Choosing a Wedding Videographer
Not all couples hire a videographer to cover their wedding day, opting instead to focus their wedding budget on their wedding photographer, wedding flowers, wedding cake, and wedding reception site amenities. That said, with the ever increasing production value of wedding videos, helped by the reduced cost of quality equipment and editing tools, combined with the popularity of video sharing across social media, the importance couples place on having a video record of their wedding day is as popular as ever. Most brides that have chosen not to hire a videographer for the wedding admit to regretting it afterwards.
If hiring a wedding videographer is within your budget, then the most difficult decision won’t be finding one, but picking one from the many services available to you. And the quality of those services can vary greatly. As mentioned, with the increasing ability for individuals to purchase equipment with which to film, just about anyone can call themselves a wedding videographer. Many of us have family members who may fancy themselves videofiles and may even offer their help shooting your wedding. But your wedding day is no time to take chances with capturing the memories you want to last a lifetime. Filming a wedding presents a lot of unique challenges that the non-seasoned professional can’t always tackle. Quality wedding videography requires the expertise of an experienced talent with the knowledge of how to capture the important shots technically, with all the artistic quality of your wedding photographer, while still being respectful and unobtrusive.
Your investment in the talents of a wedding videographer, in their time acquiring the footage as well as all the post-production and editing, will pay off in the end.
Like all your other wedding planning, choosing a wedding videographer starts with careful research; getting recommendations from friends, reading reviews, and researching ratings online. If you’ve chosen a wedding reception site or banquet hall, talk to them to see if they recommend any video professionals. A videographer who has a good relationship with your wedding or reception venue and has experience shooting there will also work to your advantage.
Once you’ve narrowed your selection to a handful of videographers, ask to see samples of their work to get a sense for the quality and style of the videos they produce. Do you prefer a more traditional documentary/journalistic approach that captures events more candidly as they happen or a more cinematic style that creates grander, more composed content with a sense of story; or a mix of the two?
More and more often wedding photographers are also incorporating videography into their services, either partnering with other service provides or hiring talent as part of their own business. This is often a benefit in that it’s one less vendor for you to deal with and it may help with cost efficiencies. So if you like the professionalism of your photographer and the quality of his work, then this may make your choice easier. Just remember that creating a video is quite different both technically and creatively than photography, so be sure the same quality and style will be reflected in your wedding video.
Remember, there is no shortage of those who will offer to shoot your video in exchange for pay, but often the price matches the end result. Be clear with your videographer what services you are getting in exchange for the cost. A point-and-shoot handheld single camera videographer who edits in a bygone style with what we’d now perceive as having cheesy effects and video transitions will be much different from a videographer with a trained artistic eye who has invested in quality equipment that performs well in low light, which is important, especially during your wedding reception in a ballroom with romantic or colored lighting. Integrating equipment that provides for quality lighting, smooth stabilized tracking, sweeping panoramic shots, and other more-well produced video content takes much more preparation and thought—as does creatively interweaving footage and integrating stylish cinematic effects in the editing process.
Whether your budget allows for a more basic video record of your wedding day or a lush, glamorous movie-like end product, being able to look back on the day and all that you missed while in the midst of the action of your wedding will be well worth your careful investment.