Tips for an Amazing Family Session

Tips for an Amazing Family Session

Whether you do family pictures once a year or once in your lifetime, the task can seem daunting. The truth is, it really isn’t that scary! As long as you keep in mind the following, and do a tiny bit of homework, it’s quite easy. And honestly, the homework can be fun, like picking and coordinating clothes! To help you out, I have put together my tips for an amazing family session:

Whether you do family pictures once a year or once in your lifetime, the task can seem daunting. The truth is, it really isn't that scary! And to help you out, I have put together my tips for an amazing family session:

Location: Choose a location and/or atmosphere that you feel comfortable to be yourselves in, whether it’s in the comfort of your own home or at your favorite park or beach. Or if you’re visiting a destination, talk to your photographer about locations that would be perfect for the session you are envisioning. Keep in mind of the type of backdrop you want in your photos (cityscapes, beach, park, alleyway, etc.). We want to make sure you love your images and the first step to getting those amazing images is finding the backdrop that you love!

Whether you do family pictures once a year or once in your lifetime, the task can seem daunting. The truth is, it really isn't that scary! And to help you out, I have put together my tips for an amazing family session:

Lighting: Since I am a natural light photographer, I schedule my sessions for when there is optimal lighting. This often means right after sunrise or right before sunset. The only exception to this is if I am shooting indoors. I will work with you on finding the best time for photos, and to work around your family’s schedule!

Whether you do family pictures once a year or once in your lifetime, the task can seem daunting. The truth is, it really isn't that scary! And to help you out, I have put together my tips for an amazing family session:

What to Wear: The most important thing is that everyone feels amazing. Wear clothes that you feel great in, fit well, are comfortable, and compliment everyone’s outfits. Stay away from extremely busy patterns and coordinate, but don’t match! Stay away from wearing “matchy-matchy” outfits (example: everyone wearing white shirts and blue jeans). Depending on the location you choose, you may want to bring a change of shoes (i.e. cityscape with heels but bring a pair of flip flops to walk around in).

Whether you do family pictures once a year or once in your lifetime, the task can seem daunting. The truth is, it really isn't that scary! And to help you out, I have put together my tips for an amazing family session:

Children/Newborns: Make sure that everyone is well-rested, fed, and hydrated. This makes a world of difference in the attitudes. Be sure to bring along a few snacks and drinks, as well as something to reward your children with. A lot of children respond well and give great smiles if they are reminded that they will be rewarded with a toy or treat at the end of the session, as long as they listen to the parents and the photographer. I know that children often get impatient and restless, so during our session, we will give them a few breaks within the hour we are together so the children can run and play, or have a small snack in between shots. It’s great to use these 5 minute breaks to get some beautiful pictures of you, the parents.

Whether you do family pictures once a year or once in your lifetime, the task can seem daunting. The truth is, it really isn't that scary! And to help you out, I have put together my tips for an amazing family session:

Parents: It is best to leave the instructions to the photographer. You can get easily distracted with telling your children how to pose, when to smile, or when to look at the camera. It’s during these times that we, the photographers, will get cute ones of the children, but the parents are often looking somewhere else other than the camera, with their mouths open, or looking impatient and/or annoyed. So when the photographer says, “look at the camera!” be sure to look at the camera and allow the photographer to grab the attention of the children.

Whether you do family pictures once a year or once in your lifetime, the task can seem daunting. The truth is, it really isn't that scary! And to help you out, I have put together my tips for an amazing family session:

Pets: We LOVE pets and welcome you to bring them to your session. In order to have a successful and adorable session with your pet(s), please allow your dog to run around the backyard or have a fun play session, and use the bathroom at least 30 minutes prior to our session. This will help keep their excitement down for our posed shots and decrease the amount of times we have to stop for bathroom breaks and clean up. Also, please bring a squeaky toy and tons of treats as this is the best way to get your pet(s) attention when we need them looking at the camera.

