The sky was cloudless and blue; the sun shining bright; the little church was neat, white and cute; the bride and groom looked fantastic. You would think this makes for a great wedding day. And it might have been…

We set up our camera equipment starting to film the arriving guests slowly filling the nearby bar, then proceeded to the church, by which time the photographer had arrived too. I went up to him and introduced myself, and he lost no time informing me, “Photography has priority over video!” I was taken aback. What could this mean?

What he meant became clear very quickly. He meant he could take any shot he wanted without watching out for our video camera. I understand that making photos is different to filming. And we cater for this by including the photographer as a feature in the wedding documentary. This is to say, we don’t cut the photographer out in the edit. However, one would assume that working side by side, the photographer would make an effort to keep out of the way of the camera where he could.

Not the case with our friend here. I still wonder today whether he did it on purpose or whether he was just bad at what his job. He planted himself in front of our camera no less than 12 times during the course of the day, obstructing our view for minutes at the time. Now, our camera is static on a tripod for most of the crucial shots, so it is easy for a well-trained person to move around the shot line. And to be fair, almost all photographers do, some better than others, but they try. This one didn’t.

At one point I set up a few guests to give their video messages to bride and groom in front of our camera. I was just starting to film when Mr. Photography rushed in, pushed me away with a almighty sweep of his arm, announcing “Photography has priority!”. Now this was plain rude! I wanted to scream at this man, I felt like kicking him and destroying his camera. I wanted to bury his face in the wedding cake.

But I did nothing like this.

Instead I took him to one side, looked him firmly in the eyes and said, ”Mister, I don’t know why you do this, but if you keep sabotaging the video I see no other way than to inform the bride of this fact. For one, she won’t get the video she has paid for. Two, she won’t get the best day she could have had having to sort you out and worrying about her video. And three, you won’t get the good reference you need. Would you mind starting to behave like a professional now?

Maybe it was the expression of my face, maybe he saw reason; I don’t know. The rest of the day went by all right. But I still can’t help thinking, how incredibly arrogant, silly and unprofessional this photographer’s attitude was. Does anyone go and stick his finger in the wedding cake just because he can? Why ruin somebody else’s work, create stress and misery?

I don’t get it.

I don’t get it.

Brides!

If you hire photography and video for your wedding day, do state that there is no priority for any one of them. Make clear, that you expect them to work together for best results. Your wedding day is the one day where YOU have priority over anything else. Good luck!

 

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