Perched in the Burbank hills overlooking De Bell Golf Course and the east San Fernando Valley, the Castaway Restaurant and Banquet Center sees its fair share of corporate events, parties, weddings and wedding receptions.

And why not, when the venue offers so much ambiance for an affordable price? Between the gabled roof and beamed ceiling of the main banquet hall and the brick outdoor patio with gazebo, Castaway Burbank has the versatility to accommodate both indoor and outdoor functions. Its hilltop setting also promises sweeping Valley views, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you book an event here and also desire great photos.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the timing of your event will greatly affect your picture taking opportunities at Castaways. Situated atop a hill, the Castaway grounds feature very little shade from on-site foliage. As a result, outdoor events bring harsh direct light during the day, hazy western skies at sunset, and very low ambient light conditions after dark. These conditions can be tricky, so be sure that your photographer is very experienced and comfortable capturing moments in an instant while being able to quickly work with very difficult conditions.

Another thing to remember is that familiarity with a location often makes for better photos. A photographer who’s shot at Castaways before will know all the great on-site locations — such as the winding, lantern-lit outdoor path and beautiful gazebo — that can be transformed into great night backdrops with the aid of a portable lighting rig.

The right photographer will also know of other nearby options — Brace Canyon Park comes to mind — that are excellent for formal wedding portraits if outdoor shots are your thing. That’s why the key to a successful shoot at Castaway Restaurant — or any venue, for that matter, is making sure your photographer is knowledgeable, versatile and prepared.

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