Whether you do family pictures once a year or once in your lifetime, the task can seem daunting. The truth is, it really isn't that scary! And to help you out, I have put together my tips for an amazing family session:

Props: We welcome any props you may want to use, whether it’s your dog, the due date board, balloons, sparklers, etc. If you choose to bring props, depending on the size (i.e. balloons, pets, big signage), please bring an extra person as well! We won’t need those props in every photo but want to have them accessible! An extra person will help with this as they can hold the props/leashes while we have our fun! The most popular props are blankets, a sonogram, pets, and bubbles. We definitely ask you to bring at least one blanket for sitting purposes (we want to protect you and your clothes from either the sand or grass!) if we are shooting outside of your home. Try to keep the amount of props down to one bag, especially for when we are walking around. The less you have to carry, the less stress you feel!

Whether you do family pictures once a year or once in your lifetime, the task can seem daunting. The truth is, it really isn't that scary! And to help you out, I have put together my tips for an amazing family session:

Timing: Be on time! This is one of the most important tips for an amazing family session. Sessions are scheduled at a specific time for optimal lighting conditions. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your session location. You never know whether traffic or parking will be an issue or if you run into any other uncontrollable situation. Arriving on time benefits you and the photographer – you will receive beautiful and beautifully lit photos, the photographer won’t feel rushed through the session, and the children are more likely to be less antsy.

Whether you do family pictures once a year or once in your lifetime, the task can seem daunting. The truth is, it really isn't that scary! And to help you out, I have put together my tips for an amazing family session:

Trust: Trust your photographer to be creative, make you feel comfortable, direct you when needed, and provide you with some amazing shots! If you worry too much about controlling the session, you won’t have fun and neither will your photographer.

Whether you do family pictures once a year or once in your lifetime, the task can seem daunting. The truth is, it really isn't that scary! And to help you out, I have put together my tips for an amazing family session:

HAVE FUN! Be yourselves, interact with each other and with your belly, be playful, laugh, and have a good time! Let your personalities shine!

Whether you do family pictures once a year or once in your lifetime, the task can seem daunting. The truth is, it really isn't that scary! And to help you out, I have put together my tips for an amazing family session:

Have questions? Contact me … I would love to hear from you!

 

Nicki and Charlie’s Vizcaya Engagement Session

Nicki and Charlie’s Vizcaya Engagement Session

Nicki and Charlie’s Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn’t believe in soulmates, the “one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!

Because this couple’s love story is exactly that.

Both of them work for the school district and only lived miles apart. They could have easily passed each other on the streets. Or been eating at the same restaurant at the same time. However, it’s never that easy to find your person.

Thank goodness for dating apps, which have taken dating to a whole new level. It’s now easier to put yourself out there, and to find the missing piece to your puzzle.

Which is exactly where these two lovebirds found each other!

One year and one puppy later, they’re engaged and celebrating their engagement at Vizcaya, one of the most romantic and beautiful venues in Miami.

And I have the pleasure of photographing their amazing wedding in July so keep following my blog to get a peek at Nicki and Charlie’s wedding day …

Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!Nicki and Charlie's Vizcaya engagement session would never have taken place without the help of online dating. And if you didn't believe in soulmates, the "one, or people who were always meant to be, you will!

Vizcaya

Obsessed with this venue? Me, too! It’s the perfect spot for a proposal, engagement session, and/or wedding! With its lush gardens, stunning architecture, and breathtaking view of Miami over the water, it’s a must-see!

Vizcaya was created as James Deering’s subtropical winter home in the 1910s and today it is a National Historic Landmark and accredited museum.” It “is an enduring, inclusive and innovative place that inspires people to embrace the cultural vitality and environmental sustainability of the world around us.”

Book a Wedding Photographer for Your Destination Wedding

Book a Wedding Photographer for Your Destination Wedding

You’re engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you’ve decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away – how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

Photos from my New Zealand trip

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

The beautiful Old House Vineyards in Culpepper, Virginia.

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

My most favorite place that I’ve ever visited: Sydney, Australia.

