unless you have;
    1. An exceptional portfolio
    and/or
    2. A willingness to do the job for absolute peanuts, even free of charge

    I believe you will seriously be struggling to get couples to 'employ' you for their wedding.

    You would need to set yourself apart from all of the other photographers in that region by being better, being different and being cost competitive. Ask yourself this, would you pay a foreign visitor purporting to be a wedding photographer anything like the same $$ you would be willing to pay a local service provider, particularly when this foreign operator is nobody of significant fame, as well as the prospect of dealing with someone on the other side of the world should something go wrong with the transaction.

    What do you offer that no locals do??

    Bear in mind that with the ease of access to a DSLR and photo editing applications etc, just like here in Australia there will no doubt be many enthusiasts ever-willing to take pics absolutely free of charge for the experience, the building of their portfolio or just for the fun of it all.

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    You might want to drop Yervant a quick note and ask him. He does wedding workshops on Santorini I believe.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Disclaimer. I know nothing about wedding photography, though can sometimes think out of that square!(yeah, I'm tired)

    Quote Originally Posted by aweiss View Post
    We recently started wedding photography - and were thinking about adding a few nice destination weddings to add to our portfolio. ......................
    I would charge only our normal rate and no travel costs (as I see it as my holiday).
    You want to add to your portfolio to sell yourselves as wedding photographers locally?
    You want a holiday.
    I'd be thinking about contacting some established wedding photographers where you want to go. Sell yourselves to them and ask if you could be a back-up photographer at some of their weddings. Offer you services for free, only condition being that you can use the photos you take in your portfolio.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
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    Thanks for all your responses and the tips.

    I will need to check with my insurance if they would cover overseas weddings. Great idea ... I hope this will not be a bigger problem.
    @alsoclass: I wouldn't mind local or Australian clients ... would make no difference for me. Maybe it is different from a legal point of view

    I am not really clued up with working permits - but a few of you mentioned it. I have a European passport ... so this will help in Italy, Tuscany (my dream location) and all Europe - But no idea about the US or some asian countries. Anyone some experience there to get a work permit for a overseas destination wedding? I think you would need to apply for a work visa. So I better google some visa pages for the country might help (will do this in case I get a wedding).

    @Warbier: I have been to Santorini 2 years ago ... ahhh ... took an "Ixus" and did not even think about wedding photography. I must say this would be one wonderful spot to photograph ... amazing scenery. Not sure if I want to do a workshop.

    @Wayne/@I M: You are right ... the market will be crowded everywhere in the world. So value for money would make sense. In Australia I can meet the clients and no one from Italy would search me - maybe someone would look for Jose Villa.
    I think I will look at the local markets and undercut their prices a bit when I love the location or maybe the local market does a complete different style to me and I am lucky. I speak a bit of French, Italian and German which should help.

    @MarkL: hehe ... you got it! Of course I want a holiday. But I thought combining it with some nice weddings to shoot. Also a great idea ...

    I found a cheap flight to Europe (the photography prices should be on par with ours) and will just book it and google some wedding forums overseas. I also might write some emails to wedding planners in my desired areas ... :-). In the worst case I will only go on a holiday but would be nice to fill up the portfolio with some different weddings.
    Last edited by aweiss; 12-01-2013 at 11:25pm.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aweiss View Post
    @MarkL: hehe ... you got it! Of course I want a holiday. But I thought combining it with some nice weddings to shoot. Also a great idea ...
    And what is the point of the weddings to shoot? To make money, or to add location photos to your portfolio?

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    @MarkL: I would see it as portfolio work ... (which should not be loss making ... meaning it covers hotels, parts of travel costs, rental car, expenses, and some of the time spent on processing, but no profit). I would not should just any wedding ... it needs to be portfolio-worthy in my eyes (which makes it more complicated). I would see it as an investment in my portfolio. Maybe I saw too many tuscan style weddings of Jose Villa and also want to do one.

    I love shooting weddings and would love to see some different weddings.

    I already checked the prices in some European countries and it looks like it starts at 500EUR to 2000EUR for the average wedding (there are also lots of free offers - but also more expensive ones). As I never did an international wedding it will be hard to charge a lot (trust, language, distance, time zone, meeting, ...).

