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Destination Weddings

bringing photographer to destination wedding

Hi all!

Wanted to throw this out into the universe to see what people think.

LOVE a photographer here on the east coast, and plan on getting married on the west coast. We've corresponded through emails, and his prices are listed on his website. As far as I'm concerned (with no negotiation yet) his price is about 4000 and i figured if I'm bringing him with me, then i would have to foot the bill for his travel/lodging. 

I did a general search here and saw a few posts about paying for the photographer's expenses as far as travel, lodging and as a guest at the wedding (probably his sidekick too) and that would be it, however it works out to be, say 3000, and no more? like, the 4000 photo package would be a wash because I've paid for all his travel expenses? Is it almost like, it beefs up his portfolio to shoot something different, so we're using each other in a sense.

Has anyone had experience with this, as far as negotiations or otherwise? 
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Re: bringing photographer to destination wedding

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    That would have to be one hell of a photographer for me to pay almost double the cost just to get him out to my wedding location.

    There are a ton of wedding photographers that are amazing at their job.  I would be finding one locally that is just as good, if not better and have them do my wedding because that $3000+ I could find better use for elsewhere.

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    C525 said:
    Hi all!

    Wanted to throw this out into the universe to see what people think.

    LOVE a photographer here on the east coast, and plan on getting married on the west coast. We've corresponded through emails, and his prices are listed on his website. As far as I'm concerned (with no negotiation yet) his price is about 4000 and i figured if I'm bringing him with me, then i would have to foot the bill for his travel/lodging. 

    I did a general search here and saw a few posts about paying for the photographer's expenses as far as travel, lodging and as a guest at the wedding (probably his sidekick too) and that would be it, however it works out to be, say 3000, and no more? like, the 4000 photo package would be a wash because I've paid for all his travel expenses? Is it almost like, it beefs up his portfolio to shoot something different, so we're using each other in a sense.

    Has anyone had experience with this, as far as negotiations or otherwise? 
    Well, you'd need to ask this photographer specifically how he'd do it, but I would be willing to bet that the travel expenses are in addition to the package price. If my company spends $700 sending me to a conference, they're not going to say, "welp, travel cost this much so you don't get a paycheck this week". Same thing.
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    Maggie0829
  • C525C525 member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    however much his and his sidekicks travel expenses are.... is it the norm to say, hey ill pay for you to come out this way and shoot my wedding, and have him shoot it for free? 

    OBVIOUSLY I'm looking to save money and have awesome pics. was looking for other DW brides who had experience with it.
    image
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    C525 said:
    Hi all!

    Wanted to throw this out into the universe to see what people think.

    LOVE a photographer here on the east coast, and plan on getting married on the west coast. We've corresponded through emails, and his prices are listed on his website. As far as I'm concerned (with no negotiation yet) his price is about 4000 and i figured if I'm bringing him with me, then i would have to foot the bill for his travel/lodging. 

    I did a general search here and saw a few posts about paying for the photographer's expenses as far as travel, lodging and as a guest at the wedding (probably his sidekick too) and that would be it, however it works out to be, say 3000, and no more? like, the 4000 photo package would be a wash because I've paid for all his travel expenses? Is it almost like, it beefs up his portfolio to shoot something different, so we're using each other in a sense.

    Has anyone had experience with this, as far as negotiations or otherwise? 
    Well, you'd need to ask this photographer specifically how he'd do it, but I would be willing to bet that the travel expenses are in addition to the package price. If my company spends $700 sending me to a conference, they're not going to say, "welp, travel cost this much so you don't get a paycheck this week". Same thing.
    And this too.  Did you really think that if you paid for his travel expenses then you wouldn't have to also pay for the wedding package?  Yeah, that is not how it works.  If this is an established photographer he won't really need to expand his portfolio to get more work and he sure as heck won't feel the need to work your wedding for free because you are paying for his travel expenses.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he charged more because with him having to travel could lead to him losing out on work the day before and the day after your wedding because he will be out of town.

    [Deleted User]
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    C525 said:
    however much his and his sidekicks travel expenses are.... is it the norm to say, hey ill pay for you to come out this way and shoot my wedding, and have him shoot it for free? 

    OBVIOUSLY I'm looking to save money and have awesome pics. was looking for other DW brides who had experience with it.
    No. It is not.
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    [Deleted User]
  • C525C525 member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    ok understood.

    image
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    C525 said:
    however much his and his sidekicks travel expenses are.... is it the norm to say, hey ill pay for you to come out this way and shoot my wedding, and have him shoot it for free? 

    OBVIOUSLY I'm looking to save money and have awesome pics. was looking for other DW brides who had experience with it.
    No, not at all.  You still need to pay him for his work.

    For example I am going on to DC for a 2 day meeting.  My work certainly isn't going to just pay my travel expenses.  They are also going to pay for the work that I complete while I am at the meeting.  If they told me that my travel expenses were going to replace my actual wage I would laugh in their face.

