I often get asked if we need to do a pre wedding venue visit ahead of the actual big day. I guess this will differ from photographer to photographer, but I’m going to explain why I personally don’t do pre wedding venue visits.
Although there’s a few venues that I have photographed numerous times, every time it looks different because the people I am photographing are different. Not only that, but getting the exact same lighting & weather in our glorious UK weather is very rare. I am a reactive photographer, I react to my surroundings, the light & the people around me – all of which are always different from wedding to wedding.
I don’t want to have any preconceived ideas on what I’m going to do & where I’m going to do it until the day I get there. Its counterproductive having these planned out & then when you get there to then find out that for some unforeseeable reason that you can’t go ahead & do what you had planned.
You don’t need to worry though – I show up with equipment that will help me do my job in whatever circumstances. I have high spec digital equipment, high spec film cameras, back ups of all of my equipment as well as back ups for those too! I am a natural light photographer mostly, but I do always bring off camera lighting & on camera lighting *just in case*. Most of my first dance & party shots are done using off camera lighting. I am an experienced photographer where low light is concerned, which allows me to keep shooting even when the lights go down!
So basically, what I am trying to say is that I am ready to technically shoot no matter where I am or if I have been there before or not.
Here in the UK the weather is never consistent – one wedding recently was forecast heavy rains, non stop, all day. It did just that, until, out of the blue, came 1 hour of amazing weather that you would never have believed was the same day.
If I go & have a look round your wedding venue on a day before before your wedding at 1pm there’s almost no way that the light, weather & other variables will be the same on your wedding day even at the exact same time of day.
As I am a documentary wedding photographer that works by reacting to the surroundings – a crucial part of the way that I work is to react to the light thats available to me on the day at that specific time. That’s never something I can predict.
I’m at my most creative when I’m working reactively – reacting to the light, the surroundings, your guests & most importantly, you. It’s documenting you reacting & interacting with each other that creates true magic. If I had a preconceived idea because I had scouted locations ahead of the actual day without first seeing how you react to each other & your surroundings, the true magic of documentary photography is lost.
Now, don’t think I go in unprepared – I certainly don’t. I have a look round on the day of your wedding, spot some cool looking locations either on site or off site & we start there & go explore. I will always keep in mind the weather reports on the day, position of the sun & what the light is doing.
It’s relying on my experience & equipment that allows me to work to my creative best no matter if I have been to your venue before or not.
Let’s chat if you love the idea of natural & beautiful documentary wedding photography. I can’t wait to hear your wedding plans!