We arrived to the venue early to be welcomed with victorian vaulted ceilings, a swanky 1020’s speakeasy in the center of the lobby and a forest backdrop draped with a canopy of trees dripping of sun beams as far as the eye could see. It was radiant and perfect for a beautiful wedding day. Since we travel for a great deal of our weddings we always arrive at least 45 mins early to scout the location before setting up for the wedding day. We met with the wedding coordinator and he walked us around, showing us where the location for the wedding, cocktail hour, reception, brides room and grooms room would be. He then spoke about the “key” locations of where most photographers shoot. I turned to Brandon winked and we both smiled.
When we first started shooting we used to listen so closely to where other photographers shot so we too could use the same beautiful locations. However, in about our third year of business, we decided we wanted to break the “rules”. We wanted to shoot in the locations that others did not see and reveal the beautify others may have missed. Our goal became to shoot the venue like no other photographer had. We still listen to where other photographers shoot, but not with the goal to shoot where they typically shoot, but to actually not shoot in those locations and instead find the fresh undiscovered beauty that shines and stands out.
So here is the break down of how we do that, pretty simple yet very effective for for us:
*Since we travel to most of our weddings we jump on the venue website before hand to see what it looks like.
*I take a quick peek at Google Earth to see the layout of the venue in relation to the landscape around it.
*We arrive 30 minutes early to walk the property with the coordinator.
*Review where the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, brides room and grooms room are located.
*We ask about any shooting restrictions or limitations.
*After we have all this down Brandon and I take 15 mins to layout our game plan for the day.
*That 15 mins includes discussing:
– Where we saw the best lighting
– How the lighting will change throughout the day
– The less traveled shooting locations that are hidden gems and a must use
– Choosing the location for the first look (if it’s outdoors we choose a back up indoor location in case of
– Selecting the location for family portraits
-Securing the location for the bridal party photos
– And our favorite, mapping out the locations for the bride and groom romantic shots (we like to move
around the venue at that time).
Once the game plan is laid-out we hold hand, say a little prayer and walk into a beautiful wedding day. I head off to capture the bride getting ready and Brandon goes to be with the groom.