‘One Step Closer’: A Documentary About Becoming a Destination Wedding Photographer

how to become a destination wedding elopement photographer

September 6, 2023

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Establishing oneself as a destination wedding and/or elopement photographer has long been a pipe dream for so many wedding photographers.

A mixture of self-limiting beliefs and equally realistic roadblocks stop us from taking action, including:

“How do I find and target destination wedding clients if I’m based in a different country?”

“Who’s going to cover my travel expenses?”

“What type of work visa/ permit do I need to photograph a wedding overseas?”

“How do I start booking destination weddings if I don’t have an international portfolio?”

“I don’t even know where or how to get started…”


Keep reading for the backstory behind the doco ‘One Step Closer’ or CLICK HERE to skip straight to the documentary


Follow Jai Long in this documentary, featuring Maegan Brown, to see if they could make the “impossible” happen

With a background in commercial, lifestyle and still-life photography, Maegan Brown is a Melbourne-based editorial wedding photographer on the rise.

maegan brown moments wedding photographer

Shooting her first wedding in 2018 as a favour for a friend who was a wedding photographer, becoming a destination wedding photographer was always one of Maegan’s biggest goals.

Jai and Maegan first crossed paths when she decided to join his 12-month course and community for photographers, the Six-Figure Business Map, in January 2021.

Always putting her hand up for opportunities and taking big action on her goals, she successfully achieved $100k in bookings – just three and a half months into 2021.

Obsessed with making the “impossible” happen, Jai jumped on the opportunity to use Maegan as a case study for a documentary, exploring the reality of what it takes to become a destination wedding photographer.


An inspiring, eye-opening documentary about fulfilling the goal of becoming a destination wedding photographer, watch ‘One Step Closer’ now



The burning question: Did Maegan successfully pursue her long-awaited dream of becoming a destination wedding photographer?

Fuelling a spark of an idea and turning it into a reality – in just ONE SINGLE WEEK – Jai and Maegan brainstormed all the possibilities.

Navigating unexpected hiccups along the way, Jai combined his experience of shooting 500+ weddings over his career with Maegan’s 10-wedding portfolio.

Stepping outside of her comfort zone, Maegan’s goal was to simply start somewhere – anywhere – as long as it got her one step closer towards booking a destination wedding or elopement.

Jai’s goal was to make it happen as fast as possible.


ONE UNITED GOAL:  To attract ONE lead for a destination wedding or elopement within TWO weeks


Orchestrating styled shoots, collaborating on editorials for Together Journal, and SO much more, they jetted off to the picturesque landscapes of Queenstown, New Zealand.

elopement photography shoot new zealand

Pushing Maegan closer towards her dream of establishing a career in destination wedding photography, they went on this journey with little yet hopeful foresight…

With no experience or portfolio, does Maegan successfully make her dream a reality?


The results

The documentary was filmed by Morgan Vandermark from Free the Bird Weddings in May 2022.

From there, Maegan continued to plan other styled shoots across her bucket list locations.

Two weeks went by and Jai called Maegan for an update…

She shared that she had already received two potential leads, one in Greece and one in New Zealand, AND she booked a destination wedding in Bali!

In July 2022, she travelled to Ubud, Bali to photograph her very first international wedding.


one step closer


Not just that, her beautiful Bali wedding was published in Vogue!



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Maegan Brown (@maeganbrownmoments)


Since then, Maegan has SUCCESSFULLY booked destination weddings and couples shoots across France, Greece, and beyond.

And that’s just the beginning.

It all started with a dream and the courage to take action.

One step at a time is all it takes.

One step closer.


Some of Maegan’s key tips and takeaways for booking your first destination wedding

getting out of your comfort zone in business

1. Community is everything

The power of collaboration and teamwork in our community is massive. When we put our minds together, we are so much stronger.

2. Create the work you want to be doing

This is a massive one. After brainstorming more with Jai about how to achieve this goal, they came out of that session going “ok, you need to create the work you want to be booked for/where you want to be booked and collaborate with the local community to expand your network”.

She also started planning some content for blog posts in advance.

3. Expand your community

It’s one thing organising a styled shoot with your known network/local community, but Maegan took it a step up and really tested/pushed her boundaries by organising a styled shoot in a WHOLE new country, new environment, new network.

She made a mood board and pitch document for the Queenstown styled shoot, and emailed it to a bunch of vendors who were on her ‘dream team’ list for this.


‘One Step Closer’ officially premiered at our Wedding Photography Summit in November 2022

To celebrate the launch of Six-Figure Business Map 2.0 in May 2022, we offered a sneak peek of the ‘One Step Closer’ documentary alongside having the renowned Donald Miller from ‘Building a Storybrand’ as a guest speaker.

Six-Figure Business Map

Learn more about the course & apply now

Read reviews

‘One Step Closer’ then officially premiered at our global annual Wedding Photography Summit later that year in November 2022.

Breaking ground in 2020, the Wedding Photography Summit is a yearly two-day online event for photographers, videographers, vendors and creative entrepreneurs across all niches.

wedding photography summit gary vee

Challenging your mindset and empowering you to take your business to new heights, the summit attracts a lauded speaker lineup with recent highlights including Gary Vee, Jose Villa, India Earl, to name a few.

With our 2022 summit featuring a banging lineup with the likes of The Heart University, Jennifer Moher, Emily Magers, and more, click here to get instant access to the replay!


Don’t miss out on:

Check out all our upcoming events.

Meet the Author

Obsessively wordsmithing and hyping the living daylights out of anything and anyone, Mel is our word nerd and coach from Melinda Harcourt Copywriting.

You’ll also find her regularly dropping hot website/ biz tips inside the Business Map and yelling at people for downplaying their wins (“big” or “small”, every win is still a win).




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