  • cj3561cj3561 Connecticut member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I'm gunna put my two cents in here - two photographers I was considering said for DWs, they charge bare minimum for the actual shoot (under $1k out of their normal 3-5k cost) if the DW is somewhere cool and their travel expenses are being paid for. I was very suprised but they both said that's something they do negotiate. So maybe it wouldn't hurt to ask?
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  • C525C525 member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    Thank you for your response @cjr3561. much appreciated :)
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  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    Yeah, I've seen it both ways and a combination of the two. 

    We asked the photographer that did our engagement photos about it and he said we would have to pay travel expenses and he would do a reduced rate on his fees.  So, it would be a bit more than local, but it wasn't a whole lot more. He would reduce his fees because he was also getting a free vacation out of the deal.  There would also be conditions on how many hours for his services and stuff like that, so it he wouldn't be expected to be on call whenever we wanted him to take a photo. After the agreed on photos were taken, he was free to enjoy his vacation.  But, we decided to just go with a photog that was local to our wedding.

    I've also seen photogs that did it just for cost of the trip, but I don't think that is normal.  That's probably more likely with amateur or less experienced photogs. 

    It never hurts to ask and see what this photographer would charge, or if he is even interested in travelling. Some photographers may not even want to travel.

     

    image 

  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    I had to fly in my photographer (via helicopter, believe it or not) and pay for her lodging. But, she had a special DW package for clients that required her travel. The DW package was different because it was stripped down- one flat rate for unlimited shots with all of my digital files sent to me on DVD. No album or prints included.

    You really just need to ask. It might not be something they have done before, so they may need to think about it. They may be like "oh cool, I've never been to Cali and it would be good experience. I'll dock my package fee by 25%."

     







  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I brought my photographers to Hawaii for our DW.  They shot my Brother's wedding and they were amazing to work with, so I knew I wanted them at mine.  

    They offer a DW package that is different from their other regular packages.  They also charge you for their travel and hotel and such on top of the package rate.  

    That said, they are good friends of my SIL now (since doing her wedding), wanted to shoot our wedding and love Hawaii (they now own a condo there).  They agreed to cover the cost of their trip to Maui if we paid their inter-island flight to Oahu and their hotel while they were there.  They brought their family, turned Maui into family vacation and wrote the entire trip off as a business trip, so it didn't cost them much to go in the first place.  

    So, you may be able to negotiate, but generally their travel is on top of the package price.  They should have it all written in their contracts
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  • I think it definitely depends on the photographer. My fiancé hired a photographer to capture our proposal, and we ended up loving her work and getting along with her really well. She really wanted to photograph our DW in Portugal, but we were on a tight budget and thought to just go with a photographer there. She was able to work with us and get everything we wanted in budget including her travel expenses to Europe in the price! You should talk to the photographer, show them photos of the venue and tell them how much you love their work, it's worth asking!
    C525
  • Keep in mind that they are also basically losing 2 full days of work due to travel to the West Coast. They might have a different price package you could work with, but I think that saying "Oh well we will pay for flight, hotel, rental car, per diem, etc. if you shoot and edit all the shots for free" is a bit much. I travel frequenty for work--its definitely NOT a vacation any time I fly from Washington DC to the West Coast even though I'm gone a minimum of 3 days (1 day there)-the travel time across country is killer. Tell them that you want to get married on the West Coast, and ask if there are any destination wedding packages that you can work within. DO NOT ask if they will do it without fee if you pay their expenses--that's ridiculous. (And lets be honest--going to the west coast from the east coast isn't really a free vaca-its not like going to Hawaii or Costa Rica or Greece). Were you also thinking of paying for a few extra hotel days? What type of per diem were you thinking? (because the government alloted per diem sucks--$71/day in San Diego definitely doesn't get you breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks unless you are REALLY budgeting and have time to hit up CVS or Target).
  • My sister is using our photographer for her wedding also. She is having a destination wedding and our photographer has a rule: if it is a place that she wants to see or she loves to go to, she has a special price that basically covers the trip for her and an assistant to travel and stay for 4 or 5 days (not sure how long). The quote she gave my sister for an out of the country DW is seriously $200 over my price. And she is not a budget photographer, her work is amazing.

    So, long story short - it truly depends on your photographer. Ask them. Worst thing they say is no.
  • C525 said:
    however much his and his sidekicks travel expenses are.... is it the norm to say, hey ill pay for you to come out this way and shoot my wedding, and have him shoot it for free? 

    OBVIOUSLY I'm looking to save money and have awesome pics. was looking for other DW brides who had experience with it.

    With photographers, and, really, any service, it's going to depend on the photographer. That being said, it's rude to ask for him to shoot for free. You aren't "helping each other out" -- you're hiring him as a job and thinking that you're somehow doing him a favor and therefore don't have to pay for his services is a sense of entitlement that you need to be careful about. 

    What you can do is present the situation -- destination wedding, etc. -- and ask for a quote and let him make the offer to reduce prices based on his availability. 
    image
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