I've been thinking about writing this blog for a long time, however after starting editing at 04:30 this morning, it made me think on the subject again, so thought I would take a quick coffee break and share these thoughts, then take a look at the photo above.
Over the years I have always taken extra time and care over editing our couples pictures, removing everything from light switches, signage, rogue guests, and of course making sure the couple look their best so also removing blemishes and stains. This I do with pleasure to make the photos look at good as possible, however, the one thing that really makes me mad and can cause a lot of delays in the editing process is down to the venue either just not thinking, or being lazy.
This may be easier to put in list form, and this may help you when looking at venues and checking the setup on your big day.
So in no particular order.
General Tidiness, take a good look at the venue, not just the superficial first impression, is the paintwork up together, is anything broken, if they have the venue set up for a wedding take a look at the positioning of things.
An example of this is your wedding cake, I can not tell you how many times I have had to remove, fire extinguishers, radiators, and other ugly utility items, because the cake table has been placed right in front of them, some things can be hidden with a "clean" white table cloth if that is the only position available, but simply moving the table a few feet may make all the difference. Advertising signs also fall in this area, I understand the venue may want to advertise to your guests, but do you want those signs in your photos?
Another thing is how tidy are the grounds, are paths swept, and gardens tidy, grass mown, I love rustic, and natural photos, but paths covered in cigarette butts or rubbish, dead flowerbeds or pots, broken fences. All of these can ruin photos, and add extra time to the editing process unless you can work around them, which in a lot of cases you can't.
This is not so much photo related, but also take a look look at the furniture, as lovely as they are to look at Chiavari chairs are a pet hate of mine, I have known couples have to repair chairs so they could use them and have seen them collapse or just wobble so much they are unusable. More photos related is just tired furniture, we photographed a wedding and they had a beautiful piano and we wanted to use that in the photos, however, it was so scratched and beaten up, We used it, but I spent ages removing the damage to make the photo right. That could have been made to look so much better with a good coat of furniture wax.
Carpets are another issue, having run bars and pubs in the past, I know that any venue flooring needs to be hard-wearing, however, some of it is so gaudy, it can distract the eye, and cause real problems with colour balance in the photos.
Last but not least, how clean is the venue, are windows clean, are mirrors clean and not covered in smears. are tablecloths clean, not covered in stains.
Sometimes it's hard to see past the wow factor, so follow the same advice as they give buying a house, visit the venue a couple of times, and not just on open days, and at different times of the day so you can see if what the lighting is like both natural and artificial.
I'm always happy to chat with our clients about this, maybe take a few shots on your mobile so you can see what a setup really looks like.
I hope this may be of help.
Peace and Love.