*deep breath* man, i have a feeling that a lot of what i am about to say is going to be wildly unpopular, but i kind of don’t really care that much. i am really, really, and i mean REALLY!!!!! tired of going to a job and spending 12 hours with a couple doing something that i’ve loved for years but then venting to my husband for an hour afterward because i didn’t have any fun or experience the same joy and passion i once did in this profession. sure, you could argue that maybe i just need a good old fashioned attitude adjustment and i’m in control of my own emotions and actions because i’m an adult, and you would be right. or maybe it’s the same old “you win some, you lose some” line, but i’m sorry. there is an extreme trend and a specific issue i keep running into and i really believe that it needs to be addressed.
in short, a large part of the issue i am seeing run completely rampant within this industry is ego. i am so very tired of the photographer/videographer battle that i keep seeing time and time again. i get it, you’re a great photographer (and i am not saying all photographers are this way. i actually know tons that are not, but as a dual shooter, i see a TON more of this from photographers than i have experienced thus far from videographers – though again, i have seen it in both sides), but excuse me while i just go ahead and mention that the rest of us that are working the exact same wedding as you for the exact same amount of time and a similar amount of money don’t really give a rat’s behind about how great of a photographer you are, ESPECIALLY if it means you’re standing right in front of my video camera to prove it. and i do NOT care if you are shooting with a prime lens. that is not an excuse . guess what? i’m usually shooting with primes too because i know how beautiful they are. but you and i cannot both make effective use of both of our gorgeous prime lenses if you are standing right between my camera and the two most important people that day. please step aside… there are 360 degrees in the circle that exists around this couple…. and i’m occupying maybe 10 of them. have an absolute hay day with the other 350. i’m asking for 10 degrees of uninterrupted, unblocked, bride and groom footage. and i’m on tripods. i can’t move as easily as you. please. please. please. look behind you and step aside. we are a team!!!!! or at least we should be…..
easy solution (just so someone doesn’t say it for me): move your camera, Sarah. yep! i do! and sometimes it’s effective but most times it’s not. they just move and magically end up right in front of me again… but also, i’d like to again point out that my cameras are on tripods for a reason when i’m shooting video. because video isn’t really a mobile kind of thing… and any photographer that i have ever worked with has had a “game plan” discussion with me for this exact reason. i know that these game plan talks happen, because i’m the one initiating them for this very reason – so we can be on the same page once these events start happening and we can work together, both getting our beautiful shots. once i start shooting, i can’t just be moving my stuff around all willy nilly. that kind of defeats the purpose of a tripod and the game plan we just created. if i wanted my footage to constantly shake and move, i would probably just shoot with a monopod or handheld. and there is a time and a place for that, but it’s not during the bride and groom’s first dance or during their ceremony.
as i mentioned, i am a photographer as well, so it’s not like i don’t understand how this all works. and i promise you… i would bet every penny in my bank account with 150% certainty, there is a way for us all to be able to work the same wedding, all get the shots we want, and not be in each other’s way at all. but we have GOT to stop thinking about solely ourselves and our artwork. we have GOT to realize that the bride and groom are paying us BOTH. and from my perspective, they’re paying me WAY too much to stare at the back of a photographer’s head during every special event of the entire day.
and yes, i do speak up. but it doesn’t help. i am telling you… i have spent So. Many. Ceremonies!!! and So. Many. First dances!!!! just shaking my head because of complete lack of respect and regard for the game plan we just spoke about 37 seconds ago. we talked about where you all wanted to stand as photographers. we also talked about how my video cameras fit into that plan. notice how i just said i ask you what your plan is first and then fit into it – generally speaking, i let photogs have dibs. somewhere along the line, i thought that would help, but i guess not. i still find myself trying to dodge this large obstacle between me and our client, and will likely have to explain later why all of the shots i took included other vendors. trust me, this is not how i want to be spending my Saturday night. i cannot teach adults how to be adults. i cannot give them the gift of respect and kindness and love. i can only be so sweet and polite before i really get frustrated for being completely screwed with!
