Choosing A Fine Art Wedding Venue

Good morning everyone! It’s time we made a post regarding the best approach to finding the venue that suits your wedding perfectly. Finding the perfect Fine Art Wedding venue truly can be difficult.

We are going to write this with the perspective of Fine Art Photography and Videography in mind. If you’re on our blog, we assume this is your style! Shooting fine art images and clips requires a fair bit of planning. Although we pride ourselves in being able to turn just about anything into a well lit and beautiful scene- there are a few tips to follow.

Chasing Light

First, we always choose locations with lots of light. We can manipulate our angles and your posing to ensure that all that beautiful light wraps around you and gives that ethereal glow.

This means when it comes time to choose a venue, we recommend looking for one with lots of natural light. We’ve written about White Chateau here in Kentucky before, and one of the reasons we chose to highlight that specific venue is because the space is entirely encased in huge, beautiful windows. Natural sun dances in through these panes and illuminates the space beautifully. Not to mention from the interior you can see their gorgeous vineyards and greenhouses!

Interior Room Color Matters

If you’ve already found a space that includes lots of natural light, next check to make sure that a good portion of that space is done in light colors. Again, White Chateau does this beautifully. High white ceilings, white walls, light colored floor and furnishings. These points of white around the room give that light a place to bounce off of and back onto you.

This means that even if the sun is coming in the windows at your back, it’s hitting the ceiling and walls around you. The light then bounces off the white walls to hit you from multiple angles. This is crucial to obtaining high quality images.

We want to avoid dark wood, black or deep gray curtains, any sort of ‘warm’ colored furnishings. These will cast shadows and color tints onto the two of you. Your final images will lack that powerful punch of a true fine art image.

We do bring lighting in with us- but there is simply no substitute for natural sunlight to make subjects pop. Further- the more time we spend bringing in and setting up lighting, the less time we have with you two!

Symmetry is Art for a Fine Art Wedding Venue

Now, if you have a brightly lit and well appointed space- let’s next look toward symmetry. Are you going to have a floral statement piece behind the two of you as you say your vows? Will there be equal seating on each side? Is there a clear walkway that leads to the altar or are you going to need to zig zag?

To achieve the perfected images you see showcased in our portfolio, we are going to need to create symmetry. Ensuring that we have these straight lines helps ensure that your images and clips look balanced in your final imagery.

You can use your floral installations, the set up of your guest seating and even the placement of your reception tables to create this symmetry.

Not only does this set us up to succeed- it means that everyone can move about the space freely. For a long time the wedding industry pushed for maximalism. But you can actually expect a better experience by going more minimal. Find things that bring value without being overwhelming. We promise you- less is more if done correctly!

Wedding Day Details

Beyond being physically beautiful, double check that your event venue has some character to it that helps elevate the space. When you do the walk through- are you seeing any outdoor spaces with shade? We will likely want to do your portraits somewhere that we can create depth- so that shade will be prime real estate to us.

The beautiful vineyard with all of its trailing vines and sweet little lavender growing at the edges may be beautiful, but we can’t use it if it’s going to force us to have you staring directly into the sun.

We’ve found that many venues have created spaces that they want to have used for photography or videography, but we simply can’t because they don’t understand how the world of painting light actually works.

Beauty in Person Doesn’t Equal Beauty in Images

We have one specific venue that is really difficult for this that we wind up shooting at often. They ask the couples to do their actual ceremony on a gazebo with a narrow walkway leading up to it. Although the gazebo is beautiful, the average couple wants to get married in late afternoon. This means the sun is always shining directly into the gazebo and hitting the couple and officiant in the eyes.

The images during the actual ceremony come out with the couple in blazing high light and the gazebo behind them totally shrouded in darkness. This set up would work for dark and moody images- but does not work out well for a fine art style.

Further, that narrow walkway to the gazebo I mentioned? Pain every time.

Consider the Shooting Angles

It means we cannot physically get up close to you and are forced to use longer focal length lenses. The other option for close ups (ring exchange and kiss) is for us to shoot closer to you. Now we’re at lower angles since the couple is standing on the raised gazebo. There is a very small number of people who look good when shot from below. Shooting from this angle often means that even the couple with perfect bone structure looks like they have a double chin.

Alternately, you don’t want us to be forced above you either. We have had a couple shoots where the venue insisted that imaging team members were not allowed in the aisle. We had to get creative in order to get the shots requested by the couple. These venues often helpfully say “Oh there’s a balcony in the back of the church!”. That balcony seems like a great option, but it means we are capturing the top of your head. We will still manage the best images we can- but we can only shoot the wedding we are given!

Finally, we are always excited to help a couple with venue selection. We have an extensive preferred vendors list and can look at your venue even if we haven’t shot there. We are always happy to let you know if it will work.

Let us know if there is anything we can do to make this part of the process easier on you!

Still trying to decide where to go from here? Check out these blogs to learn more about the world of wedding photography and videography with Rebecca Ann Aesthetic.

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