The topic of today’s blog post has been coming up a lot lately in recent conversations with brides and photographers alike! Since it seems to be a “hot” topic in the wedding world right now, I thought I would address my personal thoughts on it with an informative post in our For Brides Series!
It’s a question that a lot of brides ask regarding their wedding day photography and I must start by saying that I completely, COMPLETELY understand why this question is asked!! It is NOT a stupid question or an irrelevant question … but I do think it tends to be viewed with greater gravity than necessary:
Have you shot at our wedding venue before?
While I think it’s totally and completely fair to ask this question to your potential wedding day photographer (I can’t stress this enough!), I also wanted to share three reasons why I don’t think their answer to this question should ultimately sway your decision in hiring them — especially if you love their work , how they run their business, and them as a person!!
1. Creative Stimulation
This is coming from a personal perspective, but I can almost guarantee it’s also true for a lot of photographers in the industry. We LOVE shooting at new venues because new venues = new spaces = new ideas = new poses, perspectives, and creation! Caleb and I get SO excited before every wedding at a new venue because of all the opportunities a new space provides us as creatives and artists! Oftentimes, we feel like some of our best work is produced when we’re shooting in a new location.
Additionally, just because a photographer is shooting at a new venue doesn’t mean that they won’t be familiar with it, either. We always show up early on the day of a wedding to scope out the location and make a game plan for the portrait/shooting time of the day!
[Disclaimer — all of the photos in this post were taken at weddings last year in which it was our first time shooting at the bride and groom’s venue!]
2. No Two Wedding Days are the Same
It’s true that no two wedding days at your venue will look exactly the same. While I definitely think that it can be beneficial to look at photos from past weddings that have been shot at your venue to gather inspiration for décor, room set-up, etc., it can be very dangerous to look at those same photos and think, “Oh okay, this is how my day is going to look!” Many things can affect the outcome of the aesthetic and photos on your wedding day — namely the timeline of the day and the weather.
If photos you previously saw of a wedding at your venue were taken on a sunny day and your wedding day happens to be cloudy, the images could end up looking quite different from one another! Or, if the wedding photos you saw at your venue were taken with a ceremony that started at sunset and your ceremony starts at 1:00 in the afternoon, again, the photos from this portion of the day could look very different from one another because of the difference in lighting!
3. Consistency is Key
This is the biggest and most important point of them all, in my opinion! If you are hiring a professional photographer who has experience, no matter where they are photographing a wedding day, their work will be consistent. Whether they have already shot a wedding at a certain venue or not, a professional wedding photographer should be able to provide you with incredible images that are extremely consistent with the work you see in their portfolio, on their website, and on social media. Professional photographers can handle any venue and any lighting situation — and still provide images that are consistent with their style!! It’s just a fact : ) Or at least it should be!
More important than whether or not your photographer has shot at your venue is whether or not the work they are producing each wedding is consistent and shot/edited in a way that you want your wedding photos to look. Also, equally important is that you have a personal connection with them. If you meet with your potential photographer and love their personality, philosophy, images and shooting style, and can imagine them spending the majority of your wedding day with you (it’s true!), but they haven’t yet shot at your venue, I’m going to be bold enough to say that you should hire them anyway! I feel confident that their connection with you, desire to serve you, abilities as a professional, and fresh perspective in a new place will produce incredible photographs for you to cherish and hold in your hands for decades … on decades …. on decades to come : )