| Originally Posted by MarieSam |
I wanted to know maybe from some brides who have done this or photographers who have offered this deal ~ What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a photographer for costs only (i.e. travel fees, accommodations, etc.)?
For instance, because you are getting such a great deal, do you feel....hmmm...bad or hindered from asking for certain shots, or requesting certain things?
There is certainly nothing wrong with asking to do such a trade with a wedding photographer and many would love the opportunity to do so and to have the opportunity to go somewhere different. There is much more to it than simply finding a photographer whose work you like and asking them to do a trade. Here are some things to think about.
As others have suggested be sure that you talk with your photographer about what you want, the time and coverage that you need/want, will it include an engagement session and/or a TTD session and get this in a contract. Keep in mind that since you are asking for a trade most photographers will need to write up a custom contract to cover the details.
I would not expect to get any products with a trade, you can try by asking but again, get it in the contract. Although you may feel that since you are paying to fly the photographer and possibly an assistant to your destination location and providing meals and lodging that you should be entitled to something in the way of product and like I said before you can ask but most experienced wedding photographers will find that you are asking for too much in such a trade deal. It will all depend upon how badly they want the experience and to add it to their portfolio. Here is one of the main reasons why most photographers will not include product with such a deal, most non-photographers or clients don't think of this aspect. To travel to a destination outside the US it is a minimum of three days of travel time. You fly the day before, shooting on the day of the wedding and return the day after. That is three days away from the studio, days that we could be booking either other weddings or at the very least other portrait sessions. That can easily total several thousands of dollars being left on the table, so to speak, just to build a portfolio. So much will depend on how badly the photographer wants to do this. Your chances of succeeding at this kind of a trade are much greater if your wedding date is in the off season of the photographer you are trying to book, like the months of Jan-Mar and for those who are really far North in the states this can include Nov and Dec too.
Your chances of getting an experienced destination wedding photographer to make a trade is not very likely, for two reason, Mexico and the Caribbean are not very exotic and secondly they already have lots of destination photos in their portfolio. Now if you are going to Europe or the Pacific rim you could probably find more takers. LOL So look carefully at the web site of your prospective photographer, if they have lots of travel photography on their site they will probably not be interested in the trade. If they have little to none they might be more interested. In your best interests though it might not be the best choice to select a photographer's whose web site does not display any travel wedding photos, why? Although they might be eager to take you up on the offer, they may know little about all the associated necessary things regarding traveling with gear, work permits, insurance, passports etc and if these things are not handled properly it can be a disaster for you and the photographer. There is far more involved than just hopping on a plane with your camera in hand, destination wedding photography requires some experience to avoid the pitfalls of traveling outside the country.
One nice advantage of taking your photographer with you, especially if they are from your home location, is that they can provide you with an engagement session, coverage of any hometown reception that you may be planning when you return and if you are going to be doing a wedding album, there is a huge advantage in having had one photographer or studio shoot all of these things for you. The photos will have a harmonious look or style to them as opposed to having a local photographer shoot your engagement session and then the resort photographer covering the wedding and then the home photographer photographing the reception. The styles can be completely different and not look or flow well in one wedding album. There is also the copyright issue of creating a wedding album where more than one photographer or studio is involved. Who will create that album for you and which photographer will release his or her photos to someone else to design and produce the wedding album? Therefore, there are huge benefits to having one photographer do all this for you.
Just some rambling thoughts.