(Closed) Photographer Not Doing a Site Visit

posted 5 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
8453 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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sil01 :  I would not assume someone was going to put in an extra couple hours of work for free. Since he’s well-regarded, he has probably been to lots of different venues and lots of different types of venues. I bet he’ll be fine checking the place out when he gets there day-of.

Post # 3
639 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

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sil01 :  I think you are asking a lot of your photographer. A 40 min drive turns out to be 1.5ish hours of driving round trip, not to mention the time it takes to talk with the venue. Mine did not do a site visit either and it turned out ok. We had done ours on a boat, so not only had he never shot at that location but apparently he had never done a boat wedding before! The photos look good, and I’m happy though.

Your venue probably knows where the best shots are. Perhaps someone from the venue could do a phone convo with your photographer? A 10 min phone convo will def be less expensive or possibly included. I’m assuming the cost is due to the hours of driving and visiting he would have to do.


Post # 4
6331 posts
Bee Keeper

Our photographer didn’t do a site visit, and I don’t think he’d been there prior to the actual weddding stuff either. If he’s good, I’m sure he will figure out pretty quickly how to shoot and what to shoot on the actual day. Even if he goes now, things could still be different on the actual day. 

Post # 5
9436 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

Our photographer did not do a site visit and everything was fine. He found a great location for our first look in about 1 minute while I was changing into my dress and didn’t seemed lost or confused about where to do pictures at any point during the day. He’s a professional, he knows what he is doing. I can’t imagine why he should need to visit the space beforehand. He’ll be able to pick out good spots for pictures quickly as I’m sure he has an eye for that sort of thing. If there are specific locations you want pictures taken at just make sure to let him know.

Post # 6
2144 posts
Buzzing bee

OUr photographer wont do a site visit. He’s too far away. But as he said a wedding is a wedding. Is not like this is his first rodeo. 

Post # 7
4980 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

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sil01 :  Most photographers can figure out fairly fast on what to use when shooting at different locations.  You are overthinking this.  

Post # 8
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

I honestly just can’t imagine why you would assume that a well regarded professional would drive 40 minutes both to and from and “scout” a venue for free… Not only is he giving up hours of his time, but he is also missing out on potential clients that could use said time for shoots. Considering you are paying $8000 for his services, $900 seems reasonable for 4+ hours of extra work. He is probably charging you the same amount that he would charge if you were to add that time onto your wedding day package. Photography is his profession, I’m sure he would know if he absolutely needed to do a site visit to ensure good photos. 

Post # 9
30399 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Photographers also have access to the internet to check out your venue and the area around it.

Post # 11
894 posts
Busy bee

Personally I think paying $900 is crazy just to scout a venue (even if photog is reasonable to charge that for 1.5hr work) because you could have put that amount of money toward other necessary stuff in your wedding!

If you love his work enough to give him $8k to shoot, I don’t think there’s any cause for worry…perhaps you could ask him if he has any samples from his “first-times”, like previous shoots where he was shooting at that location for the first time without scouting?

Post # 12
1192 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Of several photographers I’ve researched, maybe one or two photographers have mentioned that they go to a venue beforehand to “scout” it.

Of course that more expensive photographer you found says “any photographer worth their salt will do X, y, or z” – he wants people to choose his services and wants to give people a reason to choose him over other photographers.

At my first wedding, my photographer didn’t specifically scout the venue beforehand – and his work was fantastic! I think you will be fine.

Post # 13
204 posts
Helper bee

Our photographer includes a meeting with him as part of his package (not including travel though, we still have to add his mileage rate to the cost but it’s not much), and he said he would prefer to do that at the venue a few days prior – the problem we have is its in a totally different country, so not easy to just pop over! 

I don’t think you should assume anything but I am 😵 at the cost of your photographer! 

Post # 14
6303 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

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sil01 :  Grrr…blog posts like that are ridiculous. It’s asinine for a photographer to claim that the rest of us who don’t do site visits are not “worth our weight”. Quite frankly, any photographer that is “worth their weight” should be able to work on the fly without needing a site visit. When I travel for weddings I always do a site visit on my own time because I like to double check distance from my hotel to venue, etc. Aside from that, I don’t really need it. 

I’ll admit photographers do get a little irritated when brides ask if you’ve ever shot at the venue before or want to see it. As long as you are hiring a well-rounded photographer with a *diverse* portfolio, it’s a non-issue. The only time it’s an issue is if you’re hiring a photographer and wanting them to shoot in a venue that is way far from what they regularly show on their website. For example, I am in an area where I routinely bounce from bright beach weddings to dark indoor venues – it makes for a really well rounded and “experienced in any lighting situation” photographer. On the flip side some photographers come to my area from places where most weddings are held in churches + venues, they get on the beach and basically cannot handle the full sun and harsh lighting. 

Post # 15
6574 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

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sil01 :  well there’s your problem. You want the white glove service that comes with the $14,000 vendor but you don’t want the $14,000 price tag. Your photog will be fine seeing the venue for the first time that day, and is well within his rights to expect to be paid if you ask him to work extra.

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