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Old November 13th, 2014, 02:13 PM   #1
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Traveling out of country to shoot a wedding

I see on here many of you travel outside of your home country to shoot a destination wedding. I was just wondering how you do so. I hear all the time about a Canadian can't come to the US for work, I have seen Americans who get turned around at the boarder going to take still photographs at a wedding etc. Just wondering what's involved as far a paper work and documents.
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Old November 14th, 2014, 02:03 PM   #2
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Re: Traveling out of country to shoot a wedding

That's a really interesting question. The practical answer is, of course, to tick the box saying you're there for a holiday.

The legal answer is that laws will vary from country to country. No idea what the situation in Canada is. Even in Australia, I don't know what type of visa you'd need, and have written a query to the relevant department to see what they think. There seem to be a number of visas that might cover the arrangement, including a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (but I suspect this requires sponsorship from a company), and various types of tourist visa, which seem to allow "business visitors".

Could you elaborate more on the photographers getting turned away at the border? Seems strange to me.

I'd be curious to hear from Noa or anyone living in Europe. They probably do cross borders all the time.
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Old November 14th, 2014, 05:03 PM   #3
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Re: Traveling out of country to shoot a wedding

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Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
I'd be curious to hear from Noa or anyone living in Europe. They probably do cross borders all the time.
The difference here is that anyone in Europe can work anywhere in Europe... that's the entire point of the open border stuff and seems to be causing a lot of political problems lately to do with trying to cap some of that migration in the direction of countries with the (perceived) most generous health and benefits systems.

The biggest thing (in Europe) is making sure your insurance covers you and you are abiding by any local laws that may prevent filming etc.
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Old November 14th, 2014, 05:24 PM   #4
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Re: Traveling out of country to shoot a wedding

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Could you elaborate more on the photographers getting turned away at the border? Seems strange to me.
Does not suprise me to hear this at all.

I vaguely remember reading about incidents soon after 9/11 where security issues at the Canadian border were out of control.

Based on the climate of fear here I'm sure things can still be a bit hinky, in the right circumstances, for a traveler coming from Canada.

It most definitely is not as lax as it used to be, I would bet money on it.
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Old November 14th, 2014, 07:13 PM   #5
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Re: Traveling out of country to shoot a wedding

Canada/US border is a tricky situation, especially when they see pro gear traveling to and fro. They ask too many questions to work related. I know a Canadian can legally make like $700 without being declared per year as work related pay. Anything more and there is trouble, Pass back and forth too often with the large gear and there is trouble. Pass as a tourist with a small camera, no problem.
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Old November 14th, 2014, 07:41 PM   #6
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Re: Traveling out of country to shoot a wedding

My wife and I live 90 miles from the Canadian border (near Winnepeg) and hope to make a trip up North someday to see the northern lights and maybe find the oldest rocks on Earth (4 Billion years) that are available on or near the surface in northern... Alberta, I think.

We would bring some of our pro gear, of course. Hope we wouldn't get hassled.
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Old November 15th, 2014, 08:04 AM   #7
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Re: Traveling out of country to shoot a wedding

I've traveled to record live events such as seminars in Canada, 3 times over the past 2 years. I generally bring in lots of equipment, between 5 and 8 cases.

There are two issues crossing into Canada. The first is bringing equipment into Canada which they do not want you to sell and leave in Canada. Best way around that is a carnet. Search the internet for that. I've done it with and without a carnet. Carnet is better, less hassle at the border. Can be expensive. Good for a year.

The second issue is are you taking work away from a Canadian. If a American company (or person) hired you to record in Canada no problem. If a Canadian company hired you you need a work permit. So far I have not had to get a work permit.

If you are shooting in Canada with professional gear for your personal use, there should be no problem.

Plan on extra time to clear customs. Once it took me six hours!

Good luck with it all, James
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Old November 15th, 2014, 08:12 AM   #8
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Re: Traveling out of country to shoot a wedding

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Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
I'd be curious to hear from Noa or anyone living in Europe. They probably do cross borders all the time.
Within Europe that should be the same if you travel within America, there are no customs involved so I could travel to whatever country within the EU and shoot a wedding, once I go outside Europe then I guess it depends which country I plan to go and shoot but I have no experience in that.
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Old November 15th, 2014, 12:42 PM   #9
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Re: Traveling out of country to shoot a wedding

I went to Vancouver for a wedding last year. I had every bit of 11k in gear with me, still stuff. I had all my forms for declaring etc, line item with every thing I had. Ironically, the only comment I had from customs that gave me cause for pause, was when I came back to America, they noticed my laptop. lol.

Either way, I was blessed, had no problems, wasn't turned away etc. Went well, but I wouldn't make a living out of it.
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Old November 15th, 2014, 09:28 PM   #10
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Re: Traveling out of country to shoot a wedding

Sometimes rossing the border can be "the luck of the draw."

To reduce the hassle when returning to the US its a good idea to have CBF Form 4457 filled out. http://forms.cbp.gov/pdf/CBP_Form_4457.pdf

As for finding an official to sign off and stamp it, that can be the hardest part as they're few and far between. The signing officer needs to see the item(s) and the serial numbers.

This is also nice to have in the event anything gets stolen. Not that you'd ever see it again, but who knows.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 03:25 PM   #11
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Re: Traveling out of country to shoot a wedding

Some good tips guys. I work for an American that comes to Canada but he is the producer of a TV show. I wonder if the Bride and Groom are the producers when they would travel to the US. I wish we could travel freely like the EU does but the US border is getting tougher and tougher to cross. Even when I go to NAB in Vegas I can get a lot of hassle from US customs
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Old November 24th, 2014, 10:44 PM   #12
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Re: Traveling out of country to shoot a wedding

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Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Even in Australia, I don't know what type of visa you'd need, and have written a query to the relevant department to see what they think. There seem to be a number of visas that might cover the arrangement, including a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (but I suspect this requires sponsorship from a company), and various types of tourist visa, which seem to allow "business visitors".
Heard back from the Immigration Department. Apparently, they think that the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa is the most relevant.

But the description says, in part, "Applicants can apply for this visa to do short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work in Australia if they have specialised skills, knowledge or experience that both can assist Australian business and cannot reasonably be found in the Australian labour market. Invited Participants: Applicants can apply for this visa if they have been invited by an organisation to participate in a cultural or social event or events on a non-ongoing basis."

Since a wedding videographer wouldn't be invited by an "organisation", and wouldn't be doing anything to help Australian business, I've got my doubts whether the visa application would be approved, but who knows...
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