More than likely, you’re unfamiliar with the vendors in the area and you can’t easily meet and work with the photographer pre-wedding. Google and other search engines are great! But keep in mind that photographers only show the best of the best online. Not only that, but let’s get real here. It’s a big, scary world out there. There are some who don’t show their own work on their websites (um, hello, plagiarism!). Some photographers have teams of photographers in multiple locations around the world so you may not even get the photographer and/or style that you want. Or, scarier yet, you pay for someone who never communicates or shows up on the actual wedding day.

This blog is not meant to scare you. So I apologize for my last paragraph, but I do want to bring awareness to some issues that you may not think or know about.

I, myself, had a destination wedding, although the area wasn’t quite foreign to me. Getting married where you were born and raised is sentimental and great. However, I hadn’t lived there in ten years. Wedding vendors in Washington D.C. were very well-known to me at that time, but not so much in Virginia Beach. I was where you are now … researching, setting up phone meetings, asking questions by email …

©Angie and Jenn Photography

©Angie and Jenn Photography

©Angie and Jenn Photography

©Angie and Jenn Photography

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “she’s going to try to sell us on booking her for our wedding.” As much as I would absolutely love to be a part of your wedding, and as much as I love to travel, that is not the purpose of me writing this.

To be honest, I’ve been wanting to write this post for months now. After planning my own destination wedding and having the opportunity to help my two best friends plan their weddings, I felt that this post would be helpful to future brides and grooms. Every photographer has something to say about this topic, and you’ll find many posts on this subject, but I hope that what I experienced and learned as a bride, maid of honor, and wedding photographer helps give a broad perspective.

In this blog post, I’ll discuss your different options. There are advantages and disadvantages to every option when it’s time to book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding. It is up to you as to what takes precedent … I’m just here to help you think about things you may not know about, and to help you weigh the pros and cons.

Meet the Brides

And, if my experience is not enough, I have also included three other brides’ interviews. Two of which are my best friends in which I attended their weddings as their maid of honor:

Courtney and Jeremy got married at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico. These two decided on a destination wedding because they wanted “a great memory for our family and friends to take a trip together for the occasion.”

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

Photo credit: Lleft to right: ©Angie and Jenn Photography ©deansandersonweddings.com

Kim and Allen were married at the Dreams Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. They chose to do a destination wedding because “Allen had already done the whole big church wedding, and my priorities were to have a few important people there, wear the dress, and get beautiful photos. It allowed us to combine our wedding and honeymoon, and have a ceremony and reception for much cheaper than having a wedding at home. Destination wedding planning is also so much less overwhelming when they only give you a few options to choose from.”

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

Photo credit: Left to right: ©Angie and Jenn Photography ©adventures-photos.com

The other bride I interviewed is one whose engagement session I photographed in Miami, and got married in Las Vegas:

Jessica and Allan said “I do” at the Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas. They felt that “in Vegas, it’s less hectic because everything is already included in one package. And the most important thing was that Las Vegas is closer to my country, Indonesia.”

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©Sweet Memories Photography (Me 😁)

**All photos in this blog are not my own. The ones with my watermark are ones that I have taken. Please note that the ones without my watermark and with copyright information below the photos belong to the corresponding photographers: Dean Sanderson, Joey Allen, and Adventure Photos.**

My Resort Includes a Photographer …

How convenient! This is definitely the most cost-effective option and also very logical. You want to book a destination photographer for your destination wedding so why not book one who knows your resort and its surrounding areas?

Kim and Allen

This is the route my best friend and sister-from-another-set-of-parents, Kim, chose. Why you ask?

 

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©www.adventures-photos.com

“We investigated taking a local photographer with us, but it would not have saved us any money and we weren’t so in love with her work that it would have been worth the trouble. There would have been a little more recourse if we were not happy with the resort’s recommended photographer.”

The problem that she faced was that they “asked to see the work of specific photographers but weren’t given anything other than the website with the company’s pictures.” They wanted to know who their photographer was going to be and to see a sample of their work beforehand. Unfortunately, the company refused to do this until a few days before the wedding. Nerve-wracking?! That’s a definite yes!