you have to understand… this is my business, too. this is what i do for a living. this is how i make money and it’s a craft i have worked very hard to master. i’ve invested a LOT of time, money, and energy learning how the heck these wedding things work and MAN is it a completely different animal as a vendor as opposed to a guest. there is a LOT that goes into these things. and i put a LOT of my soul into every single wedding i shoot, whether it be photographs or a video collection. and i know that i am not alone in this. in no way am i saying that other vendors don’t put their heart and soul into their work. which also proves my point.
please ask yourself what your reaction would be if, as a photographer, i was in the background of all of your shots. just sit and think of the hours you could then possibly spend taking my stupid tripod and my dumb face out of the background of your perfectly lit golden hour photo…. one you worked TIRELESSLY to compose. you got everything Just Right and then, there i was, plain as day, standing 180 degrees, SMACK dab in the middle of your shot… sometimes you don’t get a do-over!!! that moment has passed… we can’t go back and re-shoot it. and you might be able to Photoshop me out, but no one has time for all of that editing!!! we do enough as it is!!!! so, keeping that in mind, i worked hard to compose my shot too!! and while i was doing that, i also took THREE SECONDS to make sure that i was the only human trying to make use of that space at that time so that i could get TEN SECONDS of a shot of this bride and groom that just got hitched and is over the moon in love. please, just give me Ten Uninterrupted Seconds!!!!! just look around and stop being oblivious! you’re not the only human that exists, and i know you get excited, we all do! we all love our jobs, but you’re costing me the reason that i’m here… literally the only reason that i’m in the middle of this random park that i’ve never been to is to take this video of this particular set of human beings. and i would LOVE to be allowed the opportunity to do so without the interference of probably the only other human being that truly understands how important this shot is. it is important for both of us and we both deserve to have what we want and need artistically.
also, small tidbit to offer on this….. as a videographer, Photoshop doesn’t quite work the same way. i can’t just clone someone out and POOF they’re gone. it’s possible, but there are anywhere between 24-60 photos being taken in my camera per second, and they ALL require editing to get you out of my video…… Per Second…… and i really am not doing that. it is so disappointing when i finally get a couple to forget they’re being videotaped and get some real smiles out of them and BANG! a photographer stands right up in it or walks into it, or literally runs into my tripod and my body… i mean Come On!!!! i am not making this up… let me get this straight. you were crouching a second ago to be under my lens because you know we’re shooting the same thing… and then what?! did you just decide that i was done shooting that particular angle? now your photo is more important than the video i’m taking? it’s absolutely unreal. and it happens way too often. and it needs to end. i’m sorry, but it’s a requirement of the job just as much as anything else. you need a camera that shoots a certain resolution, you need proper lighting materials in case you’ll be shooting in a dark location… and you need to know how the heck to make situations work where there are more humans working with a bride and groom than just yourself.
i’m sorry. i’m completely ranting and venting and i am aware of it, but this needs to be said. no single one of us is more important on wedding day. we are on The. Same. Team. and it doesn’t matter if you’re the best damn photographer on this planet. i’m happy for you, but on wedding day, we’re not playing for your team. we’re playing for the Bride and Groom’s team… their satisfaction is my top priority and it should be yours too, and you should want EVERYTHING about their wedding to turn out perfectly. you should care about them that much. that includes video. that includes food. that includes DJ. that includes the venue and the weather and the bridal party. EVERYTHING.
you wouldn’t go in the kitchen and take away the chef’s ability to cook. you wouldn’t go to the DJ booth and start unplugging stuff. so please, please, please stop standing in front of me or running into me or acting like my equipment and my mission and my JOB doesn’t matter!!! let’s all stop interfering with each other’s ability to do their job to its highest potential. because it’s certainly sucking the joy of weddings out of me, i don’t know about the others this is happening to. i cannot be the only one that feels this way. all it takes is a little communication and a couple extra ounces of thought.
