Planning Your Wedding Vendor Dream Team

Tampa Wedding PhotographerDid you know that you can benefit from hiring wedding vendors that work together as a team? Yes!  Did you know that hiring vendors that aren’t team players can compromise your photography and/or cinematography’s final product?  Booooo!

Most couples are surprised to learn how much time they spend with the photographer on their wedding day.  You will work with many vendors on your big day.  Some you will see very little of or not at all.  Others are by your side all day long.  (Yikes!)

Think about it for a second.  You want photos of your bridal and groom’s details, getting ready, ceremony details, the ceremony, family heirloom portraits, fun wedding party photos, romantic and fun images of you and your groom.  Don’t forget the reception too!  What’s one thing nearly all of these have in common?  They involve you!  If you’ve hired the right photographer, then they will be there for all of the moments happening around you.  Now who do you think is the second vendor that will be around you the most?  Here’s a hint…it’s not the planner. 😉

It’s your cinematographer!  Just like your photographer, they are there to capture all the details and events of the day. This is not to say that your other vendors aren’t working their passionate, talented booties off.  They most certainly are behind the scene. Makes sense yes?

Over the past 15 years, I’ve worked with many creative teams.  The best experiences are when everyone puts the bride and groom first and their career (or ego…just sayin) second.  These events run smoothly and most the time the couple benefits in multiple ways. What would those benefits look like?

You’re in luck! Not only do I have 3 really awesome benefits that you can take full advantage of.  In fact, I dare you to! I also have 2 professional and crazy talented souls (with very different styles I might add) throwing in their two cents about this very topic.

benefit #1 – keeping to your schedule

A question I’m often asked is, “Will I have to take photos with you, then go work with the cinematographer?”  Wait what?  Why wouldn’t the photographer and cinematographer shoot simultaneously?  This problem leads down the ugly path of running late.

There are plenty of opportunities throughout a wedding day where both the photographer and cinematographer can shoot side by side.  For example your first look/bridal portraits, ceremony, family and wedding party portraits and pretty much your entire reception.  There are a few times, where yes, we need to take turns.  I call these, hand off shots. (Don’t get me wrong…this isn’t some fancy industry term. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who has a name for these shots!)

The most common hand off shots for me are the details and a portion of getting ready.  Notice that these two hand off shots are very, very small portions of your wedding day.  If you’re photographer and cinematographer are working as team players, there shouldn’t be a big delay (or any for that matter) to ensure everybody gets their signature shots.  And do you know what that means?  You get to the church on time!  (or garden, beach or any other venues where you choose to say I do!)

Planning Your Wedding Dream Vendor Team

The other way photographers and cinematographers can help to keep the schedule running smoothly is by communicating constantly with one another. (but that’s kind of a duh moment yes?)

benefit #2 – staying out of each other shots

I’ll be the first to admit there are plenty of times I step in front of a cinematographers camera while it’s rolling.  Hey, nobody is perfect!  However, trying to stay out of the shot is one of my priorities at each and every event. While behind the scene shots don’t typically make the album design, they are fun to have. (Thanks to Emily Plank for this sneaky shot of me being sneaky at a church ceremony!) Could you imagine viewing your wedding images for the first time and constantly seeing the cinematographer in the photos?  No bueno!

Planning Your Wedding Dream Vendor Team

benefit #3 – creativity explosion

This, hands down, is my favorite benefit!  The amount of creativity can literally explode like a volcano when you put passionate, team playin photographers and cinematographers together.  I know because I’ve experienced it over and over again.  Bouncing ideas off each other, or even shooting off what the other creative set up can add more images or film to your final product.  Not only could you end up with more images, but the vibe you feel off your creative team can be intoxicating! It’s a confident boost for both the vendors but for the bride and groom as well.

Imagine working with a photography and cinematographer that weren’t team players.  They didn’t bounce ideas off each other and had no positive feed back to give you as you pose in front of their cameras. You stand there looking at each other wondering if your posing the right way. Booooooooo.

Now imagine watching your creative team visually getting excited for all the shots they have and the ideas that are blooming!

Still thinking this whole team player thing isn’t a big deal?  I’d love to share with you what my friend Alex Karas over at Voila Cinematic had to say about the elevated experience you can have!

“When approaching a wedding I view every wedding specialist as a team. If we’re not a team then we are there for the wrong reasons. We are there for the couple, not for our personal gain. This is especially true when working along side a photographer. Working with a photographer thats not a team player not only hurts the camaraderie between the two but it also effects the mood of the bride and groom and possibly the end product of the film and photos. When we work as a team the mood of the day is much more positive which effects the work environment and end product. Working as a team allows us to bounce ideas off one and in the end provide a better product for the couple. Communication is key when working as a team and if you can’t communicate I guarantee that a shot will be missed because your in one another shot.”

Planning Your Wedding Dream Vendor Team

In the end, it’s about respect for not just the creative team, but for the couple as well.  Most bride and groom’s take a lot of time and effort into selecting the vendors they work with for their wedding. It’s our responsibility to respect those decisions no matter what our opinion is.

How do you know if your vendors are team players?

This is easy!  References!  Talk to anyone and everyone you know about the vendors they worked with for their events.  You can also ask your vendors!  We all love to brag about great experiences we’ve had working with other teams.  Especially if it presents the opportunity to work with them again! 

Looking for more?  Check out these popular Wedding Photography Guides:

How To Hire A Wedding Photographer
What To Wear To An Engagement Session
Best Time To Schedule A Photo Shoot

For links to all of our guides by category, check out our Pinterest Board!




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