Filming a wedding with another photo company who are very...intrusive?

DoctorDino

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I've had four shots of espresso, and this is a rant-y thread, so it will probably be much longer than I anticipate it to be. I'll add a tl;dr at the end.

The company I work for was only hired to do cinema at the last wedding I did, and the couple hired a separate company to do photography. Usually with my company the photographers we employ work around the cinematographers, basically just because we have big, clunky equipment that's hard to move around. Our usual photographers and us two cinema guys all have perfect chemistry. Sherlock and Watson. Neymar and Messi.

Apparently, that chemistry doesn't exist between us and these two ladies.

I was doing groom prep at the groom's house. It was already stressful because this was a very dark, messy house that was hard to film in (without getting beer bottles in every shot) and I didn't have any lights with me.

So there's a knock on the door. A groomsman answers the door and this lady with a camera pops in the house. I had already been there for and hour and a half filming these guys clean some guns (it was that kind of wedding). We'll call her Karen. I don't know her real name.

So she's like "Hi, I'm Karen with Unprofessionally Named Photography, inc". I won't tell you the real name of the company, but think mid-80's action movie starring Dolph Lundgren cheesy.

So she shows up, photographs for about 30 minutes (while simultaneously walking into all my shots) and leaves. I continue to stay with the groomal-pary until they leave for the wedding. I don't really know what she took pictures of. I heard that shutter fire like 20 times and then she left.

So the wedding starts, and they kept walking in front of my camera, especially the other lady, Jennifer FakeName. I was supposed to film the groom's reaction when the bride walked down the aisle. I couldn't do that, though, because Jennifer walks right in front of the camera. Like, 20 feet in front of me. I'm waving, trying to get her attention, but she never once looked at me. Too busy photographing. I'm in a cramped area with a huge tripod and a 70-200, and there was nowhere to go. That shot was screwed. I hope my boss got some beast video of the bride walking down the aisle, because that's all we can use besides our "backup camera", which overlooks the whole ceremony.

So we go to do some personal shots of the couple. We always let the photographers do their thing and we just film the couple and wedding party, because they act pretty natural and look cute in candid stuff.

These poses the photographers had them doing were not your classic newly-married-couple-and-their-wedding-party poses. They were classic mom-on-an-iphone-taking-pics-of-daughter-and-her-date-on-prom-night poses.

At this point my boss and I are simply trying to contain our laughter. Again, we're just getting candid stuff of the wedding party acting natural, so the poses they do don't really matter. We're cropped waist-up in all of this video. Capturing emotion and all that. We just couldn't help but laugh because neither of us can envision a world where these pictures don't completely suck.

On to the reception!

The reception is in a college gymnasium, and there aren't really many good angles in here. So I grab a 85mm to film the wedding party walking in to their names being announced like some WWE wrestlers. The other cinema guy was shooting with a 24mm on a stabilizer, and he planned on staying right in front of each couple as they walked in, while walking backwards keeping around 8 or 9 feet away from them as they went to their seats. It should have been a cool video.

Not only does one lady walk right in front of my shot, so I had to move and get some nasty lens flares and reflections in my video, but the other lady walks right in front of my teammate's shot. Again, he's walking backwards doing his thing, and she is walking backwards right in front of him. I can see him getting visibly upset, and this is a dude who doesn't get upset at anything. He is the biggest jokester in the universe. This lady has a freaking 70-200 lens and she's right up in everyone's faces.

So they basically did this the rest of the night. Filming everyone dancing was a challenge, because they were in every freaking shot.

tl;dr 2 cinematographers, me and another guy. We worked with another company who was doing photos and they sucked and kept getting in all of our shots. It was mother hugging ridiculous. We asked them a few times politely to move, and they would for a couple milliseconds, then go right back to in front of us. tl;dr

It was already a difficult wedding to film. I know for a fact that my poor boss was traumatized filming the bride prep. Terrible lighting, terrible location, lots of tattoos. All I know is he had to hang the dress in a tree to get a good video of it. And my video of the groom prep is all from the same angle, in the same spot, with the same lighting, because I didn't quite like all the pornography hung on every wall in the house.

So this this video was already not destined to be our best video ever, but these photographer ladies' butts in every freaking shot did not help. If I was into conspiracy theories, I would think they were purposely trying to wreck our video. They weren't of course, but they unintentionally did their best job at it.

ANYWAY, how would you guys deal with this? Thanks for reading all of this crap, if you did indeed read all of this crap.
 

gsgary

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I think you were not very professional, you should have spoken to the photographers and got their names and had a chat about how the day would go, also without seeing their finished photos how can you both have a laugh, if you're so wonderful lets have a link to some of the video
 

wyogirl

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I think that moving forward, you should require a meeting with any vendors who you may need to collaborate with at any event that you get hired to do. I think its always a good idea to introduce yourself to anyone you may work along side of and get a feel for what they need and to express what you need.
 

vintagesnaps

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Besides selling tickets since there was some entertainment value here, what with the empty beer bottles and shotguns and porn and all... (I feel for you, I can't help but kind of laugh and shake my head at this one, sorry you had to deal with all this.)

