Destination Weddings worldwide

Heather Payne



What is your approach & shooting style on the wedding day?

A wedding day is naturally compiled of different situations that call for different approaches and styles of photography (ie. styled details= editorial approach | portraits & family photos= portraiture approach | preparation, first looks, ceremony= photo-journalistic approach). Some situations call for us to be more intentional, inserting ourselves through guided positionings and other situations call for us to be unobtrusive, letting the “moments” happen naturally. In any given photo opportunity, our goal is to craft and document the most authentic & effortless imagery while capturing all of the intimate emotional moments without intrusion. 

Do you shoot film or Digital? Why?

I incorporate both mediums into the flow of every wedding. Film is my specialty and it’s how I fell in love with photography as an artist. The way it forces me to slow down, anticipating moments as they happen, creates this nostalgic approach to how I see and document the story. Film is incomparable to the way it renders natural light and skin tones. Throughout the night, digital is incorporated into our workflow when the sun has gone down and is used to capture the super fast movements throughout the night. No matter what medium we choose to utilize, our approach is always the same.

Do you use second shooters?

I always have an assistant (typically my husband, Seth) with me at every wedding to help me with logistics, timeline, gear, details, and film related tasks. My assistant also serves as my second shooter during the ceremony and reception portions of the day to grab different angles/moments to tell the complete story. Adding an additional second shooter is encouraged (and highly recommended) if you and your fiance are getting ready at different locations or your guest count is greater than 175. Second shooters are selected by me from within my trusted (and super talented) network.

How long do we patiently wait to receive our images?

A typical turnaround is 10-12 weeks after your wedding day to receive your USB and prints. Your online gallery will be available within 8-10 weeks of your wedding to view and share with family and friends (they can also order professional prints here). I strive to give my clients the fastest turnaround possible, one that I promise is worth the wait! Portrait sessions typically take 4-6 weeks to turnaround. 

How many photos will I receive? 

It’s all about quality over quantity here. I focus on creating authentic imagery to tell a cohesive story, rather than giving you 1000 images of the same pose. There are many depending factors throughout each wedding. You can expect 60-80 final images per hour of wedding coverage. 

Do I receive copyrights to the images?

In all collections, you will receive high-resolution, fully edited JPEG images that are print quality accompanied by a copyright release allowing you to share and print your images. Most of our clients won’t require a full copyright buyout. For clients who are extremely private and concerned with privacy, we do offer full buyout of copyrights to the images. Please inquire for pricing and usage restrictions. 

Can we send you a shot list to follow?

Absolutely, I do ask for a shot list for family photos to make sure we don’t forget to include ole Uncle Johnny. This list is to be kept brief at 10 groupings or less for a quick flow following the ceremony. Beyond this list, I do not work off of a list as this limits me and my creativity. You’ve invested in me as an artist to capture your authentic story and entrusted me to provide a fantastic experience. I’ve got you! 

What is your editing process like?

My editing process is very minimal as I do most of my “corrections” before ever pressing the shutter. The majority of my editing consists of adjusting colors, contrasts, brightness and the occasional blemish removal in Photoshop. I do not overly manipulate or process my images as this is not my style, I prefer natural beauty above all. Feel free to review a full wedding and make yourself familiar with my style of shooting/editing.

How far in advance should we book you? And what is your booking process?

Most couples book roughly 6months-1year (max) in advance to ensure their date is secured on my calendar as I only commission 10-15 weddings per year. I do love the last minute destination elopement. Don’t be afraid to email us and check availability. To book, a $2000 non-refundable deposit is required, along with a signed contract. The remaining balance is due 30 days before the wedding date. 

Do you offer collections or a la carte pricing? Are we in charge of your travel fees?

Based on the most popular services and products my client’s value, I have put together 4 collections/packages to offer. I’ve made it super simple. No matter where your wedding is located in the world, our traveling costs are built in so that there’s absolutely no room for guessing or for any add-on fees. All packages can be customized to the needs of each client to add additional hours, albums or portrait sessions (engagement, bridal, day after). Contact me to view pricing collections for your specific wedding location. 

We are so nervous to be in front of the camera! Do you have any tips?

Yes! I totally get it. Let’s set some expectations for each other. I do NOT expect you to know how to pose yourself, gaze into my camera, know what to do with your hands or act like a model. I’ve got you and will direct you into these moments, only capturing the ones that showcase your true personalities. Our time together will be more like taking a walk with an old friend, instead of being super posey posey. The biggest tip is to RELAX and smile. Trust me, the magic happens when you’re relaxed and comfortable. 

Do you travel for Destination Weddings or International Weddings?

Oh yes! We love to travel and experience new locations to tell our clients’ stories. In fact, 90 percent of our work takes place outside of North Carolina. We photograph weddings all over the country, often in Colorado, Seattle, California, New York, Charleston, Florida and internationally. No location is too far for us. Our bags are packed and passports are current. Contact me for pricing collections for your destination wedding.

What should my fiance’ and I know before hiring a photographer? 

Aside from the obvious considerations of style and budget, I think every couple should have a connection with their photographer. You can price shop and compare work, but you should spend time building a strong relationship. I invest time in each of my clients (even for just an hour) to discover each other and learn about the story that brought them together, thus building a strong foundation of trust and communication. A photographer is intimately involved in so much of a couple's wedding day, so you want to feel at ease. I feel the most creative and free when I know the most about my clients and can understand them and vise-versa. Just as each client is different, no photographer is exactly the same. 


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@ heatherpaynephoto