This picture is from a wedding I shot in Tampa, Florida – a place I had never been to before the day of the wedding. One of the things I love about shooting weddings in a place I’ve never been to before is how easy it is to see new things. The same principles apply when you go on vacation. Not only are you more aware of your surroundings because you are in a mental place that makes you take more in (vacation mode), but you are also more aware of what you are seeing because it’s all new. When you are at home, surrounded by things you see every day, you become less aware of them. For example, if you have front steps that lead up to your house, do you know how many steps there are? You might have counted them at one time but even though you walk up and down the every day you become oblivious to them. Same is true with weddings. When I get to shoot a wedding at a new venue – be it local or a destination wedding – I simply see more. And the key to taking great photographs is being able to see them, obviously. When I’m interviewing couples who might be interested in hiring me I often get asked if I’ve worked at the venue they’ve chosen for their wedding. When I say no, I often see disappointment. I explain to them the concept I’ve outlined above, but I’m not always sure people understand it. If not, there is one other way to realize this is an unimportant issue that should never be of a concern to a couple. Stop and think about the layout of most venues. One or two large conference rooms at a hotel or wedding-specific venue. It’s not like there is a difficult space that is hard to figure out very quickly. If you hire a great photographer, the first thing they should be able to do is adapt to whatever challenges are presented by the shoot. Managing a new environment is pretty close to first on that list.
To see more places I’ve only been to once, check out AlanWeinerPhotography.com