” We booked ____ venue, have you shot there before?”
I get asked this question a lot by my potential clients. Although it might give a bride and groom a sense of security if their wedding photographer is familiar with their venue, it shouldn’t be a deal breaker if they aren’t. As a photographer it is my job to show up at your wedding day with the skills and tools that I possess to capture your day as beautifully as possible. It is my job to find the best lighting situations in every location.
Don’t get me wrong, photographers who are familiar with the venue can be exactly what you are looking for. They know the venue like the back of their hand, and that’s great. However, you shouldn’t rule out a photographer just because they haven’t shot at your venue before. They could provide a new angle or a fresh set of eyes on your wedding day, and your photos could end up looking different than what normally is produced there. I have a list of venues that I would love to shoot at. Also, most of the time my couples introduce me to a new venue that I am super excited about. As a photographer, and really all photographers for that matter, are great at assessing their surroundings and knowing exactly how to shoot it. Usually, I will asses within the first 10 minutes of arriving. I will always take a lap around the grounds right when I get there to get an idea of how the day will go. Let me tell ya, my photographer brain works non-stop. I notice lighting situations even when I am on my way to the store. I also offer to go to the venue before hand with or without my brides if they want me to. Photographers are looking for an opportunity to capture new and creative moments wherever they go. Speaking for myself, I get excited when I capture something new, and my skills are challenged. It will help me to be not only a better photographer, but a better vendor to my clients.
I have really come to the conclusion that brides who are asking this question are just making sure that you are legit enough to capture their day. They want that sense of security which I completely understand. Hey I am married, I have been there, and I know how it feels. I always try to really get to know my clients and make sure we have a connection, and they feel fully confident with me and my abilities.
Here are a few examples from venues/general areas or cities that I had never shot at before. Each have their own unique lighting situation.