Michael Caswell Photography

My Approach to Working with Wedding Videographers

Though I am strictly a still photographer and don't offer videography services, this topic comes up often in my discussions with brides and grooms. Some couples know for certain that they do not want video, while others either definitely do want video or are on the fence about it, but want to know whether or not the presence of a videographer will cause problems for photography.

Generally speaking, the answer to this question is no... I can shoot an event alongside an experienced professional video team without any significant issues. There will be some small differences in how I work, but I will still be able to fully document your event. What kind of differences? Well, this gets to my philosophy on videography.

Many years ago at a photographer convention in Las Vegas, a colleague from another area of the country dismissively commented to me about videographers, "I don't care, I just step right in front of them." And to be honest, there are stories of videographers who treat the photographer in the same manner. In both cases, one sees the other as either a "competitor" in terms of capturing the day or views their medium as inferior, and will work in a dismissive, uncooperative, or maybe even borderline hostile manner.

Thankfully, this kind of attitude is very rare among New Orleans wedding photographers and videographers. We're a smaller and more tight-knit community here, and most of us are fully cooperative with each other.

Cooperation and Respect

My philosophy, and that of probably the vast majority of experienced professional wedding photographers and videographers in New Orleans, is that we are both being paid a substantial amount of money by the couple to perform a service, and to completely disregard the other is disrespectful, both to them as a professional, and more importantly, to the couple as our mutual clients. Knowingly harming their video coverage (or photography) is no different than intentionally knocking over their wedding cake or smashing the flowers.

Thus, we coordinate with each other, and are considerate in terms of trying to stay out of each other's shots to the greatest extent possible, to ensure the couple gets both good pictures and good video coverage of their day.

While for most weddings a venue coordinator or wedding planner will provide a detailed itinerary that shows when all the important things are going to be happening during the day, sometimes the event strays from this schedule, and other times there is no set itinerary at all. So, if something important is about to happen (reading a card or letter before the ceremony, cake cutting, speech, bouquet toss, etc.) and I notice the videographer is shooting something else at that time, I'll suggest to the couple that we pause for a moment, and will myself go alert them. And they'll typically do the same for me.

In the absence of specific instructions to the contrary, I operate under the assumption that videography is equally important to my couple as the photography. As such, I will try whenever possible to avoid walking in front of their cameras (even though they'll typically have multiple cameras running simultaneously during the ceremony and important portions of the reception, and can cut to another during editing if I do have to momentarily block their view). So, as a result of this, I do not have quite the same level of freedom of movement that I would have otherwise, but the difference is relatively minor in most cases.

And most videographers I've worked with seem to feel the same way. Naturally, they want to do the best job possible for the couple and would surely enjoy having complete freedom as well, but they also realize that photography is equally important to the couple. So, with this kind of understanding, mutual respect, and working relationship, documenting events together is not a problem.

Here are some of the wedding videographers in New Orleans that I can wholeheartedly recommend: