Prior shooting experience at a venue is a huge concern for couples when hiring a wedding photographer. However, regardless of whether a photographer has shot at your venue before, you should do some homework before hiring anyone.
Rather than asking if a photographer has captured a wedding at your venue before, you should take into consideration the timing of your event and what the lighting conditions will be like. Weddings at the same venue may be photographed very differently depending on the season, time of day and whether they are held indoors or out.
What should brides and grooms ask photographers before hiring them then?
You should ask photographers if they’ve photographed a venue that is similar to your own with the same lighting conditions you’re expecting to have (i.e. portraits scheduled for mid-day, a ceremony facing into the sun, and reception in a dark barn).
This allows you to view settings and samples that are similar to your venue (e.g., chapel, ballroom, barn, etc.) in similar lighting conditions. Viewing these photos gives you a look at what YOUR wedding photos could look like, not what your venue looked like in a different situation.
The photos posted below were taken from weddings with extreme differences in lighting. From outdoor portraits and ceremonies taken in bright mid-day sun, to dark receptions. Had I only taken photos in one location at any of these venues, a couple inquiring simply about my experience at a venue would not know the entire scope of my ability.
I’m sharing this because I want to arm you with the knowledge and know how to choose the best photographer for your wedding. Whether a photographer has photographed your venue is not nearly as important as knowing their skills for handling various lighting conditions.
Have any venue or lighting questions for me? Let me know in the comments!