Destination Wedding Photographers - The Complete Guide! Vol. 1 | Costa Rica Wedding Photographers


The Diary of Destination Wedding Photographers

It sounds glamorous doesn't it? Well I'm here to tell you that it is but then it also isn't. Sure we get to travel to amazing places and take beautiful photos are fabulous couples. But what you don't see is the meticulous planning, the stress and everything else that goes on behind the scenes. I met with a few fellow destination wedding photographers about a month ago and we were talking about how some one really needs to do a behind-the-scenes reality TV show on The lives of wedding photographers and destination wedding photographers.
So over these next few posts, and I'm sure there's going to be a lot of them, I'm going to highlight the awesome stuff but also the behind the scenes stresses that come with working all over the world.
Dean and I are embarking on a seven day photography trip to Costa Rica. While we're there we won't exactly be photographing a wedding but we will be attending a photography workshop on weddings in that area. So will be carrying with us all of our gear probably more than we would bring to a typical destination wedding. We will be staying in hotels, renting cars, and we will be navigating a part of Costa Rica that we have never been to before.
Now if you follow us on any other social media you'll know that we are planning on becoming part-time residents in Costa Rica while continuing our wedding photography work there and of course in Maine and raising our family abroad. So this trip is to get to know the locals the areas that were unfamiliar with and network as much as possible along with photographing everything and anything we can to build our Costa Rican wedding portfolio.

So lets start this journey

When planning to go to Costa Rica we started months in advance looking at airlines timetables for flights as well as destination airports and travel logistics.
This trip to Costa Rica we will be in Tamarindo, which is one of the largest beach resort areas and all of the country. So unlike our last trip to Manuel Antonio where you flew into San Jose and then either took a puddle jumper to a dirt runway or a 3 to 4 hour trek across country this check will be a little easier with the convenience of an airport less than an hour away and an abundance of Rental cars.

Flights and timetables - who needs sleep?

We first started this adventure by planning our flights. Seems logical. Our event that we are attending does not start until the day after we arrive. We do this with all of our destination weddings because if there is ever a delay or something goes wrong with our layover we have the flexibility to still arrive before the event begins.
Calling the airline directly to book your flight is key simply because when you go through those online mass booking sites sometimes you don't have the option to select your seats. And we've learned through many trips that it pays, it also costs, to upgrade your seat to a preferred boarding or the front of the plane. We like to board first to ensure that there is room in the overhead bins for our gear. Because the last thing we want to do is check our gear and risk losing it.
With this trip to Costa Rica I intentionally booked our flights leaving at 5 AM out of Boston and arriving in Miami for a three hour layover before flying the rest of the way to Liberia. Unfortunately I've been getting updates of our flight and they've changed from a three hour layover to a one hour layover. So there comes extra planning because if you've ever been to Miami airport you know it's huge and takes time to get across.
Extra planning for that short layover and the need to probably walk rapidly between our Boston flight and are Costa Rican flight we have decided to split our gear between two bags. Even though we have priority seating there's no guarantee that will be able to arrive at our Costa Rica and leg before most of the plant has boarded. So what we've done as we put our main gear in one bag and our back up gear and another bag so in the event that we do have to gate check one of our carry-ons we can gate check our back up gear and hopefully sweet talk someone into just allowing space for one of our bags on the plane with us.

Camera Bag Contents

4 camera bodies 1 DJI Phantom 4 Drone 7 lenses 1 mirrorless camera and 2 lenses /waterproof housing 3 flashes with modifiers 1 video light 1 laptop, card readers, external backup hard drive Memory cards - all of them Marketing Materials - portfolio books and pricing brochures Contacts - because in warmer climates my glasses fog like crazy! Passports and plane tickets Tripod - Dean HAS to do his night shots! Chargers. All the chargers. **We did swap out some of our pro gear for the fun things like the mirrorless camera/waterhousing because this trip will be mostly networking/shooting but there will be two days of down time.

This is not nearly as pretty and as styled as I wanted this shot - but it's life! When you're packing up two photographers worth of gear to fit into carry-on luggage, combined with packing a 5 and 3 year old for a week long stay at Grammy & Pop Pops, you don't have time to style your gear like you envision.  **Secret: I was deathly afraid of taking our passports out for this shot for fear they wouldn't get back in our bags.

Destination Wedding Photographers - Costa Rica Wedding Photographers - 1

Looking to hire a photographer for your destination wedding? Brittany and Dean are well versed in traveling with our gear domestically and now internationally! Contact us by clicking here