Cleveland Wedding Videography
Those are strong words, aren’t they? I thought so too, but the shocking part (to me at least) is that these are not my words but the words of countless couples asking a very valid question. Can wedding photographers and wedding videographers get along??
Can Wedding Photographers and Videographers Get Along
This has come up enough that I thought I would address it here and hopefully help couples navigate what apparently has become a bit of a ‘thing’ in the wedding industry. I actually didn’t realize this was something couples were wondering but as I was getting more and more questions about if it was “ok” for them to hire video, or wedding planner’s who were advising couples to “make sure to clear it with the photography team” that a videographer was going to be there, etc. I became, painfully aware.
I had a bride share a horror story with me recently about being a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding and seeing the wedding photographer and videographer look like they were going to come to physical blows. I’m sure my jaw hit the floor as she was telling the story but the idea that even for a second two wedding professionals could forget that it was about the couple getting married and it was instead about themselves was insane to me. But stories like this are more common than you might think and it’s causing undue stress for couples already feeling the pressure of wedding planning.
Having professional vendors is extremely important for your wedding day all around. Aka, we promise to serve you well and will never fist-fight with other professionals (I cannot even begin…) But there are a few vendors that I would consider professionalism to be an even higher priority simply because of how involved they are in the moment-by-moment interactions of your day. We live in a day and age where beautiful cameras are not hard to come by, websites are not that hard to design, and because of that, there is an unfortunate side effect that brings out both the not-so-professional photographers and videographers.
That said, I’m going to be really honest. I have seen weddings nearly destroyed because of terrible video teams. Unfortunately, I’m absolutely sure there are wonderful cinematography teams who could say the same about terrible photographers. Something that is rarely talked about is that because of the low barrier of entry in the wedding industry, it isn’t hard to “be” a lot of things without actually having the 10,000 hours it takes to become the type of professional you’d want by your side on a wedding day. Again, pop up a website, grab some AI footage, and boom.
We have had situations where couples have booked with our team close to 3 years in advance knowing that we would book up quickly and it would be extremely hard to find a date only to get much closer to their wedding date and wonder if they might regret not having a wedding cinematography. At that point, so close to the wedding day your options are limited. You usually have to choose at a much lower caliber and price point. I think the logic becomes, “well, it’s fine, we have beautiful photos, if we get anything from the film it’ll be better than nothing.” It’s logical and makes sense from that perspective. What’s usually not taken into perspective is that introducing that element can actually unintentionally sabotage your photography team as well.
To give you some real-life examples, yes each one of these things has actually happened at a wedding:
- Videographers standing in front of us during the first kiss blocking our shots (we are a team of mostly women, and when they’re much larger men who don’t care about team work it’s a problem)
- Two of them completely blocked important religious moments in the church (again, when you have two larger men standing on their side of a unity candle, for instance, there is literally nothing we can do mid-ceremony to move them)
- Showed up wearing shorts and a bright blue shirt to a black-tie event (the planner sent him home to change)
- Swooping circles 6 inches from the couple’s head during the first dance
- Brought outdated equipment in that completely blocked the churches aisle way so that we can’t get in to get a shot
- Stood on the church stage the entire ceremony so they were in every single church photo
- Physically hit one of our photographers because they didn’t like where we were standing for the first kiss
- So close to the couple all day long they’re in every shot
- Laying at right underneath the Huppah throughout the ceremony
- The groom crying when he sees his bride and the video guy yelling, “awe man, I didn’t get the shoot, do it again, walk up to her again”
- Video equipment that so obtrusive that it’s in every photo of the beautiful reception (15 foot tripods, actual cranes)
The terrible stories could go on, couples not seeing wedding footage EVER (after paying thousands of dollars), couples waiting upwards of 2 years for a 60-second highlight reel, unprofessional behavior at the wedding, being completely intrusive on a special private moment, etc.
A true professional knows where to stand and why, what lenses to use so they don’t have to be in your face the whole time, how to see and work with a variety of lighting situations, and document the most important moments of your life without making those moments about them. At the end of the day, your wedding is about no one else but the two of you.
Now, let me assure you, our team will move heaven and earth to get you exemplary images. Because we DO have long-term experience and will make it happen. BUT if we have a videographer who has a go-pro and is swinging in frantic circles 6 inches from your faces during your first dance, or your first kiss… it makes our job a whole lot harder.
Why we offer wedding videography
After these fairly traumatic experiences, we decided to offer wedding cinematography within our collections. Why?
We realized that for some people photo is the priority but there is something really special about having the ceremony recorded or hearing grandma’s voice. I get that! One of the most important thing we provide for our couples is an experience. We understand that grandma is just as important as you are and treat her that way. I wanted to know if we could provide that level of service and quality for couples not just in photography but in cinematography as well. Not to mention the idea of presenting wedding films to our couples at the same time our couples were receiving their images made me gitty! Not only is it mind-blowingly fast for videography but it makes our premiere parties even more fun.
So we did it. We hired and trained two wonderful cinematographers and a video editor who are a joy to work with and have the same heart of service that all of our photographers have. This for us is just as important as the final product. To me when I see a videographer swooping around a couple on the dance floor looking like he’s trying to make an Oscar-winning short film I wonder if it’s about the couple first.
It has been one of the best decisions we’ve made. From your side, I think it’s been a game-changer. We’re hearing that for a lot of you being able to find photography and cinematography under one roof is a huge benefit. One less thing to look for or box to check. But the reality is that it also was a huge benefit for us because I know we can do a better job when we have fewer obstacles, and getting physically hit by another “professional” on a wedding day isn’t an obstacle I’d love to keep in place. 😉 But working as one unit has been fantastic. Being able to approach a wedding day from both a photo and video perspective is a game changer. We light things differently, and we strategize differently. I make a plan, and my cinematographers come in and say… what if we did this instead? I LOVE it.
Is there an exception to the rule? Should we always use your team?
For me, here is the rule of thumb. A lot of it comes down to budget. We have a preferred cinematographer list. You can expect to spend around 10k plus travel with those professionals and it is going to be worth every penny. There are companies that have specialized as, filmmakers in the most epic sense. These types of people are absolute joys for us to serve our couples with. These are also the type of people that you should expect to invest in your video with. So the question is this, where does a wedding film rank in importance within your wedding budget? We know the most incredible wedding filmmakers around the country that we highly recommend and we’re happy to make the connection for you.
If you want something in house, because you want to preserve the voices of your loved ones, remember hearing your guests cheering after your first kiss, and what your twirls on the dance floor looked like? If that’s you, you’re in the right place. we’ve got you covered there too.
Hopefully, that helps clear a few things up, but don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to add a wedding film to your collection or if you’d like to see our recommended cinematographers list.