Get your wedding videographer and wedding photographer working in perfect harmony on your big dayOne of the biggest wedding day regrets that keeps coming up time and time again is not hiring a wedding videographer. To not hire a wedding photographer would be lunacy, but a videographer? Industry expert and Bristol-based wedding photographer Albert Palmer shares his experiences of how to choose a great wedding videographer and get them working well with your wedding photographer so you don’t have any regrets.
As a wedding photographer I’m used to working with lots of other wedding vendors, but it’s videographers I work most closely with. A few years ago when I was starting out, I attended a wedding where I expecting to be working alone. Unbeknownst to me, the bride and groom had hired an inexpensive videographer who I’d not met before but who done a few family weddings and was recommended by the bride’s mother.
He was couple’s worst nightmare. He directed the groom getting out of the car. He walked three feet from the bride as she walked down the aisle. He wore a name badge that said ‘Derek. Videographer’.
No natural moment was allowed to happen. Everything had to be choreographed. The couple cringed as much as me.
Since then, I’ve worked with many different videographers with all different styles, personalities and equipment. Fortunately, I haven’t encountered Derek again but I have learned an awful lot.
Before I continue I would say that as a wedding photographer I am naturally a bit biased towards photography. So much can be said with a photo: they can be hung on walls, and easily put on display. However, I think if there is one thing I could change about my own wedding day, it would be to have had a videographer.
As one of my own couples said to me: “If you’re not going to regret it – why not?!”
And it’s true, video is a very different medium and it communicates moments that still image can’t. And just like photography, styles and trends have moved on significantly.
So here are a few top tips for hiring both a videographer and photographer. Why consider it? Because it’s worth making sure they can both produce the kind of work you have hired them to do. While I did my level best, I really couldn’t take natural, documentary photos at my wedding with Derek the Videographer. His personality impacted on people and at times, it was difficult to get relaxed fun images.
Likewise, there are photographers who have a vision in their mind and want to take constructed photos. A reportage videographer might find it very hard to deliver what they normally would.
So here are a few tips to help…
Pass on details to the photographer and videographer well in advance of the wedding and tell them that they will be working with one another. Let them know if one of them will be taking centre stage.
2. Make sure they have a similar style
A photographer looking to capture natural images will struggle to do this if the videographer directs the day, and vice versa.
3. Leave plenty of time
There will be times during the day when both photographer and videographer need the same shot, for example, putting on the wedding dress.
4. Find out how many assistants will be there
I was once hired to photograph a wedding of 50. Because the groom was getting ready in another location, I was asked to bring an assistant. On top of that, the videography crew had 5 members – together we made up over 10% of the people attending!
5. Make sure your vicar/registrar/celebrant/priest knows and agrees to let filming and photography take place during the ceremony
There is no law against this, but it does come down to their personal preference. It’s not uncommon for me to attend a few weddings a year where photography simple isn’t allowed. Which is a shame as it’s probably the best bit!
6. Hire someone considerate
Often when I’m working with a videographer I do my best to stay out of their way, and the favour is normally returned. If either of us are in the shot it is largely unusable, so it calls for someone who has an awareness of working as a team to get the best results for you. While this definitely works both ways, the photographer is more likely to be nimble and adaptable, whereas a videographer will use multiple cameras that have to be left on a tripod, so will be less mobile.
All photography by Albert Palmer, an industry-leading wedding photographer – Bristol-based but will travel all over the UK and abroad.