You meet amazing people when you travel. I photographed a wedding in Lake Tahoe this past summer and stayed in an AirBnb for a few days prior just to explore and enjoy the area. I ended up making awesome friends with my hosts, and they took me around running, swimming and exploring. It was the best experience.
Get insurance for your gear
As a professional photographer (or even an amateur, that stuff’s expensive!) you
should absolutely have all of your gear insured. Before traveling, make sure that
every piece of gear you are bringing is insured. Traveling subjects your gear to
extra jostling around and the last thing you want to do is open up your gear bag on
the wedding day to a broken lens. If you’re traveling internationally, make sure
that your insurance covers international travel. If your gear is on your renter’s
insurance, make sure that it covers out-of-home damage. We all hope nothing
happens, but you never know!
If flying, carry on your gear.
Always, ALWAYS carry on your gear. Get a rolling camera bag that is TSA-
approved as a carry-on (it looks just like a rolling black suitcase). I have a
Lowepro bag, and I love it! It’s padded, can be locked, has spots for all of my gear
and memory cards/ accessories, and keeps everything safe. Your gear is
extremely fragile and valuable, and you don’t want it being thrown around in a
cargo bay of a plane with 50+ lbs suitcases on top of it.
Plan, plan, and plan again!
Wedding days are stressful enough when travel isn’t involved. Make sure you
plan enough time to get to your destination, checked in, and rested (as well as
recover from jetlag if that’s a factor in your travel). Your clients are hiring you to
do your best work, so you want to make sure that the travel is an added bonus, not
a detriment to your work!
Bring backup-up gear, and scope out nearby rental places
I always bring back up gear to weddings, especially travel weddings, in case
something happens to some of my gear in transit. If you don’t have extra gear,
rent some! Also: absolutely map out local camera rental places in the area of the
destination, just in case something happens to the gear you brought and you have
to make a last-minute trip to rent gear. Acing this wedding is your job and #1
If possible, I always try to fly out a day or two before the wedding, shoot the
wedding, and then hang out for a day or two after. My “fun” time is always after
the wedding. The couple is hiring me to come photograph for them, so I want to
make sure my head is in the game until after I’ve photographed. Then, it’s time to
explore! That’s not to say that I don’t explore and enjoy beforehand- I’ll location
scout, meet up with the couple for a day-before shoot if they want, etc, but any
additional personal trips I prefer to keep until after the wedding. Take advantage
of the fact that your job takes you amazing places. Gather inspiration, and