Destination Puerto Rico: Building an International Photography Business

Travel has always been, truly, one of my favorite things about living. There’s nothing better than waking up in a new place, with new experiences on the horizon. My wanderlust was sparked in college—when I would travel from Boston to Philly to visit my then long distance boyfriend (and now husband and business partner!)—and, since then, we’ve both tried to make travel as much a part of our lives as possible.
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When I first started doing photography many years ago, I never thought to make it my full time career. But a few years ago my day job as a graphic designer was preventing me from doing the things I wanted to do, which was mainly travel. I had too many hours I had to work, and couldn’t get enough time off approved. I had the income to travel, but not the freedom!

So along with my husband, I began to consider how I could design my career around travel. Wedding photography can be incredibly flexible. Yes, I have to work weekends, but I can easily take weeks off in a row, or even an entire month (which I did last year to travel Europe!). 

One thing I like about being a photographer is that I’m constantly thrown into new situations and adapting. Photography never gets old or monotonous; there are constant new experiences to be had! There’s also always room for improvement, both in my craft and as a business owner. I’m always thinking about what’s next.

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Last year, I took my business one step further and began to focus a huge amount of marketing and energy on booking destination weddings. These are my favorite, because my travel expenses are for business, and then my husband and I usually take a few extra days in whatever location the wedding is in for personal time.

We recently went to Puerto Rico—one of our favorite places to travel to—with the specific purpose of building our brand. The trip was planned so that we could create content for our website to advertise our photography in Puerto Rico, so that we could travel there more often for destination work.  

While there, we did a couple of engagement sessions, and worked with a wedding planner to do an elopement inspiration shoot. We also took tons of photos to use as blog and website content. Now we have a dedicated Puerto Rico wedding photography page on our website, many blog posts about it, and have started to book weddings there.

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My favorite photos of this trip are of the day we spent wandering Old San Juan. These were much more personal, much less about work and creating website content. We don’t often get a chance to just document our lives while traveling, and that’s what these were all about. I always love the photos Chris takes of me too, and seeing myself through his eyes.

I think about abundance not just in terms of literal wealth, but wealth of experiences. There’s really nothing like having new experiences and meeting new people. Traveling may be exhausting at times, but I never feel more fulfilled than after an amazing trip. 

The trip to Puerto Rico was really all about following our dreams. This was the first trip we took specifically for business reasons, outside of doing a destination wedding. Someday we hope to be able to stay in Puerto Rico during the Winter months of the year, and this trip was the first step.

It was so incredible to do something so tangible to reach this goal!
 

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click here to see more photos from becca's trip to puerto rico in our series 7/wealth issue.


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Photos + Text by Becca Bliss Nelson
Becca is one half of the wedding and destination photography team Chris & Becca Photography. Her work has been featured in publications including Jet Fete, Offbeat Bride, and Red Oak Weddings. In her spare time when she’s not photographing weddings or traveling, she enjoys curling up with a great book, a coffee, and her fur baby KitKat.
To book Chris + Becca's photography services, visit their website here. View more photos on Instagram @beccabliss_.