10 Things You Should Be Doing If You Want To Be A Destination Photographer

10 Things You Should Be Doing If You Want To Be A Destination Photographer

1. Use Destination Photography in your name

Skip the cutesy names or the bland and generic. If you know you want to be a destination photographer, say so in your name. It tells people exactly what you do, and it makes it memorable when you are networking online.

2. Describe yourself as a Destination Photographer

How do you talk about yourself when you post online or you network in your local community? Do you say “I’m a wedding photographer” or “I photography families”? Nope. If you truly want to be a destination photographer, say so. “I’m exclusively a destination photographer for some of the most spectacular weddings on the planet.” Yep, that’ll get their attention.

3. Use Destination Photographer in your keyword descriptions

A recent search for “destination photography” on Google says it all. These people want to rank high for “destination photographer” and they do – these are the top four.

Use Destination Photographer in your keyword descriptions

By using keywords built around destination photography, you get results.

4. Do what Destination Photographers do

A recent post on Huffington Post Weddings article says it all:

One of our favorite trends in destination weddings? When couples opt for the post-wedding “Trash the Dress” photo session.

Do what Destination Photographers do

If other destination photographers are doing something well, you can learn from their experiences and do it better. In this case, Huffington Post needed 12 trash the dress photos for its story – strive to make the next story.

5. Be where the people are

When a bride and groom to be decide they are holding their wedding away from their local community, they don’t research things in their local community. Which means if you are advertising in your local wedding guide – you’ll never meet a destination bride.

They go to the resources that help them plan a destination event. Destination Weddings anyone?

6. Know what Destination Photography means to you

Yes, some people may search for destination photography. Yet many, many more know exactly where they are going and start searching from there. If you want to shoot in Mexico, you better include Mexico in the way you talk. Pick your locations and start talking about them. That’s how you get known in those areas.

7. Find Destination vendors

Photographers aren’t the only vendors that like to travel. Find a group that caters to the destination business and network with like-minded vendors and business owners. Try Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialists Association or the Association of Destination Wedding Professionals to get you started.

8. PR yourself

Every day newspapers, magazines and television shows have time/space to fill. They are always looking for fun and unique things to share with their audience. If you have a unique slant to your clientele and the way you do business, you’ll be at the forefront of gaining the attention of these sources. All you have to do is let them know what you are doing.

9. It’s not all about weddings

Lets say you really love a ski town. And your goal is to be in that location two months out of the year. Why not get involved with the local Chamber, or link up with the visitors center or in-town magazine? There are many ways you can get your name out to people that want to travel there in the future – you just have to look for the opportunities. Check out Steamboat Springs magazine for some ideas. What family wouldn’t love a unique portrait in a location that will always bring them happy memories?

10. Work with other vendors

The more you get to know people within an industry, the more opportunity will come up. If you love working corporate events, a hotel may be the perfect location to build a relationship with. If weddings are your thing, an event coordinator that travels the globe may be your best referral source. Instead of advertising exclusively in things that reach a potential customer (ie. a bride), don’t forget to spend just as much time reaching out to potential power partners. They can share unlimited opportunities over the coming years IF you find a way to connect and stay in their line of thinking from this point forward.

Remember, Destination Photographer doesn’t mean unlimited locations (though the opportunity is always there). Instead, Destination Photographer means you’re expanding your business potential outside of your local community. You can choose the locations. You can choose how and where to focus. The only thing left is connecting up with potential clients, which will be easy when you start thinking like a destination photographer.

5 Ways To Stay Married To A Photographer

There’s something about a photographer and his/her camera.

When they think of a new idea, take on a new assignment, or simply hear of “breaking news” across town, they are off and running with camera in hand.

That comes with the territory – its part of the job.

Unless you had a dinner planned, and you now have to cancel.

While every job has its ups and downs, a photographer tends to live and breathe photography 24 hours a day.

Yet that’s not good for you – or for your family.

As with every career, learning a few life balance tips early on can be the difference between having a family – or living life on the road alone.

Separate family time and work time

Even though you love what you do, and it’s enticing to head into the studio to Photoshop your last shoot, set up a schedule first and stick to it. While there will always be the little emergencies that come along, don’t make it a habit. Create a work and personal schedule and stick to it. We turn off our computers Friday night, and turn them back on Monday morning. While that took many months to train ourselves to stick to that schedule, we wouldn’t change it now for anything. We highly value our personal free time on the weekends. [Read more…]

7 Tips To Keep In Mind As A Destination Photographer

The idea of traveling to exotic locations to shoot weddings, portraits or commercial work is what most photographers dream of. Where else can you get paid to see some amazing sites around the world?

But like everything, not only does it have its “ups”, it also has a few “downs” to consider.

Whether you’ve been traveling with your photography for years, or are just putting together your very first promotional campaign, keep these tips in mind.

1. Choose your locations carefully

While traveling around the globe is a relatively safe thing to do, keep in mind that some places are easier and safer to travel to than others. It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful place for a wedding than the beaches of the Caribbean. Yet choosing a place like Haiti or Dominican Republic can be more taxing than a place like St Croix. As you are making your plans, do your research first. Search the Internet for current stories, check with the State Department, and look at tourism sites for your chosen location. In just a few minutes you should be able to gain a pretty good feel for the area.

2. Research the area

Once your area has been selected, spend some time learning about the location and the time of year you’ll be visiting. Hawaii is beautiful – unless you get there during rainy season and you experience inches of rain every day. If you know the weather patterns ahead of time, you can quickly plan backups for the just in case. [Read more…]

Destination Photographer – Does It Have To Be Weddings?

“I love the idea of traveling with my photography. I’ve done a few weddings, but I’m not excited about making them my specialty. Do I have to do weddings to be a destination photographer?”

destination photographerThe great thing about being in business for yourself is you create the rules. Anything is possible as long as you build to make it possible.

What is your idea of photography? How can you turn it into a business that allows you to travel?

Maybe you enjoy shooting in warm places in the heart of the winter. Why not become a fashion or product photographer? Catalogs are developed months in advance. They need someone to be shooting catalog spreads in places that show off their newest product line. So a company in Wisconsin may need swimsuit and spring fashion shoots on the beach in the Caribbean in January or February.

[Read more…]

What Does A Destination Photographer Really Mean?

So you want to be a destination photographer?

You add the phrase to your website, “weddings anywhere in the U.S.” or “will travel anywhere for weddings and events”.

You sit back and wait for someone to contact you. And the years roll by. Why? Why hasn’t anyone selected you for traveling to their event outside of your home location?

The common misnomer with the phrase “destination photographer” is that by simply adding destination to your website and your brochure, you instantly become a destination photographer. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s say your a photographer from Denver, Colorado, USA. All over your site you talk about weddings and portraits taken in the Denver area. On your contact us page you list your address – in Denver. Your keywords have Denver, Colorado, USA.

Guess what? You’ve just been pegged as a Denver, Colorado, USA photographer.

Being a destination photographer doesn’t mean you will promote your photography for everywhere on planet earth. It means you’re willing to travel. But where to?

We photographed in the Denver area. We also started specializing in weddings in Arizona (Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sedona). So guess what we put on our website? Information about our weddings in those locations!

And when we photographed in San Francisco, yep, we created a whole bunch of information on that too.

You can’t attract clients to your destination photography  unless you know where you want to go.

Choose your destinations, and start turning your dreams into reality.