Wedding Photographs: It's a team effort - Wedding Compass

Insight from Photographers and Videographers…

We’ve chatted with some professional wedding photographers and videographers and they have shared some of their thoughts and insight into the documentary and cinematic process. We’ve gained some great insight and now we share it with you!

Here’s the Award Winning Wedding Video Show Reel for


In your occupation, friendly communication and teamwork create a strong synergy between colleagues. From a photographer’s perspective, the same applies to your wedding photography. We will do everything imaginable to give you the best wedding photos, but we need your help.

Messages from Wedding Shooters and Filmmakers: Here are five ways you can help Wedding Filmmakers, help you!

1. A person in charge!

If there is no wedding coordinator, please find us a person to take charge. While we highly suggest having a day-of planner (it makes all the difference) sometimes it is not in the budget. We understand that and your wedding is not by any means doomed without them. What you can do is provide us with a name, cell phone, and the email address of the person you trust the most. Most often this is the maid of honor or best man. They tend to know most of the guests, or at least all of the family members. They know about family dynamics and sensitive subjects.

Emotion Picture Studio

Marc Lehman – Emotion Picture Studio

These appointed persons help us tremendously. Your wedding is supposed to be a beautiful day, enjoyed to the fullest; no decision making. We prefer to ask our many questions of those you appoint, instead of bothering you every few minutes with “…now again, who are uncle Jim and Aunt Nancy?”

2. Give us explicit descriptions of your special requests.
Here is a common oversight with all of the excitement around a beautiful wedding. Grandparents are too often forgotten or pushed aside. They either move at a slower speed or are put at the back tables, perhaps because of a wheel chair.

Aside from the formal photos, we want to capture their joy throughout the night. We ask our clients to please make a map of the room, telling us where to focus our cameras at any point during the night. For example:  if there is a friend being mentioned in the middle of the groom’s speech, please let us know ahead of time. We want the cameras pointing at the subject for the perfect expression. Details and descriptions! We cannot have enough, I promise.

3. Tell us what/whom you wish not to have photographed
You won’t be the first, nor the last. Lets be adult about this, someone will fly under the radar during the invitation process and you would rather not focus on them. That’s fair! Let us know, we promise not to share with anyone else. I speak for the entire photography community, as we all take our jobs very seriously. Some couples don’t like table shots at receptions…that’s great…let us know!

Wedding Videographer image - Courtesy: Ryan Sutton | ryansproduction.comPhoto Courtesy of: Ryan Sutton |

On the flip side, please tell us who, (or what) is very important to you (besides the obvious). Sometimes it’s a framed photo of a deceased loved one, sometimes it’s someone at one of the back tables who hired you for a job, and it was at this job you met your husband. See our point? Details please! I would rather walk through a wedding with a long list of MUST HAVES, than nothing.

Godfather Films - Group Shot - Wedding Filmmakers - WeddingCompass.comPhoto Courtesy:

4. Tell us about personalities involved in your wedding.
Sometimes it comes to this. I will give you an example:  in a recent wedding, the bride had divorced parents. Her father met someone and remarried. Her mother is clearly not in the same stage in life. The two women sat far apart, they were never photographed together. Our bride’s maid mentioned that we should never mention either woman’s name in front of the other, or tears would probably follow. Clearly that is dramatic and extreme, but it happened on one of our shoots. Not knowing this information would have led to a very uncomfortable situation or two.


Photographer_ballroom_WeddingCompass.comPhoto: Joel Austell in action –

5. Introduce us to other vendors. Communication creates mutual respect!

The other vendors and service providers (ie videographers) can be in contact via email and phone prior to the wedding. Photographers and videographers work side by side. When the bride walks down the aisle, you have 2 cameras sharing a small space. The photographer’s camera shutter is loud and the videographer’s mic is sensitive.

Venue: Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks - photo taken by WeddingCompass.comVenue pictured: Sherwood Country Club in Ventura County

I would love to be able to call each vendor before the wedding and introduce myself. Together we come up with great ways to work together. Usually the photographer leads the wedding, but there are times the videographer wants to film the couple for their project. If they are going to pull the couple aside for 15 minutes, we want to know about that. The more planned your day, the better your photos and/or videos.


Image courtesy: The Emotion Picture Studio
Image courtesy: Ryan Sutton |
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