How do you deal with photographers in a wedding film?

James Blankenfeld asked: I've got a huge question that I'm sure a lot of videographers can relate to and I'm sure you have too. But how do you deal with photographers? Ideally, you'd treat this as a film shoot. Take the time to set up the shot and position them and direct them to what you want them to do in order to accomplish the shot you are trying to create. But I've had a lot of experience with photographers that are pushy and call the shots and don't give me time to get in there and do something myself. 

When dealing with photographers, or in any situation where we need access to something for the story really, we start with our why.

A good example of this is when we needed to get specific lines in the wedding speeches of Kevin and Cath, which I've linked for you here. For this wedding film, we had read the speeches beforehand, we had them printed out, and we had the lines highlighted that we knew we needed to cover for the story. The only problem was that, just as you bring up here, there were tons of photographers, and we really needed them to step away for us to be able to capture those Story First moments of the speeches.

So how'd we do it?

Well we approached the photographers with our why. We actually had the physical copies of the highlighted speeches in our hands, and we told them we were here to capture the story of Kevin and Cath. We could actually tell and show them exactly what lines we needed them to step back for, and exactly why we needed those lines and how it fit into the greater story.

Now, if you go up to anyone with that much preparation, and being able to share them exactly what you need and why you need it and how that will create not just a wedding film, but a wedding film that captures who these people are, then folks don't typically want to be the person who gets in the way of that. And it's entirely reasonable for the photographers to see that they can have free reign during the rest of the speech, but for those highlighted moments, they'll need to give just a bit more space. They certainly don't want to be the ones who stop you from being able to deliver something meaningful to the bride and groom as well.