Finding a good videographer can be an intimidating task. The easiest way to evaluate wedding videographers is to view their portfolio of videos, speak with their previous clients, and ask direct questions. Don’t let your choice be driven solely by price as the difference in quality can be astounding. Make sure that you interview several videographers in your price range and select the one that you feel will be able to meet your specific needs.
Before asking your Top Ten Questions, make sure you review a videographer’s previous wedding videos. You can view samples online at this website under the Wedding Information link on the left side of this page. We can also have you come in for consultation and you may view full screen dvd demo’s at that time. When viewing videos, pay attention to the style and video quality:
Wedding videos can be quite different in their style of filming, duration and storytelling. Find the style that you like best. To learn more about Wedding Videography styles, please refer to Wedding Video Definitions thru the link on the left side of this page.
Is the video clear and is the camera steady? Is the sound audible and can you understand what is being said during both the ceremony and the reception? How are the transitions between scenes managed; do they flow or is it choppy? What kinds of graphics or titling are used? How many cameras are used? Does the video capture important or intimate moments? How much of the video is content and how much is graphics? How is the lighting? Do colors look cold and gray or bright and warm?
Another important component to a wedding videographer is personality. Pay attention to his attitude and overall professionalism:
Are you able to have a personable discussion with the videographer or do you feel that you’re being run over and bombarded with industry jargon? Respect the videographer’s experience and expertise, but also keep in mind that you are hiring him to execute your vision.
Ensure that the videographer has a written contract that clearly defines expectations for both parties. Pay attention to how his studio is run and how he interacts with you…this is a good indication of what you can expect on your wedding day. Your wedding videographer should not only be a great artist, but a competent product manager who can adhere to a timeline and be in the right places at the right times to get the shots they need.
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Videographer
1. Can I have the name of some references?
Always check references! When speaking with previous customers, they will tell you exactly what they liked and didn’t like about the vendor. Be sure to ask references about the vendor’s attitude, responsiveness, professionalism, performance on the wedding day (i.e. were they unobtrusive), how long was editing time, and what was their impression of the finished product?
2. What is your style?
The most important answer here is “I don’t have a defined style. I can shoot in whatever style you want.” While it’s understandable that one may prefer documentary over cinematic, the bottom line is that it’s your day and your decision. If you want your wedding video filmed a certain way, your vendor of choice should be able to easily accommodate.
3. How long have you been in business?
Someone who’s not very good won’t be in business long; however, a good videographer will get a lot of repeat, and referral, business. If you chose to work with someone who is just starting out, he will be more eager to make a name for himself and may have more competitive pricing plans. Just be aware that with the unknown comes greater risk.
4. What are the different package options and how much do they cost?
Some videographer packages include everything from pre-ceremony activities to departure for the honeymoon. Make sure you know ahead of time when what’s included in your package and when your videographer will start filming your wedding video. Also confirm when actual coverage begins. Does it begin when your videographer arrives, begins set up or when he starts filming?
5. Is editing included in the price?
Editing is an essential process; it helps keep ensure your wedding movie is long enough to cover all important moments while still being short enough to hold the viewer’s attention. Editing also helps highlight particular moments, it provides clear transitions between events, and it enables couples to add in music that is personal and special to them. Ask your videographer how much editing they typically do? Many high-end videographers will put in as much as 40 hours of editing.
6. How many shooters/cameras will you be using?
What type of equipment do you use?
Is he a one-man show or does he have a staff?
If he works alone, keep in mind, you may be limited to certain camera angles, whereas, if he works with another videographer, you will have more coverage of your wedding day. Some videographers will also use a fixed camera in addition to handheld cameras for the ceremony and select other moments. Make sure your videographer is using state of the art sound equipment that’s wireless. You’ll want your videographer to have full mobility so he can capture all the action and to prevent you and your guests from tripping over cords and tripods.
7. What extra services are available?
In addition to items included in your package, you can add in additional services to help customize your wedding video. Typical examples are additional videography hours, extended editing services, honeymoon photo montages, additional copies of the wedding movie for family and friends or online video sharing.
8. How and when will I receive my wedding film?
There are a few different ways you can receive your film. You can have it saved on DVD or it can be uploaded to the web to share with friends and family. Find out how your film will be delivered. Also be sure to ask how you, or family members, can order additional copies. In summer months, there can be quite a backlog for videographers make sure you agree on a timeframe for completion up front.
9. Are you running any specials?
Often times, videographers will run specials if you purchase their services by a certain dates. These specials can include extra hours of videography, additional editing time, free photo montages, or additional DVDs at no charge.
10. What’s your backup plan in case you cannot make it to my wedding?
This is the one no one wants to think about, but emergencies do arise from time to time. Ask your videographer what his backup plan is in case something happens and he cannot attend your wedding. You want to ensure that he’s got it covered and someone will be there to capture your wedding day.
Finally, don’t feel pressured into making a decision. Take your time to select the best wedding videographer for your needs. You should feel confident with whomever you select to film your wedding video.