Whenever accepting a new job, you always should ask a few questions.
One of the most important questions "Where will ______ be held?"
So, recently I met with an amazing couple to grab a coffee and discuss their upcoming wedding. After learning the facts such as how many guests, expectations of the bride, length of the event etc... These bits of info all really effect the other important bit of info on the location/venue.
They said that there was a ceremony at a neighborhood church, and then the reception at the mountain side Marriott Hotel in Salt Lake City.
Now, having never been to these locations I always think it is a good idea to take 20 minutes and scout out these spaces before I show up and find myself unprepared.
(From Parking Lot)
Now, so far there is nothing crazy, you have to get in there, see the available area, but at least I know where to park now.
(Scan of the lobby)
(Opposite view just over the blacony)
Now, getting the layout of the overall hotel, I can tell there is a lot of window light and spaces that I can sneak the couple out for shots when I can.
I can place them in chairs, with and without windows open.. etc As seen below. Getting some really nice portrait set ups.
Then, the venue/main area which is on the lower level of the hotel.
The entrance is just near the fore mentioned chairs and at the bottom of this staircase.
Entering the room I was told the dividers would be up, but the room is usually un-sectioned off and ready for large groups. Pictured below, you can see the divider and the general layout of the space (what is viewed here is onnly 1/3 of the overall space.
Now... The last thing to check out is the small patio area that should be available for shooting some portraits.
(*Note these images were taken if Feb. and the event is in April, so the presence of snow is not expected the day of.)
What does this even do, scouting a location, finding out what to expect?
Ok, well I will break down what it means to me.
1. I now know where I can park...
2. I know how far I might need to unload lights, carry bags, where I can set and set up these this as well...
3. I need to bring lights! From this mini tour I have seen that while the lobby and open area of the lower floor have a good level of light, lots from windows. Then room itself, assigned for the event has zero windows and only (warm) lighting from the ceiling...
4. There are a bunch of spots to steal the couple away for some quick portraits...
(I can use chairs, window light, brick wall outside, the tree line outside, the archway outside, the staircase shooting up at the couple... I can put them against a blank wall I can shoot down from the top level getting them and the pattern on the carpet.)