|Note these grass seeds were here during my reccy a week before the wedding and the father of the bride was going to cut them down so the place looked neater.I convinced him otherwise|
Sometimes in Wedding Photography it is a good idea to do a "reccy" trip, ie a visit to the wedding location sites on a date before the wedding.
This may be in a country area not too far way geographically or even locally.
Some of the reasons to do this:
1. You want to go the second mile on this wedding and leave no stone unturned to nail it.
2. Your unfamiliarity with the location and wanting to search out the best spots for photos.
3. Check where the lighting will be while doing your shoot. This means doing the reccy as close as possible to the due date of the wedding and visiting each shoot location at approx the same time as your planned wedding timetable.
4.It will really impress your customers if they know you are taking that much care about your wedding and it is a professional thing to do.
5. You can test your timetable that you have organised to find places that might be hard to locate.
6.You may make contacts that are useful for future reference eg. the Function Manager of the reception Centre. You could negotiate some shots for their publicity of your wedding in their venue. This can also be used for your Marketing.
7. It may be a physical and financial impossibility to do this on all weddings and I never have, but some Photographers who charge top prices use this as a marketing tool.
When I have done so it has been extremely useful.
If you are an experienced photographer you should still be able to deliver a great product without the reccy.
8. On some occasions I have gone with the couple to a location where they want their photos before the wedding day and taken some casual relaxed "love story" shots.
9. I take extensive photos on these location trips and even have taken photos of country road intersections and turn off's where one could get lost without prior knowledge.
10. GPS is now great for assisting navigation on photo shoots and weddings but I would not rely on it entirely.
Above are some examples of photos taken on the day of the wedding that I had checked out on a reccy.
I had even used the Father of the Bride as a substitute model on the reccy vist to his farm where these shots were taken. I have not enclosed the shots of him to save his possible embarrassment but it worked a treat.
Above are some of the resultant shots which I had planned on the reccy.
I have been today for another reccy for an approaching wedding.
Now that I am "retired" it was a good excuse to take my mum for a visit to the countryside .
I'll show you some results from that wedding in a few weeks time.
Mum kept the tourist industry viable by "shopping" as we went.
See also my post on 7/7/11 " All I know about Wedding Photography: know your enemy and your weapons." and "A Wedding Photography Time Table" 4/7/11.
Note there are now 18 posts on this blog on training in wedding photography.