Styling weddings is no easy feat, but here at The Styling Reserve we aim to provide resources and tools to fellow wedding industry professionals that make this an effortless and fun process. Today, we are proud to highlight Corbin Gurkin as our Featured Artist! Corbin Gurkin is a wedding photographer based in Charleston, South Carolina, but photographs weddings all over the world. Her journey to becoming a world renowned wedding photographer started when she took a photography workshop that eventually led to her attending and graduating from the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts.
Since Corbin’s graduation from the Tisch School of the Arts, she has been featured in Vogue, Martha Stewart Weddings, Harper’s Bazaar, The Knot, and many more publications. On top of this, Corbin captured the PDN’s Top Knots Wedding Photography grand prize award! Needless to say, Corbin’s work speaks for itself as timeless and spectacular as she has had many years to perfect her craft and absolutely loves that each wedding she photographs allows her to capture a completely unique sentiment for her couples.
We were lucky enough to be able to ask Corbin a few questions about photographing destination weddings!
Q & A WITH CORBIN GURKIN
TSR: What are your top 3 tips as a photographer when shooting a destination wedding?
CG: Scout locations in advance. I love to arrive a minimum of one day before starting to shoot a destination wedding. I take this time to scout locations for portraits but also shoot scenics. With destination weddings in particular, the location has played a big role in why a couple has chosen to get married in this space. I like to make sure that my image collections are full of scenic images, in addition to the more narrative shots of the weekend. I want to make sure that the story of the location is shared as well.
Consider a pre-wedding portrait session leading up to your event. One of my favorite events was for Dennis and Bryan in Tuscany. While their venue was just beautiful, time constraints of the wedding day prevented us from going out into the Tuscan landscape for portraits. Instead, the morning of the wedding, we all hopped into a Fiat and captured some pre-wedding portraits before the festivities got started. We were able to really highlight the destination scenery. In doing so we didn’t have to sacrifice incorporating that incredible landscape into the photographs.
Work with a team you enjoy traveling with. Destination weddings bring up all kinds of challenges like closed car rental agencies or missed flights. Be sure that you are traveling along side a team that is go with the flow when it comes to travel and doesn’t necessarily mind late night takeout brought back to an Airbnb over a two hour dinner. I like for travel to be as low stress as possible.
TSR: How do you incorporate the local culture and style into your destination wedding shoots?
CG: In particular when styling my flat lays I like to think about props or backdrops that would reference the location itself. No need to bring a fabric backdrop to a French villa or a beachside resort. There are likely numerous textures and surfaces to incorporate into the photography that really give a nod to the location. The resulting images feel much more authentic and connected to the space.
TSR: Having shot over 250+ destination weddings, what wedding destination was your favorite to capture?
CG: My favorite location is usually the one that I get to travel to next. There’s nothing like getting to think about how a space will inspire you. With that said, some of my favorite locations include Ireland, France, Fogo Island, Mexico City, Thailand to name a few.
Thank you, Corbin! It was a pleasure to talk with you! You can see more of Corbin’s work on Instagram @corbingurkin.