Photographing your wedding venue
10/01/17 – Tips and Articles – by Lucas Kraus
A common question I am asked at pre-wedding consults is have I photographed at that particular venue or not. Although it may help a wedding photographer if they are familiar with the venue, it should not be the deciding factor as to whether or not you book them to photograph your wedding. Let me explain
An experienced wedding photographer can look at a particular location and immediately know where the best spots are to take photographs. This is largely dependent on light. I always prefer to have my subjects in good light while sacrificing the background, rather than having a beautiful background and the subjects in poor or harsh light. If you can get both good light and a nice background then it is win/win.
When walking into a venue or location to take wedding photos, I naturally assess such things as lighting conditions, light direction and light colour. It is always a good idea to stay away from bright, sunny conditions as well as shade that is too dark as well as orangey or yellow light from lamps or down lights. Instead, I will suggest better locations based on light that will allow for flattering and soft light. A photographer who is experienced will do this automatically and not need to have visited the venue previously.
Scouting a location
Having photographed weddings for over 7 years now, I have photographed nearly every venue within the Brisbane areas and the Gold Coast. However, if I have not been to a venue I have been booked for, then I will make a reasonable effort to visit that location before the wedding to give me an idea of the best spots and backgrounds and assess the lighting situation. If this is not possible, then I will arrive at the location early on the wedding day to scout out the best locations for wedding photography.
We live in a digital age where finding photographs of particular locations is just a click away. If I have not photographed at a particular venue before, then I will always research this location by checking out other photographers work at that location, look up photographs on google of the area and have also used google earth on occasion. This allows me to gain an understanding of the location and where the best background might be.
Take some photos yourself
Couples usually visit the venue a couple of times before their actual wedding day to plan their wedding and meet with their event planner. This is a great opportunity to suss out some of the locations you would like to be used in your wedding photos. On occasion, I have had couples take their own photos of an area and send it to me before the wedding which is a great idea. Although the location of the ceremony can not be changed, there might be some great areas around the ceremony that might be ideal for photographs.