Wow, this is a new one. I received an email inquiry this week about a wedding in Florida this fall. I responded back with my price list and informing this bride that I was located in Denver and their would be added costs for flights, hotels, and transportation. They wrote back and said that everything would be taken care of. I thought it was a little odd, but I have done destination weddings and have even done a shoot in a city 30 minutes from where this wedding was taking place, so I thought maybe it was a referral.
Something just did not feel right. The bride was asking questions that I do not normally get and something about it just seemed off. I did a little research and found a photographer in Nashville that received the same email word for word. Obviously, this was a money scam.
How on earth could they be scamming me out of money, if they are the customer and I am the seller. Why would I ever give them money? I dug a little deeper, and apparently they send you money for a deposit, but set you up with a travel agent, and you pay them for your flight and its in the contract that they reimburse you in the final payment. That would just be stupid business, but I assume some people fall for it.
Its unbelievable to me, that as a business owner, I now have to look out for people trying to pull money scams on me and are wasting my time with emails. Apparently, they are using online companies such as The Knot and WeddingWire to target photographers.
Hopefully, my fellow photographers will not fall for this and word will get out quickly.
As I said earlier, I did my first destination wedding in February. I did not expect to start shooting destination weddings this early in my career, but I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to travel to Cancun. I really enjoyed shooting there and I hope I get more opportunities to photograph weddings there in the future. I learned a lot bout how the resorts work when you book a wedding with them, which I think brides overlook.
Generally when you book a wedding at one of the destination resorts, the photographer is included in the package. I know everybody has different priorities, but obviously for me, photography would be at the top of my list. It is one of the few things you get tot take home from your wedding day and look at the rest of your lives. That being said, I would be very troubled by the photographer that the resorts provide. They will show you a portfolio with a few beautiful images, but you really have no idea who will show up the day of. Also, the photographers there show up for your ceremony and leave after they do a few bridal party shots afterwards. You miss out on lots of the photojournalistic images that we all love. No shots of you getting ready, no details, limited family, and limited reception.
No big deal, right? You will just bring your own photographer. Many resorts do not allow you to do this and do not allow other people to photograph the event. It is their way of getting you to buy more of their images. In fact, the bride that hired me in February had to change resorts so that I was allowed to photograph her wedding,
I am not saying that all resorts are like this, nor do I have anything against their local photographers, but I do thin that if you are serious about a destination wedding and photography is a high priority for you; it is definitely something to think about. Planning a wedding is very difficult and doing so out of the country adds more challenge. It is important to make a list of your priorities because you may have to give a little in certain areas to make room for higher ranked items.