Video Mania …

Many couples want to have video as well as stills photography on their wedding day. Which is fine, but it’s important that the stills photographer and the videographer work together so that there is a minimum of stepping on each other’s toes.

Most videographers I’ve worked with are real professionals and we always manage to work together seamlessly to create stills and video that compliment each other.

Occasionally, though, there are keen amateurs posing as professionals, whose creative as well as social skills are challenging, to say the least.

There was the Bulgarian brother and sister act of Boris and Natasha (not their real names — but that’s how I remember them), who managed to stand, like two stone pillars, in the exact – and only – place available to get an important shot.

Or there was the Birmingham Three, who simply walked in front of anyone – guest, parent, grandparent, even the bride and groom, and of course the photographer — to get their shot. Certainly not my way of working.

The best video person I’ve ever worked with is Ray Warby in East Sussex ( We’ve worked together on a number of jobs, mainly at Manor Barn in Buriton, near Petersfield, one of my favorite locations. Besides being a very fine maker of wedding videos, Ray is discreet, unobtrusive and always aware of my needs. I keep encouraging Ray to set up “The School of Videographer Etiquette”.

If you are going to hire someone to video your wedding, I’d like to offer a few suggestions so that both stills and video can work together as a team to get the best images of the day..

  • Working Together. The day will go much more smoothly if the videographer is willing to work with the stills photographer. Emphasise to your video person that it is not a competition, but collaboration between the two mediums. There are times during the service when there really is only one location to get the best shot. It is possible to share that spot, as long as there is a spirit of cooperation
  • Lighting. What sort of lighting will the video person use? Technology is so good these days that many video cameras can shoot in very low light without the need for lights. I once worked with a videographer who used industrial strength lights that I suspect he nicked off a gigantic articulated lorry.
  • Crew. How many people on his team? Three or even four video people means more fighting for space at crucial moments.
  • Priority. It is important to establish who has priority on the day: stills or video? Every couple I’ve worked with have said to me, “John, you’re the boss. You have priority on best locations, setting up shots and generally organising the photography.” This doesn’t mean I disregard the needs of video – quite the opposite. It means that we are very clear about who’s in charge of what, so that we can both get the best images on the day.

And finally, when you do hire a videographer, put him in touch with your stills photographer, so that they can talk about how to best work together.

This entry was posted in hints and tips

photographed by John Cole

I feel strongly that your wedding day is exactly that, your day, not mine. You tell me the kind of photos you want and then we'll work together to create a unique set of images.

I work in reportage style because that is what I am -- a reportage photographer who does weddings. I've shot dozens of stories for leading British and international publications, and I bring my magazine style of photography to your wedding.

I work unobtrusively and sensitively, concentrating on creating natural, spontaneous photos. I do group shots quickly and painlessly (though never sloppily), so that you are free to spend more time with your family and friends.

Your Wedding, photographed by John Cole