Wedding pictures on Madeira for Beatriz & Rob

Trouwen op Madeira

Green Madeira

In early February, I went to Madeira, for a wedding photography workshop with Roadie Events. A green island off the coast of Africa, I had never been there before. Madeira is an island of Portugal, but still a good 2 hour flight from Lisbon.

Admittedly, Madeira was further than I thought. I took the plane in Brussels, towards Lisbon, and from there to Madeira. The first flight was already 2.5 hours, then another 2 hours in the plane to my final stop: Funchal. I was on the road for a whole day. In the summer months you can find quite a few direct flights from Brussels, but unfortunately that was not the case outside the tourist season.

Flying to Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport, by the way, is an adventure, landing not the easiest task. Not every pilot can land a plane here. The runway is right next to the sea, and is also built on the sea. A narrow strip. Huge wind always, so we had to make a detour before the pilot could land the plane safely on a second attempt.

From the plane it did look promising: those wedding photos in Madeira would be all green and mountainous!

Staying in Funchal

The base of my two-day workshop was the capital city of Funchal. From the airport, I took the “Bolt,” an alternative to Uber, all the way to the city center. By the way, I don’t often use a cab abroad, only when there is no alternative, I rely more on Uber and other cab apps. You know in advance what the price will be, and you can share a link with someone who can follow you from a distance. For Uber, there is even an added security: an access code that your driver must enter into his phone before leaving.

With such a cab app, you also just order your ride when you want, from the location you want.

Workshop wedding photography

I regularly attend wedding photography workshops abroad. Preferably portfolio sessions, where I am completely free to do my thing. Not too posed, and preferably not a location dressed up perfectly by a stylist. Gradually I found my niche as a wedding photographer abroad: I prefer to shoot in mountainous areas with an adventurous couple.

I learn a lot during these workshops. I learn to deal with difficult weather conditions, changing plans, and I learn to see things differently. The difficulty of those workshops makes it easier for me to work in Belgium and the Netherlands, and my stress level drops a bit. If it succeeds in an unfamiliar location in difficult weather conditions, it certainly succeeds in my own environment.

In a few minutes when working abroad, I have to decide if a location is suitable, and try to get the most out of my photo moment.

Roadie Events

The workshops organized by Roadie Events suit me perfectly: go with the flow, off the beaten track and ready for the coolest shots ever. From before sunrise to after sunset, hard work, but happy with the results every time! Of course you pay the organization for your trip, but it is a fair price.

Becoming a destination wedding photographer

By the way, if you want to start as a destination wedding photographer, I advise you to actively participate in different workshops. Your client really wants to see a portfolio, it’s no use saying ‘I went there on vacation’ or ‘I like to travel’. The majority of the people like to travel. Your network grows during these workshops, these contacts are a must. Especially the ones with wedding planners!

I very often read messages on socials from photographers to find clients abroad who just cover the travel expenses, who love to photograph their wedding. Please note: destination weddings are really hard work, and are even more intense than domestic weddings, with the necessary stress. I always need 2-3 days to recover from a trip abroad.

The practical side of a wedding abroad

Consider that you are constantly on the move with all your equipment. A small fortune in cameras, lenses and computer(s). Cover yourself for everything: make sure you have a NAS system that you can access from abroad to save your pictures on, for example. Does your bag turn out to be stolen in the worst case scenario? Then at least you still have your photos. Also make sure you have plenty of backup equipment and batteries – even more so than at home.

Planes are also usually (always) late. You may miss connections. Cover yourself for everything. Make sure your client doesn’t have to experience any of this “stress. A client who wants photos abroad has a budget for that. They also want perfection for that budget, and are looking for someone who fits their lifestyle. For me, those are usually adventurous couples, who love nature and mountains. I stood on pearly white beaches with my camera, and saw the most beautiful high end weddings on the beach, but that is less my thing.

Wedding pictures on Madeira

For the wedding photography workshop in Madeira, Beatriz & Rob were my models. Now yes, models. In fact, Rob is a wedding photographer and lives on the island. So he knew all the perfect spots. The two enjoyed their wedding photos.

Getting married in Madeira is also for adventurous couples: just considering the weather conditions. In one valley, the sun shines, and when you turn the corner it can rain. Reasonable adaptability is a must! Furthermore, the most beautiful spots are also not located at a parking lot, or in a tourist spot.

The plan

The idea was to take wedding photos at sunrise at Pico do Arieiro. So once we got there, that turned out this was not going to work: freezing cold, dense fog and massive rain. This place is one of the highlights of Madeira, but unfortunately – no wedding photos there. Again: adaptability – off to another stunning location!

Madeira is a gorgeous island, but difficult with photo locations. For safety, you find fencing everywhere, logical too – but not something you want on your pictures as a wedding photographer. Pictures with fences are not the pictures I’m looking for as a wedding photographer. The purity and beauty of nature for me please.

The wedding photos in Madeira in the morning were a challenge. It took us a while to “get going,” but persistence wins out. We stopped at several places and ended at Ponta de São Lourenço. The next day, the weather was better. I certainly share more pictures of the second day, with another couple, in another blog post. 

Again a wonderful experience, and an asset to my portfolio. Another rugged location that I can offer my clients!

Do you have plans to get married abroad? Are you still looking for a photographer for a destination wedding? Or are you immediately convinced of getting married in Madeira? I would love to travel with you!

Looking for a destination wedding photographer?

Evelien Geerinckx Photography has tons of experience with weddings abroad. Wondering how that works? Check out the website!