Hey, this photo is © Frances Morency Photography

tips for travelling and shooting destination weddings

August 6, 2014 ,
Distillery Family Photographer
empty image

Couples love that I will go with them to photograph their weddings in Mexico, jamaica ,Guatemala or any destination. This destination wedding is in the Mayan Riviera in Mexico at the Grand Palladium Kantaneh.  We flew with Air Transat from Toronto to Cancun on an Airbus 330.

cabo mexico destination

Los Cabos Mexico at the RIU Sante Fe

Tip #1

Choose a pro wedding photographer with experience travelling with equipment and dealing with customs in foreign countries.  I always travel with the group and stay at the same resort.  Some resorts charge fees for outside photographers…. grand palladium requires 1 overnight stay.  Choosing to bring a photographer with you ensures you have someone that is experienced because you have pre-qualified them, speaks your language, ensures you will have easy contact and access to your images back home.  I will photograph gorgeous travel photos and grab guests captures for you if possible throughout the week.  I will also be available to your family and friends for family portraits.

Tip #2

I find it extremely important to have a connection with my bride and grooms so a personal consultation is a must either in person or via SKYPE.  If possible, I would love to get to know you while photographing your engagement session.  This is the best way to get familiar with how to be in front of the camera so that it’s not so awkward on the wedding day.  It’s not always possible and a lot of the time I meet my couples for the first time at the airport or the resort.  Then, it’s a good idea to have your love session on the beach prior to the wedding day so that you are comfortable in front of the camera.

fun bridal party photos in mexico

Private salt water pool at the far end of the resort is a lot less crowded and has this great wall.

Tip #3

I travel with a lowepro rolling case that is of legal size to carry on board and fits in the overhead compartment.  Never ever!!!! check your camera equipment.  The flight to Cancun from Toronto is 3 hours and 50 minutes.  You are allowed 1 carry on and 1 checked baggage before you have to pay for excess baggage fees.

I carry 2 Nikon d700 bodies
24-70mm f2.8
85mm f1.4
70-200mm f.2.8
8 CF cards
flash SB-910
video light
portable backup drive
external hard drive
macbook pro
Fujifilm x20

Once you arrive in Mexico the lines though immigration can be quite long, then you grab your luggage and head toward customs which has a push button system.  If the light is green you enter and if the light turns red your luggage gets searched.  You will be questioned about your equipment and why you are in Mexico.

At this point you will walk through a corridor with many, many, many people approaching you for taxis……try and ignore the chaos and find your bus.  The drive from the airport to the Mayan Hotels is min. 1 hour to 1.5 hours by bus.

Tip #4

The safe in my room holds everything above including my wallet, passport and jewellery.  I keep everything in the safe at all times and put a do not disturb sign on my door for the entire week.  I have enough towels in my room to last me the week and I would prefer to not have anyone enter when I’m not there.

los cabos mexico beach wedding photographer

Beautiful backdrop on the beach for wedding portraits

Tip #5

Meet with the bride and groom at least once and do a walk-through of the day.  Sometimes, I try and tag along when the wedding coordinator is going through all the details with the bride and groom, but every resort is different.  The Grand Palladium Kantaneh is HUGE!!! to say the least so the wedding coordinator just marked down on a map where everything was going to happen so a run through together was imperative to discuss the best places for photography.

Tip #6

The wedding day can be quite stressful so learning from past experiences I will photograph the details such as the dress, the rings, the specialty decor the bride and groom brought along with them on a day other than the wedding day.   This way if the timeline falls apart I can concentrate on the moments without stressing about photographing all the details.  Photographing the details on a separate day also allows you to be a little more creative.

bridal party photography at now larimar punta cana

Journalistic bridal party photography on beach in Punta Cana, Dominican


Travel photography and guest captures.  I believe since I’m there for the week I should at least provide so gorgeous images of the resort and the guests.  Now, I have to make a comment here about the Grand Palladium…….IT’S A HUMUNGOUS PROPERTY !!!!!!  I tried to walk around many days to see if I could find the guests, wedding party or bride and groom enjoying themselves, but this resort was so big that I could never ever find anyone.  You needed to take trains, and golf carts to each part of the resort.  They also had pontoon boats, segways and canoes as means of transportation.

Tip #8

Backing up the images after the wedding.  Destination weddings pose a whole other set of challenges with backing up and saving the images.  I carry a portable hard drive UDMA COLORSPACE 320GB.  After shooting the wedding I immediately upload the files to the UDMA, my macbook pro and then copy everything to an external hard drive as well.  I keep the cards separate from the other cards, usually in my purse and upload to my Imac and Drobo when I get home.






Please follow and like us:

Leave a comment