It’s your wedding day, the most important day of your life! Among the many other details that you have meticulously attended to, you’ve hired a photographer from one company and a cinematographer from a different company. And most likely, they will each bring an assistant… that’s four people (at least!) following you around for hours, competing to get your “best side”! How can you be absolutely sure that your photos and films will be flawless, as well as that everyone will get along and not be a distraction?
Who’s In Charge?
I spoke with our lead editor about this topic, and he offered some great insight! “The main goal of the cinematographer is to capture the day in its sincerity, to capture those special moments that are impossible to stage. The photographer should actually be head of operations at the wedding, while the cinematographers can get a majority of their footage in between the takes of the photographer.” Daniel Wolf – Cinematographer and Editor at Reverent Wedding Films
As Daniel mentioned, the photographer is the head of operations, with full knowledge of the bride’s expectations, working under the wedding planner’s timeline and guidance. They will have a list of photos that need coordination and staging and the cinematographers will usually take a backseat and let the events roll out, while filming it all, of course! While cinematographers stage and direct the couple as well, they get a majority of their footage in between takes with the photographer; it’s really just a game of give-and-take. For example, post-ceremony family portraits are not as important for video but essential for photos, and the first dance is perfect footage for the cinematographers and the photographer just needs a few necessary pictures of the moment.
Every photographer is different, but definitely ask that they share their list of shots with the cinematographer. For example, if the cinematographer is aware that during the cake cutting the photographer is planning on taking three key photos (one as the couple cuts the cake, one as the bride takes a bite, and one as the groom takes a bite), the cinematographer is able to give the photographer the room needed to get these shots, while they film the cake cutting from an angle that allows them to capture the event and does not include the photographer in the frame.
Communication Is Key
When looking for photographers or cinematographers, be specific and ask them what sets them apart from others in their field and if they have had past problems working with anyone in the wedding industry. Hopefully, they will be honest with you and tell you if they have had a negative experience with a certain vendor and reassure you that they are willing to be a team player in an effort to make your wedding day perfect. “The most important thing is communication. Outside of a wedding you may be two different companies, but at the event you need to blend and work together; a cinematographer and photographer can both get great content if they work together and the couple will be even more pleased with both products looking professional!” Daniel Wolf