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  • Writer's pictureJessie Ladipo

Destination Wedding Photography Tips

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

After spending months (if not years) planning your dream wedding, you will want the perfect photos capturing every second of the most important day of your lives. You will want a quality wedding photographer who brings a wealth of experience. Still, you can take other steps to guarantee unbelievable photos. If you concentrate on these tips, you can ensure you have stunning destination wedding photos.

Establish a Timeline

A good deal of time and effort goes into crafting artistic images. The more time you spend on this step, the better the photos. Are you are an actress or a model? If not, you will want to give yourself extra time to get the posing down. Lovely images don't just happen, so allocate a reasonable amount of time shots that are important to you. How much time do you need to reserve to take your portraits, family shoots, and couples' sessions? What should your wedding photography timeline be? These essential questions you need to discuss with your photographer as you plan the day.

Jessie's Tip: Consider hiring a wedding planner who can coordinate all aspects of your wedding day. They will know how to allocate your time most efficiently.

Create a Mood Board

A mood board is an incredible tool that can help you share your vision for your wedding to your preferred wedding vendor. It will allow you to communicate visually the style of photos that appeal to you. Utilize Pinterest to create your board by saving images that you like. Styles (glamorous, elegant, boho, rustic, etc.) mean different things to different people. You can avoid confusion and get everyone on the same page with a mood board.

Jessie's Tip: Include toss items for an extra magical touch. Toss items radiate excitement and bring genuine smiles and laughter from your guests. If you are looking for eco-friendly options, use dried flowers, fresh leaves, petals, bubbles, or sparklers.

Incorporate a First Look

A 'first look' is when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony, and it a perfect time to capture couples portraits before the hustle and bustle of the wedding. First looks are one of the most memorable events. This moment indeed supplies some of the most heartfelt photos of the entire wedding. A first look can set the day's tone, calm frayed nerves, and allow a chance to connect before the ceremony.

Jessie's Tip: Take your time to find the right photographer for you. Interview many people and ask to see full weddings, not just wedding day highlights.

Find Your Light

Finding light will make or break your wedding pictures! It is essential to give your photographer the best lighting conditions. Late in the day is best, precisely the hour before sunset, known as "golden hour." If you spectacular ocean or vineyard background, you will want to show it off! You will not want to take your photos in the middle of the day. Strong sunlight casts harsh shadows on your face, which are nearly impossible to correct. The direct overhead sun leads to raccoon eyes.

Jessie's Tip: Everyone that gets married on the beach wants to do sunset photos. But don't wait for that late in the day to start taking pictures! All your shots will come out very dark.

Limit Amateur Photographers

On the day, kindly ask your guests not to jump in front of your photographer, especially during the ceremony and formal portraits. You don't want the photographer to miss shots that were important to you because they were standing in line behind your Aunt Edna! Ask your friends and family not to ask your photographer to take pictures of them with their phone. These types of distractions are not a fair use of your photographer's time.

Jessie's Tip: Consider an unplugged wedding where guests leave their phones in the car. Emphasize to guests that they will have more fun if they are fully present for your big day.

Keep Your Couples Portraits Private

I recommend not inviting guests to your couple's session. Extra people will cut into your time and limit artistic photographs. Your couple's session is just for the two of you. Your friends can meet with you after the session. Do you have a large wedding party? I recommend getting your group shots first so that they can leave to enjoy the party. It is hard to get in a romantic frame of mind when jokesters surround you.

Jessie's Tip: If you can afford it, take a photographer from home to your destination wedding. It is easier to vet local photographers. You can take advantage of free room nights to offset the extra cost.

Get Friendly with Your Photographer

I hate getting my pictures taken, and it shows. I can't relax when people start clicking pictures. So practice relaxing in front of the camera. One great way to relax is to do an engagement session with the photographer who is shooting your wedding. The more time you spend with your photographer, the more comfortable you will feel.

Jessie's Tip: Prepare for emergencies. Make sure your wedding planner has an emergency kit in case you need something.


  1. Stain removal pens

  2. Tampons

  3. Small scissors & mini sewing kit

  4. Hairspray

  5. Safety pins & bobby pins

  6. Energy bars & gum

  7. Q-tips

  8. Deodorant & makeup remover

Years after your wedding, you will find yourself flipping through your wedding album. So you will want a photographer that can bring your vision to life in an artistic way. Using the destination wedding photography tips, you can immortalize every precious moment of your big day for eternity.


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