A few months ago I showed up to photograph a wedding to find three (3!) videographers in the small hotel room the bride had chosen to get ready in. In nearly every one of my shots, there is a piece of video equipment in the corner of the frame. The getting ready portion of the day is already a bit of stressful one. Having an extra three bodies plus a ton of video equipment really ruins the quiet, authentic moments I so dearly love to capture, and the reason you decided to hire me.
This post isn't to bash videographers. In fact, I admittedly spend an unhealthy amount of time watching strangers' wedding videos, weeping. This post is to educate my future clients on what it means to have both, what they may need to sacrifice, and how to choose the right one.
If photography is most important to you, then I ask you to give my suggestions a thought. If photography comes second to videography, I might not be the best photographer for you.
(.01) Hire a videographer that has a similar style to your photographer.
One of the main issues I come across when shooting along side a videographer is that we have completely different tastes and styles. I do not direct my couples, especially when I'm photographing moments rather than portraits, but I've come across several videographers that tell the bride how to put on her earrings, or tell the groom to pretend to "choke up." (Yeah, that actually happened.) I document your story, I don't direct one, and if your videographer is a director, you'll have to sacrifice time with me, since he/she will have totally different ideas and will want his/her own time to get the shot.
This happens a lot because most of my brides hire their videographer last, leaving them with a very little budget. My two cents? Hire a good one, with a similar style to your photographer, or none at all.
Need a recommendation? Just ask me! I am happy to help you hire your videographer.
(.02) Give your photographer alone time.
My brand lends itself to creating images that are genuinely intimate moments between the bride and the groom. These moments will not be authentic if a gigantic video camera is being stuck up their noses and the photographer feels rushed to get the perfect shot. If your videographer can't promise to give you some breathing room during the portraits or First Look, then let your photographer photograph you alone, without any distractions. I promise you, this is the difference between a posed portrait and an authentic one where your true personality as a couple can shine.
(.03) Your videographer is there to film your wedding, not photograph it.
In my contract, I let my couples know that I am to be the sole professional photographer at the wedding, and that simultaneous photographic coverage by another professional photographer (this includes your Uncle Bob who has the fancy camera equipment!) releases me from our agreement. Some videographers also have photography businesses. It's imperative that you and your videographer set the expectations from the beginning, and notify him/her of your photographer's policy. This goes for DJ's, too! Just last week I had a DJ using a cheap flash to take pictures during the first dances...he is in almost EVERY one of my shots across the dance floor.
(.04) Your photographer isn't responsible for shots missed because of your videographer.
A couple of weekends ago I had a videographer set up his camera in the middle of the aisle at the church. Despite my kind and polite requests that we share the aisle and stand on either side, he refused to budge. One of my favorite shots to get is right after the bride and groom kiss and cheerfully run down the aisle. As I was walking backwards, clicking along, the videographer refused to move and allowed me to run right into him! I tripped and completely missed the shot.
(.05) Talk to your videographer ahead of time.
Let your videographer know about your photographer's philosophy and set the expectations straight away. Be sure he/she understands the importance of working together with your photographer, and leaving egos at the door.