Previsualizing…a Behind-the-Scenes Look

At the last minute, JD and I decided to take a much needed vacation. We're sneaking away for a few days before Christmas to relax, plan for 2013, and strategize for the first quarter. By a pool with a frosty beverage. Amen. I'm always excited to step away from the blog because I'm lucky to have amazing people like Katelyn James share insight into her business. I've blogged about Previsualization before, but I'm honored Katelyn is joining today with a behind-the-scenes look with how she goes about it.

Here's more from Katelyn…

Ever heard the phrase “Making something outta' Nothing”? Maybe the “outta” is the country coming out in me but you get the point. I feel like this phrase perfectly describes what I have to do when I'm searching for portrait locations before a wedding day. Some of the places I choose are weird, odd and downright ugly! But hey, if the LIGHT is good….. I'm going to shoot there and luckily, my clients trust me enough to let me do just that. One wedding I shot recently took place at a church in Downtown Hampton, VA. While Hampton is on the water and there are parts of town that used to be over-the-top gorgeous….it can be a little tricky to find GREAT portrait locations when you're near the ghetto and are surrounded by heavily residential areas. There aren't alleys or abandoned office buildings or fields filled with wheat…. and to be honest, I end up at these type of locations a lot!

The wedding in Hampton, VA was tricky to shoot, but I searched around the church and down the street for some locations before we started shooting. I wanted to be prepared and know exactly where to have the bridal party meet us after the first look! So here is what I look for when scouting locations:

1. Good light! If the couple is doing a First Look and it's a super sunny day, I look for SHADED areas that are also well lit…. “Open Shade” if you will! 🙂

2. Areas that will match the THEME and overall FEEL of their wedding day! For this wedding, I knew the couple using birdhouses and pastels and so a yellow and white Victorian house seemed perfect! …. Luckily the owner was mowing his grass that morning and so I stopped and asked permission! After hearing the full history of his victorian treasure, we were finally granted permission to shoot there!

3. Accessibility. These locations need to be easy to access because before the ceremony, we're normally on a time crunch. In Mandy and Josh's case, we were racing the MASSIVE storm that was heading our way within the hour! So I knew that we needed to be able to get to these locations easily and quickly!

4. Private. The first look location always needs to be private. This is a big moment. I had originally picked and little path for Josh and Mandy so to share their First Look but when the time came, one of the neighbors was WEED WHACKING!!! I don't know about you but I wouldn't want to be yelling over the sound of a weed whacker when I saw my husband for the first time! Not romantic at ALL. Nothing kills the mood like the smell of gas and grass. So I made a fast decision to change locations.

So here are some iphone images that I took when I was scouting and they are all followed by the ACTUAL portraits that were shot that day! (iPhone images are underexposed…. don't judge). I hear from photographers all the time who say they wish they had gorgeous locations to enhance their portraits. Hopefully this post will provide a bit of encouragement for those who feel like they are constantly lacking in the location department! Sometimes great locations can be found in the most unlikely places!! Enjoy!

It's always an honor to have Katelyn guest post for me…ever since I photographed her wedding on 10.10.10, my heart is eternally soft for her kind soul.

Happy Tuesday!