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I hope we get to see some of your recent photography up for critique too. After all you would have to be one damn good photographer to get work over the locals. Just like in Australia, where people like to use locals, so will the people where you go in Europe. After all, I would hire a Hobart photographer, even over one from Melbourne, cause there are some damn good wedding photographers here in Hobart already. I am only one State away and have not heard on the grape-vine how great you are, so why would someone hire you for as an international photographer, over a local, or well known wedding photographer? When you can answer that question with a response that a client would accept, then maybe you are going to get some work.

    The ONLY reason I would hire an international photographer to shoot my wedding would be if I had a LOT of money and the person was at the pinnacle of wedding photographers. When there are plenty of local photographers with the skills to do the job and take photos of equal high quality, are easily contactable and able to meet with both before and after the wedding, easy to go to when I want extra prints months later etc, then using a photographer based in another country seems like to much work.

    You would have to be an amazing photographer for me to hire you, over someone local. Are you?
    Last edited by ricktas; 13-01-2013 at 11:30am.

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    Didn't you purchase your first slr about 9 months ago? If you learn that fast, good luck to you and you're a better man/women than I, Gunga Din.

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    The locations you have suggested are very picturesque and highly sought after for wedding shoots. The likelihood is that there is already a multitude of excellent wedding photographers in these areas and trying to break into that market would require you to be phenomenally good AND well known. Making a name for yourself in Australia would be time better spent before you venture outside the country.

    Good luck though if you go ahead with it!

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    @warbier: I had a good look at Yervant's work. impressive photos. Impressive! You need a lot of skills to achieve these photos. But they are not my style ... they are "too posed and extreme" for my liking. A lot of brides will like this style ... maybe esp. when you hire someone from overseas as his work is amazing. Not sure. I would classify this as the high end - luxury market. I am more about fun, natural, love and emotion.

    @norwest: This is true ... I bought my first SLR (Canon 7D) around 9 months ago. Wow ... great memory! Photography was always a hobby - my style would be described as documenting the day with natural posed shots (so more photojournalism. I photograph sometimes with my wife - who loves fashion, makeup, dresses (ok ... which girl does not love this).

    @ricktas: I will post 1 or 2 weddings in the critique forum next week ... there is some amazing work in there. I agree with you that all the points you mention make it harder but in my opinion not impossible. The internet makes the world smaller and a lot of us oder cameras and lenses from overseas.

    I anyhow would go on a holiday. Most would do landscape and travel photography ... so why not combine a holiday with weddings. I think positive and just give it a go.

    @pearson: These are sought after for wedding location. Who would not like to shoot at an amazing castle - the picturesque landscape of Tuscany or in one of the old churches in Europe? I personally think it is time very well spent to try to achieve some destination weddings.

    I want this thread to become more a source of information how to get a destination wedding ...

    What I did so far:
    - Flight is secured - European summer - high season for weddings there
    - sent personal emails to a few locations in Tuscany, Germany, France
    - sent personal emails to few wedding planers in these countries
    - looked at wedding forums in these countries for brides which have a nice location and look for a photographer
    (google translation is a great tool).
    - compared some photographers in the area - pricing and style

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    @Ricktas: I posted a wedding I did recently in the forum. You can find the post here:

    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...insula-22-pics
    or the full blog post (with more pics) on my website: http://wedding.freshphotography.com....ine-peninsula/

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    The photos you have shown are good. I have seen the earlier on your Fb page and blog, so I saw a few more than what is shown here.

    I think your work is of sound quality, your pricing on the upper end of the middle range. With great respect, I don't see the works you have chosen to show as exceptional, standout, niche or much different to many many other wedding photographers doing the same thing. There is nothing you have shown which will set you apart from the rest of the wedding photographers that can be found anywhere, and that I think will be one of the great difficulties in getting work, particularly paid work on another continent, particularly a predominantly non-English speaking region.

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    @Wayne: Thanks for taking the time and looking at my facebook page and website. I would see it more positive ... sound work should give you a job ... :-) I just would love to shoot one or two wedding overseas. So why not have a little goal.

    I did a little more investigation and think that I should have a chance with the style to get a wedding in Europe. Skype is a great way to meet the couples and discuss their big day and your offering.

    I also checked my insurance and it would only cover Australia :-(. But it is due for renewal just before I want to go on the trip ... so good time to switch or upgrade. Anyone some recommendations?

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    But I would love to shoot a wedding on an old castle
    Google Paronella Park - Australia does have some castles, I should know, I got married there!
    Greg Bartle,
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