by Jean Blight Published 01/06/2013
We always tell the bride and groom that the photographer is there for the formal side of their wedding and we are there for the informal side. We always tell the couple that the photographer's needs are completely different to ours (which they are). We never pull the bride and groom away on the day and we always let the photographer get on with their job without interference from the video. This is what we class as 'working together'. Now it would be interesting to know if any photographers actually think the same way about the video?
I am sure there are lots of photographers out there who have started working with a new 'breed' of videographer also. We've heard of them and we don't like what we hear. I am sure you must also have all the stories about nightmare film makers. All I am asking is that you take each one on their own merit and give us the benefit of the doubt on the day. We do this with each new photographer we encounter. We even email them and ask if they want to discuss anything before the day of the wedding.
Sometimes we even get a response!
Luckily we have been successfully running our business for over 20 years and only recently are becoming aware of the new problems that face us. Recently a photographer told a bride and groom 'not' to include the video in his shoot as we only copy what he is doing. We lost over an hour of great footage thanks to his selfishness. We won't be caught out on that one again, believe me.
These new photographers are either very insecure or downright arrogant to even suggest this in the first place, after all the bride and groom are our customers also. We both have a job to do and we would respond to this by advising them to concentrate on their job and let us get on with ours - please!
We filmed a wedding in Anglesey in December and could not believe the photographer had erected a large flash reflector on a stand right behind the vicar in front of the altar and therefore right in our line of filming. He actually didn't use it in the end and started to dismantle it whilst they were singing their second hymn. He could quite clearly see I was filming from the back of the church and really couldn't care less that I was trying to do my job. These are the areas that concern us, greatly. No respect for others working to achieve the best for the bride and groom. Obviously this did nothing but aggravate the situation between us and he knew it.
We then found we were trying all day to be one step ahead of what he was going to do. The aisle shot was a prime example (he wanted to walk backwards all the way back down in front of the bride and groom) so how did he think I was going to achieve my shot of this special walk? How many photos does a photographer need to justify getting a shot of this? There is no need for this and we feel very pressured into working this way to achieve our contractual obligations to the bride and groom.
Another photographer recently stopped all the couple's guests from taking photos. Personally I can't believe he would have suggested this to start with and also that the bride and groom didn't step in to stop him doing this. Why shouldn't guests be allowed to take photos albeit at a distance without getting in his way.
If we have to do the photo shoot from an area inside the wedding reception because of bad weather we always use a video lamp. We need light to achieve acceptable footage in these circumstances; 99% of established and good photographers can, and usually like to use our video lamp and adjust accordingly. Sadly recently we couldn't use it, as again the photographer wanted it off and got his own way. He actually started throwing a bit of a strop. We approached the bride and groom and explained quietly that the footage would be a little compromised. Work together please as we need to achieve our goals for the client also. You may be thinking that we can achieve our footage after you have finished. This is never going to be the case as we are usually running well behind schedule and we wouldn't want to be the cause of their wedding breakfast being delayed.
Bearing all this in mind we have now adopted a new approach to all our brides and grooms. They are handed, in the early stages of booking with us, a 'Filming Schedule' form. In this form it clearly points out 'areas of concern' that we have when filming weddings with some photographers. It also asks them if they are placing 'equal importance' on video and photography.
If they answer 'yes' which they usually do, we then show them footage of how we think the photographer has ruined our shots and then leave it to them to decide if they consider their photographer needs to be spoken to before the day. We then consider ourselves not liable when it comes to problems like these mentioned above.
One bride actually said she would have liked to see less of her photographer on her wedding DVD ! When she came to pick up her DVDs she told us the photographer she booked was a totally different person on the day from when she had originally booked him (same person, different attitude) - I rest my case
We pride ourselves in working well with many established Society members and hopefully they feel the same way about us. We would stress that we only have to 'work together' to achieve all compromises in this business.
Next time we work with you, please feel free to give us an idea on what you want to achieve and we will certainly let you know our requirements also. We can then achieve great photos and video for our customer by working together.
I would welcome any views from any photographer with a valid point or issue on the subjects and areas I have mentioned.
We just need to have mutual respect for each other - not rocket sciencereally!!!!
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