I’ve seen this question pop up online many times so I wanted to share my perspective on it (and yeah, I may be a little biased, but I’ll try to keep this as objective as possible).
You’re eloping to Paris, you have a location for your ceremony, your hotel, your officiant…but you’re still on the fence about whether you should fly in your favourite photographer from back home or hire a local Parisian photographer. Here’s a quick pros & cons list of both option and some tips:
A local photographer in Paris
They know the city like the back of their hand and that means the best places to shoot, at the best times, how to optimize transportation and avoid crowds & traffic jams
Since they already live here, they will most likely be more flexible with dates and changes to your schedule
They know how to photograph Paris in all kinds of weather – sunny days, heatwaves, cloudy days, rain or even show and they’ll know which locations to choose based on the season and even time of day
They’re proud of the beautiful city that they live in and will happily tell you some fun facts and give you insider tips on where to eat, stay, etc
They’re connected to the local wedding industry and can give recommendations for hair & makeup artists, officiants, etc
The list goes on… (yeah, I’m totally not biased)
They may have trouble communicating with you if their English is not the best – actually, this is really not a concern. Paris has attracted so many people from around the world that now call the city home, that there are many native English-speaking photographers (myself included)
Prices are in Euros, so you’ll need to take into account the exchange rate
They might not have the style that you’re looking for, especially if you want fine art elopement photography – again, this is something that’s changing pretty quickly and there are more and more fine art photographers in Paris (yup, I’m one of those too)
Flying in your favourite photographer
Chances are, you’ve already worked with this photographer before and are comfortable with them and like their style
Prices are in your local currency
You can communicate with them easily, in English and in your time zone
One of the biggest problems with flying in a photographer for your elopement is that unless they have a visa, they’re not legally allowed to photograph professionally in Paris. While many photographers are able to skirt around this issue, I know of a few cases where photographers were stopped at the border and weren’t allowed to enter, which left the couple scrambling to find someone else. So if you want to have peace of mind, make sure that your photographer has a visa!
Unless they come to Paris very often, they won’t know all the best locations and when do go there for the best light and privacy
Paris can be as cruel as it can be beautiful (wow, that was overly dramatic, but bear with me). A photographer from California that creates amazing photos at sunset in a field of flowers might not be able to handle the difficult light of Paris on a cloudy day. This is something I’ve seen really often, even from photographers whose work I really admire.
So what should you choose? A local Paris photographer or someone from home for your elopement?
It’s really up to you – take a good look at the pros and cons of each and go with your gut! Obviously, I would love to be your elopement photographer in Paris (yes, I’m a native English speaker and I have a fine art photography style) so feel free to reach out to discuss your big day!