Hey guys! This is a new category of posts, where I try to answer all the questions I’ve been asked about photography. I figure that I have all this wedding & portrait photography knowledge up top, and it couldn’t hurt to share! Seriously, I have too many thoughts. 

So I’m going to start writing tips & tricks posts here and there. If you have questions about photography that you’d like me to answer, shoot me a quick email or ask me on twitter

There are tons of things to think about when choosing a wedding venue. But as a photographer, I have some little-heard advice of my own: how to make sure your photos will look beautiful at your chosen venue.

Lighting is the singular most important factor in having great wedding photos. I’ve photographed weddings at awesome venues with terrible lighting, and at venues that were cool, but the light quality made them awesome. I specialize in natural light photography, so I prefer to photograph outdoors and at venues with lots of natural light.

A few months ago we had a wedding at the Atrium at Meadowlark (Nyssa and Brian I’m lookin at you guys!). Upon researching, it looked beautiful, but no different than any other outdoor nature venue. But! When we arrived, we saw that the lighting was gorgeous. Check it out:

Advice on choosing a wedding venue in washington dc



Nyssa and Brian’s wedding photos turned out beautifully because of the lighting, and of course because they are awesome!

Backdrop Another thing to consider is what will you get married in front of? Few people think about this in advance (Nyssa and Brian did–her dad created that gorgeous white wood arch for their wedding!), but the backdrop has a huge effect on what your ceremony photos will look like. Check out this amazing backdrop by Fresh in Love Photography that I found on 100 Layer Cake:


Wedding venue ideas - DIY streamer backdrop



























Imagine how much different this shot would look without the backdrop! It’s so beautiful and bright and colorful. Amazing. (A tip: ask your officiant to stand out of the way when they announce you as married, so that the photo is just the two of you!)

The reception area is also really important–lots of great venues have boring ol’ white tents. And if they’re decorated nicely, they can be great backdrops (and light reflectors). But for a kick-you-in-the-face-awesome tent, check this one out. Every single photo is whimsical, circus-y, and festive. The ceremony looks crazy awesome, and the reception does too!

Photo by Cameron Ingalls, found on Green Wedding Shoes


Of course, the degree to which you consider this advice will depend on your personal priorities for your wedding. These are just some thoughts that I’ve come up with after shooting lots of different venues. And also, super jealous of that big top circus tent.


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