The way this sounds I don't know... I suppose I'd think about making contracts more specific if needed so at least you guys are covered for these type situations (not being able to get shots due to interference by the other photographer(s) etc.). And get with them ahead of time to figure out who's going to set up where at various points during the day and during various parts of the ceremony, etc. Not that the others will abide by it but at least it'd be in writing if you couldn't get the video you needed.
 

sm4him

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Somewhere, in another internet forum, there are two female photographers--let's just call them Karen and Jennifer--who have posted a rant thread about the jerk videographer who nearly ruined all their otherwise great shots of the beer, guns and tats wedding they just did. :lol:

I can't believe I'm even about to say this, but...I kind of agree with gsgary. Well, the first part anyway.
As soon as I read THIS:
We'll call her Karen. I don't know her real name.

I thought, well, problem #1--you didn't even make an attempt to talk to her and ask her name?

Assuming that this was all exactly as you describe (and I'm not disputing that, simply pointing out that there ARE two sides to every story, and it is an extremely rare event when one side is *completely* in the right and the other completely in the wrong. The truth is usually somewhere closer to the middle):

There was a lot that was out of your control, most notably the setting--the poor light, the messy rooms, the items of questionable nature on the wall.
And then, enter in two photographers who, it sounds like, had little to no experience with weddings or at least little to no experience of videographers at a wedding.

Their experience or lack thereof was nothing you could control--but I suspect a fairly simple conversation early on might have done wonders for you, your cohorts AND the photographers as the day progressed.

As Photographer 1 walked in the door and introduced herself (which, by the way, since you say she did introduce herself, but you didn't know her name, I can only presume that you didn't pay any attention to her), you could have done yourself a BIG favor, by going up and introducing yourself and YOUR company. "Oh, hi Karen! I'm Dr. Dino with Fantabulous Videography, it's really nice to meet you. Listen, we'll be doing the videography today--could we have a few minutes to talk about how we can help each other get the best results? We want to make sure we don't get in your way, but we DO have some big, clunky equipment and can't always move around quite as easily as a photographer can. It'd be great if we can make a plan to coordinate together so we can all get the best shots possible."
And THEN go ahead and talk about how you do things with your "regular" photographers, make some adjustments based on what THEIR needs are, and then everyone has a better understanding.

Of course, it's possible that she might have said, in so many words, "Screw off. I'm the photographer, just don't get in my jammin' way." In that case, you would have EVERY right to go on a tl;dr rant...and also to make sure you are standing in just the worst possible spot, from their perspective, for every bit of the ceremony. :D
But, I suspect she wouldn't have said that. I suspect she just didn't know how to deal with having you there, didn't know how to approach it, and so just decided to keep doing her own thing and let you work around her--not knowing that it wasn't as easy as that for you.
 

runnah

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Photographers were in the wrong, you always let video guys do their thing.

But yeah next time, pre-game and come up with ground rules.
 

runnah

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pixmedic

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runnah

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pixmedic

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Photographers were in the wrong, you always let video guys do their thing.

But yeah next time, pre-game and come up with ground rules.
**** the video guys photographers are tops

Top ****'s. Photography is easy compared to video.

nobody hangs a DVD of their wedding on the living room wall.

Let me know when you guys want to roll with the big boys.

you know a guy? :allteeth:
 
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DoctorDino

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I think you were not very professional, you should have spoken to the photographers and got their names and had a chat about how the day would go, also without seeing their finished photos how can you both have a laugh, if you're so wonderful lets have a link to some of the video

I think that moving forward, you should require a meeting with any vendors who you may need to collaborate with at any event that you get hired to do. I think its always a good idea to introduce yourself to anyone you may work along side of and get a feel for what they need and to express what you need.

Besides selling tickets since there was some entertainment value here, what with the empty beer bottles and shotguns and porn and all... (I feel for you, I can't help but kind of laugh and shake my head at this one, sorry you had to deal with all this.)

The way this sounds I don't know... I suppose I'd think about making contracts more specific if needed so at least you guys are covered for these type situations (not being able to get shots due to interference by the other photographer(s) etc.). And get with them ahead of time to figure out who's going to set up where at various points during the day and during various parts of the ceremony, etc. Not that the others will abide by it but at least it'd be in writing if you couldn't get the video you needed.

Somewhere, in another internet forum, there are two female photographers--let's just call them Karen and Jennifer--who have posted a rant thread about the jerk videographer who nearly ruined all their otherwise great shots of the beer, guns and tats wedding they just did. :lol:

I can't believe I'm even about to say this, but...I kind of agree with gsgary. Well, the first part anyway.
As soon as I read THIS:
We'll call her Karen. I don't know her real name.

I thought, well, problem #1--you didn't even make an attempt to talk to her and ask her name?

Assuming that this was all exactly as you describe (and I'm not disputing that, simply pointing out that there ARE two sides to every story, and it is an extremely rare event when one side is *completely* in the right and the other completely in the wrong. The truth is usually somewhere closer to the middle):

There was a lot that was out of your control, most notably the setting--the poor light, the messy rooms, the items of questionable nature on the wall.
And then, enter in two photographers who, it sounds like, had little to no experience with weddings or at least little to no experience of videographers at a wedding.

