To best maximize your photo time on your wedding day, we recommend minimizing the number of photo shoot locations. With all the beyond beautiful wedding venues out there our little hearts just explode with excitement when it comes to all the gorgeous locations we can use for our couples. The tricky part is narrowing down the selection of gorgeous shoot locations at each venue. But it is a good kind of tricky:)
We can totally help you with this. Our rule of thumb is to avoid spending more time traveling from point A to point B than actually documenting amazing photos of your love story. To be honest, a great photographer can make almost any location work + look fabulous.
So lets say your venue has an epic garden full of flowers, a beautiful grand stairwell, a wide open lake view, a dock on the lake, a walkway surrounded by tall willow trees draping and swaying in the wind, an open field of horses you can get close too for photos, a space where vines cover the walls in granger and a field of wild golden grass. A dream come true right. However, there is only an hour to do family photos, a large bridal photo and romantic photos of the two of you during the cocktail hour. How do you narrow it down?
• Preplanning + First Looks – Because narrowing down locations can be tricky we often times preplan the shoot location and do first looks so we can use more of the beautiful locations offered at each venue. For instance using the description above we could…
*Once your in your dress we could have dad at the bottom of the grand staircase and do “dad’s first look there!” be still my heart.
*Following dad’s first look we would head over to the garden where your groom would be waiting to see you for the first time. Just the two of you. We always schedule in 45 mins for your first look with your groom. This way we can take advantage of that time to document romantic photos. After you have seen each other and that special moment is documented we would begin to move around the garden for photos. From the garden we would move to the next closes location – say the lake + dock. On the way to the dock we would document photos of the two of you walking around the lake holding hands and giggling with joy. Once we arrived at the dock we would work our magic for another 15 mins and then head back toward the venue for bridal party photos.
*This is a great time to use the locations which are closest to the venue. For instance, the wall of vines for breathtaking bridal party photos and let’s say the willow tree walkway is right next to it, we would use that space too. With both of these locations right by one of the venue doors we can all get inside quickly to prepare for the ceremony.
*Post ceremony we would go right into family photos – with the bridal party photos already done we could sneak off for another 30 mins of romantic photos using another favorite location. Let’s say it is with the horses. In this scenario we would recommend the horses last because the stalls or horse field can be messy if you catch my drift + animals take a bit more time to work with. If we do that last and all the “big” parts of your day are already photographed it allows you both the ability to slow down, take in the moment and relax about having to keep the dress and suit spotless. This makes for moments that organically reflect who you are as a couple enjoying an adventure together.
• Venue Engagement Session – Another option when we come across a large epically gorgeous venue with a plethora of shoot location options and our couple loves all of them, we will often times do their engagement session at the venue. The trick is we never use the same location at the venue twice. So if there are 6 spots at the venue our couple loves we will choose 3 of them for the engagement session and save 3 for the wedding day. This keeps the engagement session photos and the wedding photos looking unique to each session with our couple.
• Style Quiz – Ok lets say you would prefer not to do any first looks and you already have an ideal location for your engagement session… What then? This may sound silly but it works so well. If narrowing down the 6 amazing location to 3 for your wedding day sounds overwhelming we do a little style quiz. We ask things like…
*Do you love open airy photos with white + light backgrounds?
*Are you more attached to dramatic or free loving photos?
* On your wedding day what do you picture when you close your eyes?
There are several more questions we ask and these questions really help to bring your style alive and narrow down your vision leading to photos you LOVE at the end of the day.