Video: Please Don’t Do This the Next Time You Shoot a Wedding… or Ever

This is certainly not the first time we’ve shared a video uploaded to YouTube by a frustrated videographer whose shots were consistently ruined by the photographers at the wedding, but this might be the most extreme example we’ve seen.

It’s actually an older video, uploaded by wedding videographer Brett Hardeman back in June of 2012 alongside a job offer for any editor who believed him or herself good enough to edit the two photographers out of some of the key shots. But while the video might be a bit dated, the lesson is just as pertinent today as it ever was.

The footage goes beyond convincing you to be aware of your surroundings and work together with the videographer so that everybody can do their job and capture this couple’s special day. It does double duty, because both of the photographers in question are committing several other faux pas.


As Reddit user f22 points out, “The bride and groom should be treated like hot lava while at the ceremony. Get too close, you get burned. You can get kind of close without getting burned, but stay there too long and the heat will get to you.”

By that logic, both photographers are leaving this place with metaphorical third degree burns… But what do you think? What did they do wrong here? And how would you have handled the situation differently?

(via Reddit)

  • a

    Some of this is B.S. As a videographer, you can’t expect to setup in the perfect spot and get absolutely no interruptions. As a photographer, you move a lot, sometimes back to the same spot for a different moment. I could come up with thousands of instances where videographers side step into frames, block me, and take up valuable space.

  • Amadeusz Leonardo Juskowiak

    Do not think of this in terms of “me photographer, me videographer” – its all about bride and groom – they should be respected, not space for photographers or videographers – they should be as stealth as possible.

  • Francis Vachon

    Am I the only one thinking the biggest mistake is the dress? He is shooting a weeding in a freaking t-shirt!?!?!?

  • Wilfred Lim

    i don’t see that creates a real problem other than formality…
    again, smart dress does not mean he shoots a good photo, or t-shirt means he shoots a crappy 1…
    i think the point of the video shd be about how the videog and the photog had failed to collaborate and work with each other, and the disrespect by the photog to the ceremony

  • Oscar

    The way she takes the camera at min.3:00 explains a lot to me, no comment in the no-respect at all for the couple and also the videographer.

  • Sterling

    No, it’s not a matter of his dress affecting the quality of his photos. However, how he is dressed is a matter of politeness and respect.

  • Allen

    The Fong Dong was my first clue that this photographer didn’t know what he was doing.

  • Allen

    Right. People are paying you thousands of dollars to shoot photographs of them at a very formal occasion. You should probably dress nicely.

  • mark

    This honestly looks fake, or scripted for the lols. Thats a big long lengthy focal length. Anyone else see that?

  • Black Light Shoots


  • mark

    Jk watched the video AHMUAHHAHAHA

  • Scott M

    Ugh. The way that woman just saunters down the aisle kills me. Stay low, be unobtrusive. And is she chewing gum at 1:23!? Surprised she wasn’t blowing bubbles. With those focal lengths, why not shoot from behind or at the same level as the video???

  • Dario Toledo

    Another faux pas is the way the woman is holding the lens.

  • John Mueller

    How does someone’s attire affect the resulting photos? I refuse to wear suit/tie while doing wedding. Too constraining physically and creatively. But a t-shirt is probably too informal.

  • Raluca Diana

    Nah sorry don’t agree with this at all. first off the couple don’t look bothered by the photographers, after all they were hired and probably paid a good amount of money to capture the wedding in the best way…they’re only doing their jobs. Photographers get told by the couple or the registrars how much they can move and how close to get during the ceremony, so it obviously wasn’t a problem. From the videographer point of view…sorry but you have to move. You can’t just set up in one or 2 points and expect no one to get in the way. It’s a wedding. You’re not the only one who is working there.

  • Mark Shannon

    I have to agree with you on this one. I’ve shot many of my own weddings as a photographer, and I’m always mindful of the videographer and of the bride/groom. Especially when it comes to the important moments like the vows and exchanging of the rings, this is where a telephoto lens comes in handy – to stay out of their way and let them live the moment. I’ve shot countless weddings where the videographer got in my way… but if you work as a team (whether or not you work for the same company), then you learn to understand that these things happen, and you get past them.

    That said, if the videographer sets him or herself up on a tripod at the very back of the church/hall, hits record, and walks off, should it be my responsibility to ensure that I am never in one of their shots? I do my very best to make sure that I’m not, but there needs to be an understanding between the two that I will do what I can to get the shot I need (keeping in mind what I mentioned in the first paragraph), and I may or may not end up in your shot.

  • Phase19

    That was truly awful to watch…

  • Eric Leslie

    I bet that shirt is 18% grey so they use it to white balance off of their shots.

  • PictureMan

    Did nobody else notice the other video guy suddenly become a groomsman at the 1:25 mark? As bad as the photogs positions were, I’m not sure that’s much better! At least he’s dressed in black so he blends in a little better :-)

  • Bruce Wenner

    I guess their guests can review the wedding photos to see what they may have missed. It’s a fairly comical duo.

