Your Video Team - Videographer Considerations
If you're hiring a videographer, and they're not on my Recommended Vendors list, please consider letting me know who you're considering prior to booking your video professional.
I mention this because some videographers have a coverage style that conflicts my coverage style—and that can impact my ability to deliver the photographs you expect. In addition to potentially compromising my style, conflicts between photographers and videographers can sometimes cause frustration which in turn can cloud creativity for both visual teams.
This article provides you with detailed information about my typical concerns and how to overcome them in order to have the best possible coverage from both visual teams. As you might imagine, I'd strongly encourage you to select someone from my list.
By selecting a videographer with a complementary coverage style, you can help ensure that we'll both be able to deliver the best possible images and video on your wedding day. In specific terms, I work best with videographers who work in the background, who don't offer direction during the time set aside for bride and groom or wedding party portraits, and who strive to record events in a fly-on-the-wall manner.
In order to put my typical concerns in perspective, throughout your wedding day I'll ask you to do certain things that will help ensure that I can create the best possible photographs. Those requests might involve asking you to stand near a window with pretty light or face a certain direction during portraits. Or I might say something funny to encourage your wedding party to start laughing at the same time. If your videographer also wants to provide direction or commentary at those same times, then everyone involved will be working with two directors. This kind of situation often introduces confusion or irritation for the subjects being covered which can then lead to situations where neither team is able to gain the cooperation or trust needed to create great work.
On Movie Making
If you hire a videographer who has a directed, cinematic, or movie-making style and their work is as important to you as your photography, then you'll need to adjust your schedule to add enough time for them to meet their requests for directed time. For example, there are some videographers who may ask that you re-stage and repeat certain actions like getting dressed, putting on shoes, tying ties, or even redoing the first look so they can capture those events from different angles.
Notwithstanding the considerations related to you guys having to perform tasks multiple times, those requests increase the amount of time that needs to be set aside on your wedding day. For videographers who shoot with a directed style that is similar to mine, in addition to the time you set aside for your photography, you'll want to add additional time to your schedule for your video team. That typically means that you'll need to add thirty minutes to your getting ready schedule, thirty minutes to your wedding party portraits, and thirty minutes to your bride + groom portraits (although your videographer may want more or less time depending on their own needs). If you're picking someone who has this kind of style, you'll want to check with your video team about exactly how much time they will need and you'll need to adjust your schedule accordingly.
Ceremony & Reception Concerns
Here are a few concerns that commonly arise when I'm working with some videographers. These concerns would not be an issue for any videographers you might select from my Recommended Vendor list.
Lead & Follow
Issue: Some videographers closely precede or follow closely behind the bride and groom during the first look, ceremony processional, ceremony recessional, or the reception grand entrance.
Solution: Instruct the video team to avoid close-follow coverage during candid moments that occur during your event particularly during the first look, ceremony processional, ceremony recessional, or the reception grand entrance.
Issue: Depending on the coverage style of the video team, some videographers continuously circle or partially circle the bride and groom during the first look, grand entrance, first dance, or parent dances.
Solution: Ask the videographers to perform no more than a single circle during the first dance or parent dances and avoid all circling during the first look and grand entrance.
Issue: Some videographers position their cameras in the exact middle-back of the aisle or in the exact middle of balconies during the ceremony at a height that doesn't allow the photographers to comfortably shoot over the top of the video camera.
Solution: Ask the video team to reduce the tripod height of any cameras positioned mid-aisle or mid-balcony so that the photography team can comfortably shoot over the top of the video cameras.
Issue: There are occasions when videographers move down the middle aisle toward the bride and groom during the ceremony. By necessity, the photographer will then need to move down the aisle with the videographer to avoid being blocked. And that that will potentially causing distractions for both guests and ceremony participants.
Solution: Instruct the videographer as to the importance of being unobtrusive during the ceremony and work from the sides and back only.
Issue: Videographers may sometimes position themselves in areas that are in conflict with angles preferred by the photographers. In other words, the videographers may position themselves and their tripods or sliders in areas that will be highly visible in ceremony photos.
Solution: The photographer coordinates this immediately before the ceremony and before reception traditions to ensure that the videographer camera positions are known and that visibility will be minimized in photographs (assuming acceptance by video team).
Issue: Some videographers employ large teams. These teams might be comprised of 3, 4, or even 5 camera operators and assistants. And if you add a large group of video folks to your day, that can lead to an awfully large group of visual professionals.
Solution: For weddings with fewer than 200 guests, ask the video team to limit their creative crew to no more than two individuals.
Issue: Some videographers wear bright colors, light colors, denim, and tennis shoes. This makes them highly conspicuous in photographs when they can't be omitted from from the frame.
Solution: Prior to the event, send the video team specific instructions describing the preferred vendor dress code. Dark colored clothes are typically less obtrusive with black slacks, black shoes, and black shirt (or dress) being the accepted norm for visual professionals.
Issue: Some videographers use drones to provide aerial coverage. However, FAA guidelines state that drones may not operated for commercial purposes without a pilot at the controls and without an issued exemption. Additionally, standard liability insurance carried by videographers does not extend to drone use. And unfortunately most videographers don't carry drone insurance due to the prohibitive expense.
Solution: Avoid drone use unless a) the videographer provides written confirmation that any drone will be flown by a commercial pilot, b) the videographer provides written proof of drone insurance, and c) that the videographer is instructed that drone operations should be limited to areas of the property where people are not present and should never be flown over people. Under no circumstances should drones be allowed to fly indoors or near buildings as both situations pose safety issues for even the experienced drone pilots.
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