Tips for Working Alongside Videographers at Weddings and Events

Tips for Working Alongside Videographers at Weddings and Events

Photographers can be catty. Real catty. In fact, out of all creative groups I can think of, I can’t put my finger on one that is more competitive and judgmental than photographers. So how should you react when you’re hired to photograph an event and find another professional there with a camera?

My company only focuses on still images at this point. We seem to stay pretty busy doing so, and the idea of adding more services to our current offerings isn’t doable at this time. Times that we receive inquiries about videography, we make referrals to a few trusted professionals that we’re confident in. I feel like this is a healthy practice — for now. Many times, we’re booked alongside a videographer we do not know until the day of the event.

Introductions

If you're unfamiliar with the videographer, make sure you’re introduced. If you haven’t been, go introduce yourself. Nothing says “I’m unprofessional” or “I’m a snob” more than blowing off another pro there to shoot the same thing you are.

Come Up With a Game Plan

Hopefully you’ve already come up with a game plan in regards to covering whatever event you may have been hired to photograph, but if you haven’t already gone over an event schedule and come up with a plan of attack, do so with the videographer. The last thing you want to be doing is trying to communicate during the most inopportune times. Communication is important during events like weddings, and guests will pick up on your body language if you’re frustrated or struggling to communicate. That’s unprofessional.

Space

Generally, there’s enough time and space for both photographer and videographer to work without running into each other, but that isn’t always the case. When going over your plan with the videographer, be sure to discuss who will be where in those cramped spaces so you can both get the shot you’re after, clear of the other person spoiling it.

During weddings, many videographers are going to want a shot following the bride down the aisle. This always makes me cringe a little bit when I hear it, considering that’s a shot I want too. It is possible to make it work for the both of you with planning.

Relax

The more you shoot alongside videographers, the more you’ll get a feel for the ones that are good at what they do. I've been lucky up to this point, and have only worked with competent videographers, but in the event that you end up working with one that is less than stellar, relax and make the best of the situation.

Do you have any tips or advice for working alongside videographers at events like weddings? Share in the comments below.

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6 Comments

Ben Sandness's picture

This is all well and good, as long as both parties are professionals and know 1) what they are doing, and 2) how to be respectfully share space and time with th other. Goes both ways for sure. 👍

gabe s's picture

If its for the formals/portraits, I let them get their 30 seconds of footage and then move in and do my thing. During the ceremony, depending on how the video person operates, have a simple discussion before hand. Around here, a lot of videographers set up in a corner for the ceremony and stay there. Easy to work around that. For the dances, its easy to work around each other. I say let me get the first minute of the dance, and you can have the rest. After that, nobody cares who is in whos shot, at least the weddings I've done

Daniel Haußmann's picture

Videographers point of view:

One shot I always want - and the photographer, too is the one where the bride and groom walk out of the church along the aisle. I typicall set myself up in the first few rows waiting for them to come and track them walking backwards with the Ronin. I typically suggest to the photographer to a) walk side by side with me or b) suggest to take the first 10m and then step aside. Typically works really well.

The other things is during portraits I would try to do as many synergies as possible. Especially if the couple only has a few minutes. I would wait for the photographer to pose the couple and having finished his shots. Then leave them at the same space and do a tracking shot and the two having some interactions. In fact this style of work is great as duing the time the photographer is doing his thing, I could probably already check out the next spot for the next shot.

For the getting ready - if the photographer works without a flash we would try to capture the actions in parallel. If that is not working we would ask the groom to repeat his stuff. I keep asking the photographer whether I, or my gear is in the frame.

So overall in 98% of weddings this worked very well. Talking helps.

Dusty Wooddell's picture

Sounds about right

Motti Bembaron's picture

I worked with a couple great videographers and some not so great. The thing is, if one side is not interested in working together it will not work. So nice article but nothing we don't already know. When a videographer makes an effort in discussing how to proceed for the day, chances are we will have a successful day.

I am a videographer and the timing of this article is pretty funny. Everything in this article is pretty accurate and is good practice. But we had a horrible experience last weekend with a photographer. As a videographer, the couple usually expects us to record the entire ceremony especially the short 30 minute ceremonies. We had one of these shorter ceremonies last weekend. We let the photographer and her assistant know our plan and we let her know the couple wanted us to record the entire ceremony. After the bride has been given away by her father, mother, brother etc...we move main camera(lens 70-200) about half way down the middle of the aisle. Framing the couple from about the waist up. Our other camera is roaming and getting b-roll. We always ask the photographers to shoot beside our main camera, stay low or get a quick shot and get out. 95% of the time this works well. Last weekend the photographer stood right in front of our main camera during all the most import moments, snapping shot after shot. We were very polite and asked her to please mind our shot but she still continued. So this couple already knows they will be receiving their ceremony footage but 80% of the time they will see the back of the photographers head. Almost every photographer I have worked with has asked me for a card and has told me they would refer me because they enjoyed working with me. It's just zero fun working with assholes. Hopefully this was the first and last.