Four benefits to hiring one company to both photograph and film your wedding

Still and Motion (video/film) photography truly are symbiotic services. More so than any other two vendors you will hire on your wedding day. Photography is incredible at capturing visual beauty in stunning detail and film-making is incredible at capturing emotional beauty through the power of story telling. It only makes sense going forward as more couples prioritize video as much as photos because of the superior ability of film production to tell a story and re-experience a wedding day, more companies will offer both services. Here are four benefits to hiring one company for both film-making and photography.

1. Narrow the field The sheer number of wedding photographers in any given market is actually quite shocking if you are starting your search from scratch. Literally hundreds of different options with prices all over the board. It is overwhelming. To a lesser degree the same is becoming true even for wedding videography. However, there is only a relatively small pool of companies that offer both still and motion photography, narrowing your choices to a more manageable level. Inside this small pool of companies that offer both services, there are 3 types of business models that I have seen. 1. The Photographer in disguise” - Some photo/video companies , if they were to be honest with themselves, are photographers pretending to be filmmakers. You can recognize them by shaky and uninteresting camera work, no incorporation of audio from the sermon and toasts, and worse yet, inclusion of pictures into the video, basically becoming a hybrid of a slideshow. These companies are short changing the value of the film medium and are often charging as much money as hiring a modest to mid -level video company, which would undoubtedly provide you with a better product. 2. “The Umbrella Company” - Consider these guys the jack of all trades. Many wedding media companies are set up to have a large overhead with huge advertising budgets blanketed across large regions. These guys never say “we’re booked” because they have a revolving door of contracted photographers and videographers. Most of the time the samples on their website won’t reflect the actual person at your event even though they may have in house editors. This is how you end up with companies with inconsistent quality whose main objective is to make money not out of love of craft or accountability to the work. This model of wedding company is for those who want average prices with average results (at best) and don’t care too much either way. 3. The Real Deal - If you are a couple who cares deeply about being able to relive the memory of your wedding this is who you are looking for. A company who has a dedicated and consistent photo + film team and who are truly passionate, not only about what they do for a living, but the company they do it with. We have two lead filmmakers who have worked together since childhood and a lead photographer who has as well. We have no revolving door as each member of LOE makes our company who it is. For example, we have produced roughly 240 weddings in the last 5 years. Not many companies as young as ours can say that. Even fewer (if any) can say that every single one of those 240 weddings was edited by one editor (yours truly).

2. Monetary Incentive

Most companies offering both services will have some form of monetary incentive to hire them for both, potentially saving you money. If you're wanting high quality photos and film, it is almost certain you will save money going with one "high end" company doing both, than hiring 2 "high end" companies individually. Another thing to consider is that you only have to put out one deposit for your date, not two.

3. Easier Coordination

Before the wedding, couples traditionally will coordinate the schedule with the photographer and this is very necessary. But often times the photographer’s don’t understand the challenges of proper film-making and will design the schedule to fit their needs to the detriment of the film team. For example, preparing for the ceremony is a relatively lengthy process for the film team and we’d prefer to have minimum 1 hour at the location beforehand. Photographers can just show up a few minutes before with a camera. When you hire one company for both services, not only will the film team be kept in the loop, but we are able to easily have input into the decisions.

4. A True Team

Having shot well over 200 weddings, we have kind of seen it all in terms of working with other companies. I’m happy to say that the vast majority of the time, we work seamlessly with other photographers/videographers to the point where people forget were not the same company. We have met so many awesome people and that diversity has helped and continues to help us grow as artists as well as professionals. That being said there are times when (usually it's the photographers to be honest) companies are not really used to sharing the space and are, for the lack of a better term, selfish teammates. Ball hogs if you will. Working with a company or individual who does not share the space and time well, makes our jobs of producing a movie-esq capture of your day much more difficult and stress-full. Hiring one company to do both services is the only way to truly ensure that the photo and film team is working with each others needs and interests in mind ,helping you get the most out of your combined investment.

For these reasons we recommend you to seriously consider hiring one company to do both your wedding photos and film. If you find a company who produces beautiful images and moving films you will almost certainly have a smoother experience leading up to and on your wedding day. The media in this article is a sample of our combined efforts in photography and film-making. View the full photo blog here Besides ourselves we can recommend checking out

As other Michigan based companies doing both services, and doing them well. - Jared (lead filmmaker, photographer, editor, project manager) Life on Earth productions, LLC .

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