This post is for our ever-growing network of friendors that we shoot with, or are looking forward to shooting with in the future, who are looking for advice on how to work with wedding videographers (or us at least). It’s really pretty easy:
Just be a decent human being.
Kidding. But not really.
You’re going to get in my shots. It’s just going to happen sometimes. Though I try my best, every once in awhile I’m going to be so engrossed in my work that I’m going to get in your way a bit. Just tap me on the shoulder and forgive me. I’ll do the same, and we’ll both laugh at the bloopers when we’re editing. We’ll plan things out beforehand to minimize getting in each other’s way, but it’s bound to happen.
Chris gets even gets in my shots, and we’re married, know each other, plan things out, and work together all of the time. If you ever see me not looking at my camera, with my head tilted to the side doing the death stare unimpressed face, chances are he’s straight across from me.
This is legit the face I make. I make the same face when he buys regular waffles instead of blueberry ones. It’s equal parts frustration and “DO YOU NOT KNOW ME?”
Also, how awful is it that I have no idea what he does when I walk into his perfectly composed shot? I’m sure it happens. I just must be oblivious.
I will not make this face at you. Promise.
Know that just because a camera on a tripod doesn’t have a person standing with it doesn’t mean it’s not filming. We set up a few of these extra angles and leave them to run. Don’t worry about walking in front of them if you need to get through and there isn’t room behind, but please don’t stand in front of them. You can safely stand right beside them and not be in the frame.
Be a Team Player
In the end, this isn’t my wedding day or your wedding day. It’s our couple’s wedding day. When we focus on our couple, and our shared goal of giving them the wedding of their dreams, then everything will be just fine.
For those of you who are newer and haven’t yet worked with video, the one request we do make is that when there’s a moment happening….you just wait a bit before coaching the client or interrupting the moment.
Photographers: Working with a Videographer
I think it becomes second nature to photographers to just keep a pleasant, natural dialogue going with the client. It keeps them looking at the camera, makes everything less awkward, and then it feels natural to the client when the photog provides direction so they’ll look their best. Since we’re also recording audio, we like to have just a few moments to capture the natural dialogue in the room, especially during those once in a lifetime events: gift opening, when the bride pulls her dress on, the first time her parents see her dressed, first look. Once we get that moment, coach away. Of course, portrait time is all yours; we know you’re rushed to get all the portraits in during that time.
Want to go the extra mile? If you happen to capture any great “Behind the Scenes” shots of us working, we’d love to have (and share) them. We’ll also reach out after the wedding to provide you links to use some video assets (yay for SEO!) and see if you would like for us to include some of your favorite photos when we blog the wedding.
Wedding Planners: Working with a Videographer
Keep us in the loop! Sometimes a planner will be our first contact from the couple, sometimes we’re hired directly by the couple and will get in touch prior to the wedding day. We’re good with any schedule that allows us to get from prep to ceremony to reception with time to get set up, and most modern wedding timelines allow for that. When the schedule gets adjusted (because we both know it will!) just let us know. We are great at adjusting to change. If we have any problems, we promise to professionally approach you about them and solve them as a team, instead of inconveniencing our couple.
Want to go the extra mile? Refer us! Too often planners have one bad experience with a videographer and then advise their couples to not hire one at all. The solution to working with bad videographers isn’t to advise against them (you know that if your couple wants it, they’re going to do it anyway); it’s to refer great videographers!
We’re happy to work with planners to give you the tools to vet new videographers and share tips on what to look for when searching for a quality vendor.
Venues: Working with a Videographer
Most venues are already great to work with. The resources you publish for your couples and guests (maps of the property, a good GPS address, and details on visiting) go a long way to help us when planning to work at your venue. If you have a specific photo and video rules, making those easy to find if we search them (or letting us know at rehearsal).
Want to go the extra mile? Have a designated spot for our gear. We never like to leave video gear laying around; it detracts from the beauty of your space and the authenticity of the event. If you’ve got a spot nearby to the reception where we can stash our things, we’ll use it! If not, we’ll find somewhere out of the way that will escape notice to discreetly tuck everything away.
Caterers: Working with a Videographer
It’s all about those un-interrupted moments! If at all possible, hold off clearing tables during toasts and speeches, at least for the couple. It creates a lot of background noise and distracts the guests. Plus there’s nothing worse than a heartfelt toast featuring a server.
Want to go the extra mile? We have to eat. Because we’re humans. We’ve been working with the couple all day. We don’t just show up for the ceremony. We bring snacks to get us through, but often that meal at the reception is the only true meal we’ll get that day. We’ve already discussed this with our couple, and they’ve paid for us to eat. The best time for us to eat is actually while the couple is eating; it’s the only time we don’t need to be working. Make sure your team of servers knows what the couple has paid for in terms of vendor meals and that it’s provided on schedule. Bonus points if you have silverware for us!
DJs and Bands: Working with a Videographer
This is another place where just doing your job helps us out! When you give a great intro and have everyone up dancing and having a good time, we’re going to have a great video!
Keep us in the loop. It’s our responsibility to be in the room and ready for the scheduled events of the reception, but we appreciate a heads up if the schedule is getting bumped up.
We also depend on you for good reception audio. Our films are heavily based on the audio we get from the wedding day, at the ceremony AND the reception. We love to have multiple sources of audio, and usually, the cleanest one is the feed we get from your board. We bring lots of options on how to make this happen, and always contact you prior to the wedding day to discuss your preferences and needs. Even if we individually mic the people giving toasts and making speeches, bad room audio will be picked up in those mics. This is why we really stress to our couples to hire a great DJ or band for their wedding. Having a skilled and talented person MC’ing their event is such an under-rated aspect of the wedding, and we feel like it makes a huge difference on the wedding day.
That’s it. That’s all. We pride ourselves on being easy to work with, both for the clients and vendors. We always go on about how our clients must have really good taste, because we get to work with truly awesome people. We’ve been lucky enough this spring to join in on a few styled shoots, which are fun because that gives us time to not only make a little film about the event, but also to feature other vendors just a bit. We love to network (both online and in person), and we always give credit to the other vendors who make the day look good.
So if you’re in our neighborhood and want to grab some coffee or ice cream and have a chat, notice some of your work in one of our films and want to get tagged (try as we might, we don’t always get info on all the vendors that we don’t actually meet at the event), or have something cool coming up that you think we might be interested in, let us know.
We also love it if you share our work! We know that video marketing is expensive, and we share our films (with permission from our couples) with all the vendors who worked on each wedding, so that you can get some of the benefits of using video in your marketing without having to pay for branded video content!
We always love to hear from the other side too! What are some things that videographers can do to make your job at a wedding easier?