I’m writing this because it’s engagement season, and on a ton of my wedding groups I’m seeing a lot of brides searching for a photographer familiar with their venues.

Now, I get that it may give some comfort to know your photographer has been there before. However, here are the reasons it really doesn’t matter and could even hinder creativity.


The first thing a professional photographer does is look for the best light. Light changes from one day to the next, and even throughout the day. Since light changes so much you’re not guaranteed to have the same lighting situations as when they photographed the space last time. So if their photos are airy because it was overcast that day, they won’t look the same if your wedding day has bright sunshine all day.


If you limit your search to photographers familiar with your venue, you could be leaving out a lot of creative photos. Us photographers in Lexington will second shoot for each other during weddings. The first time I photographed at Keeneland was a second shooting gig, and I saw a beautiful opportunity to create a photograph, and the head photographer that day looked at my camera and said, “Why have I NEVER seen this before? I pass by this every time I shoot here.”

That’s because it’s easy to get into a routine when you’ve photographed the same space multiple times. You go to your favorite places, and forget to look for opportunities elsewhere. This is why I LOVE photographing new venues. I get to see something with fresh eyes, new opportunities, and my creativity goes into overdrive.

Amazing Photos Aren’t Based on Location

Any photographer worth their salt can create gorgeous imagery anywhere. One of my most popular bridal portraits was created against a wall where the trash cans were placed. There were literally trash cans between us in the image below. The top three things that create a beautiful photograph (and especially the portraits) is understanding of light, posing, and composition. That’s it. If you hire a photographer that is great at these three things, then you’ll be set.

Red Hair Bridal Portrait | Kristen Ellis Photography | Wedding Photographer Lexington KY

I really do understand that when you’re first looking, it seems to make a ton of sense to get someone that is familiar with your venue. However, it really isn’t necessary if you’re hiring a professional with a solid understanding of their craft.

Thanks for reading and happy planning!