I have always wondered why bride to be’s rather book the wedding venue before they book the photographer. It should actually be the photographer that has to be booked first, then the photographer should assist in choosing the venue. Why? Because the photographer (and by photographer I mean a professional one) looks at a venue from a whole different perspective. Hence the reason why I’m doing this blog, to show you what a photographer will need from a wedding venue to give YOU the fairy tale wedding photos you have dreamed about your whole life.
Please note here that every photographer is different, so these points I am going to make are ones specifically in my taste, but they are all also general and I know every #prophotographer out there would want these scenarios in a wedding venue, to get breath taking photos.
What are photo opportunities really? This should be a self explanatory thing but still most bridal couples choose a wedding venue based on what they see. For example, they would only choose the venue because of the big reception hall and the light themes inside, or they would choose the venue because of the beautiful garden. Let’s get this very clear, a beautiful garden looks great from our eye’s perspective as we not only SEE the beauty but we also FEEL the beauty. On the other hand a camera does not feel anything, so the beautiful garden would in actual fact give you “busy” photos.
Photo opportunities are actual “scenes” where a photographer can have the couple pose in. The scenes need to be carefully planned and not all wedding venues get this right. Most of the time just a simple open landscape scene where the sunset is behind the couple can give hours of photo time and also with the right photographer give amazing variants in shots.
Below are two shots I took a while back. Notice the difference in the shots though it is almost the same shot. When choosing your venue, look at photo opportunities from the photographer’s point of view and ask yourself how many variations in photos can we get here. Variety is key.
This is probably the most important aspect when looking at venues. Yes with your eyes you see a beautiful garden or even a beautiful scene where most photographers shoot at that venue, but look further than that. What is in the background? Most beautiful gardens have walls or fencing around the property, will that ugly wall or fence be in your photos? How many tall trees are in the background, maybe there are neighboring buildings in the background, would you want those in your photos forever?
The background of every scene is THE most important thing to look at. A good trick to do is take your phone and take photos of the different scenes, you will get a fairly general feel of what you wil get, but more importantly you can send these photos to your photographer and get his/her opinion on it.
Below are examples of some of the most beautiful scenes I had the privilege to work with. These are set in different scenarios and themes but it will give you a good sense of what you can look out for when doing venue hunting.
It always helps if the venue has beautiful staircases it makes great photo opportunities.
This is just one photo opportunity, notice the variety of photos
THE CHOICE IS YOURS
Ultimately I dont think there are wedding venues out there that are perfect, meaning venues that have everything you want like amazing photo opportunities and also beautiful buildings like the chapel and reception hall. You will have to compromise in some aspects but personally I feel that your photos are the most important thing, but we all are different.
Hope this blog has helped you in thinking a bit before you choose a wedding venue. It is always a good idea to ask the venue on the viewing day to see all the photo opportunities.
Have fun planning!