With all the planning that goes into the perfect wedding, you want to have some evidence of how the day went, right? For many people, pictures aren’t enough; it’s important to capture the magic on video. However, the attention to detail doesn’t stop with designing the flower arrangements and selecting the cakes; choosing the right wedding videographer takes a bit of savvy as well.
Some videographers focus on value for money; they’ll get you a video that you’re basically happy with, but it’s common for a less-than-expert videographer to come across as intrusive or bossy. Then you have videographer teams like Dalton Young Films & Photography; this type of videographer would focus on making your wedding day feel luxurious and special, not just on fulfilling a contract. The key is to know what you want, and then find the person (or team) who can get the job done. The question is, what do you want from a wedding videographer? In case you aren’t quite sure, here are a few essential pointers to get you started.
1. Check your potential videographer’s reviews
It’s important to find out what someone says they can do, but it’s equally as important to get some third-party feedback. A videographer could have a truly impressive portfolio, but a terrible attitude in-person – and nobody wants to deal with that on their wedding day.
If you can confirm that the videographer in question is really as great as they say they are, you won’t get any unpleasant surprises after it’s too late to turn back. Plus, you can get a feel for their overall vibe. You want someone who’s professional, obviously, but you also want someone you can get along with. Are they efficient and no-nonsense, or do they help you figure out how to go above and beyond with your wedding video?
2. Find someone who’ll match your style
Not all wedding videos are created equal. Some are cinematic and filled with drama, while others are more candid, focusing on shots of people just living in the moment. A good wedding videographer will have honed their camera and editing skills for a specific style, so you should pick someone who can fulfill your vision.
3. Consider finding someone who’s licensed to pilot drones
There’s nothing quite like a few good drone shots, even in wedding videos. If that’s a part of your dream, confirm that any videographer you’re considering has the right licensing to take videos via drone on the big day. Also, confirm beforehand that they’ve coordinated with the venue to make sure that drones are even allowed in the first place.
4. Know when to expect your video
There are a lot of little details in the average wedding videographer contract, and one of them will be the delivery date. For example, “your video will be delivered within 24 weeks”. Six months is average for the industry, but a high-caliber videographer could have your video ready in 12 to 16 weeks, depending on how busy they are. At any rate, don’t expect to get a video back within three days – and don’t hire someone you’ll have to hound for months in order to get the finished product.
5. Know what you’re getting
How long is the video going to be? A good wedding videographer will be at the venue (or venues) pretty much all day, filming the preparations, the ceremony itself, and the reception afterwards. With 6-8 hours of footage, they’re going to be paring it down considerably – so how much will you be getting? Clear communication is important here, because you don’t want to expect a documentary-style video and get a six-minute highlight reel.
Also, make sure you discuss where the raw footage ends up; if you expect it but don’t get it, that could be a huge disappointment. Most importantly, back up your footage to multiple locations. The hard drive to your trusty laptop might seem like a great spot now, but it won’t be forever. By the same token, you might lose the password to your iCloud account, or damage the DVD that happened to be your only copy. You get the point – have an insurance plan for your wedding video.
6. Choose someone who works with you, not just for you
There are two sides of the coin here: you need to trust that the videographer knows what they’re doing, but they also need to be flexible and caring enough to make you both feel like the stars of the show. If you end up just jumping through their hoops to make sure they can do their job, it could end up detracting from the joy of the celebration.
7. Establish how interactive you want them to be
Some people want guest interviews in their wedding video, while others prefer a more “fly on the wall” feel; make sure your videographer knows how to give you what you want – and don’t be shy about communicating your preferences to them.
If you’re hoping for someone with a less obtrusive style, be on the lookout for videographers with experience filming for television or news agencies; they’ll be more familiar with the general etiquette of filming without getting up in everyone’s faces.
8. Don’t compromise on video definition
There’s a big difference between videos shot in 720p and 1080p, but they’re both technically HD. Also, some videographers shoot in a lower resolution, then digitally crank it up to HD later. Get someone who shoots in 1080p for sharp, high-quality footage.
This, by the way, is what will distinguish the professionals from the hobbyists. It’s pretty easy for someone to buy a better-than-average camera, print out some business cards, and call themselves a wedding videographer – but they probably won’t be able to give you the kind of wedding video you’re hoping for. Instead, make sure whatever videographer you’re considering has their own established business, and ask them about their experience. If they’ve spent several years in the business and are invested in what they do, they probably aren’t going to be filming everything in 480p.
9. Meet the videographer, not just the company
Many people use companies, not individuals, when choosing their wedding videography service. There isn’t really a drawback to this, except that they may not get the same videographer as the one who shot the portfolio photos they loved so much.
This is why it’s best to go over everything with the person who’ll be there on your wedding day, not just hash things out with a representative. After all, your wedding video needs the right person for the job, and you should ideally be selecting the videographer because you fell in love with their style of filming. That’s the kind of connection that has to be made with a person, not a company.
10. Be financially strategic
If you’ve decided to hire a wedding videographer – and if you want to do it right – you aren’t looking for someone who’ll show up with a video camera and charge $20/hour. That’s why some videographers offer gift registries, where guests can contribute towards the cost of the service as their wedding gift. This could include the total cost, as well as additional hours spent at the venue, or extra copies of the DVDs.
Also keep in mind that you’ll have to make a non-refundable deposit in order to retain a wedding videographer’s services, so don’t make the commitment until you have a date (and ideally a venue) nailed down.
11. Hire someone who knows the area
There are a couple of advantages to going with a local videographer. First, they’re more accessible. Wedding planning involves hundreds of moving parts, and the further you’re removed from any of those parts, the higher your chances of running into a snag at some point. If you can meet in-person, that’s even better.
Second, any experienced local videographer will have worked at all the most popular wedding venues in the area. They’ll know all the best spots, where the lighting looks just perfect minutes before sunset, and which angles will make both the happy couple and the background look absolutely stunning.
12. Set some ground rules for videos at the ceremony
Everybody becomes an aspiring videographer at a wedding: the bride starts walking down the aisle, and half the guests whip out their phones to capture the moment. Unfortunately, that often means that your videographer will be capturing footage of a sea of hand-held devices, rather than an attentive crowd of family and friends. With that in mind, many people ask the minister to specify beforehand that there will be a professional videographer filming the ceremony, and to please refrain from filming it themselves.
With these tips under your belt, all you have to do now is find the right videographer!
For many people, stress and wedding planning go together like peanut butter and chocolate. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you start the process already knowing what you want, you’ll be able to choose the perfect videographer to record the wedding of your dreams.