Chapter 10: A Note On Videographers
I have had the "pleasure" of working with many wedding videographers and tv crews over the years. And I truly don't want to trash talk anyone, especially since I consider videographers kindred spirits. But... I have been so horribly disappointed SO many times. I have only had one positive experience in 10 years (In the Resource section you can see who that was). I wish I had some comforting words to say on this topic. I really do. But I don't.
If you have had fantastic collaboration experiences with a videographer on a wedding day, nomatter where in the world in was, please give them a shout out in the comment section below, providing link and location/country, so we can all benefit from eachother's knowledge.
By a "great" videographer, I do not only mean someone who create amazing footage and video, I also mean someone who is genuinely kind to be around and works in the spirit of collaboration with you as photographer.
I always approach weddings where I know there will be videographers present with the same respect and collaborative spirit that I show any other vendor the couple has chosen to invite to their day. And with regards to videography, I have been let down again and again, so much so that I at one point had to include a paragraph in my guide to my couples on the pros and cons of having both a photographer and a videograher. This was a crucial element in setting expectations so they knew in advance that my work would inevitably be compromised here and there, and that the videographer or his or her equipment would inevitably end up in some shots, even some of the key shots.
At one wedding, the videographer kept literally stepping in front of me, completely oblivious to my presence or just ignoring it (not sure which is worst). At another wedding, the videographer set up huge recording gear right in front of the bride and groom's table, which made it practically impossible to get clean shots of both of them in the frame without part of a videocamera sticking out, and completely impossible to get a beautiful shot of the whole room. I have often experienced situations where the videographer will barely say hello to me, and does not seem interested at all in communicating about the day so we can make sure we both get what we need.
When a couple tells me they'll be working with a videographer, I ask who it is, and then procede to email the person in question. Just to say hi, introduce myself, and tell them how excited I am to be collaborating with them. I make it clear that we are both there to serve our clients, so we might as well work together, and that they should please let me know both in advance and on the day of if there is anything specific they need and that I hope they will extend the same curtesy to me. I also let him or her know that I am happy to supply one of my still photos from the day should they need it afterwards for any kind of presentation of their product. This last bit is not so relevant anymore as it was back when most of us delivered stuff on discs.
You could argue that all this is hardly any worse than the many overly photo enthusiastic guests we experience at weddings these days.
No matter what, as long as you make the couple aware of the pros and cons, all that's left to do is to do your very best, as you always do