Eloping to a foreign country typically doesn't involve bringing along your own wedding professionals. However, there's one we believe is totally worth the investment: your photographer. We spoke to international wedding photographer Jasmine Starabout the advantages of hiring a U.S. photographer to travel to your elopement destination vs. hiring a local photographer once you arrive. “Let me be clear that you can absolutely find an equally amazing photographer in the Maldives, Italy, Australia, etc.," says Jasmine, "but there’s also something to be said about a photographer from your own hometown.” Read on for 6 of the best reasons to consider hiring a U.S. wedding photographer for your luxury elopement.
1. There isn’t a language barrier. “In European countries, some photographers are bilingual or even trilingual – but sometimes it’s hard to know how trilingual they are,” says Jasmine. “With one photographer I know, her conversational English was good, but she had trouble recalling the English words for certain directions she wanted to give to the couple, which added an extra layer of difficulty.”
2. You can meet and hire them in person instead of online or over the phone. "If you have an engagement session before you elope, you'll be even more comfortable with your wedding photographer when you travel abroad."
3. You’re familiar with their photography style. “By and large, U.S. photographers have a really deep understanding of how to showcase the work in a modern, updated fashion. Getting real, up-to-date photography in the style you’re familiar with will come easier with a photographer from your own country. It’s more cost effective to go local, but if you want to place a value on the experience and trust, the expense is really small based on the results.”
4. It can be more affordable than you think. “Due to the nature of an elopement, you don’t need half as many hours as a standard wedding in the states, where most costs would be 8-20x more expensive. A standard wedding would be 8-10 hours; with an elopement, you can opt for 2-3 hours. Even after covering the flights, travel, plus the three hours of coverage for your photographer and assistant, your costs are still less than what you would have paid for a basic package in California."
5. You'll have your photographer’s undivided attention. “One of the advantages of shooting an elopement is that you have so much more time with the couple,” Jasmine asserts. “It becomes 100% about documenting the experience – there’s no elongated list of family photos that need to be thought through in advance. Plus, there’s plenty of time to work any special photo requests into the schedule.”
6. Photography is the best investment you can make in your elopement. "Although my own wedding wasn’t an elopement, it was a destination wedding with only 18 people, including us," Jasmine shares. "That experience gave me better insight into what it means to invest in the parts of the wedding that are more valuable. We knew we would have the photographs for years afterwards – and being a photographer now myself, I’m in the unique position to see things from both perspectives. Knowing what I know from both sides, I’m glad we hired a photographer from our own hometown."