Their story has a happy ending. They ended up loving their wedding photos and their photographer, Daniel. Kim loved that he knew the resort well, where to go, what angles to get, and how to use the spaces he was given and used to shooting in.

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©www.adventures-photos.com

The pros to hiring the resort’s photographer for her: “definitely that he knew the resort and surround areas.” And an extra plus that they ended up with good quality photos in the end. In fact, they loved the photos so much, they now have them displayed all around their home in Virginia.

That being said, they had no clue who was going to be their photographer or what the photo style was going to be on their wedding day.

 

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©www.adventures-photos.com

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©www.adventures-photos.com

While Kim felt okay and safe with the resort’s photographer …

Courtney had a less-than thrilling experience:

“I originally emailed them <the resort’s photographer>, but would not hear back from them for weeks. This was the first red flag for me. If I’m traveling to a different country and have never met you, I expect timely responses for me to feel comfortable. I also didn’t like their portfolio. They were mostly posed pictures, and had a very generic feel. I wanted more personal shots than were not posed, to really capture the feeling of my wedding. I also would have only gotten 50 pictures from the resort photographer, where I got 500 from the photographer I hired … for a better price.”

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©deansandersonweddings.com

Communication is so important. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to plan your wedding from afar and not getting the responses that you need when you need them. As if wedding planning isn’t hard enough!

In both these instances, there was a happy ending. However, research further and you’ll hear horror stories. Anything from absolute disappointment in their wedding photos to the couple never receiving their wedding images at all. My biggest recommendation if you’re on a tight budget and need to use the resort’s photographer is to do your homework. Find a resort that is not only perfect for your wedding, but also offers a photography company that has good reviews and a similar style that you want. A few great resources to check out are TripAdvisor, WeddingWire, and Facebook.

In summary and Things to Think About:

Pros to hiring the resort’s photographer:

  • The photography companies are much more cost-effective.
  • Their team already knows the resort and its surroundings (for best photo opportunities).
  • They speak the local language, making it easier to communicate with the staff and locals, if you choose to go leave the resort.
  • They already have the required work visa and/or photography permits.

Cons to hiring the resort’s photographer:

  • Cost-effective doesn’t always mean best quality or the photographic style you want on your wedding day.
  • They may not speak your language, making it difficult to communicate with them about what you want.
  • Their communication and response times during wedding planning may be delayed or non-existent.
  • The unknown:
    • Which photographer will you be working with?
    • What is their style?
    • Have you seen their specific work?
    • Have you read reviews from previous brides about that specific photographer?
    • What will your final pictures look like?
  • You have no personal experience or relationship with them. They don’t know you, and you don’t know them.

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

I’ve Got an Idea! Let’s Get a Local Photographer!

This gives you more flexibility. Book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding but do so locally. They may not be on-location at your resort, but it’s a great idea. It allows you to find someone who:

  • Is the right photographer for you
  • Has the photography style or similar to that you love
  • Is familiar with the wedding location
  • You can (hopefully) actually read reviews on the photographer
  • Often speaks the local language
  • Shoots in or close to the style that you love
  • Is more cost-effective than flying in a photographer
  • Tends to be better with emails and phone calls. Communication tends to be much better when you’re dealing with a smaller company.

But there are a few things to be mindful of, such as:

  • Will your resort allow you to bring in an outside photographer?
    • And, if so, what is the additional fee to do so?
  • Are they within your budget?

Courtney’s Experience

Personally, I think this is the better way to go (if your resort allows this), rather than booking the resort’s photographer. You have a little bit more control. Which is the reason why my best friend, Courtney, chose a local photographer versus the resort’s. As we mentioned before, she couldn’t get ahold of the photography company, let alone the photographer him or herself. She and I are very similar in that we like to have more control and when we want answers, we want them ASAP. We don’t want to wait days or weeks to get one answer to our many questions.

