Getting Married In Italy? How to Hire The Right Destination Wedding Photographer

If you’re reading this article then you’re aware that your wedding photographer is one of your most important wedding vendors. He will immortalize these special moments, and convey the beauty and emotions of that day, creating precious everlasting memories for you, your family, and your friends!
And knowing that most of your party’s memories might end up quite blurry (don’t try and deny it, we know the deal) it is crucial to hire the right wedding photographer for your destination wedding!

Photos captured by Matteo Lomonte Photography

Researching and selecting the best wedding photographer can be daunting, even more so if you are getting married abroad. You might drown in the multitude of offers available in terms of style, quality, and fees, as well as the limited knowledge you have of the region and local market.  But worry not, we’re here to help you build the wedding of your dreams and select the perfect vendor for you in every way!

Here is our ultimate step-by-step guide to hiring a destination wedding photographer:

Photos captured by Infraordinario Wedding

Let’s start first by why it’s important to hire the right wedding photographer, and how to know if he is the right one for you:  

The most important (and obvious) reason is that your photographer will be capturing every special moment, from the pre-wedding jitters, to the emotional walk down the aisle, the I Dos, the first dance, the happiness of your friends and relatives… basically he will need to know, observe and capture unique expressions and moments that will embody, reflect and tell the story of your special day…for the many many years ahead!

Your wedding photographer will be the first one to arrive (along with your wedding planner), will accompany you at every stage, and will be the last one to leave. Since he will be by your side, documenting every little detail and moment, it’s crucial to hire someone who understands you, your style, your theme, and who will exceed your expectations.
Besides going for the wedding photographer that has a style and portfolio that matches your own vision and style, you have to choose someone you can easily communicate with, and with whom you get that special connection, that instinctive feeling (more on this below). It’s all about chemistry!

And now, here is how to choose your Destination Wedding Photographer:

Photos by Matteo Crescentini Studio

Step 1. Define your style and set your budget

A wedding photographer that understands your style and is able to reflect it, is one of the most essential selection factors. So before starting your destination wedding photographer quest, you will need to define your own style and understand/visualize your wedding theme, in order to select someone whose artistic style matches yours.

Ask yourself these questions: Do I want more natural spontaneous pictures or do I want the traditional frameable bride & groom poses? Do I like bright photos or prefer black & white moods?
After setting your wedding photography mood and feel, your next question should be what is my budget? In fact, one of the important selection variables will be your allocated budget.

Bearing in mind that your wedding photographer budget doesn’t mean accepting lesser quality. There are a lot of options available, and even the most famous and experienced photographer might have a package that will be right for you.

Photo courtesy of Videographer Daniele Donati Films
Photos courtesy of Videographer Alessandro Pardi Wedding Films

Step 2. Start your research. And start it early.

Just like wedding venues, and especially if you’re getting married during the high season, the best destination wedding photographers are usually already booked several months ahead (if you need more insights on the subject check out our article on how early you should start planning a destination wedding). We recommend you start your research early on, to avoid being constrained by availabilities.

So how do you go about your search? You can see more details in the section below, but as a general rule of thumb, scout the internet! It is a gold mine for every bride and groom, whether you are having a local or destination wedding. Whether it is in the Bahamas or Italy. You will find everything you need to know there.
There are also essential and trustworthy platforms, like WedBoard, that will make things easier for you by curating the best destination wedding photographers to make your search easier and allow you to make the best choice.

These will be your best tools to dive into the world of each of the photographers and help you make your selection. Once you’ve made a list of your favorite ones, you will be ready to dive deeper and meet or chat with them.

Step 3. The first meeting and asking the right questions

The first meeting is the basis of your decision on which photographer to hire for your destination wedding. 
The most important thing to look for, and that you will probably notice at first, is the chemistry! By meeting and chatting you will also be able to assess how passionate your photographer is and thus how involved and dedicated he or she will be.
If from the start you don’t feel that connection and don’t have that gut feeling that you’re compatible, then no need to take things further. Go to the next one on your list! But if you feel comfortable, and that the conversation is flowing then keep the meeting running and make sure you ask the following questions to be sure that you’re hiring the right destination wedding photographer :

  • What is their favorite photographic style? (sometimes their style is not reflected in the pictures as wedding photographers often have to adapt to their clients’ requests)
  • How well do they know the area/region?
  • Have they ever worked in your wedding’s destination? Are they familiar with your wedding venue?
  • Will they help you scout the right locations for a photoshoot?
  • What is the process they usually follow when photographing a wedding?
  • Do they have enough equipment to cover your wedding? An elopement will need less equipment than a 100 guests wedding.
  • How many pictures and working hours does their offer include?

These questions will guide you in selecting the right one, beyond the photographer’s samples and portfolio.

Step 4. Make your choice

Now that you have all the information you need, you can make your choice. Did the photographer understand your vision? Do you feel at ease around them? Is their experience (regardless of the number of weddings they worked at) convincing?  Do they offer packages that are in line with your budget?
Did you answer yes to all of these questions, then you have found the one!

Photos by ManiSol Wedding

Now that you know the process for choosing a destination wedding photographer, where do you find one?

Channel your inner internet detective. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and the internet in general are your best friends in all things wedding-related. It’s only normal that you will find images, portfolios, and photographers’ work there, along with reviews and recommendations.
An important thing to note: make sure to look at their whole portfolio and not limit yourself to social media, as you want to see their work as a whole and not only specifically curated and edited photos. Who knows what all this editing is hiding?
You can also ask your wedding planner for recommendations. A good wedding planner will offer you the best advice based on their own experience.
Don’t hesitate also to ask your venue if they have a specific list of photographers they usually work with. You can even speak to one of your photographer’s previous brides to have genuine, tried-and-tested reviews.

And more specifically where do you find a destination wedding photographer in Italy?

Adding to the above, a platform like WedBoard will showcase a curated list and directory of the best wedding vendors in Italy by region. You’ll be able to directly reach your selected vendors, explore their portfolios, and chat with them commitment-free to achieve the first steps of your selection. On WedBoard, you can even sign your contracts digitally and pay directly online for the destination wedding photographer you hire.

Photos courtesy of Videographer Mirco&Anisa Wedding Videographers
Photos courtesy of Videographer Fulvio Greco Films

How much does a wedding photographer cost in Italy?

In Jules Bowers’ insightful article “How much does an Italian wedding photographer cost?”, he breaks down the smallest detail of the expenses to take into consideration when hiring a photographer for your destination wedding. We’re mentioning this blog post as an introduction to why hiring a professional photographer in Italy is so important. 

Usually, the budget for an international wedding photographer varies between EUR 2,500 to EUR 4,000 (including a videographer). However, there can be exceptions to this. For example, some of the more renowned or published destination wedding photographers could be in a higher range. You may think that going for a cheap photographer is going to be a lifesaver. How hard can it be to have beautiful images in a stunning Italian setting? Well, it’s harder than you think! Especially if the photographer is inexperienced and unfamiliar with the usual stages of a destination wedding day (if you need more details, you can check our article on “How much does a wedding in Italy cost?“).

Photos captured by Street Wedding Photography

We highly recommend you take into consideration all of these elements before hiring a destination wedding photographer. If you need more information and help on how and where to get married in Italy we suggest you head to our blog for more destination wedding insights. We also guarantee you will find interesting and stunning inspiration material for your big day!

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Feature image captured by Matteo Lomonte Photography

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