Asking for/suggesting a different location for pictures?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by tina___cliff_t, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Has anyone suggested or asked a B&G if the bridal party pictures could be taken at a near by park etc if the reception or ceremony location isn't going to be the best background?
  2. Of course! Take advantage of whatever is around you. The usual problem is time--weddings and especially formals can be very rushed. (guests are waiting @ the reception) It needs to be planned and timed well, but they can make great pictures. Here, wedding parties often go from the church setting to the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art; I saw two or three doing photo shoots silmutaneously.
  3. About a week before the event, I scout not only the intended location but also find a secondary location that we can use in case of bad weather, etc.
    Most reception venues (if they regularly do weddings) will have suitable spots for shooting. But that's another reason for the scouting trip the week before. If the location isn't suitable, I'll take a few photographs when I am there so that I can show the couple why we should find another location. Here's a perfect example: I did a wedding in the early Summer at a banquet facility and the grounds were just beautiful. Did another wedding in the same place late in the Fall, after all the leaves had dropped. It was next to impossible to find a nice backdrop that didn't include an interstate behind it.
    I let the B&G know that I find alternate locations. I always tell them where the alternate place is (once I've found it) and it's never been an issue. The one important aspect to this, though, is to make sure it's a logistically viable place. In other words, if the wedding party is large, how easy will it be to get people to the alternate place and back?
    As with everything, communication is critical and you never want to surprise the B&G on the wedding day with, "Oh, we need to go elsewhere for the pictures."
  4. I would not suggest a park for formals instead of using the church but would in addition to using the church. After the ceremony you have everyone there, ready to go, expecting the photos......turn 'em loose to meet up at the park and you could lose somebody. Also, the controlled environment at the church makes it easier to provide direction and manage crowd control. You also have a controlled environment for lighting......shooting outside in a full sun is the most difficult lighting situations generally. Well organized formals shouldn't take more than 20 minutes. You also need to consider rain contingencies. For the most part the background is secondary to getting good images with happy faces all dressed up for the day. A stop at a local park afterwards while on the way to the reception can be a good idea as an add-on rather than instead.
  5. And to add to David's point, most people still behave fairly well while inside of a church. That makes it a lot easier!
    Get them to a park or anywhere else and, suddenly, it becomes like herding cats and you will spend a lot of time getting people to pay attention
  6. I've never lost anyone for group shots after the ceremony and have only shot in church 2x in my 17 years of shooting weddings and that is because it was raining and the venue wouldn't be good for photos.
    When using another location besides the church grounds, we carefully plan the timing to make sure everyone has time to get to the location and we have enough time to do all the groups as well as the couple. If things run late - we have plan B which is often to do the couple at the park and meet the family back at the venue for outside photos there. They all have a map and directions and I start with whomever arrives first. Sometimes that's the bride's parents and the couple - so I start with that grouping and as people arrive - add them in to finish all the various groups. If they all arrive at once (most of the time), I shoot the largest group first and then the bride's family so they can get to the reception quickly.
  7. haha, I think that might be photographer death if they just sprung this on the couple last min.
  8. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "Has anyone suggested or asked a B&G if the bridal party pictures could be taken at a near by park etc"
    Shooting the WP Formals at a Third Location was my SOP. I have mentioned it many times in previous posts - as a summary:
    a) Before: Bride's Home
    b) Church - Arrive - Ceremony - Church Group Shots
    Ci) GUESTS LEAVE FOR RECEPTION - Wedding Party to Location shoot for WP Formals
    Cii) Guests all at Reception & have a Drink - B&G finish Formal Shoot make Grande Entrance
    D) etc . . .
    Timing and having a Plan B - me too, like Mary: But my shot call was slightly different, perhaps more regular - because we all arrive at the same time, because we leave in convoy and the Road Courtesy (actually Road Rules) of right of way to Official Wedding Carriage is observed here – usually only three or four cars, anyway.
    Usually the Parents come to the lactation Formals - sometimes not (I have done group shots at the Church too). At the location we shot the Parents' Combinations first and they leave - then we do the Official WP and lastly the Couple Only. I usually bring a bottle of Champagne and Glasses – works both for Rapport and Props, too.
    I do think the question is a good question - and the idea can be adapted to mostly all Weddings; Photography Styles and Budgets. It doesn’t have to be interpreted as a stiff starch “Formal Shoot” it could be marketed as the “Location Shoot”, the "casual getaway shoot" . . . or whatever.

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