Where was the location again?!
I have heard, several times, that wedding photographers do not habitually preview the wedding venue(s) with the couple to be. This really surprises me, for several reasons. Here are some of my top personal reasons for finding this process a must.
- Calming Effect. Nothing removes the jitters for the Bride to be better than letting her know you have a plan and are in control of her wedding photography.
- Lighting. This should be every photogs primary concern in any situation. Touring the site is the only way to know what is to be expected. I often visit a site two or more times. I always take into consideration time of day, windows, ambient lighting and so forth. It is also a very good idea to find out if you can use your flash during the ceremony and where you are allowed to stand. These last can ones vary from wedding to wedding and venue to venue!
- Know your options. It is important to look for option A,B and C. Weather could impact outdoor shots not only on the day of the wedding but prior to it as well. A fierce storm can easily disrupt a beautiful garden for weeks or even an entire season. I will look for options on premise and off just to make sure the couple get what they want. Knowing these locations well in advance will make it easier to shift in a pinch.
- Stage equipment. 3 cameras and only one photographer? I have been in situations where I knew I would need to be moving fast and a lens change would be a time suck I could not afford. I place cameras where I want them, settings and lens ready to go. You can usually find a young child to guard them too… this wins many favors!
- You have covered tons of variables and can relax yourself and enjoy the process. If you are not having fun, people will notice it. If you are not prepared, it can easily be reflected in the finished product and your bottom line.
Wedding Photography is wonderfully rewarding. Be prepared, enjoy yourself and have success!