You’re reading the very first blog in a new FAQ themed series of blogs!! Y’all may laugh about my enthusiasm for answering wedding related questions, but it’s actually a passion of mine 💁🏼♀️
Seriously. I love providing brides with tons of information up front. If I can answer your questions before you even have them, I’ve done my job.
Sometimes future brides have literally no questions when booking their wedding photography with me. But at the same time, there are no stupid questions. You’ve probably never planned a wedding before, so it makes total sense to get advice from someone with years of experience behind-the-scenes at weddings. Read my full list of FAQ’s >
FAQ: Does it matter if our photographer has been to our venue before?
The answer? It usually doesn’t matter, and I’ll tell you the 3 reasons why!
Let’s dig in!
To play my own devil’s advocate, these are the benefits to working with a photographer who’s photographed a wedding at your venue before:
That’s the only benefit. And even then, looking through photos taken at your venue and wanting photos exactly like what you’ve seen can be limiting to you and your photographer’s creativity.
Now let’s talk about the 3 reasons why you shouldn’t limit yourself to choosing a photographer with experience at your venue.
Even if I took photos at the same venue every weekend, the locations and angles I used would be different every time because of LIGHT.
On a wedding day, I’m constantly scouting photo locations to use later in the day. The light changes throughout the day based on the angle of the sun and the clouds in the sky. A spot that looks beautiful in the morning may have bright, harsh light in the afternoon. A location covered in thick trees could look awesome during summer but not so pretty in the winter when all the trees are dead.
So, just because a photographer has taken photos at your venue before doesn’t mean they’ll be able to use the same spots to achieve the same look again.
As a photographer, it’s sooooo much easier to be creative when photographing a wedding somewhere new and looking at a venue with fresh eyes. If I’ve been to a venue 5 or 6 times, it’s super tempting to fall into old habits and do things the same way I’ve done them before, which as I mentioned above, doesn’t always work out lighting-wise.
And since light is the most important factor in photography, each photographer uses light differently and is an expert at using the available light or even CREATING light to fit their specific style.
I also take time to get to know my couples, their personalities, and their styles. We plan together for months, and we’ve built a relationship at their engagement session. Why would I treat them exactly the same as another couple?
New venues = a happy, creative photographer and more personalized photos 🙂
A good photographer will be able to take beautiful photos anywhere. They can walk into a brand new venue, scout locations, stay creative through challenges, and knock it outta the park.
Honestly, if your photographer can’t shoot on the fly and take great photos somewhere new to them, that’s a BIG problem.
Part of their pre-wedding preparation will include online research and arriving early to become familiar with the venue grounds. There’s honestly no benefit to coming to a venue before the wedding day for a walkthrough. The way a venue looks days (or even just hours) before we begin taking photos can be drastically different than it will look later.
Instead of asking a photographer if they’ve been to your venue, ask them, “Have you been to places that are similar to my venue?” and even more importantly “Are you comfortable taking photos at a variety of venues and locations?”
You can usually answer these questions yourself by looking through their website and blog. Is there a consistent style in photos taken at different weddings, at different venues, and during different seasons? Do you like the photos they’ve taken during daytime portraits as well as during dark, night-time receptions?
Experience as a photographer matters waaaaayyy more than experience at a certain venue. There are so many amazing venues out there. In the Austin area alone, I could photograph a wedding at a different venue every weekend and it would take many, many, MANY years to repeat a venue.
All this being said… working with a photographer who has worked at your venue isn’t a downside. Not at all. But for a great photographer, it shouldn’t be a factor. And if you want more tips about hiring the right photographer I recommend this post…
And these too!