The key is all about who you hire
When we have a client at Russell Caron Wedding Photography who’s also having some or all of their wedding captured by a separately-hired videographer, we ensure that we do all we can to make the process seamless, simple, and effective for us, the couple, and the videographer.
It’s a dream when you’ve hired a professional team that will make the most amazing video memories for you via their talent and skills in filmmaking. The best really stand out in their field. It’s all about whom you hire, and ensuring that the communication is crystal clear before the wedding day. It’s pretty safe to say that the high end professionals such as Nora at SP Films, Meg Simone Wedding Films, Josh Swan of Media Northeast, and LMV Productions (there are more but these are pros that we personally know will do their work without compromising the ability of the photographers to do our work) are fantastic to work with, use discreet equipment, and know not to take a stationary stance in the middle aisle. Their gear shoots in low light, from a distance, and is so incredibly professionally mixed their fee is well worth the investment.
Today’s wedding films are not like they were in the 1980’s!
It’s really important to talk a little about the way wedding videos differentiate from today’s “wedding films”. Your videographer may use different terms to mean the same thing, so be sure to clarify when you’re speaking with them. But, let’s identify what we’re talking about here: A wedding video in the traditional sense is lightly edited, long-running, and takes hours and hours to watch. So long that, in fact, we hear reports of people never actually watching them.
Enter: cinematic movie feature films
What is so very popular these days are the expertly mixed cinema “short” films. Your videographer will painstakingly rearrange the clips, add actual audio, add music, and make the equivalent of a Hollywood blockbuster out of your wedding day. The run time on films like these are often around 25-30 minutes. But to remember, this covers from the very start of the wedding, or perhaps even the rehearsal dinner the night prior, all the way to end of the wedding. But not necessarily in that order. Some of the best clips we have seen may start at the end and end at the finish, if that makes sense. All we know for sure is that you will need tissues to watch a well-done wedding film, and that is regardless of if you know the people in the film or not!
THIS is what we are talking about: Check out this film from Meg Simone.
Like all the rest of your wedding items, you get what you pay for in this department. A top-notch film like the above example is going to an investment. But a really worthwhile one.
There are a couple of ways to still have a tear-inspiring film while enjoying a lower cost of entry. A really important point here is that is is far, far better to hire a top-notch film maker to do a short video for you than, for the same amount, a lesser videographer who’ll make you a longer film. What’s the sense of having a long running but poorly edited and poorly mixed film, one that you will never be inspired to even want to watch? Those ways to possible cut the film-making budget?
Some professional videographers may be able to make you a much shorter mix than the feature film we mention above. It’s amazing what a story can be told in 7 or 8 minutes. Ask if this is an option.
What to avoid: the Disaster
We firmly believe that all involved can indeed do a spectacular job without getting in each other’s way. And we detail that with our clients ahead of time, including explaining how precedence necessarily falls to the still photographer.
But, what happens when a videographer doesn’t play by the agreement and ends up planting themselves and their oversized gear right in the middle of things?
This videographer had been advised by the bride ahead of time that the photographers take precedence. We spoke with the videographer, and thought we had a plan in place where we could all get our shots and footage. We trusted that would happen, and it did not.
We, as the photographers, endeavor to photograph from a long distance back, without flash or lighting. In fact, at the church in the example photos above, the minister had told us of the rules of the church of not moving around, which we of course always respect, and were relegated to shooting from the back. Yet, the videographer decided it was OK to shoot this close and even used a very distracting light in the church.
Ultimately, due to our having two photographers and the church having a balcony, we succeeded at every shot we needed to take, but this serves as great example of what can go wrong. We’re not suggesting that the videographer was trying to do anything malicious, it is just that they absolutely need to consider their presence and how it affects the work of the photographers.
And then the next two images show what it looks like when the videographer infiltrates the otherwise intimate space near a couple on wedding day:
So, what is the answer to preventing the photographs from being spoiled by free-range videographers?
It’s all about ensuring you have hired, just like your still wedding photographer, a top-professional who will do their work without negatively affecting the work of those around them. The hard part is knowing that this WILL be the case. We have seen our nightmare lives themselves out time and again as with the example photos above in cases where we were assured that the videographers knew their place and the established protocol, and yet these things happened.
A general rule: the less you pay for the videography, the far, far more likely it will be that issues will occur.