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©deansandersonweddings.com

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©deansandersonweddings.com

Plus, she was not in love with the resort’s recommended photography company’s style. She wanted more natural light, candid, and less posy, which you’ll see in her photos. The resort’s photographers didn’t offer this look.

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©deansandersonweddings.com

Courtney researched until she found the right Cancun photographer for her. Although Dean Sanderson was not available on her wedding date, he put her in touch with a lead photographer who worked for him. She was able to speak to her actual wedding day photographer … talk about a weight lifted off her shoulders.

According to the Bride,

Courtney said,

“It can be easy to just book the resort’s photography company and you don’t have to pay extra. If photography isn’t one of the most important aspects of the wedding to you, then I would say to go the easy route. But just know that they know they get the majority of the business just by being at the resort, so they don’t even try and it shows. They are unresponsive, expensive, and more corporate than an outside photographer. I remember reading on their website that they will only take a certain number of pictures an hour. That is not what I want in a photographer. I don’t want to be treated like a number, and I don’t want my wedding photos to be either.”

Although she had to pay an additional $800 fee to have an outside photographer, she says it was well worth it. Dean Sanderson‘s company “were professional and wanted to do everything they could to make my day what I wanted it to be. They sent me articles leading up to the big day with tips. This helped so much that they took extra time to send me those. It was a nice touch.”

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©deansandersonweddings.com

**Hey, who’s that familiar looking face to the left of the groom?! Oh wait, that’s me! 😁**

Jessica and Alan’s Vegas Wedding

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©joeyallenphoto.com

She, like Courtney, hired a local photographer for her Vegas wedding. But not for the same reasons. Her resort actually didn’t recommend any photographers. Alan and Jessica were left to their own devices and found the perfect photographer for their Green Valley Ranch wedding. They still rave about Joey Allen to this day, about his professionalism, creativity, and his amazing portfolio.

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©joeyallenphoto.com

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

©joeyallenphoto.com

In summary and Things to Think About:

Pros to hiring a local photographer:

  • You have the option of booking a photographer who provides the style or close to the style that you love and want.
  • You have a chance to read reviews based on that specific photographer, their work, and other couples’ experiences with them.
  • The photographers are much more cost-effective than flying a photographer in.
  • Their team has more than likely already photographed at your resort and is familiar with its surroundings (for best photo opportunities).
  • They often speak the local language, making it easier to communicate with the staff and locals, if you choose to go off property.
  • They already have the required work visa and/or photography permits.
  • You often receive a much more intimate and personal experience.

Cons to hiring a local photographer:

  • You may be limited to whatever photography style is popular in the area.
  • They are more than likely more expensive than the resort’s photography companies.
  • They may not speak your language (communicating with them may be difficult) or they may not speak the native language.
  • You don’t have a personal relationship with them (see last section in regards to this).
  • You have to pay the resort’s fee for bringing in an off-resort photographer.

Jessica and Alan, and Courtney and Jeremy handpicked their photographers. The results were that they were so thrilled with the experience, from start to finish. Their complaints were … well, there were none!

Looking to book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding who is local to that area? Use these sites to help you search for the perfect one for you:

Best of Wedding Photography | International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers | SnapKnot | WeddingWire | The Knot

The Traveling Destination Photographer

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

Saving the best for last! Okay, I may be a bit biased lol! Option #3: book a wedding photographer who travels but doesn’t specifically live or work in the area in which you are getting married.

Options, Options, Options!

Yes, this option means that there is an increased cost to cover travel and accommodation fees. That being said, there are benefits to this. For one, you are not limited … “the world is your oyster.” A lot of locations are limited in their vendors so you may not find a photographer who specializes in the style you love. For instance, if you want dark and moody but getting married in the Bahamas … you may not find a photographer there who has a ‘dark and moody’ look to their photos because they assume everyone there wants bright and airy!