  • Kiltedbear

    No of course not, but what the photographers are doing is just blatant disrespect of another professional. What need was there for the lady photographer to PLANT herself a foot or two in front of the videographer and stand there for 30 seconds. Absolutely no reason!! Most of those shots they could have gotten at slightly different places or angles. They both had big lenses on but half the time were photographing as if they were using 20mm lenses!

  • Fullstop

    First off just because someone is paid to do a job that doesn’t give them free reign to be an arse during the ceremony. That guy didn’t know what the hell he was doing and she was just a hopeless case.
    I swear the new crop of photographers have a very sad mentality when it comes to stuff like professionalism and formality. Just because someone pays you and you have a camera please don’t think you’re hot S#!T
    Yeah dressing nice won’t make the photos come out nicer but if you SUCK it might make them have one less thing to hate about you when they get their sucky pictures back.
    Not only that but you’re setting a bad example for any potential customers that are guests.
    But by all means, keep doin what you’re doin hipsters, it will just equal more work for the true professionals.

  • Kiltedbear

    Mark, come on. They weren’t even trying! Props to you for trying to do your best, but they put no effort into trying.

  • HoeyHimself

    What moments I’m sure those photos don’t capture is how disruptive to “the moment” those photographers were to the couple and their friends and family. I would imagine that wedding album will bring back memories of how embarrassing it was to have a pair of unprofessional wedding photographers circling the alter like vultures over a corpse.

  • Fullstop

    Raluca are you serious? Judging by the looks of this they probably did not “pay a good amount of money” unless a “good amount of money” is $1100.
    So is the couple suppose to display their displeasure with this display during the vows? Isn’t it also about the guests to SOME extent? Not all photographers talk to the church before hand and unlike some old cathedrals, some church people are quite nice, a little “too” nice when it comes to dealing with nimrods like this.
    I’m sure you have a vast amount of experience working with weddings so please share your knowledge.

  • danny

    Those phtographers looked like amateurs to me, the way he takes photos like if he was using a cellphone as well as how she holds the camera. To me theres enough available light to not use flash. I would never hire them

  • j

    I agree. I shoot weddings but in the last year 3 of my niece’s got married. I sat in the second row back at both weddings. The photographers at two of the weddings were obnoxious…down the middle moving all around…just totally disruptive. The third wedding the photographer and her second camera stood at the back and used long lenses….the photos were outstanding plus she was gracious when I asked her to use my Mark iii to shoot a few personal photos of our family. The other two had the equipment to be stealth but their huge EGOS got in the way. At the end of the day the wedding should be first about the bride and groom and their guests…if you are good you will find a way to get photos without being the center of attention at the wedding you are photographing..

  • Vanessa

    Two photographers AND a videographer? That’s seriously overkill.

    The only way to guarantee that the photographer and videographer will co-operate is if they work for the same company. Only then will they have a common interest. Otherwise why would the photographer care about the videographers shot, and vice versa, why? Both are being paid to deliver their best and, well, human beings suck. Most of us only care if it benefits our interests. I’ve photographed weddings where the videographer didn’t give a damn about anyone else, including guests, and once they set up shop with the best angle you’re pretty screwed.

  • Carsten Schlipf

    Uhm, where was the videographer? Did he put the camera on a tripod and left for the bar or why didn’t he intervene when the woman was standing right before the camera for several seconds repeatedly?

  • John Finn

    Sorry,I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the videographer. Did he really expect the wedding photographers to step aside and give him a clear angle of view from that position? They would have lost out on several vital shots. Yes, they were OTT but they had a job to do. One of the best wedding photographers I know takes many shots of the ceremony up close with a wide-angle lens. The results are unusual and very effective. For all we know, the photographers here may be doing something similar. So it annoyed the videographer? Tough. Position yourself elsewhere next time.

  • Raluca Diana

    I’m sorry but if they are not told before the wedding what shots to get and how much to move around during…it’s not their fault. All they are doing is their best. I’ve done both, where I was told to not move and take very few shots during the ceremony and where they didn’t mind and i was free to move and shoot as much as i wanted. Both parties were happy because I did as they asked. You don’t know what the couple told them before the wedding. And sorry, but the bride and groom hired them so they are really not going to care what the guests think. They are not working for the guests.

  • Chad Bower

    Overkill? If you want both photo and video, it’s actually understaffed. You’d probably want a second videographer as well.

    And that’s a jaded view. Photographers should — and usually do — care most about what their bride thinks and whether the bride is happy. I’m not worried about my interests. I’m worried about the bride’s best interest. And if you coordinate and communicate with the other photographer or videographer, they’ll respond better than you’re giving them credit for.

    There are bad apples working in every industry and in every field. That doesn’t mean the whole crop’s spoiled.

  • PJ Enriquez

    I find it strange that the Videographer just stayed in one position. A professional would have moved around offering several angles just like the photographers. What he just put it on a tripod and went out for a smoke? Maybe this was one of the guest who was taking the video. I can’t believe a Pro would just stand there and do nothing…though i do thing the photogs were a bit all over the place.

