Photographing At A Venue You’re Not Familiar With + How To Overcome Your Nerves.


If you’re relativley new at photographing weddings then you have probably come across feeling a bit nervous before you start your day especially if you haven’t pre-visited the venue.
I’m here to tell you that it’s fine to feel a bit nervous, the more weddings you shoot the less nervous you will become when shooting at different venue.

At the beginning of my wedding photography journey I felt more at ease if I visited the venue before the day but as time went on I got more familiar with what to do and what to look for when shooting at different venues.
Also lets face it, visiting venues takes time and especially when you’re shooting a wedding that’s far away it’s not really always feasible to visit them.

When you have shot a fair amount of weddings you end up being able to deal with whatever situation you get put into or whatever location you are at.
You may not be there yet but you definitely will be and with these tips you will get there in no time.

So let’s get to it!

Here are 5 Ways To Help You Overcome Your Nerves When Shooting At An Unfamiliar Venue.

Arrive Early
This may seem obvious but ALWAYS make sure you are early, being early will calm your nerves a lot because you know your safe, you’re there and you’re ready!
I have to be early for everything, I hate it when people are late! Sometimes I am wayyy too early but to be honest I would prefer that than cutting it fine or risk getting stuck in traffic.
It will also help you do the rest of the things I am about the list below for you.

Find Whoever Is Organising The day
The first thing I do is I always try to find whoever is in charge and ask them some questions like:
– Where is the bride getting ready ( room or location on site )
– Can you show me around quickly so I know where everything is happening
i.e. ceremony room, reception room or if it’s all in one, what door the bride will be entering the ceremony room, etc..

All of these questions will help hugely, don’t be afraid to ask them!

Scout The Location
Take a good look around the venue and figure out where everything is going to be.
– Figure out a good location for the ‘formal photos’
– Find some good spots for the bride and groom shots.
– Find a place where you can get a shot of everyone in as a big group photos if they require it.

Weather Changes
Make sure you figure out where you can do some photos if the weather is awful and it’s raining.
I had one wedding where the weather was terrible ALL day and it was dark literally all day. The street lights were on in the morning!
So I had to improvise, it was pouring so hard there was no way we could do it outside. Luckily they had a really pretty bar area so I could do some group photos there.
As for the bride & groom shots we did them in the owners house across from the barn, it was BEAUTIFUL and we got some really quirky shots.  Don’t be afraid to ask! Otherwise you don’t get. 🙂
Always be prepared for the worst.

Test The Lighting
It’s  always good to test lighting if you need too and see what looks best.
See where you can create certain photos with the type of lighting that’s there.

So there you go, try not to worry and just be prepared and you will be absolutely fine.