A Friendly Face

Not only are your options endless, but you can also find a photographer who you or someone you know has had experience with. Ever been to a wedding where you were blown away by the photographer, whether it was their personality, how efficient they worked, how they stayed behind the scenes, or just provided the most beautiful photos? Guess what?! You can book them! Or do you follow a photographer who shoots the most beautiful photos in the most exotic locations? You can book them! You have complete control over who you want to spend your wedding day with. This means less stress. It also means, you know 100% you’re hiring someone who cares about you, can communicate with you and your guests, and specializes in the look you want. That’s a whole lot of weight off your shoulders.

School is Always in Session!

I know, I know. You’re thinking, great … “I can book them. I have all the control. But what about those work visas and permits you mentioned before?” Not.a.problem. Destination photographers do their homework, just as you do for your wedding. The handy dandy internet makes it super easy for us to find out about any requirements we need before your wedding day. Trust me, for those of us who travel often, we know what to do to make sure nothing gets in the way of us being there for you.

More Money, Less Problems

Have I mentioned added bonuses?! Most destination photographers will include more than just wedding day coverage if they’re going to be there anyway. For instance, I arrive early to scope out the area and make sure I know the best spots for your photos at the right times, and make sure I’m familiar with the wedding day flow. I also include wedding rehearsal coverage, as well as a day-after-the-wedding session. The day-after-session can be either just the two of you for a trash-the-dress session, post-wedding brunch, or even an excursion that you might want covered.

 

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

In summary and Things to Think About:

Pros to hiring a destination photographer:

  • You get to be picky, and book a photographer who provides the exact style that you love and want.
  • The photographers are much more cost-effective than flying a photographer in.
  • You can read reviews based on that specific photographer, their work, and other couples’ experiences with them.
  • You may already know and have a relationship with your photographer.
  • They speak your language, making it easier to communicate.
  • You may get more photography coverage than just the wedding day.
  • You will receive an intimate and personal experience, from preliminary communications to spending the wedding festivities with them.

Cons to hiring a destination photographer:

  • The costs are often a bit pricier.
  • The photographer may not speak the area’s language.

You're engaged! Congratulations! And, even more, you've decided to get married in some dreamy land far, far away - how romantic! Now comes the hard part: how do you book a wedding photographer for your destination wedding?

Questions?

I’m sure I could continue on in this post, and there may be a follow up post. It all depends on you! If you have any questions or would like for me to go more in detail, reach out. It’s almost 100% guaranteed that I missed something or was unclear about my tips. Any feedback is always welcomed! I’m only human! And I never claimed to be a professional writer 😉 Plus, I love connecting with new and old faces, so don’t be shy.

 

A Holiday Mini Session with the Rosens

A Holiday Mini Session with the Rosens

What seems like an eternity ago, I was once neighbors with this beautiful family. Back then, there were only two of them. As you can see below in the holiday mini session pictures, their family has grown.

Meet the Family

Although we are not neighbors any more, we still keep in touch. Social media can be a really helpful tool!

Around the time Rylin was born, Abbe and Ben made quite a few big changes in their lives. Abbe had quit her job and became a licensed realtor. Ben, who owns Crossfit Hype, had relocated his facility to a larger space.

Another big change was they bought their dream house in Boca Raton. One that would allow enough space for them, their two dogs, Rylin, and maybe another little Rosen in the future …

So while the Rosens are no longer next door to me, I still get the opportunity to connect with them and watch their family grow. And if you’re looking for an awesome realtor or you’re ready to kick butt and get in shape, you now know two of the best in Boca Raton!

Time for Pictures …

From the Rosen family’s holiday mini session at Mizner Park:

Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!Photographing a holiday mini session with the Rosens was a ton of fun. Mizner Park in Boca Raton offers a lot of beautiful backdrops, especially during the holidays. And while I wasn't entertaining enough for Rylin, there were plenty of dogs around to make her smile!

Information Regarding My Mini Sessions

I occasionally offer mini sessions and only have a few slots open per year. However, if you have a family that consists of children under the age of 6 and I have never worked with them before, I do not recommend doing your first session as a mini one. This is because your child(ren) doesn’t know me. We can’t predict how they’ll behave when they meet me for the first time. Will they be shy? Will they be scared? Or will they be perfectly fine and normal?

