destination winter wedding photographer

Photo by Sara Reeve Photography

Destination wedding photography preparation

My first destination wedding took me to Zakopane in Poland.  A wonderfully classy ski resort in the beautiful Polish mountains.  All very exciting but somewhere that can be very cold!  I therefore knew that I needed to do my research before I went and so thought I would share with you how I went about preparing for it.

My biggest concerns were:

Battery life, condensation, travelling with all my equipment and keeping warm.  As explained in the blog post for the wedding here, it was so mild that I didn’t come across any of the problems that I had been worried about, but I did prepare very well nonetheless.

Battery Life: When in cold conditions, battery life is decreased dramatically so its important to keep them warm if you can.  I took double the amount of batteries that I would usually need and extra chargers for them too.  This was for both my lithium SLR batteries and my normal rechargeable AA’s.

Camera condensation: Moving into a warm room after being out in the extreme cold can create condensation in your camera.  A bit like how your glasses instantly steam up when walking into a warm room after being in the cold.   It can steam up the mirror, causing harmful condensation inside the lens, (and in the worst case scenario even shorting out electronic components)  This can cause real problems when you want to use it straight away.  I therefore purchased lots of ziplock bags in which I could put my camera when going inside.  I did also have my back up camera with me, so if I had found that this was going to cause me a real problem, I had decided that I would use one camera for inside and one for out.  That way there would be no risk of any condensation and I could keep the two separate.

Travelling with camera equipment: CAA regulations state that there is a limit to the number of lithium batteries that you can take with you.  They also state that the batteries must be either inside the camera, attached to its charger or  to the equipment that it is being used for.  I took two big video lights with me as well as all my extra batteries so I had an awful lot going on in my case! All lithium batteries must be kept in the cabin baggage and because I didn’t want to risk any of my lenses or cameras going in the hold, this meant that my case was very heavy! however, it was worth it to know that I had everything with me.  I also kept all of my cards with me on both the outward and return journey too.  Basically, anything that I couldn’t risk being lost or damaged I had with my in my hand luggage.  All that I packed in my case for the hold were clothes and toiletries.  I wore my snow boots and big coat there with a few layers, so I knew that if the worst did happen I would be ok.

Keeping Warm: You can’t really wear gloves when using an SLR but I didn’t want to risk my fingers going numb and not being able to operate the camera properly so I did some research on this.  There were lots of different shooting or fishing gloves but after seeing them I realised that I had some leather gloves that I could cut the tips off of.  I only removed the tips of the thumb and forefinger but they were perfect.  Sara purchased some fishing gloves which were similar to these and found them to be great too.

Fortunately I already had some good quality snow boots and they proved to be perfect but Hannah and all the girls had some really beautiful ones that they purchased from ebay and they said that they were fantastic too.  The boots were so important, not only because of the deep snow, but also to prevent us from falling over! The snow was so slippery in places but in the boots I felt like I could venture anywhere to get the shot.

Here is the blog post of Hannah & Adam’s incredible wedding.