Throughout this incredible journey, I have had the opportunity to work on several weddings outside of my home country. Many clients or colleagues constantly ask me how I get to film in far-flung destinations, what is the process like, and what should be considered when quoting a wedding in another country.
The first thing they usually ask me is if the client pays for the airplane tickets, accommodation, food, etc. And the answer is a resounding yes.
In addition to considering the rate of our work, we should always add the value for transfer, lodging, mobilization and food during the time we are in any destination. Is this an unbreakable rule? Not necessarily, I think it depends on each photographer’s objective. If your goal is to enter a new market in a different country, at first you could only charge enough to cover your travel expenses, without considering the rate of your work. With each new assignment, you can increase your prices until they are sufficient to cover travel expenses plus your professional rates.
BEWARE, the challenge here is to justify a higher rate than the one you initially passed on to the people who recommended you. I think the best way is to simply be honest and explain that you are trying to establish yourself in a new market and for that purpose you were only charging part of your costs.
Your previous work should speak for itself and stand out from the rest. Not only visual quality, but in terms of the bond with your customers and attention to every detail. That speaks for itself. If your work is striking, different and offers something new compared to the competition, it is not unreasonable that someone recommends you for a wedding outside your country of origin and in fact, it happens to me frequently.
HOW TO PRICE A DESTINATION WEDDING?
I don’t know if there is a fixed formula for this, but what I do is the following: To the fee of my package, I add the cost of tickets, lodging and travel expenses with their prices as up to date as possible, with a footnote that establishes that those travel costs might vary until the date of signing the contract. Therefore, the logistics’ cost at this point is still an estimate.
If the couple decides to hire me, on the same day of signing the contract I return to quote flights, lodging and food. Only then I present an offer with a fixed price. It is important here to investigate very well all the expenses to be incurred in: ubers, car rental, taxes, exchange rate, etc.
Photographing destination weddings is without a doubt one of the things I enjoy most about my job. Not only because I get to see new places, but because it is a great opportunity to extend my brand to new destinations.
It is a big challenge and responsibility, as it requires one to be extremely cautious with every detail of the craft, in order to give the bride and the groom photos that are original, fresh, and extremely professional.