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Turning Pro Magazine

We have been interviewed by Turning Pro Magazine for their feature on Destination Wedding Photography. Kabryn & David’s wedding has been featured on the Front Cover! This is our second cover to date and hopefully more to come in the future. Wendy & Greg’s wedding at TALA GAME RESERVE has also been highlighted here.

Wedding Photographer Durban Turning Pro Magazine

Wedding at Tala Game Reserve in Turning Pro Magazine

Turning Pro Magazine - Destination Wedding Photographer feature

Destination weddings may seem like the perfect
wedding commission but it’s not an all-expenses-paid
holiday as Sophy Kant discovers when speaking to
four photographers who are making a success out of
shooting weddings abroad.

Chanelle Segerius-Bruce was born and raised in
South Africa but now runs a wedding
photography business in Surrey with her
husband Craig. She was inspired by the idea of
destination wedding photography after going to a
seminar at the SWPP [Society of Portrait &
Wedding Photographers] convention in 2008.
“I thought if we could incorporate travel with
weddings that would be amazing.” At that time
Chanelle didn’t have any destination weddings in
her portfolio so when she went home to visit
South Africa she bought two dresses oneBay
and organised a model shoot. “You’ve got to
show what you want to sell so I did the shoot
and put the images on our website. After that we
got booked to do a wedding in Cyprus and that
was the first destination wedding that we did.”
Chanelle and Craig took a trip to Paris with
other photographers to build their portfolio
further. “We hired some models and shooting
them we learnt a lot about posing and seeing
certain things other than the background – things
like light and poses,” she says. “We then had
shots from Paris to show as well.” This portfolio
building has been central to their continuing
career in destination weddings and since then
they have been hired to shoot weddings in places
such as Prague, Mauritius and Bali.
Chanelle and Craig’s relationship with other
photographers and the constant updating of their
blog area crucial part of their business.
“We post all our weddings on the blog. We’ve
also built a network with other photographers
who refer weddings to one another. We get
published in a lot of national wedding
magazines; we don’t get a lot of bookings that
way but it’s really about your brand credibility.”
Building this brand is something they have
concentrated on. “There are a couple of venues
that are using our images in their brochure and
they credit us as the photographer. We’re
working on our contact with wedding planners at
the moment and a lot of them have put us on
their recommended list for the coming year.”
The husband and wife team try to book
weddings in South Africa to coincide with when
they go home so they can continue working
when away from the UK. “We did a wedding in
Cape Town and one on a game reserve,” she
says. “We got an image of the couple with a
giraffe which was really unique.” The wedding
season in South Africa runs from September to
May which gives them the chance to shoot
weddings all year round.

A lot of traveling means that Chanelle tries to
keep her kit to a minimum. “I take two camera
bodies, a 50mm lens, an 85mm and a 28-70mm;
then if I can fit it in I take a 70-200mm.
My husband has his backpack so we always have
two kits. We shoot a lot of natural light but I
sometimes use off-camera flash and we also
have an LED video-light. For the reception we
mix flash with ambient light. I usually drag the
shutter so I’m not over-flashing the scene.”
Chanelle points out that she has to be highly
aware of the expensive equipment she takes
when travelling. “The airlines recommend that
you don’t put anything in your main luggage
especially in places that are notorious for theft.
I’ve got a Lowepro sling bag which I take as
hand luggage and in there I can fit everything
that I need.” There is also safety to consider
when you reach your destination. “You’ve got to
take care of your equipment and make sure you
take back up,” she suggests. “There is a safety
issue with places like South Africa, Bali or
Mauritius so we travel with a Pacsafe which is a
mesh bag you put all of your camera bags into,
attach to something secure and lock up. If there
is a safe where we’re staying we put as much of
our equipment and images into it as we can.
We carry an Epson P-5000 and you can
download your images straight on to that.
It’s very important to make sure you’ve got
multiple back ups.”

For destination weddings Chanelle and Craig
charge their normal package fees plus albums.
Clients also pay for flights andaccommodation
(except for weddings in South Africa) and a fee
per day to cover expenses, which differ
depending on the destination.

It is the variety of destinations that Chanelle
loves. “It’s exciting looking at a place on the
day and getting a sense of the light and the
weather.” The venues themselves feature
strongly in her images. “I like to shoot detail of
the venues themselves, things that I think are
unique to that place. Doing city shoots calls for
a little more drama,” she believes. “You go with
your surroundings, walk around the streets and
find the dramatic architecture. We shoot quite
wide to capture places.”

Chanelle thinks that considering your pricing
carefully is crucial to getting the business side
right when shooting abroad. “You need to be
getting yourself to quite a high level in your
photography and your business so you can
charge enough for destination weddings,” she
notes. “That’s a big problem; people think they
would like to do it but don’t charge enough and
then they find that they’ve actually lost money.”
You also need to balance your destination
weddings with your work in the UK and
consider the numbers carefully. She points out:
“It’s going to affect the busy season here, so
weigh up how much you’d make here versus
how much you’d make elsewhere and consider
the time you’d be away. Here you can possibly
do two weddings in a weekend – being away for
even a few days you could be missing out.”

We did a wedding in Cape Town and one on
a game reserve,” she says. “We got an image of
the couple with a giraffe which was really unique.

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