There are approximate 1.5 million wedding venues in upstate NY, ok just kidding there are not that many, however there are a plethora of venues and chances are, any one photographer has not shot at all of them.
I have been asked a number of times “have you shot there before?”
It’s a good question and I understand why it’s asked, but it’s not the right question. It would take me approximately 25 years with a wedding every weekend in a different place to shoot at every venue. This is not a scientific approximation and no actual math was done here, but you get my drift. Just because your photographer has not actually shot at your venue of choice does not mean you should dismiss them!
Barns are some of the darkest venues around...but we specialize in just that!
ANSWER YOUR OWN QUESTION
*Look through your photographer of choice’s blogs and galleries and see what they capture and how they do inside with their reception shots.
*Request a full gallery from your photographer so you can see a sample from beginning to end. MOST reception halls have a terrible light source, if they can shoot in a dark reception hall in Albany, NY they can shoot in a dark hall in the Hudson Valley.
*A PROFESSIONAL photographer should have no problem knowing how to work a dimly lit room whether it be a venue they have worked 100 times or never before.
I’M NERVOUS YOU HAVEN’T WORKED MY VENUE
*Ask your photographer to walk through the venue with you and discuss prime ideas for wedding photos.
*Find out if you can do your engagement session in the same place and you can get a feel for how your photographer will handle the venue and it’s enmities
*Personally, if I have not shot in a venue I will ask for a walk through well before the wedding so I have an idea of what will look great and what will not.
A NEW VENUE CAN BE BETTER
I have found a new venue can stimulate a photographer's creative senses. When I find a new place to shoot I am excited about the opportunity to shoot something different.
If your photographer has not shot in your venue before, it’s not time to panic.
Ask to see work produced in dimly lit areas (if you aren’t satisfied with what the website showcases).
Ask if they would walk through with you.
Ask what their experience is and how they handle a dark reception hall or barn.
Be up front if you are only going to have a candle light vigil at your reception at 9pm and work together on how to produce quality images.
YOUR VENUE IS NOTHING NEW
That is not to sound mean or demeaning. Your venue was chosen for what you loved about it, but for a photographer your venue is all about shadows and lights and textures and “where do we go if it rains”.
A professional reads all that in mere minutes of seeing a location, so unless your spidey senses tell you otherwise. We crazy photographers got this whether it’s a venue that is new or old, you just go on and get married :)
PS: We may not fear dark shadows, but we may fear water fountains - seriously...