This is a question I get all the time. The Knot and many wedding blogs and magazines have this in their list of questions to ask photographers, and my answer is “It doesn’t matter, and in fact, I prefer if I haven’t.”
Every wedding has its own unique set of aesthetic cues, personalities and dynamics. Even weddings photographed at the same venue in the same season will have a completely different vibe and collection of final images that set them apart. At your wedding, I will be focused on a completely new vision and will not bring a previous wedding’s vision, or some rehashed, preconceived ideas, to your story.
Wherever I am, I arrive with fresh eyes. Before I click the shutter I am looking for three things: light, composition, and a compelling or storytelling moment. Some images I capture in a wide format to set the scene and atmosphere and others I capture to focus on an emotional connection. Through experience, I make all of these decisions within a second; I find the geometry, movement, emotion, atmosphere and lighting to highlight the moment I am capturing to fit in to your unique story.
Regardless of whether I have photographed at a venue before, I will do my homework to see if there are any hidden gems, newly constructed areas, refreshed interiors or blooming foliage. This is why scouting within a few days of the wedding, or even the morning of, is the best time to look at the venue. If we scout a few months before your wedding date, the venue is often completely different than on the day that we shoot: trees we plan to use may no longer be there because of severe storms (this happened!), weather may be completely different, flora changes week to week and scaffolding may be up. Most importantly, your setup for the wedding with its visual cues, and your style and type of personality will not be present.
I have the experience of photographing in every type of venue, in every type of weather: bright sun reflecting off water, a dark room lit by only one candle, a rooftop at night with no lighting and 200 guests, a ceremony in the pouring rain in the middle of Central Park, estates, private islands, remote areas of India, beaches, ballrooms, tents, all locally and abroad. You can be assured that your final set of images will reflect your story in an authentic, heartfelt and stunning way and will be brought to life with substance, depth and story.
All of the weddings on these pages were photographed during my first time at these venues.
Click here to see one of our weddings at Westchester Country Club (another first time venue) https://melanilustphotography.com/gallery/westchester-country-club-wedding/