Choosing a Wedding Videographer; What to ask and why

Choosing a videographer

Choosing a wedding videographer for your wedding is a little like choosing between an apple and an orange.

There are a few similarities between when choosing a wedding videographer.

They should have video equipment

Many will have experience with weddings

But that’s about where the similarities end and the differences begin.  Without going through all the possible differences, here are some questions to ask that we hope help achieve your goals for video coverage of your special day.

 

Here are a few questions to ask.

  • How much of our wedding will we be able to watch after delivery? 

There are numerous possibilities; Will your ceremony be uncut,  or will it be mixed with a highlight or trailer style video?

  • Will we hear our vows? 

If hearing your vows are important, you will want to ask about wireless or a recording of your vows.  This is usually accomplished by a microphone placed on the groom or officiate. However its accomplished, if hearing your vows is important to you, then you want to ask about it.

  • Can you deliver our ‘Wish List?’

What do you want to see when watching your wedding video?  If you are getting ready in two different places, and you want to have your wedding preparation covered, then it will take two staff to accomplish this.  A single videographer can cover a lot, however, it’s challenging to be in two places at once.

  • What will we watch our video on?

Gone are the days of VHS tapes.  Today’s wedding video is often delivered on DVD, Blu-ray, USB, and sometimes hard drive.  All of these are high-definition except DVD.  DVD is not considered high-definition.  One obvious benefit of USB and/or hard drive is the ability to back your video up easily.  And if you get a highlight, you can actually have your wedding on your cell phone.  Pretty cool.

  • Is your style non-obtrusive, obtrusive?

It sounds like an odd question.  But it is important to have a video person (s) who will complement your wedding.  If you have a photographer, often both videographers and photographers will be looking for similar shots.  So having a video person who ‘plays well with others’ will enhance your day.  Also, if you are getting married in a church, there are often church rules for videographers and photographers.  If there are rules, it is important for everyone to follow them and not take away from your special moments.  One of the greatest compliments was when a groom called us ‘invisible.’  :]

  • What do you do about lighting?

It is very important to ask about lighting at your wedding.  Without being too facetious, cameras both photo and video alike, don’t shoot well in the dark.  So asking your videographer about lighting is important because it’s a discussion you should have.

  • Do you use tripods, shoot from a distance during the ceremony?

There are dozens of ways to stabilize video, and there are a lot of theories on handheld video vs. stabilization such as tripods, mono-pods, and so on.  A lot of this depends on your personal taste.  Some couples like the organic float style of handheld, but sometimes hand-held shooting is challenging when shooting from a distance.   Either way, it is important to ask about it.

  • How many cameras at the ceremony?

In this example, you see two different camera angles by two different staff.  One is a close-up and the other angle is a back shot. We zoom in and zoom out based on what is going on.  Most ceremonies have some movement; the processional, making of the sand, maybe communion, and the recessional.

Simply put, there are more shot opportunities with two staffed cameras.

multicamera example

A multi-camera multi staffed example

  • Packages

    Every studio has different packages.  And this is where your search may get overwhelming. Trying to compare what each studio has to offer is a challenge because everyone has different packages for different prices.  The goal should always be finding the right studio that can give you coverage that meets your goals.  Most studios will tweak their packages a bit, so don’t be afraid to ask.

  • Interview, Face to Face if at all possible

    If at all possible, meet the staff you are going to hire.  And ask, if you are interviewing the staff who will be at your wedding.  For example, when you interview us, we are the staff who will be at your wedding.  We are also the same staff that will answer questions after your wedding, edit your wedding and so on.  Sometimes you interview with someone at a studio and someone else is at your wedding and someone else may edit your wedding.  Be sure to check and ask why.

  • Are you licensed and insured?

    More and more venues are requiring wedding vendors to be licensed and insured.  This means that the vendor and not you are more likely to be liable for anything that happens with the vendor.  You want to ask if the venue requires a license and insurance so you can pick vendors qualified to work at that venue.  So ask the venue.  If you’ve made deposits with non-insured vendors, you may lose your deposits.  So check with your venues during your visits.

  • What is your turn around time?

Turn around times vary for different studios.  This is where an understanding of video editing helps.    Unlike any other vendor, video editing requires very unique post wedding work.  The wedding is just part of the process.  Your videographer will spend time putting the pieces of your wedding video together. So turn around times vary depending on how much footage there is, extras added in such as much choice, color correction and so on.  Video editing is lot like painting a portrait or writing a story.   So ask about turn around times.  Be patient and communicate with your videography studio if you have questions. The last thing you want is your video to be rushed.

It’s Not Photography (the technical stuff)

Since we provide both wedding photography and wedding videography.  We see benefits of both. We also recognize the big differences between the two.

The main differences between wedding photography and wedding videography are;

1) Videography is continuous.

For example, when you take a picture, that’s a split second ‘shot.’  A video is continuous.  So a picture of your vows is much different from the video of your vows. See example on our cinematography page.  Video shots take planning, this includes pans and movements.  Because if you miss a shot in video, you really notice it.  If you miss a shot at photography, you can take another one in a split second.

2) Video also includes music and audio.

As mentioned earlier, will you hear your vows, special ceremony music, toasts, special letters to each other?  There are a variety of ways to capture audio, but they all require extra equipment and planning.   See our videography page for a good comparison of a photo and video during the same wedding moment.

We hope these tips help you find the right studio for your wedding videography needs.  If you have any other tips, feel free to comment below.

We have a sister article on how to find a wedding photographer.

Want to understand wedding costs?  We have an article on that as well.

For booking information, contact us today.

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