What Goes into Your Session

I use the first 10-15 minutes of our session to build trust and a relationship with your child(ren). I take pictures of you interacting with one another, showing them that the camera is nothing to be afraid of and that I’m just a friend, not a stranger. This also gives us the opportunity to get really cute, natural pictures.

Then the rest of the time is spent capturing traditional portraits, portraits of your child(ren), and then use the remaining time to let your kids be kids. Some of the most amazing and beautiful photos are the ones where they’re being themselves, running around, picking up everything they can grab ahold of, playing with sticks or sand, etc.

So while I do offer mini sessions, I only offer them to families whose child(ren) are familiar with me in order to guarantee their comfort, trust, and getting those amazing and happy pictures!

A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert’s Love Story

A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert’s Love Story

For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo. So Chelsea and Robert had the most beautiful zoo wedding, surrounded by their closest friends and family, and the coolest wild guests!

A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

First Look

I hadn’t seen Chelsea or Robert since their engagement session. So needless to say, I was excited to get the day started and to see my couple again!

To start the day, the couple had their first look. When I asked them individually if they were nervous, they both responded “no” to being nervous about seeing each other. However, they both said they were nervous, but about being the center of attention during the ceremony and reception.

A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Are they not the sweetest?! And, although they are both just handsome people in general, they sure do clean up nicely!A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Who doesn’t love a good carousel ride?A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Everything about these two scream perfection!A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Due to timing and the sun setting early, we felt it was best to do formal photos before the ceremony, while we still had some light. And what a perfect backdrop! I am obsessed with the floral arch by Blanca Floral Creations and the Palm Beach zoo‘s gorgeous banyan tree!

A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Let’s Get Married!

The ceremony was an intimate one. Chelsea and Robert wanted to have a small zoo wedding ceremony, since, as mentioned above, they don’t enjoy being the center of attention. So the less people, the better. They invited their immediate family to witness their night-time “I do’s.”

A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

The way this couple looks at each other is everything …A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Now we are getting into my favorite photos. That dramatic sky, gorgeous couple, and backdrop … I mean, there are no words! A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Who’s Ready to Drink?!

Chelsea and Robert have two of the cutest dogs. Unfortunately, they were unable to attend the wedding. But that doesn’t mean that they were forgotten! Their dogs, Moose and Wizard, were very much present in their wedding day by having signature drinks dedicated to them. How cute is this idea?! Are you more of a “Off to see the Wizard” kind of person? Or do you prefer “The Moscow Moose?”

A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Throughout the entire wedding day, you could find something personalized. I love this! Whether it was through signage, signature drinks, engraved napkins, zoo-themed escort cards … Chelsea and Robert’s personalities shined!A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Whooooooooooooooooooo is this?! (Sorry, I had to do it!)

A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

I think the couple was just in love with the bird as the bird was with them. Meanwhile, the tortoise just wanted to hide under Chelsea’s gown.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Okay, seriously, I love him:A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

They really transformed this place into a true zoo wedding. You almost forgot where you were. Well, that is until you saw the flamingos and birds outside the window or the silhouettes of the monkeys climbing by!A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

First Dance and More …

From the sweet first dance and father-daughter dance to the dance party that ensued, it was a great night!

A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Love the 4-tier cake with personalized cake topper, and the dessert table!

A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Now for the grand exit, because who doesn’t love sparklers?! I know I do!A Zoo Wedding: Chelsea and Robert's Love Story. For these two animal lovers, there was no question as to where they were going to be married. No venue could be more perfect than the Palm Beach zoo.

Wedding Venue: Palm Beach Zoo ♥ Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander ♥  Wedding Boutique: Boca Raton Bridal ♥ Groom’s Tuxedo: Men’s Wearhouse ♥ Officiant: Sherri Adduci (Mother of the Bride) ♥ Florals: Floral Creations by Blanca ♥ DJ: Kenny Mondo Productions ♥ Wedding Cake: Sweet Smarts