i have literally had photographers that have told me that my lighting during a bride and groom’s first dance will screw them up. my lighting is usually tungsten, but sometimes i like to mess with the temperature a little. either way. i’m a photographer as well remember, so i actually know a thing or two about color temperature and how it affects photography and videography. and no. my video lighting has no reason to affect your photographs. especially if you’re using flash. it will cut through my lights, no problemo. regardless… dare i remind you that i’m working here as well, and sometimes we all have to learn how to work together. i have my process and you have yours. i have my gear preferences and you have yours. i’m team Canon and maybe you’re team Nikon… whatever! i won’t hate on you for it. you don’t get to just stroll up to a wedding and demand that everything be your way, because guess what!!! it’s not your wedding. it never was. you’re not running this show.
my favorite comment actually happened just the other day, when a photographer said, after realizing they had just moved something before i was done with it: “oh, sorry, i’m really not worried about you…” well, i guess i already knew that, but now that we’re talking about it, in my humble opinion, for the sake of the couple we’re serving on this beautiful fall day, you really should be. and that attitude absolutely sickens me. call me crazy, but i think photographers should have maybe just a bit of care about videographers and vice versa. not in a consuming manner, but at least enough to care about the goals we are all trying to accomplish.
*another deep breath* okay, after all of that, i have made a decision to do something about this. for myself, i will no longer be offering wedding videography through Sarah Faith Images. i’m stepping away from it because it’s not making me happy anymore. my husband deserves a happy wife. i deserve a happy life. i started working for myself because i needed to get my joy back. and i’ve lost it completely when it comes to this whole wedding video thing. i’ve lost my passion for it, and i’ve grown completely frustrated and disgusted with how videography is treated in the wedding sector. to do 10-12 hours of work is not worth it to be treated like i don’t even matter and walk away fuming mad because of the level of absolute disrespect i often encounter. not to mention the number of times i’ve been told wedding videography is not worth the price i’m charging. my prices are proportionate with the level of work that i produce. i wish i could help people understand the work that goes into videography, both on wedding day and in post… that’s a topic for another blog.
to those for whom i have made films for in the past, thank you for allowing me the honor and privilege of shooting your wedding. it was a joy to work with you and i have loved capturing your love! but unfortunately, the selfishness and ego is real in this industry, and it’s a little more than i’m okay with. i’m growing more and more tired of it with every wedding i shoot and i have other avenues i can pursue when it comes to making a living. i get this feeling that so many photographers are out to get that next great photo, no matter the cost, in efforts to be in their favorite wedding magazine, or be noticed on Instagram, or enter a photo contest, etc. etc. i know, recognition is awesome, isn’t it? it is a really great feeling to get noticed for the work you’re doing and gain bragging rights. awards can be life-giving. it can drive you, fuel you, inspire you. it’s amazing when someone notices the heart you’re putting into your work. but i’d be willing to bet that oftentimes, behind you, there’s someone wanting to get that shot too, and you’re not a genius for thinking of it first. you’re rude for standing in the way. and your work needs to be about something greater than yourself.
i’ll leave you with one final parting thought:
on wedding day, if it’s not your wedding and you happen to be working to capture the day or enhance the day in your respective field, your primary responsibility is to think of two specific people, and neither one of them is yourself. it is my firm belief that on wedding day, the bride and groom are the celebrities. it is their day. we are working to serve them. we are not serving ourselves. and there is more than one of us working that day to serve those two very special celebrity-status humans. how dare we spoil it for the couple we are all there to celebrate? how dare we interfere with someone else’s ability to exercise their God-given talent – someone the bride and groom spent a lot of time, effort, and resources choosing to be a part of their special day. think about it – the bride and groom choose us… they ask us, invite us in to the best day of their life, and want us to help them make it the best day possible. how dare we??? how dare we claim to be of service to them and then completely sabotage another’s work who is there to do the same things we are??? that’s not service. that’s ego. that’s selfish. and it has got to stop.
love to you all,