While rare enough, it is a concern to some regarding their venue and if their potential photographer has or has not worked there before. In the past I recall to have lost only one booking because the couple felt that since I had not worked at their proposed wedding venue previously they had concerns, they made this clear, but for me the concerns were unfounded. What struck me was the lack of trust in what I do and how I go about it, that trust is absolute vital to me, and I do not think I could have been more reassuring, and given the numerous phone calls and emails I just felt myself that this couple were not for me, and since I had not worked at the venue before then I was not for them (so why did they make contact in the first place? They must have liked the work?). In a general way I gave advice about this issue. But what planted the seed in their mind that their photographer must have photographed at the venue before? Perhaps it was from another of these blogs by non photographers, this I have dealt with already, and in very clear detail. All they do is muddy the waters.
In the time I have been busy working as a documentary wedding photographer I have not only worked the length and breadth of Cork but of the country. Each and every year I’m lucky to get around and visit new places, new people and given the now broad approach to civil and humanists ceremonies, some very cool and funky venues. To me it is refreshing being in a new venue, it can bring new opportunities. But what is it that makes a wedding day? It is what the bride and groom, their friends and families bring to it. If there is enough joy and atmosphere then the rest will fall into place.
In the past I would often check out a venue before the day. What was I looking at? A building. What happens on a wedding day? A lot of energy and fun, and this is the focus, if the building is dynamic then that will be integrated into the images, what if it just a marquee? Well, good light seems available and the focus is on the atmosphere and fun.
On my first visit to Donegal, a six hour or so hike from my door, and a wedding at the lovely Solis Lough Eske, I sat with the bride the previous evening before her wedding and I asked her “So why book a photographer form the other end of the country?” And she replied “You give us what we want”. It was about the images, it showed a value and trust in my brand of photography and way of working and I found that a great compliment.
If there is a concern about this then I don’t think it should be so, as I often state, put the focus on the photography. If you resonate with it the go with your gut instinct. Worrying about how I may react with the venue is purely superficial and serves as nothing more than a distraction.