An Important Short Lesson For All Wedding Photographers

Update: The featured video has been changed per request of the photographer that was featured in it. In summary the video showed the back of a photographer standing up in the middle of the aisle next to the front two rows shooting with a 70-200mm lens aiming at the bridal party. I saw this video (video replaced with dancing dog) posted up in a Facebook group I belong to by the amazing team of videographers over at Motivity Films. The video was shared as a reminder to all wedding photographers that just as much as we complain about videographers being in our shots, we as photographers need to be aware of our surroundings as well as those working the wedding with us so that everyone can produce a quality product for our clients. The 2-minute video is really quite funny.

Now I am not sharing this video so that we can light up our torches and raise the pitchforks to go after the photographer. I don't even have a clue who it is. Also I understand that later the photographer realized what they had done and apologized to the videographers for her mistake. The reason I felt it was important to share the video, besides getting a good laugh, is because there are some great lessons in this video that all wedding photographers should be aware of.

  1. Communicate with the videographers before the ceremony starts and get an idea of what kind of cameras and lenses they will have set up and running so that you don't accidentally stand in front of one. There are times when you will be crossing, which is not a big deal, but it is always best to be aware of what they have set up so you can best position yourself.
  2. If you see a camera filming down the aisle, try to shoot either alongside it or duck down in front of it. Often, these cameras are zoomed in closer on the couple so you should be able to stay low and be out of sight.
  3. During a wedding ceremony, be aware of how your body could be impeding the guests from enjoying the wedding. You might not be entirely blocking their view, but when you are standing up in front, you become a sight distraction and rather than watch the couple you suddenly become the entertainment.
  4. Use your telephoto lens to shoot further back. Zooming in at 200mm gives you beautiful compression and bokeh, so take advantage of it.
  5. If you absolutely do need to get a shot up front, make yourself as small as possible. Also strip down your camera and pop on a prime lens that is not quite as distracting. An 85mm, 50mm or 35mm might be good choices.
  6. Lastly, always keep an eye on the couple and an ear listening to what is going on. Photos of the couple laughing or the groom shedding a tear are priceless and you don't want to miss those.

The photographer in this video is probably extremely talented, has shot many weddings before and nailed some amazing photos from her angle there. But I hope that even if she stumbles upon this post and recognizes herself in the video, she is able to grab some takeaways from this article so during future weddings both her, the guests and others working at the wedding are all able to have a clean line of sight to the couple, which after all is what we are all there to witness.

Finally, be sure to check out some of the incredible wedding videos done by the team at Motivity Films by visiting their website. Nick and Ben are extremely talented and always put together fantastic wedding films. In fact, here is the highlight reel they prepared for this same wedding. Good stuff!

Log in or register to post comments

115 Comments

Previous comments
Ron's picture

Funny how fast she (the Photographer in the video) had FStoppers pull the video... I smell the threat of a lawsuit. Glad i watched it yesterday.

NAWS's picture

lawsuit?

Ron's picture

As in she sent a nice Seize and Desist letter or i sue you... And the video mysteriously dissapeared :-)

AnnoyingOrange's picture

Good job F-Stoppers for ruining someone's reputation without taking the other side of the story. Seriously, you guys RUCK!

Leif Sikorski's picture

The video doesn't work because embedding is disabled. In general a link to the videos would be great, also for mobile users.

jackpeterbuilt's picture

For those asking to see the video, a quick trip to the Motivity Films Vimeo site will show that it's gone, deleted, not available to view, as in quit asking for a link....there's nothing to link to.
Motivity did the right thing and deleted the entire video.....something that should also happen to this F-Stoppers thread.
I'm not sure when trashing somebodies reputation became "OK"?

nbm's picture

First, do you actually know who I am? Not from this page.
Second, I'd rather be known for standing up for myself than for cowardly hiding. I decided it was time to come out when people were recognizing me. Several, and clients were among them.
And yes, this is just plain wrong on so many levels. If they want to prove the point that this happens all the time, then they should make a compilation from 50 or 100 or so weddings; not single out one photographer, while all you they was stand by and take no action to improve the situation.

jackpeterbuilt's picture

Nowhere did I say anything about any text being responsible for anything.

Fact: the photographer is completely recognizable in the photo.
Fact: the article trashes the photographer.
Fact: the photographer felt obliged to defend herself here in comments.
Fact: by analyzing scenery, etc, the photographers location is known.
Fact: everybody who's paying attention (are you?) knows who the photographer is.

Fact: your note about "strange", although irrelevant, is also moot.
Fact: this article trashes the photographer for no valid reason.
Fact: photo websites don't trash those who are their target audience.

Question requiring only a "yes" or "no" answer:
If I post a picture of YOU, and then completely trash you without mentioning your name, you'll be totally OK with it?

Brian Zuzulock's picture

Petty and unprofessional move by the videographers and a serious lack of judgement by F-Stoppers for promoting such a disgraceful, blind-side attack on a single, unknowing photographer. The fact is this article could have been published without attacking and singling out a photographer but you chose to "have a good laugh" and effectively cast a negative light on someone you don't know and put her in a bad spot with potential clients. The judgements of her performance should be left to her clients and not broadcasted on the internet from one biased viewpoint. But hey, I guess ignorance is bliss and you have proven to be blissfully ignorant. There is no way I would take any advice from someone with such a lack of moral integrity.

Justin Haugen's picture

I've performed videography for a wedding but my business is rooted in wedding photography. The occasions I've done video, I worked around the photographer and we were in constant communication and I even highlighted the photographer's interaction with the couple as a b-roll in my footage.

It's hard for me to be mad at anyone for getting in the shot, it's part of the event to some extent and doesn't have to be the end of capturing a great wedding video.

Jose Dominguez's picture

I can not believe it has been removed, I was dying to see it.

jackpeterbuilt's picture

So you thought, rather than post a response as the author of the article, you'd give it a try as a "guest"?
Classy.
A reader of this website questions the fairness of the article, and the articles author posts anonymously suggesting the writers diaper is dirty?

Your "proviso" statement doesn't change a thing.
The article is an unacceptable, hack trashing of the photographer, regardless of whether you as an author bothered to do any research in advance to actually FIND OUT who she was before you wrote the piece.

You know, something you'd do as a journalist, doing his job.

Trevor Dayley's picture

@jackpeterbuilt:disqus - I have refrained from making any comments on the post up till now. This was not me posting anonymously. The person who posted was quoting something I had said in the article. I have a response written up to those who feel we have unfairly posted this video that I will share in the next couple days.

jackpeterbuilt's picture

My sincere apologies Trevor.
Please accept my unreserved apology for unfairly accusing you of posting anonymously.

I still believe it was a brutal hatchet job of an article, names or no names. On a photo website, a picture (or video in this case) definitely speaks a thousand words.
I look forward to reading your pending comments on the issue.

Michael J Burgess's picture

This is amazing I saw the video at the bottom and it made me cry