The most important factors to consider in order to pick a photogenic wedding venue are probably not what you’d expect. Because most portrait photographers rely on natural light, the sun and sky are what determine a lot of decisions for wedding day portraits! So if you are a newly engaged couple who is venue shopping and photography is important to you, keep reading!
As a wedding photographer who has been in the industry since 2015 and photographed over 100 weddings, I have the art of photogenic venues down to a (artistic!) science. Almost immediately, I can tell you whether or not a venue is going to make for great portraits. And often, what couples think makes a place beautiful and what makes the photos beautiful are two different things! Below, I’m diving in to the factors to consider while venue shopping if beautiful photography is a priority to you!
This is probably what you noticed first about your venue, right? The beautiful qualities that make your venue unique are also the same qualities that make it photogenic! Personally, I’m inspired by beautiful, ornate architecture, particularly architecture with an old-world European feel. In Washington, D.C., we have a LOT of these types of buildings! In general, if the architecture of your venue sticks out as beautiful to you, then it will also likely be photogenic for photos!
A truly photogenic venue will have character and dimension that extends from the outside in. High ceilings, lots of ornate detail, unique design and dimension contribute to beautiful photos. Continue reading to learn more specific photogenic qualities!
Three characteristics that make all the difference: windows, ceiling & walls. Assuming that the venue is partially or entirely indoors (although I do love a gorgeous all-outdoor setup!), these three factors shape how the light is reflected throughout the space. The most photogenic venues have lots and lots of big windows, high ceilings, and light or white-colored walls. Together, this contributes to a beautiful, well-lit space!
Some of the loveliest wedding venues have the weirdest, darkest, ugliest bridal suites – so much so that many brides will choose to get ready at a different location! But the most photogenic wedding venues – the ones that have got it all – also have a gorgeous place for the bride and her maids to get ready.
So, what makes a photogenic bridal suite? Firstly, a lot of space. The larger the room, the better. This gives your girls a lot of room to spread out (and hide their mess from the camera). It also allows the photographer enough space to back up and get full-length photos. Moveable furniture is a huge plus in any bridal suite, because it gives the photographer the flexibility to move things around a little bit as you put on your dress and finishing touches. Clean, empty rooms in neutral colors make for the best and prettiest getting ready photos!
Another essential to the photogenic bridal suite is large windows. A lot of brides get a little bit nervous about the windows while getting ready – what if some can see inside? However, most bridal suites are not in a space that is very publicly visible. Also, you can always pull on your dress in private, and stand in the windows for the final buttons & zips!
Finally, when it comes to bridal suites, the more neutrals, the better! A room with a lot of light, neutral colors creates a blank slate where your details make it come to life. White or light-colored walls also reflect lots of clean light that will make you glow!
Have you ever seen a ballroom or hotel suite with, like, horrendously ugly carpet? Maybe it’s a royal blue, gold and red pattern that looks 50 years old. Perhaps it’s a forrest green country club carpet with little golf tee’s all over it (yes, I’ve seen this). Honestly, if you’ve noticed the carpet in the first place, it’s probably not pretty. The most photogenic wedding venues have light, neutral-colored carpet that does NOT make a bold statement or, even better, wood or white-tiled floors! The light, neutral color reflects light beautifully and won’t detract from your unique decor.
Lastly, the most photogenic wedding venues have stunning outdoor locations. Whether it be a gorgeous mountain view, a rooftop view of the city, or a big, colorful garden, an outdoor space where you can shoot beautiful portraits is the crowning achievement of a photogenic venue. These spaces are usually unique to other venues – recognizable and distinctly their own. They have a character that ties together with the rest of the venue, and they are private enough to not have random people in the background!
There you have it! The qualities of the most photogenic venues also just happen to be the qualities that I most love in venues! If you need suggestions for one of these places, let me know! Also, keep an eye out for my exclusive 2020 Venue Report for the DC Area coming later this year!
Romantic with moody fall vibes and jewel tones, this wedding was cozy and so beautifully designed.
La Vie En Rose photographs their 100th wedding at an all-time favorite wedding venue, Rockhouse Hotel.
Mixing sophisticated style with family traditions and meaningful moments - our kind of DC wedding!
Washington, DC | Naples, FL | Destination
La Vie En Rose is a wedding photography and videography studio for couples who want photos that live in the moment with them. They are based in Washington, DC and Naples, FL and are available for travel worldwide.