Today’s topic is so important that I’ll simply dive right in. Many brides + grooms are encouraged by the venue, online planning sources, etc. to choose a photographer who has specifically worked at that venue before.
While this might be helpful for you in terms of visualizing what your photos will look like at the location, I’ll let you in on why this is absolutely a myth + shouldn’t stand in your way of choosing the wedding photographer (or any other creative/vendor) of your dreams!
1 // Venue Research: As a photographer, if I’m unfamiliar or haven’t worked with a specific venue – it’s perfectly okay. In fact, it’s completely normal. With the hundreds of available venues in this state alone, ANY photographer is sure to come across some venues that they haven’t been to yet. Besides, new venues are opening up all the time, so even established professional photographers have to start fresh at brand new venues.
Personally, if I haven’t been to my client’s before, I do lots of research into the venue. I speak with the on-site coordinator or event manager in advance, and I even visit the venue in person if at all possible. I prepare ahead of time because my clients are my top priority (and I have the time to do so because of the limited number of weddings I take on each season). It’s part of the custom experience that my couples receive when working with me, and it’s a comprehensive experience – part of which includes becoming familiar with your venue.
2 // Adaptation + Experience: I’m professionally experienced enough, after 6 years of photographing weddings, that I’ve learned how to very quickly adjust my camera/gear to accommodate for lighting of any type, regardless if I’ve photographed there before or not! I find myself in new situations all the time, and have the ability to adapt to environments that are quickly changing. It’s a large part of my job to be able to adapt quickly + respond professionally. That’s why you as a client have hired me, and I take that part of my job very seriously.
3 // Asking Questions: I will always always remain positive + friendly, but I won’t hesitate to ask questions of the venue if I have any! I’ll come fully prepared, likely having at least spoken with the event manager at the venue, and of course your wedding planner/coordinator if you’ve hired one.
I’ll also ask YOU questions to make sure I’m understanding your vision for your wedding, fully incorporating it with mine, and giving you what you truly want from your wedding day. Not only beautiful images, but everything you want in terms of an enjoyable, simplified + seamless experience working with me.
4 // Early Arrival on Your Wedding Day: To ensure I have everything covered, and there are no surprises with the lighting, logistics + style of your venue, I arrive early on your wedding day! I spend time scoping it out + searching for the best places for your portraits, looking at your ceremony space, and being a responsible professional. Again, I view this as part of my job, and I’ll come prepared to document everything from you getting into your gown, walking down the aisle to your groom, all the way through the toasts + your first dance as a married couple. You can rest assured that we’ll get on wonderfully, new venue or not, and we’ll be able to give you images you’ll love + look back on for the rest of your life.
5 // Telling Your Unique Story: When I’m new to a venue, it naturally encourages me to be creative + document your day from a fresh perspective! We’ll be able to tell your love story in a very true way because the day + the venue will be a blank canvas for both of us.