Dear Courtney: Are you comfortable shooting at new venues?

I feel like I am constantly the new photographer in town (because my farmer husband keeps moving us to new places) And thats not always easy. Actually, its never easy. 

But if there is one thing that I’m loving, its all of the new towns and venues that I get to photograph at! 

One of the popular questions that I get when a bride inquires about my services, is how comfortable am I shooting at a “new to me” venue or city! Fair enough! Honestly, I’m so happy when brides ask me that! Because your photographer should definitely know how to handle a situation like that. 

My response is always this: New venues and new cities are my jam! I love nothing more than photographing at new places because I see these places with fresh eyes! The creative juices are definitely flowing and while its a challenge at times, it’s a challenge that I thrive with. Quite honestly, it helps me to deliver my best work because I know that I have to be on top of my game and think a little harder! Getting too comfortable at a venue can honestly sometimes be a negative thing. Creatively, I work best when I'm in a new and fun setting!

Another thing that I tell my clients is that I will either scout the location in advance (if I can) or I make sure to show up plenty early to get my game plan down! It’s my goal to make sure that my clients trust me and know that I prepared and ready to handle any situation that presets itself on a wedding day!

My first wedding of 2018 was at a ‘new to me’ venue. It was in the heart of St. Louis AND there was a Cardinal's game happening at the same time, a block away. Since St. Louis is a two hour drive from where I live, scouting the location a few days ahead of time wasn't ideal. Instead, I showed up early, walked around the property and the town and came up with my game plan! One of the first things that I noticed was a parking garage. If you see a parking garage, you know there has to be a top level with some kind of view! Parking garages are one of my favorite places to go if I'm photographing in the city and need somewhere to make sure I'm getting a solid golden hour! Sometimes the city buildings can block the sun and you won't get that glowy light, but finding a roof top will always solve that problem! (Be warned though, some parking garages require a permit or are 100% off limits! Do your research and know where you're allowed to or not allowed to go!) This parking garage in particular, had the most beautiful view of the city, the Gateway Arch and even a stunning shot of my couples venue, The Westin Hotel! Y’all, it was gold! 

In conclusion, brides. Don't be afraid to hire me because I'm new to town! ALSO, don't be afraid to ask these questions! I am happy to answer them and want you to feel confident in your decision, whatever it may be!

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