  • Raluca Diana

    Actually to further exemplify, the last wedding I shot…the bride actually told me she doesn’t care about me taking pictures of the guests or anything as long as i just follow her and the groom around. So there. Stop judging based on a little video.

  • Michael Patakos

    Spray and pray

  • John Mueller

    Both the Videog and Photog need to get content for the B&G. But in this case, the Videog is positioned right in the middle of the back of the isle, so obviously they have to expect to see the photog working here and there.

    BUT, the guy photog in this is just ridiculous. Maybe it’s lack of experience or maybe he just needs to second shoot with a pro, but getting THAT close to the B&G right in front of them is wrong. I’ve done 160+ weddings as the lead shooter and I’ve never got that close to the B&G. AND I’ve never had any complaints that I didn’t get close enough for the ring shots, sand ceremony, etc.

    Plus they were using flash on EVERY single shot? Get a new camera with higher ISO, take off the Fong, use a longer lens and stop bouncing around like a schizophrenic squirrel hoarding nuts for the winter.

  • David Turner

    A. What the hell were these ‘photographers’ dressed for–a wedding or an afternoon shopping at the mall? B. As a photographer of nearly 300 weddings over a 13 year career, and as one who’s worked extensively with videographers, I early on learned to shoot over videographers, check their crop to ensure (especially at the ceremony), when I needed to shoot wide and close I would approach while remaining out of the frame, and when the videographer’s crop was wide, to pat him/her on the back, motion that I was going to move forward, and wait for a nod to let me know doing so was going to be okay. C. Everyone, from photographers and videographers to caterers and florists should all possess the attitude that the bride has paid a considerable amount to ensure her day has gone as smoothly as possible and we need to act as a team (take note, caterers who serve vendors crappy meals!); especially considering we are part of an industry whose businesses rely heavily on referrals from other vendors.

  • David Turner

    P.s. Part of the blame does lie on the videographer who didn’t appear to take the photographers aside to say, “Could you please be aware of our cameras?” How is it possible for so many instance of a photographer walking directly in front of the cam to occur and not be asked to be more respectful?

  • Amy

    Wow Raluca, I can’t see how you can call yourself a pro. You don’t allow your clients to tell you where to be throughout the ceremony and how to move around to get shots – you understand their preferences sure, but you make that happen while not getting in the way of the videographer and the guests, at least as little as possible. Of course once in a while you might get in the way of either but no guest should feel like they completely missed out on experiencing the ceremony because of an overzealous photographer. It is possible to respect the needs of your clients, the guests, and the videographer, while getting great shots.

  • deBona

    3 Words: Telephoto you moron.

    As Amadeusz pointed out, it’s not about video vs photography. It’s about bride and groom. It’s one of the most important events in their lives and they have to deal with someone swinging his camera all around their faces while they get married…

    I’m a rookie in this but even I know that…

  • Debbie

    There is an art to Photography and Being Stealth, Being “Ninja’…. Floating un-noticed…is all a part of it at times like this.

  • Mike

    Really? Let’s see your work genius.

  • Woody ONeal

    They were not signing a treaty…just getting married.

    And were the flashes even necessary?

    Room looked pretty lit.

  • MIke

    Fun reading all the arm chair professionals contradicting each other. Let’s see some of your work guys and gals.

  • p.rock

    The worst part about the Fong Dong and incessant flash-popping is that it looks like a nicely lit church. Surprisingly soft, even light.

  • irishphoto

    Yeah they both look pretty unprofessional. She looks like she’s going shopping in Tesco’s and can’t hold the camera properly and he’s incredibly distracting to guests hold the camera up like that taking photos, then checking them. As far as I’m concerned a wedding photographer should be in the background. It’s impossible for the videographer to get clean, uninterrupted shots but these two are bad.

  • Nicolas Harter

    Well, it’s quite possible when the videographer puts his camera on a tripod at the back of he main alley and expects the photographer not to cross nor take pictures from the alley… either he was part of a team and there are other people shooting video from different angles or the videographer is not taking into consideration the fact that he isn’t alone on this and is as unprofessional as the photographer. I wouldn’t like to work with either of them, even less have them at my wedding to be honest.

  • Mark

    I have a vast amount of experience photographing weddings and I agree with Raluca. The couple paid the photographer to shoot the wedding based on their portfolio. They were doing exactly that. You can’t as a videographer set up a cam at the most critical angle, leave it recording and not expect anyone to get in a the way for the duration of the shoot. I could post hundreds of photos where videographers or guest photographers get in the way but rather than harp on about it I edit them out and move on.

  • Nicolas Harter

    Totally agree

  • Nicolas Harter

    well, standing in cheap T shirt, at less than 1m from the couple, showing your butt the the relatives while flashing the face of the B&G kind of affect the ceremony if not the photos. This can make people look a bit annoyed/angry on the pictures as well if you ruin the real event ;-)