‘Have you shot at our venue before?’
A few times a year I will be asked if I have shot at a prospective clients venue before and I am always honest and tell people if I have or haven’t. I totally understand that it is nice to see the work of a photographer if they can show a wedding at your venue. It helps with imagining your wedding day and how your photographs may look and brings a sense of security that you will also get the same awesome set of photographs that the previous client has received.
There is a flip side to this however. Your wedding will be totally yours. With different guests, different clothes, different decorations, different flowers, different weather. At the centre of it all, YOU will be different. You are different people. Not only do you look different but you will act differently too, you will kiss and laugh and smile in different ways at different times to the previous clients. Even if the people who provide the services for your wedding day have worked there before it is also a different day with different creative brains, different inspirations and different personalities to bounce off. The only thing that will be the same are the bricks and mortar of the building and even then, those change with the light and weather. So pretty much everything will be different.
Whenever I shoot at a venue I have worked at previously I try and bring fresh eyes to the day. Because of everything I have listed above, if I simply used the same poses in the same locations as previous weddings just because they worked before, I would be doing you a disservice. Some things might work (like an amazing stair case or light through a window) but I wouldn’t want to assume they would work again. Because you are not the same as anyone I have shot before, you are wonderfully unique in every way. I may use previous locations as a starting point but they are likely to work no more or less than if it is the first time I am using them.
I also need to think on my feet wherever I am. The above photograph was taken at Hay on Wye where Hannah & Gareth wanted photographs of themselves in Hay after their wedding ceremony. I have been to Hay a few times with family but never with my wedding photographer head on. On the day we visited the locations we already had in mind from discussions and street view explorations but ‘Murder & Mayhem’ was completely spontaneous. We were walking past and I saw the wonderful shop front and name and knew I had to give it a go. We asked the shop if we could use their door way, they obliged and it is one of my favourite shots of the day.
‘Do I need a local photographer?’
In a previous blog post I wrote about your relationship with your wedding photographer and how important it is. It would be lovely to meet every one of you face to face before your wedding day, but some of the weddings where I have gelled with my clients the most have been ones where we have Skyped 2 or 3 times before the wedding day and emailed a whole bunch. Where people have let me get to know them and what makes them tick.
If I live close enough I am up for meeting ahead of time at your venue if it (or your wedding day) is particularly unusual, like a field on a hill-side in the middle of a fruit and veg farm. So I am not opposed to visiting beforehand if you would like me to. If you have booked me well in advance then it’s easier to meet up ahead of time, especially as we can coincide for when I am passing. But whether I am near or far I will always do my homework before your wedding day to make sure I can find out as much as I can about your venue. But being able to visit in person is honestly not something that will change how awesome your wedding day photographs are.
So please please .. do not let the fact that I have not shot at your venue before or that I am based on the other side of the county be a deciding factor as to whether to book me or not. Book me because you love my work. Book me because I treat every wedding and client as totally unique and wonderful and because at the end of the day my aim is to make sure you love your wedding day photographs for many many years to come.
To enquire about booking me as your photographer (wherever you are) please go here and send me an enquiry.