Taking Engagement Photos in a Foreign Country.. Yes Please!
Updated: Mar 4, 2020
Mitch and I recently took our engagement photos in Italy. When I found out we would be traveling there, I seized the opportunity to create memories we would cherish forever.
This photo ^ is actually an iPhone photo taken by our photographer. Fun tip: ask for a few iPhone photos so you can stare at them later that day!
Where to start? A photographer! How do you find one? How much should you pay for one? How do plan a shoot in different countries? I'm here to tell you, it's really not that hard!
Step 1: Get on Instagram and starting searching the hashtags that are relevant to the country you are wanting to shoot in. I searched: #romephotographer, #italyphotographer, #positanophotographer, etc. This was the most important step in my opinion because in one easy screen to scroll on, it pulled together work from everyone using those hashtags. It is here where I was able to pick out photos that were my style. I would first see if the photo I liked belonged to a professional photographer and if it did, I messaged them on Instagram asking their availability and pricing. Gotta get right to the point not to waste time!
Step 2: Pick a photographer! Once I found a few photographers I really liked and received their pricing, I went with the best option of price, quality, communication and all around vision. I found the most amazing, cool, intelligent and talented photographer. Her name is Irina Odoardi (Instagram: @irinaodoardi.photographer). Her work is absolutely stunning. I still stare and obsessed over all of her pictures! Not only was the quality and style on point, so was her price! We paid around 300 euro for TWO photoshoots in two different cities!!! Some photographers in the states were quoting us way more money than that for way less photos. Irina was also very easy-going and was eager to do anything to make my vision come to life. I told her I wanted city and beach pictures! I told her all the monuments I wanted in the photos and she planned out our day so we would be able to walk to them all in a timely manner. Time! That's a very important factor. You will have to get up at the butt crack of dawn to get these types of photos without any tourists in them. But if you ask me, it is SO worth it!! It was like having a romantic private tour of the whole city that is usually filled with people and loud noises. This trip has inspired me to get up earlier and explore in other countries too.
Step 3: Make a plan! Like I previously said, Irina was amazing in helping us map out all the spots we wanted to take photos at. I knew exactly the places I wanted and since she did this sort of shoot all the time, she was really good at helping us with timing. What time to meet, how long at each spot, when to leave a spot to beat the crowd at he next spot, etc. I highly suggest you pull up google maps and figure out how long it will take you to get from one spot to the next. It's great if you are in a city and you can just walk to your next location. Speaking of, I wore heels in almost all of my photos. There was no way I was going to be able to hustle around the streets of Rome and the rock beach of Positano in heels. Bring flats to walk around in and slip on your heels before you start shooting. I brought around a tote bag with my change of clothes and shoes. Which brings me to my next point. If you're going to want multiple outfits, be prepared to change in tiny cafe bathrooms and have many people staring at you as you walk out in a full length gown at 7am in the morning. Again, worth it! Haha! Just laugh it off, you will never see these people again. Plus, you look fabulous, work it!
(Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy)
Step 4: Make sure to have a solid communication line with photographer. That was the great thing about Irina. She spoke excellent English and was great at communicating with me. We planned months in advance and were still messaging each other days leading up and day of. It is a great peace of mind to be able to communicate easily with your photographer while you are in another country. I always add international data plans to my phone before traveling so I am able to contact the people I need to. I highly recommend this and it has become increasingly more affordable as of lately.
(Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy)
Last step for the extra girl: Plan your outfits! I looked at pictures of the places we would be shooting at and planned mine and Mitch's outfits around that atmosphere. If it was a really white washed area, I stayed away from white dresses and opted for more colors that would pop! Then from there I would pretty much coordinate Mitch's outfit with mine. Also, a good tip is to look on Instagram again and see what other people wore in that area and decide what you think looks good. Order or buy your clothes in advance. Try them all on and move around in them to insure you will be able to photoshoot day. Coordinate your shoes (don't forget flats) and accessories. I did have jewelry changes as well. I separated each outfits jewelry in plastic baggies and labeled them then put them in pockets of my tote bag I carried around. Again, that's extra. An easy tip, is to wear all gold or all silver jewelry that goes with every outfit!
I hope this helps and that you have a wonderful trip full of unforgettable memories!