Effective Tips on Choosing Your Wedding Videographer

Great wedding videography tells your story like nothing else can

Everyone knows how important having the right photographer is to capturing all the details surrounding your wedding.  Knowledgeable couples and wedding planners however, know that a professionally edited wedding video can really capture the mood and spirit of the big day unlike any still photographs can.  Capturing these special moments as they are happening is easier than ever with advancements in technology, video quality, and techniques applied by a professional videographer.

We’ve come a long way since handheld VHS cameras and today’s professional videographers use high-definition cameras, nearly invisible ear microphones, multiple cameras controlled remotely, the increasing use of video booths, even camera equipped drones to give you unique viewpoints that could not be possible even a few years ago. The point is that choosing a good wedding videographer that is up to date with the latest technology and how to use it can pay dividends in capturing once in a lifetime moments that still photos simply cannot.

Now that you know how you can benefit from finding the right wedding videographer, here are some some practical and effective things you should consider before hiring the right one for your big day!

A wedding videographer's portfolio is the best way to see how well they work

Asking for a Demo

To put it simply, you need to verify the ability of any prospective videographer you are considering to produce high-quality work. The most direct and effective way to do this is to ask for a demo of their previous work. If they tell you that they aren’t able to due to privacy (or any other) reasons, move on to someone else immediately! Ideally, you want to see a wide range of work from them such as an example of

  • a teaser film (under two minutes)
  • a highlight film (under ten minutes)
  • a short film (under twenty minutes)
  • a full length film (under ninety minutes)
  • any specialty videos they have available (such as drone footage)

What you are looking for is to see them cover an entire event, not just a few seconds of footage here and there. All in all, viewing these examples of their work will help you develop an overall feel for their style and ability.

Communication Skills

The videographer that you’re planning on hiring should be easily reachable and should be able to effectively communicate with you regarding your wants and needs. Good communication skills are very important as it sets your expectations on how things will go and will allow the big day to run smoothly. A good videographer should have no problem working with either your guests or other professionals working the event, such as your wedding photographer.

What is your videographer's style, Cinematic or Documentary?

What is Their Style?

Aside from previous work and their ability to communicate, you’ll want to determine the overall style of any videographer you are considering hiring. Here are some of the more common styles that you may encounter when shopping around:

  • Documentary (includes voice-overs and interviews): This style is meant to capture each moment of the big day as it happened.  From the moment the bride begins to get ready to the time the happy couple leaves the reception, each important event is covered.
  • Cinematic: Currently the most popular style preferred by couples, these films are shot and edited so that the result is like an actual movie. They can be artistic in nature (such as with minimal audio or commentary) or edited to enhance a specific emotional reaction from the viewer.

Understand that each videographer may have different skill sets. Always make sure that you choose your style first so that you can then effectively choose a videographer that suits it the best.

Pricing

How well a videographer fits within your budget will also affect your decision making process. High-quality wedding videos typically cost a lot of money so you should always be suspicious of lowball offers. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t find one that fits within your price range or one who is willing to negotiate for a lower fee! While there are no “set” rules for finding a good deal, keep in mind that you’ll probably pay almost as much for a professional wedding video as you would a professional photographer. Find current pricing data for videography services in your area as well as tips on saving money on hiring your wedding videographer by clicking here.

Equipment and Cameras

You should always plan on asking the videographer what type of equipment they will be using and if they have backup equipment in case things go wrong.  Be sure that everything is included in the contract so that you get what you’re paying for.

If you are familiar with video equipment then this will help you make a better overall decision when choosing one. As a general rule of thumb, a low-quality camera in the hands of an experienced videographer is much more valuable than a high-quality camera in the hands of an experienced one. Knowing this, you should take into consideration both the equipment being used as well as the skillset of the person using it.

Video Format

This is a rather important question that a lot of people tend to forget when interviewing a videographer. Basically, have them tell you what the format is going to be upon final delivery of the wedding video. Aside from the standard DVDs that you will be supplied with, make sure that you ask the videographer for the master-version of the original video as you can use that to do further editing if you didn’t feel happy with the final product delivered by the videographer.  Many professionals will also deliver the final product to you via a file drop or agree to show your video online on sites like Vimeo or Youtube.

Final Considerations

A lot of videographers and photographers will keep the copyrights of their finished product or raw footage of your event. The reason why is so that they can charge you for additional copies. One way to avoid this all together is to find someone who includes the copyrights into their pricing. Make sure that you clarify this point with your videographer before proceeding forward and be sure that this point is included in the contract! Lastly, choose a videographer that you can afford but don’t make your selection based solely on price as you’ll typically get what you pay for.  It’s better to pay a bit more and pick someone you know will deliver a beautiful finished product you will enjoy for years rather than save a few hundred dollars.

Planning your wedding?  Learn more on how to save money when hiring your wedding videographer and then enter your ZIP code to find the best wedding videographers in your area.