Photography at a destination wedding

Location and climate

How much the destination will affect the way you approach the photography will of course depend on how different it is from where you normally shoot.

But let’s take the most common situation which is a photographer from a temperate climate (Northern or Central Europe, North-East or North-West USA or Canada) travelling to shoot in a tropical or sub-tropical location, such as Hawaii or the Caribbean.

The first thing you want to check with your client (after you get the wedding date and venue) is what time of day they plan to have the wedding.

I have photographed weddings on a Caribbean beach with no shade at 2pm in July, and the heat is brutal! 🙂

And apart from the heat, the light is hard and unflattering, nobody will be able to keep their eyes open without squinting or wearing sunglasses, and the contrast will be excessive. A typical on-camera flash won’t be up to the job of providing fill in those conditions either.

Generally this happens either if the clients have no clue about the potential issues, or they are getting married at an all-inclusive resort where multiple weddings are scheduled throughout the day.

If you can, persuade the client either to have the wedding in a shaded location, or (better still) to move the wedding time to an hour before sunset.

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