Venues : Where Would We Be Without You?

I have no idea

Venues & Planning

How to Glorify Your Venue.

My last post included some suggestions for planners and coordinators on how to work alongside photographers to achieve best case scenarios for photos so that all vendors win big.

This post is leaning a little more towards steps that can be taken at venues themselves.

You may not be building a new venue, but there are some small things you can do that will improve the quality of photos taken at your event space.   Here are a few things that I find helpful when I’m photographing on location.

1.  Lighten IT up!

It’s ideal for bridal parties to get ready on site.  The less traveling we have to do on a wedding day the easier life is for everyone.  The more natural light you can get into the spaces for getting ready and the more light colors for decor the better. 

I’ve been at a number of venues (especially farm venues) that have dark brown wood paneling or natural wood logs for walls.  This looks beautiful, but those dark colors are eating up all the good light.  Even when we use flashes, that wood gobbles it up, and the light it does reflect back is orange.  If it makes sense in your space, I say paint those walls white.  Another help would be to get rid of blinds and hang sheer white curtains. These will act like giant soft boxes and allow for flattering natural light to pour in on our brides and grooms.

De’Ann and bridesmaids getting ready in the master bath of Villa Levon, Thomaston, GA

2.  Order the madness!

When bridal parties arrive on sight they typically throw their stuff everywhere like a formal wear store, beauty supply store and a liquor store exploded in a big bang!!  Photographers are constantly trying to shoot around the mess while photographing people getting ready.  Ahead of time I ask brides to inform their bridesmaids to just put all of that stuff in the darkest corner of the getting ready room. However, it would be awesome if bridal parties could be directed to put all their excess stuff in a closet, or dresser or chest or drawers, so that we can (moderately) keep these spaces clean.

Planning by Christina Logan Events. Getting ready venue: Hutton Hotel, Nashville

3.  North Facing Windows (ie. Cave Light)

All light coming into a building from the north is super soft and gracefully highlights our clients.  Get as many north facing windows at your venue as you can.  Or if you can, put in some north facing doors.  When people stand a couple feet inside a north facing window or door it’s hands down my favorite interior light to work with.  Also, as noted in the photo below – so fun wallpaper can go a long way. 

Left: Kara @ an Airbnb, Atlanta. Right: Katie & Devin @ St. Regis Hotel, Atlanta. Both lit with natural light from north facing windows.

4. Allow time to document the reception area set up

Sooooo much design, collaboration and energy goes into putting together the reception area setup.  Make sure its on the timeline for your photographers to have at least 10-15 minutes to photograph clean room shots of the reception area after it’s set up and before guests enter it.  The biggest hurdle here is communicating with the catering staff to clear the room for at least a couple minutes so we can get a full room shot without anyone in the photos.

Planning by Lila Wilson @ Summerour Studio, Atlanta.

5.  But when does the sun really set?

I know when we are making timelines we are all considering the actual sunset time.  But if our goal to get photos of our couples surrounded in sun drenched warm light – that might not actually be during ‘golden hour.’  If your venue is hidden in the woods or if you’re located in the city the sun might disappear behind trees or skyscrapers much earlier than the actual sunset. In those situations I would rather get to photograph couples in harsher sunlight than the hour before ‘sunset’ if I can’t actually use the light.

Linda, Chase and Bridal PARTY at Clementine Hall, Nashville.

As wedding vendors our number one priority is to help our clients achieve the weddings of their dreams.  When we are able to collaborate together to make that happen we all win.  I love when I can provide stellar images to venue and planners so that they can also use those photos in their own marketing to showcase their abilities and spaces.   Thanks for following along!


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