Is It Important for our Photographer to have worked at our venue before?

As many years as I have been a wedding photographer (started shooting weddings in 2011) I have to say, I have had an awful lot of brides express this fear. So I wanted to chat about it! I mean, is this something you should be worried about? When it comes down to it, is it important for a wedding photographer to have worked at your venue before? Well, here are my thoughts as a ten year wedding photographer!

At Water Works by Cescaphe in Philadelphia from the very first time I worked there. Literally obsessed with this image!

Should you worry?

I 100% get that your wedding investment is a HUGE investment, and not just dollars attached to it. These photos are what you will be looking at for the rest of your life. They are what you will be passing down through generations. They are what will be romantic kindle for the future. You want them to be emotive and stunning. You want to look back and be like DANG I’m so grateful we went with such and such as our photographer. And I understand how having your photographer previously shooting at your venue before can give you a sense of security that this is the best decision. But is it really? Here’s my controversial opinion- no. It doesn’t matter. I’m going to explain to you three reasons why this is totally not a big deal- and honestly why you should feel excited if they haven’t!

My very first time shooting at the Willows in Texas. Some of my most favorite images!

Let me ‘splain it to you Lucy.

If you caught the I Love Lucy reference above, please know we are now friends. OK, on with it. First, if you are hiring a photographer who not only has experience behind them, but has put the time in to really learn their shiz – particularly lighting and composition- then WHERE you put them is irrelevant. If they’re experienced and skilled then they have already have strategy in their head of what they’re looking for during your day, what lighting works best and what doesn’t. Where ya put them- it doesn’t matter. This is their job. To know their tools, manipulate the light, the environment, to see the beauty & create. Ultimately to see its potential of how the camera sees it. If you trust your photographer, you will trust they will do a beautiful job. Whether they’ve been to your venue 30 times or 0.

A Practical Strategy

Number 2 is something practical that can be done. For me, every wedding that I work, it is my goal to arrive early. But when I have yet to work at a particular venue, my goal is to arrive extra early so as to get a lay of the land. And help get a little brain storm going of what is possible! I can also get a feel of possibly what direction the light will be coming from at the time of day we will be shooting, but even at this point, nothing is set in stone. Because light changes all day long! But in general, taking this time to scout will help me feel more familiar of what is available on the premises.

From an engagement session, at a spot I have never been to before nor shot at, in a town in Texas I’m not even from!

But even before the day of, you know the first thing I do? It’s called internet venue stalking. haha! Ummm yes. The very first thing I do when someone mentions a venue I haven’t been at yet is start searching for it! See what it looks like, what other photographers have done there, the vibe, the feel. Immediately I get to know my couples’ weddings better AND I start to get SUPER EXCITED to create something I’ve never had the opportunity to create!


Which leads me to my next point. I’m going to let you in on a little secret every single artist will agree with. We LOVE creating something N-E-W! If you ask your photographer if they are more excited to recreate something they’ve already shot or if they are more excited to create something new… I can almost guarantee you every time, something NEW will win. We THRIVE and jump through the roof when we are excited about this new beautiful piece of artwork that we got to create! Being somewhere new is literally like being a kid in a candy store- who am I kidding, I still love being in a candy store! haha.

Should this be your deciding factor?

So should this be a deciding factor in choosing your wedding photographer? Now only you can decide this friend! But I will say with confidence, is that if you are hiring someone you truly trust- you have nothing to worry about! And actually you should be excited, your photographer is creating something totally unique and will most likely be obsessed with it! For me personally some of my most FAVORITE images of all time were in places I have never been before! So what will you be missing out on by making this a deciding factor for choosing your wedding photographer?

Still looking for your wedding photographer? Lets chat!

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