One of my absolute favorite things about wedding days is getting to work with incredible photographers. As videographers, Bobby and I spend most of the day with not only the bride and the groom but also the photographers, creating alongside them. We generally introduce ourselves saying, “Hey I'm Mycah one of the videographers, and this is my husband Bobby. We are so excited to work with you guys! We will let you take the lead and want to stay out of your shots. Let us know if you need anything from us.” Generally the response we get is a sigh relief, and ideally, “awesome, let us know if we are in YOUR shot.” Teamwork! Boom. Off to a good start.
We always begin the wedding day when the bride and groom are getting ready, to film the action and also to shoot details. What a joy when we can share ideas and collaborate with the photographers! At a recent wedding when we were filming the prep at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, one of the photographers noticed some stunning light shining in on a rustic chest, the perfect placement for the rings. While she could have just taken the photo and kept this information to herself, she decided it would better serve her clients to share that information with us. She was able to take her photo, and we were able to get an interesting rack focus shot, using movement which will inevitably make the shot look very different from her photo. During prep, both the photo and video teams generally want shots of the dress, shoes, other significant details, and the bride getting her hair and makeup done, as well as some shots of the groom. So, doesn't it just make more sense to coordinate together the best place to shoot the dress?
From there often comes a first look, which for us, is central to the wedding video. So, at this point we need to make sure we are set up with audio as well as our cameras. Often there are two photographers, and we always have the two of us, so we will pair up and work to find the best two angles. Plus, it's more fun to cuddle with your new friend, the videographer. Imagine what happens when the two photographers and two videographers don't coordinate, so there are four people from four different angles…everybody is in someone's shot! Well actually, I'm sure you don't need to imaging that situation, because you've probably lived it.
Next up…bride and groom photos, family portraits, and wedding party. This is where the photographer really takes the lead. We will certainly shoot this part, but move around in the background, shooting the in between action more often that the smiling and staring at the camera (which looks amazing for photo, but not as much for video). In fact, we almost always get told by our couples that they don't know how we got the shots during the day because they didn't see us filming. Perfect! Because it is not our day, is is THEIR day. During bride & groom time, we do have some shots we want to be sure to get, but those are often the action and in between posed times. If we are all moving from one location to another, Bobby may ask the photographers to follow a few steps behind us so he can follow the bride and groom walking, with the ronin (one of our newest toys) to get some amazing movement shots. By this time, we have all been working so well together that the photographers check in with us to see if we are getting what we need. Those moments are gold. We are on the same team, collaborating to serve our couple.
Ceremony time! We give our couples the complete ceremony with high quality audio, so this involves some set up. (Side note…sometimes people think Bobby just ditched out or disappeared, when in reality he is lugging around tripods and working with the sound system to get a clean feed. And if it's a clear day with an appropriate venue…this is when the drone comes out!) We have a set up we love to use at weddings to cover all the action, but make sure to talk to the photographers about what our ideas are, and see if that works for them. Generally we want the same shots as the photographers, so we are once again cuddling!
During the reception, we also need a bit more setup. As you've probably noticed, we videographers have SO MUCH gear. To be honest, that is one of the few things I don't like about being a videographer. What that means for us though, is that we need to always be one step ahead. Running with a camera on a tripod and light is a bit more awkward and slow looking than a photographer jumping in with a camera and flash. By this point, the photographers are used to us always talking about set up, so they may even be the first to bring it up. We deliver the toasts and planned dances in full, so it essential we coordinate with the photographers so they don't stand in front of our camera, and so they give us at least 5 seconds without flash (which is something they generally don't think of). Once again, by telling the photographers what we need, they are almost always so considerate and realize that they don't need 25 shots of the maid of honor's toast…so give us some flash free moments.
By the end of the night we are often eating (inhaling) our dinner at the vendor table with the photographers and having a great time getting to know them, their business, and talking about how excited we are to see the photos and refer each other.
Working TOGETHER as photographers and videographers not only makes the day more enjoyable, but more importantly serves the clients better.
*Photo by Montana Dennis
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