As a destination wedding photographer, I find this experience can be a little different as I really become part of the experience. Most of the time I am traveling with the couple or their guests and getting to know them on a more personal level over several days. (i.e. eating with them, staying at the same hotel or going for an early morning swim with Aunt Sue 🙂 etc). I get a really close and multifaceted experience with the couple and their loved ones. This immersion into the families life makes capturing the candid moments between family and friends one of my favourite parts of the wedding day. Destination weddings really seem to bring everyone together and produce an outpouring of genuine emotions. This is my favourite part of the day.
There have been so many great memories at my destination weddings that it’s hard to pick a favourite. The common element would have to be that they all evoke powerful emotions. For example, I remember one creative session during the magic hour – just at the height of sunset – when the light was slowly dipping below the trees as the bride and groom walked into the sunset holding hands. It was a candid and quiet moment shared by the couple just when the quality and beauty of the light was at its most intense, and I think that the image really captured their love and joy.
On the wedding day I like to take a simple approach by capturing photographs that are true to the moments and people. I want your images to help you remember the day and feeling. My pre-wedding “ritual” is more of an “organizational system”. I remove everything from my bag and meticulously re-pack all the gear I need. It must all fit into one bag no matter what as I like to be portable and want everything available as I travel between locations during the wedding day.
Photographing weddings on destinations in part keeps me inspired because of the new environments. I feel grateful to be able to explore these beautiful locations, learn new or unique details about the place, and develop a feel for the unique possibilities that different light conditions offer. At Mango we always travel to a destination wedding early to explore the area, get a feel for it and to find inspiration for our wedding photographs. I like to create a story by representing the moments that unfold throughout the day. The clean and elegant feel comes from keeping my eye out for the in-between moments that are already happening and framing them in a simple but evocative way.
Overall, I think planning a wedding remotely can be very difficult and stressful with language and time differences. So, start the planning process early and hire a wedding planner that is experienced with the area where you want to get married. Having a photographer who is experienced in destination weddings also helps, and at Mango we are very good at it! 🙂