October 30, 2019
A blog post years in the making: Why I don’t offer photo/video packages (or videography in general) Please note that if you’re here for tea, this isn’t a photo/video team bashing post. We’re all on “team good photos”!
“Do you offer videography services?’“
”I see that you give recommendations for videographers – can I have that info please?”
”We’d like two photographers and a videographer”
This is just a sample of inquiries I’ve received on my website in the last few months. I know potential clients aren’t combing through every page on my website, but the ONLY moving pictures I have on there are short slideshows of still photographs that compliment blog posts…
It’s the one topic that will send wedding photographers into a tailspin every time- Videography.
Listen, before I dive deep into the subject, I do want to note that there are PUH-LENTY of amazing photo/video teams that deliver high quality products to their couples in a timely manner. And that’s great! But this post is about the assumption that all wedding photographers also offer videography.
So what’s my response? I don’t offer video, but I do give a list of talented videographer recommendations after booking.
Picture it. it’s your wedding day, and the camera crew rolls into the hotel. Four deep, dressed in black, and dragging huge camera bags behind them. Camera bags stuffed with cameras, lenses, doo-dads and snacks.
Big ol’ cameras and light stands and tripods. Same/same, right?
Nope. Wedding videography also involves audio, so they bring along another case of microphones, wires, and other things I’m clearly not aware of because well, I’m not a videographer. Looks easy enough though, right? You might see their cameras unmanned on tripods – how hard can it be to let it roll and capture video? What about those gimbals and steady-cams for those sweet sweeping shots around the dance floor? Not to mention the constant video lights you see planted around the reception space. Microphones – big ones, hidden ones, all the other audio stuff I know nothing about…
Videographers simply need different equipment to get their shots, and it’s equipment I don’t have.
(Let’s not even get into the post-processing. Hats off to you, south Florida videographers!)
I can absolutely photograph a wedding by myself. I choose to always have an assistant with me, but they’re not a photographer. Adding a second photographer to your coverage alleviates tight timelines and adds more angles to the day. But as the only photographer at Sonju Photography, how in the heck am I going to record video as well? Literally impossible. Heck, I have to set reminders to grab photos at the Juju Booth. I’m not even willing to set up a tripod with the groomsman’s iPhone to livestream your ceremony. There are just too many balls to juggle.
Videographers often leave cameras running while I’m snapping hundreds of frames during the ceremony. If it’s a one-man/woman team for video, they’re constantly making sure they’re getting all the angles they need for full coverage on multiple cameras. It may look like they just set it and forget it, but videographers are constantly working their butts off balancing multiple angles and audio. And I only have one butt, sorry.
And here’s where I ask, “define easier”. Sure, it’s one less contract to sign with wedding photo/video packages, but that’s what, maybe 5-10 minutes of your time? Typically, the planner/coordinator or photographer helps with the timeline, and I haven’t heard of excessive meetings needed for videography.
I can understand the benefit of not having to search for two artists – photo and video, so maybe they’re talking about the time it takes to peruse portfolios? Who knows. Does ease of booking really trump artistic skill? Especially when the photographer gives a list of recommended vendors they like working with?
I could point to a few South Florida photo/video teams who have broken up, causing couples to panic and hunt down their wedding footage, but that’s none of my business. The wedding vendor recommendations I give after booking aren’t just a pile of names I’ve compiled to look popular, or because they’ve thrown me a couple bucks to be on said list. They’re the vendors that work best with my style, have professional equipment and backsups, and look and act like professionals. I trust them to work with me to stay on the timeline so you can spend the most time with friends and family. They’re the artists I KNOW will deliver an amazing product, and will deliver it in a timely manner.
I get it though. There are a few videos on social media floating around with unprofessional vendors not getting along on the wedding day. But does a photo/video team really ensure that won’t happen anyway?
Can’t even argue with this one. If a discount is the deciding factor in hiring me as your wedding photographer, then best of luck to you both.
Here’s the bottom line – I’m a photographer. While I photograph weddings, families, events, and corporate stuff, I still have one skill set I’m damn proud of – still photography.
I know myself. If I were to go all in on training myself as a videographer, that’s hours, days, months of learning. That’s time taken away from my current and future Sonju Photography couples, and that’s not fair to anyone.
I will say, a lot of photo/video teams are couples, but my partner is a journalist and I honestly don’t have the patience to work with him as well. (wink.jpg.)
I take pride in my work, and love referring others when I think the fit is right. My preferred vendors page highlights videography teams that I know have the right equipment, and that I know work well with my style. (Less “work” if we’re both getting what we need at the same time!)
Some photographers team up with videographers and treat it like a package deal – and I do think that’s an interesting strategy. I just don’t see it working for me. I’d rather not take on the responsibility if a couple were disappointed with their service or product.
Are you looking for a professional photographer for your South Florida wedding? I’d love to chat! Click here to get in touch and check availability!