Their experience or lack thereof was nothing you could control--but I suspect a fairly simple conversation early on might have done wonders for you, your cohorts AND the photographers as the day progressed.

As Photographer 1 walked in the door and introduced herself (which, by the way, since you say she did introduce herself, but you didn't know her name, I can only presume that you didn't pay any attention to her), you could have done yourself a BIG favor, by going up and introducing yourself and YOUR company. "Oh, hi Karen! I'm Dr. Dino with Fantabulous Videography, it's really nice to meet you. Listen, we'll be doing the videography today--could we have a few minutes to talk about how we can help each other get the best results? We want to make sure we don't get in your way, but we DO have some big, clunky equipment and can't always move around quite as easily as a photographer can. It'd be great if we can make a plan to coordinate together so we can all get the best shots possible."
And THEN go ahead and talk about how you do things with your "regular" photographers, make some adjustments based on what THEIR needs are, and then everyone has a better understanding.

Of course, it's possible that she might have said, in so many words, "Screw off. I'm the photographer, just don't get in my jammin' way." In that case, you would have EVERY right to go on a tl;dr rant...and also to make sure you are standing in just the worst possible spot, from their perspective, for every bit of the ceremony. :D
But, I suspect she wouldn't have said that. I suspect she just didn't know how to deal with having you there, didn't know how to approach it, and so just decided to keep doing her own thing and let you work around her--not knowing that it wasn't as easy as that for you.

Photographers were in the wrong, you always let video guys do their thing.

But yeah next time, pre-game and come up with ground rules.

Thanks for all the responses guys. I'll try to address all these points.

As far as pre gaming goes, we didn't know until they showed up that there would even be photographers. The couple told us that they only wanted a video. I assume the photographers were a last minute hire.

And I DID know their names at the time and did introduce myself, for the record. I'm not shy. I probably forgot their names through motivated forgetting, a theorized psychological behavior in which people may forget unwanted memories, either consciously or unconsciously, because it was that darn traumatizing.

Anyway, I asked my boss about the company and he said he's never heard of them. He's been in the game since 2000 and runs the most successful photo/cinema studio in the area, so the fact he's never even heard of this company from a town 20 minutes away is not good.

Anyway, with pre gaming, if it were up to me, that would definitely happen. Pick each other's brains for what we're going to do. But I'm not in charge of the business side of things. My boss is. And I love him to death; everybody loves this man, but damn, he's kind of lazy with certain things. Gifted cinematographer, great at communicating, joy to work for. He shoots high school portraits and the kids love him. He did ask them what their picture ideas were, and said that we would just work around them. For the candid stuff we were doing at the time, that worked out fine. We only needed 1-2 second long clips. But it was different at the reception. There was no "working around" that.

Like I brought out in the op, we did ask them politely a few times to move, and they would for a while. But they would just go right back to in front of us again minutes later. They must have had a terrible sense of their surroundings. I don't know why they couldn't stand, idk, right next to us instead of right in front of us. Whenever they did, we just moved up to stand next to them.

My boss and I always have a plan. We can decide who's shooting tight, who's shooting wide, where we're going to be as to not get in each other's shots, if one of us will use a glidecam, who gets the good monopod and who gets the squeaky monopod (damn we need to replace that thing), trade lenses and swap out batteries - all in about 30 seconds. We find our places and go.

These two girls seemed to be a lot more random. There was no planning, it was all spontaneous. Spontaneous is fine, to an extent. Spontaneous can get you some awesome stuff. I'm more spontaneous in my video than I should be, probably. But, as I lay on my belly on the floor using a slider, gently sliding the camera past an abandoned pair of sparkly bridesmaid's heels, I can't help but wonder why in the world both of these girls are standing 1) side by side 2) both with 70-200s cranked to 200mm and 3) shooting the exact same thing from the same eye-level perspective. It was just sloppy.

After we both asked them a few times (politely) to move and it didn't work, I think we kind of just gave up. When we realized that they were seriously going to do this the entire day, the wedding party walked in, went right into the toast, right into the first dance. Things were moving too fast at that point to talk to each other, much less discuss plans with another company.

I assume they just haven't done this for too long. It's pretty obvious, actually, by the name of their company, the freaking hoodies they wore, their general awkwardness with everyone (the couple and us primarily) and general un-professionalism that they were new. I hope they sort things out find success. I was chatting with the one girl towards the end of the wedding when we were packing and she opened up a little. She seemed nice. But they better be glad they were shooting with me and my boss, because someone with a short temper could have easily gone off on them. I cannot emphasize just how much they were standing right in from of our shots. It was absurd.

By the way, I'm relatively new at this too. I've been shooting weddings for just about a year now. We've worked with other photographers in that time span, and have had no problems (besides one, but this guy was a complete dbag)

Again, thanks for the replies everyone. I appreciate it.
 
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DoctorDino

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Video is boring, watch it once and it's forgotten

You haven't seen our 3:00 minute highlight videos then.

Those things are freaking beast.
 

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